The Great Ocean Road

Image courtesy of Christian Haugen /

They don’t call it ‘great’ for nothing. While countless travellers think of it merely as a long stretch of road that links attractions, the Great Ocean Road is actually the term for the entire coastal region between the Bellarine Peninsula and Portland. More than 243 kilometres make up the Great Ocean Road, and there really is no end to the sights, sounds and tastes that you can experience along the way.

Although there is public transport at some of the bigger towns on the road, the ultimate way to see the Great Ocean Road is by car. If you are planning an upcoming trip, use these tips to make sure you don’t miss the best dining spots, attractions, scenic landmarks and fun activities along the way.

Car Hire For the Great Ocean Road
Since there are so many different stops along the Great Ocean Road, you could end up making the journey into a holiday that lasts for a week or even longer. For best bang for buck, hiring a car from Europcar is something that you should give serious thought to. And furthermore – if you going to be on what is arguably one of the best touring roads on earth, why not do it in style?  It’s definitely worth a little extra to hire a luxury vehicle. If you can bags yourself a convertible, just set the top down and bask in the environment as the fresh smell of ocean air surrounds you.  Needless to say, having a car will make your itinerary more flexible – so if you get the itch to move on somewhere else, all you need to do is just jump in your car and drive off. Can you do that in a bus?!

Image courtesy of edwin.11 /

Hottest Dining Spots
The fun activities and time behind the wheel can build up quite an appetite, and there are no shortage of amazing eateries to stop at while travelling through the Great Ocean Road. This is the destination for earthy, rustic cuisine, and many of the local restaurants feature organic produce and vegetables grown right onsite. The Ridge Cafe is one restaurant that boasts incredible ingredients and amazing presentation, but the prices and decor are casual and far from pretentious.

If you’d rather don the fancy threads and treat yourself to dinner in style, head to the Latitude-38 Restaurant & Bar, which is located in the Wyndham Resort Torquay. Latitude has incredible ocean views and also an impressive menu that features some of the freshest seafood you could imagine.

Scenic Landmarks Along the Way
One of the biggest reasons to make the journey along the Great Ocean Road is for the chance to take in the countless breathtaking landmarks. The most impressive is the 12 Apostles, a series of limestone formations that jut out of the water right next to the coastline. Amazing landmarks include several great spots to take photos of the road and the coastline, such as Teddy’s Lookout and Marriner’s Lookout. You also won’t want to miss the London Bridge, Loch Ard Gorge and Gibson’s Steps.

Where to Stay
Driving the entire Great Ocean Road in a single day is certainly possible, but doing so would limit your time and prevent you from seeing some of the best attractions. A better alternative is to drive an hour or two each day, enjoy an activity and then spend the night at one of the hotels and inns along the way. There are options for just about every budget, so you can find affordable motels and hostels right up to lavish hotels and upscale bed and breakfasts. If you’re up for splurging a little, the Cumberland Resort in Lorne – almost an institution in and of itself.

Image courtesy of Betsy Weber /

Outdoor Recreation on the Great Ocean Road
A holiday driving along the Great Ocean Road doesn’t mean you have to spend all of your time behind the wheel. Some of the best memories you make, in fact, will take place outdoors. Bells Beach is a fantastic place to go surfing or just relax on the sandy shorelines, and there are some great mountain biking tours that take place around Apollo Bay. You could go fishing, hike through the forest around Lake Elizabeth or even go shopping in Geelong.

One of the best holidays you can have in Australia is along the Great Ocean Road. Use this guide to plan the perfect itinerary for your own trip.

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