15 Must See Places on the Great Ocean Road


Australia’s Great Ocean Road tops the destination wish list for many campervan travellers. It’s one of the best road trips from Melbourne and a great addition to any Melbourne holiday.

Oysters Family at the beach Salad

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Everything you need to know about the Great Ocean Road

In this helpful guide, we share everything you need to know to create the ultimate Great Ocean Road travel itinerary

Where is the Great Ocean Road

Located in the state of Victoria, Great Ocean Road stretches between Torquay and Allansford. This coastal drive covers 240 km (one way) which would take around 3.5 hours if you drove non-stop. But, of course, we suggest taking your time, making plenty of stops, and soaking up all the sights along the way.

Why the Great Ocean Road is worth visiting

Considered one of the world’s most scenic drives, the Great Ocean Road showcases one stunning vista after another. From beaches and towering cliffs to rainforests and waterfalls, there is something to see and do year-round.

The road was carved into the surrounding rock by returned servicemen. Officially opened in November 1932, Great Ocean Road serves as a permanent memorial to those who died serving in the First World War. The road, which winds around Victoria’s rugged southern coast, was forged without the use of heavy machinery. Thousands of soldiers used picks, shovels, and horse-drawn carts to carve out the road.

The weather along the Great Ocean Road

Wondering which season to plan your Great Ocean Road trip? Summer is the most popular time for campervan travellers. The weather is warm and there’s often a nice breeze along the coast. With plenty of beaches to choose from, there are some lovely spots to cool off with a swim along the way.

Winter is also a great time for those wanting to escape the crowds and the heat. The road tends to be quieter, campsites offer off-peak discounts, and the waterfalls are at their best. Winter is also prime time for whale watching along the coast. Remember to pack a beanie and warm jacket for the cooler months. It can get windy around the coast, so you may need to wrap up.

The shoulder seasons of autumn and spring have big benefits too. Autumn is a great time to see the trees and foliage put on the best colours. While spring is all about blossoms and colour, the days are getting longer, and the temperature is nice and cool.

15 must-see places along the Great Ocean Road

Ready to pack your camper and take the ultimate Australian road trip? Here are 15 stop-worthy places worth including:

1. Port Campbell National Park

Port Campbell National Park stretches along the Great Ocean Road coastline for about 30 km. Some of the highlights of the park include Loch Ard Gorge and London Bridge where you can often spot little penguins. You may also see whales along the coast of the park, especially in Port Campbell township. Stretch your legs along the Port Campbell Discovery Walk (around 4 km return). This gentle hike takes around two hours. The viewing platform at the end of the trail offers unbeatable views overlooking Port Campbell Harbour.

Image Source: Visit Victoria Content Hub

2. Point Addis Marine National Park Point

Spanning 4420 hectares, Point Addis Marine National Park is the third largest of its kind in Victoria. Located between Torquay and Anglesea, the park is perhaps best known for hosting the annual Ripcurl Pro surfing competition. The marine park is also popular with SCUBA divers and snorkellers. Two historic shipwrecks lie within the park, including The Inverlochy, a sailing boat which beached in 1902.

3. Beech Forest

The small town of Beech Forest is named after the beech trees which grow in abundance in the area. It’s home to some of the Otways’ most beautiful waterfalls including Beauchamp Falls, Hopetoun Falls, and Triplet Falls. If you’re a keen cyclist or walker, you’ll want to explore the Old Beechy Rail Trail. The 45.2 km trail runs through pockets of lush rainforest and follows the original path of ‘The Beechy’ railway line which operated until 1962.

Image Source: Visit Victoria Content Hub

4. 12 Apostles

Formed millions of years ago, the 12 Apostles rock formations stand along the shore of Port Campbell. Rising out of the Southern Ocean, these spectacular, 45-metre-tall limestone pillars were once connected to the mainland cliffs. Although there are only eight rocks left standing, they’re still a sight to behold and attract campervan road trippers from far and wide.

5. The Grotto

Located 9 km west of Port Campbell, the Grotto is an incredibly surreal sight and well worth a visit. This huge sinkhole was formed where the limestone cliffs fell away to meet the receding cliff line. Inside, the Grotto is filled with smooth boulders and rock pools carved out of limestone. For the best view, look into the Grotto from the lower viewing platform. The ideal time to view is at sunset or sunrise when the light reflects gold and pink hues on the rock pools inside.

Image Source: Visit Victoria Content Hub

6. Camperdown

The township of Camperdown is located at the foot of Mount Leura. Plan a stop here to visit the beautiful botanic gardens and absorb some of the town’s heritage and history. There are several fascinating historic sites within the town, including the Courthouse, Clock Tower, and the old flour mill. Well worth a visit is the Heritage Centre where you can learn about the early days of Camperdown.

7. Childers Cove Beach

Located at the western end of the 12 Apostles coastline, Childers Cove is a beautiful small white sand beach. Visitors often overlook this hidden gem, but it’s one worth underlining on your travel itinerary. Sitting just metres out in the sea is an assortment of craggy limestone cliffs which stand up to 70 metres high. The best time to visit is a low tide. Pack a picnic and your camera.

Image Source: Visit Victoria Content Hub

8. Thunder Cave Walk

Just a short 1.1 km walk from Loch Ard Gorge is Thunder Cave. The cave was formed over millions of years of the Southern Ocean smashing into the coastline. The easy walk down to Thunder Cave is incredibly scenic with great views of the steep cliffs and an ocean backdrop.

9. Casterton

Known as the ‘Birthplace of the Kelpie’, the historic town of Casterton sits on the banks of the Glenelg River. An annual event worth planning for is the Australian Kelpie Muster, held in June each year. The festival is great fun with market stalls, food vendors, entertainment, and of course, lots of events for kelpies! Stretch your legs while you’re here with a walk along the Kelpie Walking Trail or the Carmichael Track.

10. Bells Beach

Keen for a surf on your Great Ocean Road trip? Bells Beach, near Torquay, is a popular spot for experienced surfers. The beach is an exposed reef and point break with excellent right-hand breaks, at their best during autumn and winter. While you’re here, check out the sculptures near the beach.

Image Source: Visit Victoria Content Hub

11. Apollo Bay

The charming village of Apollo Bay is a must-do on your Great Ocean Road adventure. Located at the foothills of the Otways, Apollo Bay has plenty to see and do. For a change of pace, take a horseback ride along the beach at sunset. Follow this up with a great meal at one of the excellent seafood restaurants. To enjoy amazing ocean views with your dinner, head to Chris’s Beacon Point.

12. Great Otway National Park

Stretching from Torquay to the Otways hinterland, the Great Otway National Park has something on offer for everyone. From mountain bike riding to beach surfing, there’s lots to see and do. Climb to the top of the historic Cape Otway Lighthouse for dramatic views of the Shipwreck Coast. Tackle the mountain bike trails, surf on Johanna Beach, or discover the many picture-perfect waterfalls. You can even spot glow worms if you walk through Melba Gully after dark.

Image Source: Visit Victoria Content Hub

13. Lorne

The seaside township of Lorne is known for its white beaches, vibrant arts community, and relaxed holiday atmosphere. Stop for a surf at Lorne surf beach. Explore the rock pools at Shelley Beach. And if you’re keen on fresh fish for dinner, cast a line at the Lorne Pier where you could hook trevally, barracuda, or whiting. Take some time to wander along the main shopping strip and peruse the boutique gift stores, cellars, eateries, and galleries.

14. Erskine Falls

If you love a good waterfall, then Erskine Falls is a must-see on your Great Ocean Road trip. Erskine Falls is a highlight among the waterfalls of the Otways, plunging down a 30-metre drop. The falls are a 15-minute drive from Lorne. Take the short walk from the carpark or a longer, scenic walk along the Erskine River Walk (7.5 km one way).

Image Source: Visit Victoria Content Hub

15. Cape Bridgewater

Once a volcanic island, Cape Bridgewater is a beautiful holiday retreat. While you’re here, visit the natural wonders of the Cape Bridgewater Blowholes and the Petrified Forest. Take the 2.5 km walk (about an hour) from the Bridgewater Bay Café to see the colonies of Australian and New Zealand fur seals basking on the rocks. Another top spot to visit is the Tarragal Limestone Caves which overlook the Bridgewater Lakes.

Where to stay on Great Ocean Road

Make the most of your Australian road trip by adding some great campsites to your travel itinerary. Check out these great holiday parks on Great Ocean Road.

Big4 Apollo Bay Holiday Park

Explore everything on offer in Apollo Bay with a few days stay at BIG4 Apollo Bay Holiday Park. Located opposite the main beach, this great holiday park has all the must-have amenities. Take a swim in the heated pool, relax in the TV room, and let the kids burn off energy on the adventure playground and water play area.

Big4 Wye River Holiday Park

Set among 25 acres of the Otway Ranges, BIG4 Wye River Holiday Park is bordered by bush on one side, beach on the other. The park is a great spot for families with loads of kids’ activities. It’s also nice and handy to the Wye General Store and Wye Beach Hotel. What more could you ask for in a holiday park?

Lorne Foreshore Holiday Park

Planning a stay in Lorne? A great spot for camping on Great Ocean Road is Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park. The park is within easy walking distance to pristine beaches, eateries, shops, and the Erskine River.

Ready to see all the Great Ocean Road has to offer?

From thunderous caves and mysterious grottos to historic towns and charming seaside villages, Great Ocean Road has it all. There’s no better way to make the most of this iconic Australian road trip than with a Britz campervan hire.

When you’re travelling by campervan, you can decide where to stop, where to stay, and when to move on. Start planning your Great Ocean Road trip today, take the first step and book your Britz camper. Pick up your prebooked camper hire from our Britz Melbourne branch and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!