The Great Ocean Road is an Australian National Heritage listed drive and is the world’s largest war memorial. It was built between 1919 and 1932 by returned soldiers and dedicated to those who did not return from World War 1. It is 243 kilometres long and starts at Torquay, ending in Allansford Victoria.
It is one of Australia’s most scenic drives, with many towns and natural formations to stop and see along the way. Ideally you need a minimum of three days to make the most of the trip. We’ve listed below our favourite places to visit along this stunning coastal road heading into Kingston.
Here are 9 places to stop and visit on the Great Ocean Road
1. Bells Beach
Bells Beach is in Torquay, which is where the Great Ocean Road officially starts. Bells Beach is well renowned for hosting the world’s longest running pro surf competition since 1962, now called the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach. With wild waves and a spectacular coastline, it is a great spot to watch surfers doing what they love.
About a 50 minute drive from Torquay is the township of Lorne. For a trendy breakfast or fabulous lunch, Lorne has plenty to offer right on the coast along the Great Ocean Road. There are many shops and cafes to visit and a thriving arts community. There are also several outdoor activities such as walks, waterfalls and beautiful beaches.
3. Cape Otway Lightstation
The Cape Otway Lighthouse is Australia’s oldest surviving lighthouse on the mainland on the Southern most point of the Great Ocean Road. It was built in 1848 and called the “Beacon of Hope” for migrants, who were travelling to Australia over several months on ships. Cape Otway was their first sight of land after leaving their homes in Europe.
4. The 12 Apostles
It doesn’t matter how many times you see the 12 Apostles, each time is a unique experience and as exciting as the first. These limestone stacks were created by erosion under the harsh conditions of the Southern Ocean which eventually wore through caves to leave these stacks. They are still being eroded and in fact there are now only seven remaining. Being in close proximity makes it easy to view all of them from the viewing platforms.
5. Gibson Steps
A few minutes down the road from the 12 Apostles lookout is Gibson Steps. Gibson Steps are 86 steps in total, leading down to a long stretch of beach that you can walk. It is stunningly beautiful with 70 meter rock faces. You can see two of the 12 Apostle stacks from the beach level here called Gog and Magog. Access to the beach depends on the weather conditions.
6. London Arch
London Arch, formerly known as London Bridge, is a beautiful and large natural arc formation looking much like a bridge. There are two viewing platforms close to the carpark and the site is about a 20 minute drive from the Gibson Steps.
7. The Grotto
The Grotto is another stunning example of the naturally carved out structures caused by the erosion of the Southern Ocean along the Great Ocean Road. The path down to the Grotto is approximately 700 metres. At the bottom you will be inspired to take photos of the tranquil waters at the base of this cave that famously frames the ocean.
8. Port Fairy
Port Fairy is an idyllic little town with wide streets and nineteenth century architecture. It is one of Victoria’s busiest fishing ports and down at the wharf you will see crayfish and abalone fishermen unloading their catch of the day. There are art centres and galleries as well as heritage walks.
9. The Blue Lake Mount Gambier
Before your final stop at Kingston or Robe, the Blue Lake in Mount Gambier is breathtakingly beautiful. It is a crater which was created from a volcanic eruption through the limestone about 5000 years ago and has a rich and vibrant cobalt blue colour from December to March. There is a 3.6 km walking trail you can do around the park that takes about an hour.
Kingston Foreshore Caravan Park as your final Great Ocean Road destination
The Kingston Foreshore Caravan Park is located right on the Esplanade at Lacepede Bay. It is a place for some rest and relaxation with peaceful surrounds. We are only 20 minutes from the bustle of Robe and we have one and two bedroom cabins, powered and unpowered sites. Book online here or call us on 08 8767 2050 to discuss your accommodation options. Travelling in winter? – read about 6 warm and cosy things to do in Kingston SE this winter.