If I had to pick only one day trip to take from Melbourne it would be to drive The Great Ocean Road. Hands down. The Great Ocean Road is one of the most scenic coastal drives in the entire world and there is SO much to see along the way. Because of this, I have to break up this post into multiple parts.
There are several ways to experience The Great Ocean Road. There are bus tours, private tours, or you could just drive it yourself. Since I only drive about once a week and my husband only drives about once every two months (or fewer), there was NO CHANCE we were going to try our hand at driving on the other side of the road. Not to mention, this particular road… is VERY curvy and the stunning views are distracting.
We opted to hire a private driver through the same company we used for the Melbourne City Tour. We even had the same driver, Fred. (He was awesome.) I found this tour on Trip Advisor.
The excursion takes about 11 or 12 hours from pick up to drop off, but I promise you the time FLIES by. My one recommendation is to wear gym shoes. Chris and I both had inappropriate footwear and it took away from our trip. I assumed we would only be in the car, but you get out a lot and walk around a few coastal towns, hike in the forest and walk on a few sandy beaches.
So what can you expect? I’m sure every experience is slightly different, but I’ll be sharing our experience in photos.
Great Ocean Road Highlights
Our day started around 8 am with Fred picking us up from our hotel. We grabbed breakfast to-go from our hotel and ate in the car. Our first stop of the day was the Split Point Lighthouse, right before the official start of the Great Ocean Road, and was approximately a two hour drive from our hotel.
Split Point Lighthouse
The Official Start of the Great Ocean Road
Watch the Surfers in Lorne
We continued on our journey for about 25 minutes until we reached Lorne.
Feed the Birds in Kennett River
Driving the coast for another 35 minutes or so, we made it to our next stop – Kennett River.
Fred was prepared and brought a container of bird seed. The wild Australian King Parrots loved us! They were as prevalent as pigeons in Chicago. To be honest though, this WAS a little freaky. Birds are so unpredictable. Haha.
Have Lunch and Walk the Beach in Apollo Bay
We got back on the road and drove another 30 minutes until we reached Apollo Bay, a quaint coastal town with lots of cute shops and restaurants. There is also a beautiful beach to walk.
I feel like this is the perfect place to stop, but I cannot wait to share more. Stay tuned for Part 2. The next leg of our journey takes us away from the beach and into the forest. Expect lots of incredible wildlife photos and video footage.
P.S. Here is the link for Part 2:
Why You MUST Drive the Great Ocean Road – Part 2