1. SELF-DRIVE THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD
Duration: 2 Nights, 3 Days
Day 1 – Surf Coast
Famous for its idyllic beaches and relaxed surfer vibe, the Surf Coast is the gateway to the Great Ocean Road. Whilst you could stay a lifetime in the region and still have things to discover, here’s a highlights package to ensure you see the best of it:
Narana Indigenous Cultural Centre, Grovedale
National Australian Surfing Museum, Torquay
Surf City, Torquay
Bells Beach, Jan Juc
Point Addis Marine National Park, Anglesea
Kangaroo Tour at Anglesea Golf Club, Anglesea
Surf Coast Walk: Urquhart Bluff to Sunnymead
Split Point Lighthouse, Aireys Inlet
Recommended accommodation: Great Ocean Road Resort, Anglesea
Day 2 – Great Otway National Park
Great Otway National Park is a temperate rainforest full of ancient trees, native animals, waterfalls and indigenous and early settler history. You’ll be hard pressed driving through in a day with so many side trips and hikes worthy of your time. Some of the best include:
Cape Otway Lightstation
Californian Redwood Forrest, Beech Forest
Hopetoun Falls, Beech Forest
Otway Fly Treetop Adventures
Recommended accommodation: Johanna Seaside Cottages
Day 3 – Twelve Apostles & Surrounds
Today, you are in for a real treat. The Twelve Apostles and surrounds are spectacularly beautiful and with a full day in hand, you will see what most visitors don’t. The list of viewpoints and beach walks can be intimidatingly long on this leg, so we’ve narrowed it down to our favourites:
Loch Ard Gorge
Bay of Islands
2. PRIVATE TOUR
Duration: 1 or 2 Days
Like the road itself, making the most of a visit to the Great Ocean Road is not straightforward. If this is your once in a lifetime opportunity to explore the spectacular region, investing in a local guide is worth its weight in photo albums.
On a private tour, your guide will use their local experience to tailor your stopping points on route to the Twelve Apostles. If you love animals, they’ll take you via hot spots for koalas, kangaroos, echidnas and wallabies. If you love waterfalls, there are more than 10 to discover along the road. Your day will be structured to avoid peak visiting time for key attractions, helping to ensure you get the intimate experience you’ve been hoping for.
On top of everything else, on a private tour, you can glue your face to the car window and watch the spectacular scenery go by. After all, you are on the Great Ocean Road.
Private tours can be organised from Melbourne, Geelong or at the start of the Great Ocean Road. To make the most of your time, we recommend staying at the Great Ocean Road Resort in Anglesea the night previous. That will give you additional time to explore the beautiful Surf Coast and a more relaxed start time the following day.
Recommended tour operator: Great Ocean Road Private Luxury Tours
3. HELICOPTER FLIGHT – MELBOURNE TO 12 APOSTLES
Duration: Half Day
If time is of the essence and budget is not a factor, a helicopter return from Melbourne is certainly your most spectacular alternative. The 75-minute flight follows the famous coastline, passing over iconic locations such as Bells Beach, the Memorial Arch and Cape Otway Lightstation before reaching the Shipwreck Coast.
Once at the Twelve Apostles, you’ll have a bird’s eye view of the stone stacks, cliffs, gorges and arches as well as having a chance to touch down and see the Apostles from a different angle.
Recommended helicopter operator: Micro Flite