Great Ocean Drive / Grampians National Park (Victoria, Australia)

 
After our stay on Kangaroo Island, instead of driving directly to the town of Cape Fairy which was our first stop to begin the Great Ocean Drive, we elected to break up the trip with a stay in Grampians National Park.  So glad we did because we loved hanging out in the great outdoors in this nature reserve packed with great hikes and sights .  The main town within the park is called Halls Gap which is such a cool tiny town in the middle of the forest.  As soon as we arrived to our perfectly located Halls Gap Airbnb, wildlife surrounded us which put a smile on Barbie’s face. (click Red link for Airbnb listing) Grampians exceeded our expectations and is a fantastic place to spend 3-4 days.

GRAMPIAN NATIONAL PARK – SIGHTS
MacKenzie Falls River Walk
Pinnacle Lookout Track via Silent Street
Lakeview Lookout
Reed Lookout @ Sunset
The Balconies @ Sunset
Boroka Lookout
Boronia Lookout
Brambuk Loop Walk

 

The Great Ocean Drive road trip is one of the most famous Aussie road trips from Melbourne and a great way to complete a Melbourne to Kangaroo Island to Adelaide drive.  It is one of the world’s most beautiful coastal journeys.  A winding drive along Australia’s southern coastline packed with more eye candy than the average Australian Aussie beach.  Clocking in at about 240 kilometers (150 miles), the Great Ocean Road is packed with worthy stops for all kinds of interests and activities.

It is a multi-day self drive touring route which runs from Torquay and ends in Port Fairy.  Most people rush thru the drive in 2-3 days which is a huge mistake unless you are pressed for time.  We allocated about twelve nights and this enabled us to take our time at a leisurely pace and enjoy the numerous spectacular sights along the way.  We went during the tail end of the warmer summer months.  With twelve (12) nights, it allowed us to take a few days off from seeing the mandatory sights and simply relax on some of the awesome beaches that line the coastal drive.  There are heaps of beaches in between all the towns that were completely unknown to me despite doing tons of research prior to our roadtrip.  These ‘hidden’ beaches can be spontaneously stopped at while driving along the Great Ocean Road.  Our strategy was simple.  We scanned the beaches during our coastal drive and chilled on the beach spots where the local Aussies were surfing and hanging out.  While we didn’t hit every single lookout point, surf break and hiking trail (even in our 12 nights), we did find plenty of attractions to keep our eyeballs stoked.

In my opinion, the most strategically located overnight stops to break up the drive would be Lorne, Apollo Bay, Port Campbell and Port Fairy.  Lorne was our favorite multi-night stopover.  Lorne is sometimes described as Melbourne’s equivalent to Byron Bay.  One of our favorite places in all of Australia was in fact, Byron Bay and maybe that is why we fell in love with Lorne’s relaxed vibe.

GREAT OCEAN ROAD – TOWNS & ACTIVITIES

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TORQUAY –
Bells Beach
Point Addis Beach

AIRLEY’S INLET –
Split Point Lighthouse & surrounding walks

LORNE –
Lorne Beach
Teddy’s & St. Goerge River Lookout
Erskine Falls
Coastal Walk to Lorne Pier

APOLLO BAY (GREAT OTWAY NATIONAL PARK) –
Maits Rest Rainforest Walk
Hopetoun Falls
Triplett Falls
Little Aire Fall
The Redwoods /Beach Forest
Apollo Bay Beach
Morengo Beach
Cape Otway Lighthouse

AIRE RIVER –
Johanna Beach
Wreck Beach
The Gables

PORT CAMPBELL –
12 Apostoles Marine National Park
Gibson Steps
Loch Ard Gorge –
Razzorback Lookout
Island Archway
Loch Ard Gorge Beach
Muttonbired Lookout
Thunder Cave
Port Campbell Discovery Walk
The Arch
London Bridge
The Grotto
Bay of Martyrs
Bay of Islands
Worm Beach

WARNAMBOOL –
Kermond’s

PORT FAIRY –
Pea Soup Beach
East Beach
Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve
Giffitts Island Loop

 

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