Great Ocean Road in 3 days: best stops & itinerary

The Great Ocean Road in Australia is without a doubt one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. This scenic driving route takes you past stunning viewpoints from Torquay to Allansford for 243 km. Dramatic cliffs like the famous Twelve Apostles, pristine beaches and wildlife like koalas and kangaroos provide the backdrop. In this guide you will read the ultimate three-day itinerary for the best of the Great Ocean Road. We’ll also give you tips on where to stay and how to extend or shorten this route. Get ready for an unforgettable road trip in Australia!

Where is the Great Ocean Road located?

The Great Ocean Road is located on the south coast of Australia , in the state of Victoria. Also known as the B100, this road takes you from one magnificent view to another along the Pacific Ocean for 243 km. The official start of this scenic road is in Torquay and ends in Allansford near Warrnambool. The easiest way to get there is from the city of Melbourne where you also have an international airport. From Melbourne, it is about another hour and a half drive to Torquay.

gibson steps great ocean road
  • Save

How to move

The best way to explore the Great Ocean Road is with your own transportation. This allows you to set your own pace and decide where to stop. We traveled around Australia ourselves in a camper van. Along the Great Ocean Road you will find plenty of campsites for every budget. If you travel by car, you have a wide range of hotels and lodges along the Great Ocean Road. We’ll give you several options for where to stay each day!

TRAVEL TIP : In Australia, they drive on the left! That takes some getting used to but you quickly get used to it. There are also often signs posted along the side of the road to remind you of this.

great ocean road in australia
  • Save
driving on the great ocean road
  • Save

Day 1: Torquay to Apollo Bay

Today you will drive from the surfer village of Torquay towards Apollo Bay and will cover about 100 km. If you leave Melbourne count on having to drive an hour and a half to Torquay first.

Bells Beach & Memorial Arch

In the surfer village of Torquay you will find Bells Beach where the iconic Rip Curl Surf Championship is held annually. Be sure to go watch surfers brave the raging waves or venture out for a surf lesson yourself! In Torquay, you can also visit the Australian National Surfing Museum. You then continue driving toward the Memorial Arch which marks the official start of the Great Ocean Road. Be sure to take a photo at this iconic arch!

bells beach australia
  • Save
great ocean road in australia
  • Save

Erskine Falls & Kennet River

From the Memorial Arch you make your way past all kinds of beautiful beaches where you can stop as much as you want like Teddy’s Lookout. Be sure to also take a look at Erskine Falls. From the parking lot, it takes 10 minutes to hike to this beautiful waterfall through the green rainforest. Afterwards, continue your route toward Kennet River. This area is popular because of the many koalas in the eucalyptus trees. Many get off at the Koala Cafe in Kennet River, but if you continue on the Grey River Road you are more likely to see koalas. We ourselves saw as many as four here! End your day at Marinners Lookout or Wild Dog Creek near Apollo Bay.

TRAVEL TIP : In addition to Erskine Falls, deeper in the Great Otway National Park you also have Hopetoun Falls and The Redwoods. If you have time then you can also definitely consider making a stop here, but this requires a bit of a detour.

erskine falls great ocean road
  • Save
koala kennet river
  • Save

Where to stay

You end day 1 of your route along the Great Ocean Road near Apollo Bay. If you travel with an RV like we did then we highly recommend Blanket Bay Campground! This beautiful nature campground is located on the coast in Great Otway National Park. In the evening, we also saw a koala in the tree here! Book through the official Victoria Parks website. If you are traveling by car, Seafarers Getaway is highly recommended. You’re right on the beach, great for catching the sunset in the evening!

blanket campground australia
  • Save

Day 2: Apollo Bay to Princetown

On day 2 of this itinerary along the Great Ocean Road in Australia, you will drive from the town of Apollo Bay toward Princetown. With all the stops combined, you will also cover about 100 km today. And you end with a climax!

Cape Otway National Park

Your first stop is Cape Otway where you will find Australia’s oldest lighthouse. We found the drive to Cape Otway very beautiful as you drive through lush green forest. Along the way, you also have another chance to see koalas and kangaroos! At Cape Otway you can visit the lighthouse for $20 AUD per person, but we did not do this ourselves because there is already enough to see! So if you are limited in time, you can also skip this stop.

cape otway lighthouse
  • Save
cape otway national park
  • Save

Wreck Beach

You continue your drive passing Castle Cove, a viewpoint just off the highway. This is also the start of The Great Ocean Walk and those who want can hike a section of this trail. We ourselves did a hike at Wreck Beach. Here you go down 320 steps to the beach. It is best to do this brisk walk at low tide, when you can see the anchors of ships that have lost the battle with this rugged coastline. Many people skip this stop, so chances are you’ll have the beach all to yourself! You do drive on a 5 km gravel road for this stop first, but this was doable with our motorhome. Afterwards, we made a stop for a delicious coffee at Clean Cravings Eatery.

castle cove great ocean road
  • Save
wreck beach great ocean road
  • Save

Gibson Steps & Twelve Apostles

After your coffee break, continue driving until you reach the Gibson Steps. Here you take long steps along a cliff to the beach. There you have a view of a 70-meter-high rock that stands alone in the water and is spectacular to see! Day 2 along the Great Ocean Road concludes with the highlight of this route: the Twelve Apostles. We deliberately kept this until last on day two so we could see the Twelve Apostles during sunset. You can see the remaining eight apostles (the others collapsed from erosion in the past) bathed in the orange glow as the sun disappears into the sea. Bring out that camera! Afterwards, drive back a bit towards Princetown where you will spend the night. Since Princetown is closest to the Twelve Apostles, it is also good to drive this after sunset.

gibson steps great ocean road
  • Save
twelve apostles great ocean road
  • Save

Where to stay

If you are traveling by RV, you should be at the Princetown Reserve campground. This campground is not expensive and in the morning you are greeted by dozens of kangaroos coming to graze on the property! Alternatively, Vayu Vista’s cozy studios are the ideal place to end your day.

Day 3: Princetown to Allansford

The last day of this three-day itinerary has arrived! Today you drive from Princetown toward Allansford which is the end of the Great Ocean Road. Some of the most beautiful sights await along the way!

Loch Ard George & Razorback

What could be better than seeing the Twelve Apostles? Being able to admire them twice! Leave Princetown and make another stop at the Twelve Apostles in the morning to get one last look at the Great Ocean Road icon. It is a different experience during the day than during sunset! Afterwards, continue driving toward Loch Ard George and The Razorback. You used to be able to go down on the beach but due to the instability of the cliff, this is no longer allowed. Still, it’s a great view to take in and should definitely not be missed!

razorback
  • Save
loch ard george great ocean road
  • Save

London Bridge & the Grotto

Continue your route to even more extraordinary rock formations such as the London Bridge and The Grotto which are close together. Both stops are the result of years of wave erosion against the cliffs and very impressive to see! At the Grotto, you look through the naturally formed hole through the cliff to the ocean. In turn, London Bridge refers to the shape that these cliffs have. London Bridge was once connected to the mainland, until a section collapsed in 1990 leaving two tourists trapped on the remaining section! Fortunately they were able to recount it, speaking of an adventure.

london bridge
  • Save
the grotto
  • Save

Bay of Islands

We end this last day along the Great Ocean Road in Australia at the Bay of Islands. Here, too, you have a view of towering, limestone cliffs protruding from the ocean. Some themselves claim that this is even more beautiful than the Twelve Apostles, and mainly because you often don’t have crowds of tourists here. It is already a very nice ending to your road trip along the Great Ocean Road! You end this route in Allonsford. You can choose to stay overnight in Warrnambool which is a 10-minute drive from Allonsford or drive back towards Melbourne the same day which takes about 3 hours.

bay of islands
  • Save

Where to stay

In Warrnambool you will find plenty of campsites where you can stay with your RV such as the Warrnambool Holiday Village. Even if you travel by car, there are nice options such as the Allansford Hotel Motel. If you end this itinerary in Melbourne then Rydges Melbourne is highly recommended!

Shortening or expanding your route

If you are limited on time, it is also possible to do the Great Ocean Road in Australia in one day. Just keep in mind that you have to start early and you will be driving a lot. It is also true that kangaroos and other animals become active at dusk, so it is not recommended to drive then. If you have only one day to spare, we recommend booking a day tour. That way you won’t have to drive yourself and still be sure to have seen all the highlights along the Great Ocean Road!

snoezelsontheroad great ocean road australia
  • Save
beaches australia
  • Save

If you are traveling around Australia then you have many options here as well. We ourselves drove on to the Grampians National Park after the Great Ocean Road. In fact, here you can take incredibly beautiful walks! You can also continue your itinerary from Allansford toward the city of Adelaide or drive back toward bustling Melbourne. From Melbourne, you can then travel on toward Sydney or Cairns. Or consider a trip through Tasmania, our favorite place in Australia!

Best travel time Great Ocean Road

In Australia, the seasons are reversed. That means it is summer from December through February. December and January are the busiest months to visit the Great Ocean Road in Australia, as this is also when Australians have summer vacation. The best travel time is during this period, and it is recommended that you secure your car and accommodations early. November and February are also good months, when it is quieter but you are more likely to get rain. We ourselves went in February and had wonderful weather.

great ocean road in australia
  • Save

Have you visited the Great Ocean Road in Australia yourself? Let us know in a comment below! Looking for more information about your next trip? Please do not hesitate to contact us or send an email to snoezelsontheroad@gmail.com

Did you know...

When you make a purchase through our links, we receive a small fee. What you pay remains the same, and you support us with it too. A win-win for everyone!

Flights

Book here inexpensively through Skyscanner

Hotels

Book here inexpensively through Booking.com

Activities

Book here inexpensively via Getyourguide

Support us with coffee

Support us with a virtual cup of coffee

  • Save

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *