When visiting Melbourne, there are plenty of opportunities for exciting outdoor adventure on the Great Ocean Road.
The Great Ocean Road is famous for its dramatic rock formations, a rugged coastline, big waves and lush rainforest. There is more than 200 kilometres of road to explore, with plenty of adventure to be had at any time of year. Visit the hallowed surfing beach in Torquay – Bells Beach. Or explore the rainforest and waterfalls of the Great Otway National Park on foot. Swim at one of many beautiful beaches, or kayak through native forest.
Here we have rounded up some of the best outdoor adventure activities that you can do along the Great Ocean Road.
Outdoor Adventure on the Great Ocean Road
With so many amazing beaches along the Great Ocean Road, there’s endless opportunities for an ocean dip or swim. The major towns have beaches that are patrolled by lifeguards in summer. Try locations such as Torquay, Anglesea, Lorne, Apollo Bay or Port Campbell. There are also some great locations along the Shipwreck Coast, such as Loch Ard Gorge, where you can take a dip. Though the water is very cold in winter and the beaches are not patrolled, so you need to exercise precaution before swimming here.
From the iconic surfing mecca of Bells Beach in Torquay to calm waters of Apollo Bay, there are many great surf spots along the Great Ocean Road. If you’re a beginner surfer, it’s recommended that you take a lesson to learn the techniques and also learn ocean safety .
Beaches in Torquay, Lorne or Apollo Bay have smaller waves, and surf lifesavers patrolling in summer. For the more experienced surfers, Bells Beach or Gibsons Beach near the famous 12 Apostles, offer some great advanced waves. To discover the birthplace of surf culture, plan a visit to Torquay. This is where surf companies such as Rip Curl and Quiksilver were started. There is the Australian Surfing Museum and many surf shops in the town.
Nature Walks in the Otways
Adventure into the Great Otway National Park and you’ll find 16 trails around the village of Forrest. Ride through scenic bush landscapes or hike to magical waterfalls through the Lorne. For something a little shorter, why not take a heritage trail around the villages along the Great Ocean Road. There’s a walking or bike trail for all levels of skill and experience through gorgeous vistas of surf and sand or greenery for another way to explore the ancient rainforest.
Kayaking and Canoeing
The Anglesea River is a popular spot for canoeing and kayaking. You can rent both, and paddle out to explore the wetlands and birdlife in the area. If you are planning to spend more time in the area, you can venture inland to Lake Colac or Glenelg River. Further along the Great Ocean Road you can take a sea kayaking tour to the rocks that are home to a local seal colony. Inland there are tours run at Lake Elizabeth to discover the environment of the elusive platypus. You might be lucky to spot a few as you canoe over this lake in amongst eucalyptus forest.
The area surrounding Anglesea is home to some great mountain biking trails. It is also the location of the Great Ocean Road mountain bike park. Grab your bike and some mates to go for a ride. Inland, the town of Forrest is home to over 60 kilometres of mountain bike trails. You can explore the eucalyptus forest and rainforest on two wheels, on the world-class trails. The area is renowned for mountain biking, so you will no doubt meet plenty of other like-minded riders enjoying the trails. There are accommdation options around Anglesea and Forrest if you want to make a holiday out of your visit.
Visiting the Great Ocean Road
Explore the famous Great Ocean Road on tour to discover Victoria’s Surf Coast, winding coastal road, rainforest and more on this day trip from Melbourne. You can enjoy a 12 Apostles Lookout, stop at picturesque cities and townships and soak up the history of sites like the Loch Ard Gorge. Here are some of the highlights you can discover on tour:
- Enjoy morning tea on the picturesque beaches of Victoria’s Surf Coast
- Scenic drive along the Great Ocean Road
- See the Twelve Apostles in Port Campbell National Park
- Visit the Loch Ard Gorge, the site of the Loch Ard shipwreck
- Descend Gibson Steps to the stunning beach below
- Walk through lush rainforest in the Great Otway National Park
- See koalas in their natural habitat in the eucalyptus forests of the Kennett River township
- Visit the charming coastal township of Apollo Bay
Written by: Leah Furey – Digital Content Coordinator @gowest.com.au