Great Ocean Road, Melbourne
We took a day trip along the Great Ocean Road. This was by far the highlight of our trip. The scenery is amazing. Rocks have been eroded into a variety of spectacular shapes by the constant pounding of the ocean. The erosion of course is on-going and the scenery ever changing. There are fewer apostles now than on our visit. We saw a picture of one actually falling apart. London Bridge used to join onto the mainland, now it is detached.
I recently had a great trip on the Great Ocean Road. Definitely hiring a car was the best way to go so I could see all the hidden secrets of the road. Saw koalas at Cape Otway, Kangaroos at Anglesea and Princetown and even did a short section of the Great Ocean Walk, from Princetown to the 12 Apostles. I found I was able to book accommodation, read about restaurants and lots of things to do on the Great Ocean Road from the Iphone App. It was well worth it. Also had a great flight from Apollo Bay to the 12 Apostles and back.
I signed up with bunyip tours for the 1 day Great Ocean Drive and truly enjoyed every min of this amazing drive. The road was right along the ocean, our first stop was at Bells Beach. It was awesome to see many people surfing on the waves!! Then we drove down to a lighthouse- the breathtaking view from iconic Cape Otway Lighthouse was awesome and just as we climbed up the lighthouse the skies broke into a heavy rain!! We also had our lunch here- I must confess for a vegetarian all I got were a couple of falafels and some baked potatoe despite having told earlier to provide me with a vegetarian meal. As we were headed out we saw a whole colony of grey Koalas- we were lucky they were all awake. Ohh such adorable creatures really!! Then we moved through some amazing coastal views as we passed through coastal towns of Lorne, Apollo Bay and Port Campbell. We did stop for a Rainforest experience at the Otway rainforest however since it was pouring none of us got out of the bus! Then we headed staright to the 12 Apostles off th ecoast- wht a glorious sight indeed! On t eway out even as the sun set, we went down the steps to the beach at Gibson Steps, gateway to the 12 Apostles, where we were dwarfed by the high cliff line and these enormous offshore stacks of limestone rocks!
On the way back we stopped for dinner and headed back to Melbourne where I was dropped off at my hotel at about 9:30 PM. All in all a day well spent!
More than Twelve Apostles!!!
You can travel from Melbourne to Apollo Bay Monday thru Friday:
-->From Melbourne (Southern Cross Station), take Vline train at 9am and reach Geelong Station at 10am. (A$6.70)
-->From Geelong Station platform 1, take Vline bus at 10:15am and reach Torquay at 11am. (A$3.20)
-->Walk along beach from Torquay till Bell Beach Turn Off.
-->From Bell Beach Turn Off, take the Vline bus at 15:46 (3:46pm) to reach Lorne at 16:40 (4:40pm) (A$6.70)
-->From Lorne Hotel, take the Vline bus at 19:07 (7:07pm) to reach Apollo Bay 20:08 (8:08pm) (A$3.80)
I recommend you stay one night at YHA Apollo Bay Beach. Nice and quiet...
On the next day, you can either follow an organised tour (A$60) or catch the bus to see Twelve Apostles, Loch-Ard Gorge and London Bridge below:
This bus route is operating on Mon, Wed and Fri only. Please refer to the bus schedule online or Vline office double confirm. (A$16.20)
Apollo Bay (2) dep 13:30 (near Apollo Bay Information Centre)
Lavers Hill 14:05
Princetown Turn off 14:35
Twelve Apostles arr 14:40
Twelve Apostles dep 15:10
Loch-Ard Gorge arr 15:15
Loch-Ard Gorge dep 15:30
Port Campbell 15:35
London Bridge arr 15:40
London Bridge dep 15:50
Bay of islands arr 16:00
Bay of islands dep 16:10
Warrnambool Stn arr 16:55M
You can take Vline train from Warrnambool Stn to Southern Cross Station (Melbourne) at 17:18 (5:18pm). I recommend you to buy this train ticket in advance at Southern Cross, casue the station office might close at 5pm. Ticket price: A$26.70.
More on my Apollo Bay's Tips
The Great Ocean Road is a breath-taking coastline and it was originally planned to begin at Barwon Heads and extend to Nirranda. Today the Great Ocean Road officially starts at Torquay and finishes at Allansford where it joins the Princes Highway near Warrnambool. It was built as a monumentt those who lost their livesin WW1.
Even if it's not advisable driving along the Great Ocean Road and return to Melbourne in a day,it is possible because my friend Michela and I did it! To be honest it's quite tiring above all for who dreives!Obviously in this way you can experience only a small part of the Great Ocean Road and it will leave you little time to stop and appreciate beautiful spots and attractions along the way.
About The Twelve Apostles rock stacks: they were formed by the gradual erosion of softer limestone areas, creating caves in the cliffs. These caves eventually wore away through wind and wave erosion to become arches and when they collapsed, rock islands were left detached. The cliffs rise to nearly 70 metres in some places and the highest Apostle is approximately 50 metres from base to tip.
Beside The Twelve Apostles the area includes also the Otways rainforest, Bells Beach, on the Surf Coast, and the Great Ocean Road itself.
Along your way you'll find resort towns like Torquay, Lorne and Apollo Bay (where Aussie75 and I bought a wonderful koala shape pillow, a sort of anti-stress!!!!!WONDERFUL!!!), the coastal cities of Geelong and Warrnambool, and the historic villages of Queenscliff, Port Campbell, Port Fairy and Portland.
The Great Ocean Road is definitely worth a visit but if you are going to do it in a day , I would recommend that you follow a tour group rather than try to do it yourself. It's a long drive to the 12 Apostles and London Bridge at Port Campbell National Park and back so you will spent to much time driving to enjoy the fantastic scenery .
We went with a small tour company , Go West Tours, which cost us only $75 each and my daughter who is 4 yrs old was free. Our group was about 20 from different countries and we have a great day. The guide, Glenn was great and we have enough time to walk around and take photos.
The weather was perfect as well with clear blue sky especially in the morning.
We hired a car and did the road trip in one day but it was definitely rushed. Preferably you should try to spend at least a couple of days to see everything. It would’ve been worth it to take our time to appreciate and explore it more thoroughly. If you are limited for time and have to do it in one day like we did, make sure you leave Melbourne early in the morning. We took the inland route coming back, it was a lot quicker that way.
The Great Ocean Road begins near Torquay, about 100 km. west of Melbourne, where the name changes from the Surfcoast Highway, and follows the coastline for several hundred kilometres to Warrnambool where it rejoins the Princes Highway. Along its length are spectacular coastal scenery, rain forests, waterfalls and quaint holiday, fishing and resort towns.
See my travelogue for more pictures!
Because of nature these spectular rocks were formed. Limestone eroded forming cliffs and when they collapsed the rock island were left which are called the 12 Apostles. The most amazing seenery around the Great Ocean Road, plenty of opportunity to stop and take photographs. A viewing platform ensure you get great photos of the 12 Apostles.
I did a tour of the Great Ocean Rd last week with Go West tours. This is one of the best tours I have ever been on with one of the best guides I have ever come across. She was extremely fun, cheerful and lively with a WICKED sense of humour and great personality. She made the whole day an extremely enjoyable experience and was a pleasure to have met her. The great ocean road has some beautiful sights and scenery and overall made a good day out.
If you're making a day trip I highly recommend doing it on a tour with Go West because it is long drive and its the only way to really make the most of the scenery and get the information too!
That is the tour company we signed up with for a Great Ocean Road (GOR) tour. Got this recommendation through a fellow VT who responded to my travel forum queries. I've also done some comparison with other day tour operators, find this one is most personalized as there are only 10-12 in a group compared to big buses tours.
Unbeatable value and definitely cover all the highlights they mentioned on the website:
http://www.atwad.com.au/tour_gGreat Ocean Road Tour Highlights
Very experience driver and guide - Brian who has been helpful and keeping the tour group engaged - he has done an excellent job from attending to queries prior to reservation, arranging pick up and ensuring everything is in order for the tour.
Especially enjoyed the meal in Apollo Bay (generous portion of lunch), followed by a walk through the canopy walk among the giant trees.
Definitely recommend this if you only have time for 1 day tour and do not want to drive.
Melbourne is a fantastic city, but put aside time too to visit the State of Victoria. You'll miss out on alot if you don't.
See the 12 Apostles and many more along the Great Ocean Road! The best time to go would be early in the morning or just before the sun sets :)
More pics on my page!
We booked GO WEST tours for this one. Of all the scenery we saw this Australian trip, our Great Ocean Road trip was the most beautiful and breathtaking. We started at the famous surfing site of Bells Beach (no surf today) and ended at Loch Ard Gorge just past the Twelve Apostles. We had a couple of short visits to Otway National Park to see the rainforest and to the town of Apollo Bay for lunch. It was a lovely day out.
While in the Melbourne area don't miss a chance to see or even better yet, drive the Great Ocean Road. Certainly one of the top things to do/see in Australia.
try to see sunset out there as well. Amazing!
If you visit Melbourne, you must keep one full day for Great Ocean Road. This beautiful coastal drive will be something you will always remember. There are regular daily departures from Melbourne by many travel agents. Most of them have the same itinerary, just the size of the shuttle and some additional services like lunch may differ. The price per person is about 120 AUD including lunch. You can check out the website of the tour company we used. After departure from Melbourne, you visit Bells Beach, Otways Rainforest, Apollo Bay, Port Campbell National Park including 12 Apostles, Loch Arde Gorge and London Bridge. During the stops and along the way, you are likely to see local kangaroos and koalas. You will be back in Melbourne about 9 pm. It may seem a bit expensive but believe me this shouldn't be missed. You can check out more pictures from Great Ocean Road in my personal album on my VT homepage.
Officially starting in Torquay and gradually winding its way along the stunning coastline to Warrnambool, the Great Ocean Road is a gorgeous destination to take in a truly breathtaking slice of Australia. At roughly 255 kilometres long, you can comfortably do the trip within 4 hours without stopping - although you should break the trip up into several days to really appreciate the scenery, soak up the hospitality in the country towns and indulge in some of the fabulous food along the way. For a detailed map of the route with loads of tips with important stops along the way including cafes, restaurants, accommodation and landmarks see UrWurld.com for a free info.