Driving the Great Ocean Road

In our opinion, the Great Ocean Road (GOR) is one of the best ocean drives in the world. While you can find no end of testimonials to this great drive online (just start with www.australia.com), here are some of our favorites;

For Anglesea, I’ve got a soft spot. It’s a quintessential surf town with a major strip of shops and a cluster of 1970s houses snuggled on a creek that streams to the sea. It also makes an absolutely fabulous early morning pit stop.

If you’re fan of oversized meals, then JUMs signature chips and gravy is ideal for you. I've heard that people travel from Mongolia to Australia for their stuff. However, if a gravy-based brunch is not your thing, you can also check in to the bakery right next to the Commonwealth Bank ATMs. You’ll also find great beef and mushroom pies in Anglesea.

BTW, you’ll notice two types of drivers on the GOR. The first want to get drenched in the craggy Aussie milieu, the rest assume to be stars of 'Mad Max'.

If you find some of the latter tailgating you around corners after the 12th Beach, don’t even try to be a hero: pull into the slow car turnouts (there’s one every 5 minutes or so) and let any rev heads pass. This drive is far too nice to rush.

Lorne gets a lot of press for being too touristy, and if you arrive in the peak of summer, and during the Falls Festival, you may see a unicorn before a car parking space. But at most other times, it’s quite gorgeous indeed.

Dig into a burger at The Bottle of Milk in Amity, and munch up on a slice of vanilla cake from the bakery around the corner. Wander along the shoreline or drive a little further along the coastline and walk to the Lorne Pier. You can catch a great view while coming back along the main beach.

Hang a right as you enter Lorne and drive 15 minutes up through the hills to Erskine Falls. Some people say Triplet Falls, further down the coast, deeper in the Otway Ranges, is the best waterfall in the region, but Erskine is my favorite.

Above the falls there’s a car park, and you can reach the bottom in 5-10-minutes

Apollo Bay --- a most beautiful spot:

The first leg of the Great Ocean Road is typically primal Australia with sandstone crags falling to the ocean, dense eucalypt forests and winding crooks. By the time you pass Wongarra though, the forests fade away, the road straightens out leaving you with grazing sheep, rolling green hills and remote farms out of the Vicar of Dibley.

[Related Reading : Planning A Road Trip From Brisbane To Cairns]

If you’re lucky enough to see Apollo Bay and Skenes Creek at the end of the day, we recommend it as a great spot for an overnight stay. Check out the Point of View if you wish to amaze your senses.

Head inland from Marengo and drive through the Otway Ranges on your way back to Melbourne.

Jonathan Campbell

Aussie Trip Advisor, 12H Nob Hill, Roseland NJ 07068

Aussie Trip Advisor hand-craft Australian itineraries on a fee-for-service basis