Hit The Great Ocean Road: Australia’s Most Scenic Drive

Hit The Great Ocean Road Australia's Most Scenic Drive Down Under

In the aftermath of the First World War, Australia embarked on a remarkable journey of healing and reconstruction. Seizing the opportunity to provide employment for demobilized soldiers, the nation undertook an ambitious project – the construction of the Great Ocean Road. Over a span of more than ten years, 3,000 servicemen dedicated themselves to the arduous task of clearing dense forests and carving a path along treacherous sea cliffs. Their unwavering determination resulted in the creation of one of the most awe-inspiring drives in the country. Stretching across an impressive 245 kilometers, the Great Ocean Road stands not only as a remarkable feat of engineering but also as a poignant and enduring war memorial – the longest of its kind in the world.

A view of the Great Ocean Road's Twelve Apostles.
A view of the Great Ocean Road’s Twelve Apostles.

As you embark on the Great Ocean Road from Torquay, the allure of the ocean becomes irresistible. Torquay, known as the birthplace of iconic surfing brands like Quiksilver and Rip Curl, also hosts the Australian National Surfing Museum, a testament to the region’s deep surfing culture. The sight of majestic swells crashing onto the pristine, creamy white beaches hints at the incredible surfing experience awaiting you. While Bells Beach holds its well-deserved fame as a celebrated surfing spot, the entire coastal stretch from Anglesea and beyond offers a captivating succession of perfect breaks and picturesque beaches.

Leaving Anglesea, the highway gracefully curves along the coastline, revealing stunning beaches and embracing the dramatic cliffs and lush green gullies. Eventually, you’ll arrive at the charming town of Lorne, which was the original destination the road was built to reach. Here, the Great Ocean Road Heritage Centre welcomes you, sharing the captivating story of the road’s construction and the dedicated individuals who brought it to life. For wildlife enthusiasts, the nearby blue gum trees of Kennett River present an exceptional opportunity to observe wild koalas, offering one of the country’s best encounters with these beloved native creatures.

Also read: Sydney to Melbourne Itinerary

As you continue your journey along the Great Ocean Road, the combination of world-class surfing, breathtaking coastal landscapes, rich history, and unforgettable encounters with wildlife will make your experience truly extraordinary. Get ready to be immersed in the natural beauty and cultural heritage that define this iconic road trip.

Wild koalas along the Great Ocean Road.
Wild koalas along the Great Ocean Road.

Once the Great Ocean Road leads you beyond Apollo Bay, a world of nature unfolds in the embrace of the Great Otway National Park. Venture into the lush rainforest, where towering mountain ash trees and ferns of monumental size create a verdant wonderland. Explore the park through plentiful hiking trails, immersing yourself in bird songs and the enchanting dance of butterflies. Discover picturesque waterfalls and tranquil pools, and for an exhilarating experience, take to the treetops on thrilling ziplines and treetop walkways that offer a unique perspective of the canopy. To witness the elusive platypus in its natural habitat, rise at dawn and silently paddle a canoe along the shores of Lake Elizabeth.

Also read: Seven Natural Wonders of Australia

For an even grander spectacle, make a detour to Cape Otway, a prime location for observing majestic southern right whales. From May to September, these magnificent creatures grace the coastal waters as they arrive to give birth, providing an awe-inspiring sight that will leave you breathless.

As the Great Ocean Road nears its traditional endpoint in Warnambool, it saves its most dramatic reveal for last. Behold the Twelve Apostles, an iconic symbol of Australia. These colossal limestone stacks rise majestically from the crashing surf, each one intricately sculpted by the relentless waves over countless millennia. Experience the grandeur from above with a scenic helicopter flight, or descend to the sandy shores and stroll between breathtaking viewpoints that allow the towering spires to envelop you. Facing west, the Twelve Apostles provide an unforgettable backdrop for witnessing the sun’s descent into the sea, creating the perfect travel moment that etches itself into your memory.

Beyond its astounding vistas, the Great Ocean Road also stands as a testament to the resilience of the soldiers who built it, holding the title of the longest war memorial in the world.

Prepare to be captivated by one awe-inspiring view after another as you embark on the Great Ocean Road. This extraordinary journey immerses you in nature’s splendor while honoring the indomitable spirit of those who came before.

Also read: Top 10 Experiences on Australia’s East Coast

Getting there

Dreaming of a drive along the Great Ocean Road? WorkingHolidayGuide can get you there. Check out our small group tours to Australia!

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