The Great Ocean Road is Victoria’s most spectacular coastal drive where you can experience breathtaking ocean views, iconic landscapes, lush forests and verdant vegetation, and diverse wildlife.
This tourist route from Melbourne would be a great destination for nature lovers and for people with different interests. You can choose to explore the rainforests and the wilds or just enjoy the wonderful ocean views and relax on the beach with food and drinks.
Here’s my take on who should and why visit the Great Ocean Road:
- For lovers of landscape and seascape vistas, the Great Ocean Road is a paradise. Off the shores of the limestone coast of Port Campbell stands the 12 Apostles, a collection of rock formations carved by nature for thousands of years. A great landscape to behold that connects to a panoramic and colorful seascape. Driving on the Great Ocean Road alone would bring you to amazing coastal views of cliffs, woodlands and swamps, and surf beaches.
- For bird enthusiasts and bird watchers, the Otways on the Great Ocean Road is home to several hundreds of varieties of bird species. You can spot Australia’s native birds and migratory avians on the swamps and woodlands. Ducks, swans, pelicans, eagles, falcons, parrots, robins, sandpipers, you name it. So bring your binoculars and cameras with long lenses, the Otways is a photographer’s dreamland. Lorne welcomes you with friendly cockatoos.
- For the admirers of Australian native animals and wildlife, the Great Ocean Road remains the route to traverse. The Otways hosts over a hundred animal species many of them are endemic to the area. Stop by Kennett River and you will get up close with the koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, and other native wildlife.
- For those with interest in native plants, the Otways is the place to see. Towering ancient ferns and wildflowers are all over the rainforest, and less than a hundred varieties of plant species are found only in the area. Schedule your visit in spring to witness the blooming of the wildflowers, especially in the picturesque coastal towns of Anglesea and Lorne.
- For nature hikers and mountain bikers, the Great Ocean Road provides hiking trails and biking tracks to reach the waterfalls that dotted the Otways rainforest, the lake and other waterways, and the swamps and woodlands. Take the Great Ocean Walk and you will experience nature at its rawest.
- For beachgoers and surfers, drop by the seaside towns of Apollo Bay, Lorne, and Anglesea on the Great Ocean Road. You swim in the sea or surf in the waves. Plus, the fresh seafood! If you want a more intimate setting, then take a walk along the sandy beach of Loch Ard Gorge and cool off in the shallows.
- For local art aficionados, Lorne and Anglesea are the best destinations on the Great Ocean Road. You can visit Lorne’s or Anglesea’s galleries, workshops, and art walks. And if you’re into photography the Great Ocean Road is the best place to take some amazing shots where you can capture the colors and textures of stunning landscapes, natural scenery, friendly local people, and diverse native wildlife.
- For history geeks, the Memorial Archway at the entrance of the Great Ocean Road memorial and Loch Ard Gorge would let you peek into the past. The Great Ocean Road is a war memorial honoring the service and bravery of the servicemen and women who fought during the First World War. And if you want some interesting back stories of maritime tragedies in Victoria, Loch Ard Gorge hides some secrets.