Guide to the Great Ocean Road
If you are planning a visit to Melbourne, take a look at our Guide to the Great Ocean Road.
The Great Ocean Road is carved into an incredible coastline and provides the perfect setting for an epic road trip. Wind your way alongside the rolling waves of the Surf Coast, then cruise through hills covered in lush rainforest, before exploring the rock formations and dramatic scenery of the Shipwreck Coast.
“The Great Ocean Road is breathtakingly spectacular and so varied;
from the incredible beaches of the Surf Coast to the limestone cliffs of the Shipwreck Coast.”
– Gary, Go West tour guide
Highlights of the Great Ocean Road
The Surf Coast
- Pristine, uncrowded surf beaches
- A spectacular drive along the coast, on a road carved into the cliffs
- Seaside towns with delicious local food and an endless holiday vibe
- The chance to see koalas in the wild
Great Otway National Park
- Ancient rainforest ferns, providing an evergreen canopy
- Towering Mountain Ash trees; the tallest species of eucalyptus
- A forest drive – a welcome surprise along the Great Ocean Road
- Limestone rock formations, cliffs and incredible beaches
- The world famous 12 Apostles Lookout
- Exploring the beaches of Loch Ard Gorge and Gibson Steps
- Incredible tales of the coast’s shipwreck history
What to take with you
- Spectacular scenery awaits you on the Great Ocean Road, so be sure to pack your phone / camera. Check out our Photographers Guide to the Great Ocean Road before you go!
Clothing for all weather conditions
- The Great Ocean Road, perhaps even more so than Melbourne, is prone to experiencing Four Seasons in One Day. You might need sunglasses, hat and sunscreen along the Surf Coast, a rain jacket for the Otway Rainforest, and a warm jacket for the Shipwreck Coast.
A water bottle and reusable coffee cup
- You’ll want to stay hydrated throughout the day and some great local coffee is guaranteed to keep you fuelled for the journey. Consider the environmentally friendly options of bringing your own reusable items. Please respect our beautiful coastlines and National Parks when you come to visit. Read our Guide to being Eco-Friendly on the Great Ocean Road before you travel.
How to get to there
The start of the road is in Torquay, known as the Surf Capital. Its beautiful beaches and laid-back surf vibe make it the perfect starting point for your journey. It’s just over one hour’s drive south-west of Melbourne.
Read our suggestions for Why you should take a tour of the Great Ocean Road.