The Great Ocean Road spans for 243 kms packed with dozens of amazing and diverse places to visit. Split into 3 main sections that are all completely different from another: 1 – Surf Coast, 2 – Otways National Park, 3 – Shipwreck Coast.
The entire Surf Coast is made up of both world class beaches and beach towns. Not matter the weather, whether camping along here or staying in one of hundreds of accommodation options, the Surf Coast will provide a true Australian coastal experience.
Between the Surf Coast and the Shipwreck Coast is the Great Otways National Park. The Otways is home to a unique cool-climate rainforest. A short 30min walk through Maits Rest or Melba Gully is mandatory – it’s incredible with ancient tree ferns and giant trees.
Here you’ll find plenty of camping spots right in the forest among the ferns and trees. There also a few beach-side campsite options too, if you’d rather camp somewhere that you can swim or surf.
Once you’re west of the forest, if you were to swim south there would no longer be Tasmania, in about 3,000 kms you’d reach the coolest place on Earth, Antarctica. Between Antarctica and Australia lies nothing but the Southern Ocean. With the cold of the Antarctic and the heat from the Australian outback, this ocean is one of the most treacherous on Earth and of course, this coastline is the Shipwreck Coast. This is where you’ll find the 12 Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge.
You could spend a full day or several on each part of the Great Ocean Road, yet many people do one day Melbourne to Melbourne circuit. The road starts about 1.5 hours west of Melbourne and you can drive from the end of the Great Ocean road back to the city via an inland route that takes about 3 hours.