Exploring Victoria’s stunning Great Ocean Road

Editorial Team — 2 June 2023
Embarking on an adventure along Victoria’s breathtaking Great Ocean Road offers an unrivalled experience.

This iconic 243km stretch of road winds along the stunning southern coastline, showcasing rugged cliffs, pristine beaches and remarkable rock formations. Discover the best sites, camping locations and charming towns that make this journey an unforgettable adventure.

Bells Beach and Torquay

Kickstart your Great Ocean Road adventure in Torquay, a surfer’s paradise. Renowned for its world-class breaks and the famous Bells Beach, this coastal town is a must-visit. Park your camper and ride the waves or explore the rock pools at low tide. Head over to the Surf World Museum to learn about the region’s surfing history. Immerse yourself in the laid-back atmosphere and enjoy delicious local seafood at the beachfront eateries.

Please note, camping is only permitted in allocated campgrounds. Free camping in undesignated areas can incur a fine from council rangers.

There are a variety of caravan parks in the area, including Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park which offers easy access to the beach and surrounding sites.

Aireys Inlet and Split Point Lighthouse

As you journey further, make a stop at Aireys Inlet, home to the iconic Split Point Lighthouse. Climb to the top of this majestic structure for panoramic views of the coastline.

Aireys Inlet is also a gateway to the Great Otway National Park, where lush rainforests and cascading waterfalls await. Set up camp at one of the picturesque camping spots nearby and immerse yourself in the tranquillity of nature. Hammond Road Campground is approximately 12km inland from Aireys Inlet; bookings are not required, and more information can be found via Parks Vic.

There are plenty of walking and bike riding tracks through the national park, ranging from short circuits, such as the Distillery Creek Nature Trail, to the Ocean View Circuit Walk, a 4.5km/2-hour return trip that starts from Moggs Creek Picnic Area and offers views of woodlands and coastal views of Split Point Lighthouse, the Fairhaven and Eastern View beaches.

Or if you’re up for more of a challenge, tackle the Great Ocean Walk — a 110km+ route that starts at Apollo Bay, passes through Great Otway National Park and Port Campbell National Park, and concludes at the Twelve Apostles. It can be done over eight days, or shorter stints, independently or with a licensed tour operator. More information about this walk can be found on the Parks Victoria website.

Twelve Apostles and Port Campbell National Park

No visit to the Great Ocean Road is complete without witnessing the iconic Twelve Apostles. These towering limestone stacks rising majestically from the Southern Ocean create a truly mesmerising sight. Stop at the various viewing platforms to appreciate them to their fullest, and don’t forget to bring your camera along to capture this natural wonder. They are best viewed at sunrise and sunset when the sun hits the limestone just right.

The Gibson Steps are a great way to experience the grandeur of the coastline up close — descend the carved steps to the beach and appreciate the awe-inspiring cliffs to one side and two of the 12 Apostles, Gog and Magog, on the other.

Nearby, explore the rugged beauty of Port Campbell National Park, home to remarkable formations such as Loch Ard Gorge and London Bridge. Port Campbell Recreation Reserve is a popular (and affordable) nearby campground with powered and unpowered sites. Open all year, it is the perfect spot to set up camp and explore this section of the Great Ocean Road.

And while you’re in the area, don’t miss seeing the Little Penguins (or Fairy Penguins, as they are otherwise known). These can be seen from both the Twelve Apostles and London Bridge viewing platforms — arrive with time to spare before sunset as the penguins’ arrival time varies throughout the year.

Warrnambool and Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve

Continue westward to reach the vibrant city of Warrnambool. Here, immerse yourself in history at Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village and discover the fascinating shipwreck coast. Visit the Whale Nursery and learn about the southern right whales that migrate to these waters from June to September — Logan’s Beach is a particular favourite spot for whale watching.  

Just outside Warrnambool, the Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve offers a unique opportunity to spot native wildlife, including kangaroos, emus and koalas. And don’t miss checking out the Tower Hill volcanic crater, which is thought to have erupted approximately 32,000 years ago. Enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep at one of the nearby campsites, surrounded by the serene bushland.

Koroit-Tower Hill Caravan Park is a cosy option that puts you within a stone’s throw of the Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve and sheltered swimming beaches.

Exploring the Great Ocean Road with a camper in tow allows you to truly appreciate the breathtaking beauty of Australia’s southern coastline. From the world-class breaks of Torquay to the iconic Twelve Apostles and the many charming historic towns, this adventure promises unforgettable memories and stunning natural wonders at every turn. So, grab your keys, hit the road and let the Great Ocean Road share its magic with you.


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Beyond the Great Ocean Road

Victoria's shipwreck coast

The Otways, Vic


Great Ocean Road Camping trip Roadtrip Torquay Bells Beach Aireys Inlet Split Point Lighthouse Great Otway National Park Twelve Apostles Port Campbell National Park Gibson Steps Warrnambool Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve