It’s an iconic location on the must-see list of visitor’s Down Under – but where is Australia’s iconic Great Ocean Road?
The Great Ocean Road is famous world-wide for its iconic surf beaches and famous rock formations, the 12 Apostles. This stretch of Australia’s southern coast has a lot of attractions packed in.
If you have heard of the Great Ocean Road but don’t know where in Australia it is – we’re here to help! Not only can you find out where it is , but also how to get there and what are the main attractions to visit.
If you want to visit the Great Ocean Road – and do it in comfort – join us on a Great Ocean Road Day Tour from Melbourne. It was rated as the second top tour in the whole of Australia.
Where is Australia’s Great Ocean Road?
The Great Ocean Road is located on the southern coast of Australia. It is approximately 1.5 hours drive from Melbourne to the start of the road. The road officially begins in the town of Torquay, it then continues for 243kms to the town of Peterborough.
The road can be driven in either direction, however when it was built the construction began the east and this is the direction most people drive the road today.
How do I get to the Great Ocean Road?
To get to the Great Ocean Road you can drive south west of Melbourne. Take the M1 highway and pass by the town of Geelong and then through a country area to get to the coast. You can access the road at many different locations along its length.
You can also take a day tour to the Great Ocean Road, which is an excellent way to see all the highlights of this iconic road in the comfort of a touring vehicle with your own tour guide.
When was the Great Ocean Road built?
Construction of the Great Ocean Road took place from 1919 to 1932. It was a huge undertaking to carve a road into the rocky coastline, and it provided many jobs for returned servicemen after the First World War. Around 3000 service men worked on the road over these years. When construction was complete, a Memorial Arch was built to honour these men. These days the Memorial Arch is a popular location to visit on the Great Ocean Road. From the viewing area beside the road you can check out the Arch and the memorial statue of soldiers constructing the road.
What are the main attractions on the Great Ocean Road?
Here’s our pick of the best attractions along the Great Ocean Road – from surf beaches, rainforest and rock formations to koalas in the trees!
The 12 Apostles limestone stacks are highlight of any visit to the famous Great Ocean Road, These rock formations rise out of the Southern Ocean – and some are up to 45 metres tall. They were once part of the coastal cliffs but the wind and waves carved the cliffs into caves, then arches, and eventually down to just tall columns.
Loch Ard Gorge
Stepping foot into Loch Ard Gorge, it’s hard not to be in awe of the surrounding cliffs and secluded beach. But when you hear the tale of the Loch Ard Disaster, it adds a whole new layer of meaning to your visit The Loch Ard was a ship that set sail from the UK in 1878. Join us on tour to hear the story for yourself and to discover this amazing natural location.
Seeing koalas in the wild will be a highlight of any trip to Australia. On the Great Ocean Road, you can see these cute creatures in their natural habitat in the eucalyptus forests of Kennett River. These iconic Australian animals are very sleepy because their diet consists of eucalyptus leaves. As such they can be found close to their food source – hanging out in the trees!
There are many great seaside towns along the Great Ocean Road. Apollo Bay is a holiday town that is famous for its summer holidays vibes and delicious food. Visitors like to stop in for some fresh locally caught fish, handmade icecream, a famous scallop pie at the bakery, or a cold beer at the brewery.
The first section of the Great Ocean Road is renowned for its surf beaches and surf culture. Particularly the town of Torquay, known as the Surf Capital. Driving along the road and stopping in at the lookout you can see big waves, protected surfing reserves and plenty of local surfers in action.
The Great Otway National Park stretches along the Great Ocean Road. It has many walking trails where you can discover the local cool climate rainforest. Take to the trails to immerse yourself in the natural surroundings. View tree ferns, ground ferns and towering mountain ash trees. You might even spot some of the wildlife and creatures that call the rainforest home. These creatures include black snails, insects and birds.
On Tour with Go West
If you are visiting Melbourne we would love to welcome you on a day tour of the Great Ocean Road. It is our original and most popular tour. It’s also one that we guarantee will be memorable for all the right reasons.
Go West Tours is a family-owned and operated tour business. In addition, we are the most highly-awarded tour operator in Melbourne and we look forward to welcoming you onboard.
Written by: Leah Furey – Digital Content Coordinator @gowest.com.au