Great Ocean Road Itinerary – Road Trip Guide

spellbound travels great ocean road itinerary road trip guide

Planning a trip to Australia? Or perhaps you’re looking for a road trip you can do from Melbourne or Adelaide? The Great Ocean Road can’t be missed! This Great Ocean Road itinerary includes campervans, top sights, lesser known spots and more.

NOTE: As I’m writing this on August 4th, 2020, parts of this itinerary may be closed due to Covid-19 but it’s never to early to start planning for future travels!

Before you head off – Planning

As the Great Ocean Road is 244km long running from Melbourne (Torquay) towards Adelaide (ending in Allansford), you’ll need to decide where you’re starting and ending your journey. This Great Ocean Road itinerary will start in Melbourne and go slightly past Warrnambool before circling back!

Once you’ve decided on a rough route you’d like to take, the next step is essential. Download the WikiCamps Australia App for $6.99. This will be your holy grail for finding the absolute best free campsites along the way.

Choosing the right campervan

After taking a few road trips around Australia, I know a thing or two about campervans! Depending on the number of people you’re going to travel with and length of the trip, there’s a few options to choose from. I’ve previously hired campervans from two different companies and here’s what I have to say about them:

spellbound travels wicked campers campervan melbourne

Wicked Campers:

The first time I road tripped through the Great Ocean Road was with Wicked Campers, so as you can imagine I have fond memories! These campervans start as low as $12.50/day.

PROS:

  • Space – For the size of the vehicle, I found it to be very roomy and provide a lot of space. We were able to fit 3 people inside the van and two people on the pop-up tent attached above.
  • Cost – For obvious reasons, you can’t get much better than this price!

CONS:

  • The outer design – While the bright colours and designs can be fun, it screams tourist.
  • Location – With only one pick-up spot in West Melbourne, it’s not the most ideal to get to by public transit.

Jucy:

Jucy is another popular campervan hire I’ve used previously. Two person sleepers start as low as $55 AUD/day and four person sleepers start at $60 AUD/day.

PROS:

  • Location – There are many more pickup and drop off points in each city, making it more convenient to get to if you don’t have a car!
  • Availability/Options – I found that Jucy had more availability and options for last minute booking than Wicked Campers did.

CONS:

  • Cost – These campervans can be slightly more expensive than the ones from Wicked Campers but they’re still affordable overall.

Once you’ve chosen the perfect campervan, it’s time to hit the open road!

Torquay to Lorne

You’ll stumble upon the Great Ocean Road sign overhead once you arrive in Torquay. From there the journey to Lorne is about a 45 minute drive with many beautiful places to stop along the way. My favourite stop was Aireys Inlet!

Lorne Beach is a great spot to surf for beginners and experts alike! This beach town is the perfect place to make a stop and hangout for a while if the weather permits. There are a few campgrounds nearby if you’re planning to stay the night. Just be sure to look ahead of time if you’re going during peak season or they might be booked up!

Waterfalls:

Before you move on from Lorne, stop to check out a few waterfalls! Erskine Falls is only about a 10 minute drive from the town of Lorne and easily accessible so it’s worth checking out. Phantom Falls and Sheoak Falls are also nearby, so if you have the time you can make an entire day out of chasing waterfalls!

Wildlife Stop – Kennett River:

spellbound travels kennet river walk bird melbourne

If you’re going to the Great Ocean Road in search of koalas, look no further! You’re bound to find heaps of them hanging in trees at the Kennett River Koala Walk. They hang out of reach and are sleeping most of the time but you may luck out and catch one in action!

Besides koalas, you’ll run into parrots, cockatoos and other wildlife!

Gibson Steps

spellbound travels gibson steps beach great ocean road

When I think of the Great Ocean Road, I think of Gibson Steps! The steps lead down to a beach with stunning limestone stacks and large crashing waves. It’s truly a scenic spot and absolutely breathtaking!

I found the best time to go was in the afternoon around 3/4pm because the lighting is usually best and there won’t be as many people as there would be at noon or in the early afternoon.

Keep an eye out for wallabies, as you might come across a few hiding in the bushes … Can you spot the one above?

12 Apostles

The 12 Apostles are probably the most photographed part of the Great Ocean Road and just a few minute drive from Gibson Steps. I’ve been during the day and for sunset and it’s always breathtaking! If I were to go back, I’d probably go around sunrise in attempt to avoid the crowds and be able to enjoy the view with less people around.

When looking at the photo above, you may wonder why it’s called the ‘Twelve’ Apostles when you can only see a handful of the beautiful limestone figures. In fact, there are only 6 left due to erosion so don’t let the name fool you!

Loch Ard Gorge

spellbound travels loch ard gorge great ocean road trip

Loch Ard Gorge is another must-see when you head to the Great Ocean Road! It’s a mere 10 minute drive from the 12 Apostles and offers many awesome photography opportunities! There is a fantastic lookout, as well as the beach below that you can take steps down to.

There are usually a decent amount of tourists coming and going but it’s a rather large space so you’e bound to find opportunities to get photos without others in them. If you do happen to get some ‘photobombers’ in your photos and want to quickly get rid of them, check out my post on photo hacks to eliminate any distractions from photos!

Port Fairy

Technically, Port Fairy isn’t part of the Great Ocean Road but it’s just outside! If you have time to spare, this beach town is another great spot if you’re learning how to surf. Killarney beach is the place to check out.

Grampians National Park

I had to include Grampians National Park in this Great Ocean Road itinerary because it’s too close not to see if you’re in the area! While it’s still about an hour drive from Port Fairy, it’s well worth the journey.

On the way to the Grampians, you’re sure to run into some kangaroos, waterfalls and it has some of the best hikes for all levels!

Why you should go

If this Great Ocean Road Itinerary wasn’t convincing enough, here are a few other reasons why you should check it out!

  • Surfing – There are endless stops along the Great Ocean Road for all levels of surfers.
  • Unmatched views – If you’re a sucker for a scenic drive, you won’t come across a better one!

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or DM me on Instagram!

Cheers,

Amy

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