Itineraries for Your Trip to Great Ocean Road

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3 Days on the Great Ocean Road for First Timers

Curated by Zoë SmithZoë Smith is a British travel writer, editor, and digital content creator who has lived, worked, and traveled over six continents, and is currently based near Nantes, France. She has written for Rough Guides, CNN, and Culture Trip, and is digital editor at FrenchEntrée.

Three days on the Great Ocean Road allows you to take your time and explore beyond the highlights. For the best value, make the most of Super Saver and combo deals or choose a multi-day tour that includes little-known viewpoints and off-the-beaten-track attractions. Here are some ideas.

Day 1

The surf town of Torquay, the gateway to the Great Ocean Road, is popular with lovers of the outdoors. Learn to surf on one of Australia’s best beaches during a surf class or join a mountain bike excursion to see the Great Ocean Road from a different angle. For the ultimate thrill, opt for a skydive over the coast. 

Continue along the coast to Anglesea, where beachfront restaurants serve excellent seafood. Spend the afternoon stopping at sights along the road to Apollo Bay, such as the Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet—book tickets to avoid lining up—and the Memorial Arch. Lorne boasts a lively beachfront and Teddy’s Lookout, while the bushwalking trails along Kennet River are a great place to spot wild koalas.

Time your arrival in Apollo Bay to watch the sunset from Marriners Lookout, then spend the evening hours relaxing at a bar overlooking the marina. 

Day 2

The Great Ocean Walk, hailed as one of the Great Walks of Australia, runs for 62 miles (100 kilometers) from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles but you don’t have to trek the whole route. Instead, enjoy a half-day hike along a section in the Great Otway National Park, and add on a detour to either Triplet Falls, the Redwoods, or the Red Rock Lookout. 

In the afternoon, visit Cape Otway, home to the historic Cape Otway Lightstation. Nearby, the Twelve Apostles—named for the dozen limestone towers that peek out from the ocean—is one of the most photographed viewpoints on the Great Ocean Road and a staple of most sightseeing tours. Make a final stop at Loch Ard Gorge for sunset.

Day 3

Most day-trippers only follow the Great Ocean Road as far as Port Campbell but with three days, you’ll have time to drive along the Shipwreck Coast all the way to Port Fairy. Jump out to visit coastal landmarks such as The Grotto and the London Arch, and relish a lack of crowds. 

Next up is the coastal town of Warrnambool, where winter visitors can spot Southern Right whales. Other highlights include the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, which offers an insight into the history of the notorious Shipwreck Coast—book your tickets in advance to avoid waiting in line. 

End your Great Ocean Road adventure in Port Fairy, where you can follow the coastal trails down to the beachside and dive in for a final swim in the ocean. 

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