Location: Places >> Oceania >> Australia >> Victoria >> Melbourne >> The Great Ocean Road (GOR)
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The Global Drifter's Guide to traveling from Melbourne to Adelaide via the GOR. v1.3
A few of you have email me about travel suggestions and advice so I thought it would be more beneficial to post it up here for others to view also.
My advice is to plan for a 3 day trip by car. This is a general itinerary most suited to travelers who want to see as much of GOR in a short space of time but depending on what you want to see and do whilst on your trip, you will have to of course modify accordingly:
Start: My place, the unofficial start of GOR (hehe)
1. If you have some spare time then maybe take an hour to walk through Geelong, especially the foreshore, and check out some of the cafe's (I recommend 'GO') and bars ('Bev's', 'Edge', 'Mr.Hyde's)
2. Torquay - awesome little town with nice beaches and cafe's to wet your whistle. You can get surf lesions here if your keen.
3. Bells Beach just so you can say you have been there but if your time restricted then maybe give it a miss
4. Anglesea golf course where you can check out the kangaroo's most morning and evenings grazing on the greens.
5. Airley's lighthouse where you can see the table rocks and spectacular coast line. Also amazing bird life and sunsets
6. Teddy's lockout Lorne ! Make sure you dont miss this.
7. Erskin falls which is within the Otway National Park. Just make sure to check out both the top and bottom of the waterfall. Its about 10km out of Lorne so dont worry if you feels like have been driving for too long and must of past it because you probably havent. Its well sign posted.
8. Cora Lynn Cascade trail - this is one the way to/from Erskin falls. You need to park in the banana leaf (i think its called) picnic area. Its about a 4 or 5km hike each way but well worthwhile!!! Once you make it to the cascades, keep following the stream till it opens up into bushland. Stunning is all i can say. Probably a good place to propose to your partner for all you romantics out there.
9. Grey river road in Kennett River is a great place to do some koala spotting
10. Apollo bay harbour.
11. Mariners lookout where you will be greeted by Roger the goat and Patrick the pony.
12. If you can spare some time then you can take the scenic drive through the back of town to Mariners falls. A bit minuscule compared with Erskin so dont expect too much. WARNING though, the road leading there is very narrow, tortuous and loose gravel so not for the faint hearted, inexperienced driver or speed demon as we almost got run of the road several times by stupid, inconsiderate, dick drivers who have no concept of other road users! They also have an awesome weekend market on the foreshore where you can pickup awesome local produce and knick knacks.
12. Johanna beach ! Good place to camp for the night and chill out on the beach. Great sunsets and surf. The waves are pretty hectic so only for really experienced swimmers and surfers and maybe use the buddy system. Drive down red Johanna and back on blue Johanna.
13. Princetown picnic area. Just past the town there will be a sign for a campsite and picnic area where you will find a lake with a bridge overpass. Just park near the lake before the bridge as another sleeping alternative to spend the night star gazing. I love just staring at the stars so i found this breath taking as its pitch black out there so you can see the the whole milkyway really clearly. Bring a telescope if your keen, you wont be disappoints (unless there are clouds of course)
14. Gibson's steps which are just before the 12 Apostles and the place that will give you your first glimpse of what to expect. Takes you all the way down to the beach where the sand is soft, the sun is warm and the water alluring.
15. Now what you have all been waiting for, The 12 Apostles (minus a few). Great sunsets, but get there early as there are always crowds from 5am. I suggest just after sunset so you get some sunlight peaking over the cliff face onto the apostles. Better yet, I think sunset is a better option.
16. Loch Ard Gorge and surrounds (Thunder Cave)
17. the Grotto
18. London Bridge
19. The Blowhole
20. Bay or Martyrs and the Bay of Islands !!! These were actually the the highlight of my trip. Needless to say, make sure you stop that car and get the hell out for a look and a photo.
21. Port Campbell. Great little town where you can stop for lunch and a chat to reflect over the awesome sights you have just witnessed.
22. Warrnambool. Quite a big town/city where you can re-stock on supplies, get a feed and relax for a bit. There is a major train station with trains that takes you all the way back to melbourne. In the winter months you can also see whales.
23. Port Fairy. Beautiful town and home of the Folk Festival on the labour day weekend. Deceptive when you drive through as the real beauty is deep within the heart of the town so try and make some time to explore the town centre and beaches.
24. Port Fairy lighthouse. Although the lighthouse isnt anything special, the view is great. But even better is the drive there. Its not so much the tree line thats amazing but whats hiding in them. If you keep your eyes sharp, your sure to see koala's!! If you lucky enough like we were you may even get to see a mum with its baby hanging on for dear life or one might be kind enough to come down and meet you. Truly memorable, even for an Aussie. Hence why i please urge you to drive slowly on the way. Forget the people who instantaneously slam on the breaks when they spot a koala, or the huddle of folks who clammer on the roadway recklessly taking photos without a care in the world, its the slow moving koalas who have come down for a forage and stroll you might also run into....so please take it easy, in both directions!
25. OK, onto the home stretch now. Portland including Cape Nelson and Cape Bridgewater where you can explore the Petrified forest, windmill farms and marsh flies. Also check out the port and ships and do a spot of fishing of the pier/breakwater.
Note the rest of the itinerary is if you wish to continue onto Adelaide. I suggest doing it over another 2 days.
26. If your still keen to explore then i suggest heading west towards SA and the Discovery bay with its beaches.
27. Princess Margarett Limestone Caves which are apparently over 70,000 year old. Its a bit of a pain to get to from the GOR (about 13km over unsealed roads) so I suggest doing this on the way back from Mt. Gambier from the HWY as its much closer and a more pleasant drive.
28. Port Mcdonnell and shell beach were you can get up close with the marine life at low tide which are stuck in rock pools. Also some decent surf but its a (sharp) pebble beach with heaps of reef.
29. Mt Gambier where you can see the sinkhole, the something rather cave's and blue lake.
30. Beachport. Loved this town, especially the seemingly endless jetty and azur blue ocean
31. Encounter bay and the Coorongs. Awesome and worth a nights camp surrounded by nature and the water.
32. Victor Harbour. Beautiful town and great surf. Make sure you try the fish and chips.
33. From here you can head north to Adelaide (1hr).
OK, thats all i can remember of the top of my head but i will re-post the completed version when i finalise it and it will also include photos (not sure if i can post photos yet in which case i will place it on wiki and let you know the link) . Its taken me the better part of 3hrs so enjoy. Any Q's just shoot.