Easter Exploring: Road Tripping the GORPosted on 24 March, 2021 8:50:17
For those looking to get out and explore this Easter long weekend, the Great Ocean Road in Victoria’s backyard and an excellent 4-day road trip.
Stretching along the south-western coast, this trip will take you through all of the best surf spots, coastal towns and hidden gems the state has to offer.
Setting out from the city, cruise down the freeway through Geelong. Stop for a coffee or to take a walk along the pier. You could spend hours exploring this up and coming city – but don’t. There’s still plenty more on today’s itinerary.
From Geelong, head south to Torquay, the official start of the Great Ocean Road. Make a pit stop at the famous Bells Beach, known for its big wave competitions. A bit farther down, you’ll find the Split Point Lighthouse, known locally as the Round the Twist Lighthouse, that offers great views of the Surf Coast.
End the day in the beachside town of Lorne and be treated to the best section of the Great Ocean Road. Popular with summer holidaymakers, there are enough pubs, cafes and restaurants here to keep you busy for the evening, not to mention legendary fish & chips.
The second day of the trip is for exploring the Otway National Park region. Start by cruising down to Kennett River. Here, along Grey River Road, you’re almost guaranteed to spot koalas taking a nap or having a snack up in the trees. Down the coast in Apollo Bay, head to the Mariners Lookout for a great coastal view, then continue into the state forest.
Within the Otways, you’ll find plenty of bushwalks and trails. Choose from walks that vary in skill levels, such as Triplet Falls, Beauchamp Falls and Stevenson Falls. Or meander through the forest floor at Maits Rest and get up amongst the treetops at the Otway Fly Treetop Walk (reaching up to 47m). You can also walk through a redwood forest. The options here are endless.
Finish the day at Cape Otway Lighthouse. This is another great area to view koalas, and the views from the point are stunning. Then set up camp or head back to Apollo Bay to get some sleep.
Continue West bright and early to make the trek out to the Twelve Apostles. Start the day with the first stop at Wreck Beach. Due to the 400-step decline, this little oasis is usually empty, but the stunning morning view will make the climb back up worth it.
This past summer has been one of the slowest tourist seasons for the Twelve Apostles, which, lucky for you, means fewer crowds. While their name implies a dozen rock formations, there were only ever nine in recent memory, and two have since fallen. Take your time walking along the trail and taking in the view of the remaining apostles.
If you want more action, take Gibson Steps down to the beach. Then move on to the next attraction, Loch Ard Gorge. The scene of a shipwreck, the Gorge is a natural inlet that tells a historical tale. Finally, London Bridge is just down the road. These limestone arches make a beautiful spot from which to watch the sunset if you happen to be here later in the day.
The Peterborough area has some remarkable beaches to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. Check out the Bay of Martyrs and the Bay of Islands for views that are just as spectacular as the Twelve Apostles, though much less visited. Then head to Port Campbell or go further down the rack to Warrnambool for dinner and the last night on the road.
The last day of your trip will see you take an alternative route back to the city. As the Great Ocean Road is best viewed heading East, why not switch it up and take an inland route.
If you’re already in Warrnambool, head straight North for a mid-day trek through the Grampians. With plenty of short trails such as Lakeview Loop, Venus Baths and the Balconies, you’d hate to waste the opportunity to see one of Victoria’s most scenic state parks.
If you’re looking for a shorter drive, we recommend heading back to Melbourne via Ballarat. In this area, you’ll find the iconic Sovereign Hill gold rush town. A look into the past, you can tour through this interactive museum town set in the 1850s.
Finally, turn back towards Melbourne. Whether it’s home or not, here you can find some of the best restaurants in the world to end your long weekend travels.
Leave The Road Behind
While travelling leaves you with memories for a lifetime, it can also leave you with some unpleasant messes and smells in your car. From fast food bags piling up to sand in the seats to coffee spills, a car never returns home the same as it left. Whether you’ve got a rental that you need to spiff up before returning it or just want to give your own car a freshen up, the pros at Magic Hand Carwash can help with a cleaning package that works for you.