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The Great Ocean Road Accommodation & Touring Guide
Weaving its way around Victoria’s south-west coast through some of Victoria’s favourite coastal towns the Great Ocean Road is one of the most magnificent, scenic coastal drives in the world and is rated one of Australia’s greatest tourism assets.
As you travel around the cliff edges which skirt the Southern Ocean you will appreciate the incredible engineering challenges faced by the 3000 World War I returned servicemen whose tools were basically picks, shovels and crowbars. Work on the road commenced in September 1919. A monument and memorial arch commemorating the efforts of the returned soldiers is located at Fairhaven a few kilometers from Aireys Inlet.
From Melbourne travel the M1 to the outskirts of Geelong (approx 1 hour) keep right following the Geelong Bypass to Torquay, 20 minutes south-west of Geelong. Your Great Ocean Road adventure starts here.
The Great Ocean Road stretches 256 kilometers from Torquay to Warrnambool.
Daily V/Line rail services operate from Melbourne to Geelong with coach services to various towns along the coast. Information call 136 196 or tickets from Torquay Visitor Centre Surf City Plaza.
Travelling from Phillip Island you can access The Great Ocean Road via The Queenscliff/Sorrento Car Passenger Ferry which leaves Sorrento and Queenscliff on the hour every hour from 7am to 6pm (extended summer hours). The 45 minute ferry trip across Port Phillip Bay to Queenscliff is spectacular at any time of year and you may be lucky enough to see seals and dolphins which frequent the bay.
Queenscliff is 49kms from Torquay via Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads. Or if you are travelling from Melbourne take the Geelong exit from the M1, travel through Geelong following the highway to you come to the Queenscliff exit, approximately 30 minutes (32kms) to the township and ferry.
Main Great Ocean Road towns:
Queenscliff: Just 90 minutes from Melbourne - you will love Queenscliff’s natural charm, rich with the elegance of last century. Stay at grand 19th century hotels and houses.
Barwon Heads: Popular family beach, good fishing. Accommodation from camping to 5 star. Hotel, restaurants and cafes. Excellent golf courses.
Torquay: one of the most popular holiday destinations on the coast was named after the English seaside resort. Australia’s Surfing Capital with some of the world’s biggest names in surf gear based here. Visit Surfworld Museum.
Anglesea:Â Family beaches, fish from surf or river. Kangaroos roam free on the golf course. Very popular holiday destination accommodation to suit all requirements.
Aireys Inlet: Similar to Anglesea family beaches, plenty of accommodation. Small shopping centre. Visit the Split Point Lighthouse Great Ocean Road landmark.
Lorne: Is a place of rare beauty with its long protected sandy beach fronting Loutit Bay, a haven for all types of water activities. The majestic Great Otway National Park overlooks the township.
Wye River: 15kms from Lorne and 30kms from Apollo Bay is a most spectacular stretch of the Great Ocean Road often preferred by holiday-makers who like to avoid the hustle and bustle.
Lavers Hill: 1 hour from Apollo Bay and the gateway to explore the Great Otways National Park, Otway Fly, and nearby waterfalls.
Warrnambool:Â City with a permanent population of 33,000 overlooks the sheltered beaches of Lady Bay. Home of Australia’s Grand Annual Steeplechase held in May annually.
For Your Information
Visiting the World Famous 12 Apostles
Melbourne to the 12 Apostles via Torquay and The Great Ocean Road allow 5 hours 30 mins. More time if you intend to stop.
Queenscliff-Sorrento Ferry to the 12 Apostles approximately 240 kms (4 hours plus) depending on road conditions and the time of year.
Daily V/Line rail services operate from Melbourne to Geelong with connecting coaches travelling to Great Ocean Road destinations. Information 136 196
Driving - Stay on Your Left in Australia
If driving, please be aware of oncoming traffic as it is easy to let the mind wander as you try to take in all before you.
Daily V/Line rail services operate from Melbourne to Geelong with coach services to many towns along the Great Ocean Road. Call 136 196 or tickets from Torquay Visitor Centre Surf City Plaza.
Great Ocean Road Map
Plan Your Trip With a Printed Map
Coastal Stays produces Visitor Maps for The Great Ocean Road, Sydney to Warrnambool Coastal Drive, Lakes Entrance, Tarwin Lower/Venus Bay, Inverloch, Phillip Island and Apollo Bay.
Click to download a map.
Click on any BLUE town name in the map below to view town information. If town page fails to load in a new window, check your pop-up blocker settings (yellow bar at top or bottom of browser window). View Travel Times.