Here are our top seven reasons to visit the Great Ocean Road and see the 12 Apostles – an excellent day trip from Melbourne.

There’s a reason the Great Ocean Road is a must-do on the bucket list! Incredible rock formations, windswept beaches and spectacular views are all part of this day trip from Melbourne. 

There’s even a chance to see Australian wildlife, walk through lush rainforest and dine on freshly caught seafood. 

If you are planning a visit to Melbourne, it is well worth taking a day trip to the Great Ocean Road. Here are some fun facts to get you excited for the journey.  

Discover 7 fantastic facts before you visit:

Fun Fact #1: Australia’s most treasured coastal route

Check out our top-rated ‘Great Ocean Road Day Tour’ to see the sites for yourself!

A 243 kilometre long road stretching between Geelong and Portland – the Great Ocean Road is the world’s largest war memorial. Returned soldiers from WW1 laboured over this scenic route between 1919 and 1932, connecting once isolated settlements along the coast. It is regularly named as Australia’s best scenic drive and it has been attracting day trippers from many, many years. 

Melburnians chose the Great Ocean Road as their destination of choice for summer holidays. Most visitors to Melbourne will also have this scenic journey on their-to-do list. It’s not to be missed!

Fun Fact #2: The Memorial Arch

The Memorial Arch is the gateway to the Great Ocean Road and a tribute to the World War One servicemen who built it! They started construction on the Great Ocean Road in 1919 and completed the 243 kilometres stretch of road in 1932.

These days you can stop in Eastern View to see the Memorial Arch – which was built over the road. There are viewing platforms, as well as a memorial statue of the soldiers. You can also view information boards about the history of the road, and visit the Eastern View beach. 

Fun Fact #3: Great Otway National Park

Walk with the dinosaurs! The cool temperate rainforest found in the Great Otway National Park is a remnant from a bygone era when dinosaurs roamed our forests. While you won’t find any dinosaurs today, in wet weather, watch out for the next best thing – carnivorous snails!

A stroll through the rainforest at Maits Rest is often an unexpected highlight of our Great Ocean Road tours. As the road detours away from the coast, we drive through lush rainforest and towering eucalyptus trees. We stop to take a closer look with a stroll around the path and boardwalks at Maits Rest. 

Fun Fact #4: Get lost amongst towering eucalyptus trees

Used in many cough lozenges and inhalants, eucalyptus’s oil vapour acts as a nifty decongestant in the process of treating medical conditions such as bronchitis. 

The mountain ash trees in the Great Otway National Park are hundreds of years old. They typically grow to be around 100 metres tall, and can live up to 400 years. They provide a towering canopy over the rainforest and a home for animals such as koalas, possums and birds.  

Fun Fact #5: 12 Apostles

Dating back to as early as 1846, this iconic location was once known as “The Sow and Piglets”. The biblical name “12 Apostles” didn’t emerge till sometime in the 20th century and may be a reflection of a time when people were more religiously inclined.

These days it to no doubt the main attraction on the Great Ocean Road. The viewing platforms are the best place to take in the incredible vista. The towering limestone stacks stand tall in the ocean, separated from the cliffs they were once part of. As the waves roll in you can see how the erosion occurred, and is still occurring today.  

Fun Fact #6: Loch Ard Gorge

As Victoria’s best known historical shipwreck location, the 1878 tragedy only spared 2 survivors, Eva and Tom, out of 17 passengers and 37 crew members. Before Eva was swept off the ship, Captain Gibbs said to her “If you are saved Eva, let my dear wife know that I died like a sailor.”

Loch Ard Gorge today is an incredible location to visit. You can walk down to the sandy beach between the rocky walls of the gorge. Standing in the exact location the two survivors once stood. What is now a pictureque location is enhanced by the true story of the shipwreck survivors. 

Fun Fact #7: The Koalas of Kennett River

Koalas are an iconic image of Australia – with many tourists hoping to get up close with these cute & fury creatures. One of the best places you can see them is the Kennett River! Located in Victoria along the Great Ocean Road, this area is home to hundreds of colonies that live in both the dense forests and in more urbanised hotspots.

Koalas can sleep up to 20 hours per day. This tiredness is caused by their poor diet. They eat only eucalyptus leaves which don’t provide much energy and take a long time to digest. It is common to see them nestled between branches and cosied up asleep. 

See the Great Ocean Road the right way!

Whether you’re visiting from interstate or overseas, the team at Go West Tours would love to take you on a comprehensive day tour to visit all the aforementioned places (and more!) so you can experience the magic for yourself!

Tour Highlights: 

  • Spend the day touring the Great Ocean Road
  • Stop for morning tea on the beach at Victoria’s Surf Coast
  • View the spectacular Twelve Apostles in the Port Campbell National Park
  • Explore the Loch Ard Gorge, the site of the Loch Ard shipwreck
  • See koalas in the wild at the Kennett River township
  • Visit the charming coastal township of Apollo Bay for lunch 
  • Walk through the rainforest and towering mountain ash trees in the Great Otway National Park 


Written by: Leah Furey – Digital Content Coordinator