If you enjoy road trips then road-tripping down the Great Ocean Road is a must for you. As you drive along you will be dazzled by one incredible feat of nature after another. The rock formations are so distinct that once you see them once, you will recognize them for the rest of your life.
The Great Ocean Road is easily one of the top road trips in the world.
Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park
One of the most unique experiences we’ve ever had as a family was hand-feeding kangaroos at the Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but trust me, this is a must-stop, especially if you have kids with you. They have other animals too, but it is the kangaroos that are the main feature here.
I think you can just look at my kid’s face and see that this is a pretty special experience.
Great Ocean Road Landmarks
As you travel down the Great Ocean Road you will see one place after another to pull over and I recommend stopping as much as you can and enjoying everything this area has to offer. Many go just to see the 12 Apostles and visit that alone is worth flying to Australia and driving 3 hours south from Melbourne just to see. Luckily though this is not the only thing worth seeing. The Lock Ard Gorge is amazing as well. Other stops I recommend making are the London Bridge, the Arch, and Gipson Steps.
This is the London Bridge a natural arch formed into the rock. It makes a really neat place for a photo op. You do have to take a few stairs to get down there, but if you cannot do stairs you will still be able to see it from above.
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The most famous stop is the 12 Apostles.
The 12 Apostles, a cluster of limestone stacks towering over the turquoise waters of the Southern Ocean, are a true wonder of the world and will take your breath away. As you stand on the edge of the cliffs and gaze out at this incredible sight, you can’t help but feel a sense of joy and wonder. There’s something about the natural beauty of the 12 Apostles that makes you feel deeply happy and grateful to be alive. Whether you’re visiting Australia for the first time or the hundredth, this stunning coastline is a must-see destination that will make you feel alive and happy to be alive.
Along the route, you will encounter an area that is known for having koalas, the Koala Cafe. When I stopped here two years ago I saw quite a few koalas. This time when I had the kids with me we only saw a few, but they were the only koalas we saw while we were in Australia. I highly recommend stopping here. They can be extremely hard to spot, but so fun to look at once spotted.
Also here are tons of birds. They are extremely colorful and the little store here sells bird food. The kids had a blast feeding all the birds. As you can see there were a lot. This makes another excellent photo.
Other Things to Do Along the Great Ocean Road
Embark on an adventure that will take you up to the treetops! Explore the unique beauty of this rainforest region with a 600 meter-long, 25 – 30 meter high elevated walkway. Glimpse into nature’s wonders from a bird’s eye view and be mesmerized by what lies below 47 meters down at Spiral Tower overlooking Young’s Creek – prepare for a thrilling ride as your gently sway in concert with the rainforest canopy and then zipline down. Book now!
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See the Shipwreck Coast
The Shipwreck Coast is a stretch of coastline that is dotted with shipwrecks from centuries past. Many of these shipwrecks are now popular dive sites, and visitors can see them up close by taking a scuba diving or snorkeling tour. There are also several shipwreck museums along the coast that provide information about the shipwrecks and the people who perished in them.
Explore the Cape Otway Lightstation
The Cape Otway Lightstation is a working lighthouse that was built in 1848. The light station is open to the public, and visitors can tour the grounds, learn about the history of the lighthouse, and enjoy panoramic views of the coastline. There is also an on-site café, as well as a gift shop selling local arts and crafts.
Visit Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve
Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve is an ancient volcanic crater that is now home to a variety of native plants and animals. The reserve is a great place for bird watching, as it is home to over 140 different species of birds. Visitors can also go hiking, camping, and picnicking in the reserve.
Go Surfing at Bells Beach
Bells Beach is one of Australia’s most famous surf beaches, and it is located just off the Great Ocean Road. The waves at Bells Beach are world-renowned, and they attract surfers from all over the world. Visitors can take surfing lessons, rent surfboards, or simply enjoy watching the surfers from the beach. (Each time I’ve been here, the waves are so insane no one is surfing.)
Where to Stay Along the Great Ocean Road
We stayed at The Port O Call in Port Campbell both times we visited. They’ve got lots of rooms to accommodate families.
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Get Travel Insurance
Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can go wrong on any trip. Be prepared for the worst with travel insurance. We use Travelex.
Book a Place to Stay
I recommend using Expedia.com or Hotels.com for most hotel bookings. I prefer to book directly with Marriott when I stay there because of their excellent military discount.
If you prefer staying in a vacation rental instead, I recommend VRBO.
Choose Activities and Tours
To find great activities in any area I use Get Your Guide and Viator. If we are visiting a city with lots of popular attractions I always check CityPass and GoCard to see if they have discount cards available.
When I want to book a full-on multi-day tour I use TourRadar. They’ve got fantastic weekly deals.