Driving the Great Ocean Road

Driving the Great Ocean Road

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There are so many amazing places in Australia, and one of my favourite spots is the Great Ocean Road. Along the road, there are tonnes of things to see. Nature experiences include incredible rock formations, endless coastal views, beautiful beaches, lush rainforest and national parks with koalas and other Australian animals. In addition, there are many nice towns and beach villages along the road that are worth visiting.

I’ve driven the Great Ocean Road twice now. The first time, I took the trip all the way from Adelaide to Melbourne with my family and spent five days on the road exploring. The second time, I did as most people and took a day trip from Melbourne with a bunch of friends. In this post, I share my favourite spots on the Great Ocean Road and beyond that can hopefully inspire you to visit this amazing part of Australia. The first four spots are located closest to Melbourne and can all be visited on a day trip – longer time is recommended though. The last two spots are located closer to Adelaide.

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Bells Beach

The first time I visited the Great Ocean Road, we took a little detour from the road and drove to Bells Beach. And if you’ve got the time, it’s highly recommendable. Bells Beach is known as one of the best surf spots in Australia, and professional surfers from all over the world come here to ride the tricky waves. There are different viewpoints from where you can admire the surfers do what they do best, and it’s easy to spend some time here. We certainly did.

Worth-mentioning spots nearby include the surf town of Torquay, the little beach town Anglesea and the beautiful stretch of beach including Fairhaven near Aireys Inlet.

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There are plenty of nice little beach towns along the Great Ocean Road, and my ultimate favourite one is Lorne. It’s a vibrant town with a beautiful beach and plenty of nice restaurants and shops. I found the Greek restaurant Ipsos particularly good. During high season the town can get very crowded, but Lorne is charming anyway and with its nice vibe and great location, I found it the best place to hang out and relax along the road.

Worth-mentioning spots nearby include the beautiful Erskine Falls, Lorne Golf Course that is the perfect place to spot kangaroos and wallabies before sunset and the larger beach town Apollo Bay.

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Great Otway National Park

One of the best spots to look for koalas is in the Great Otway National Park. Apparently, there are many walking tracks in the area from where they can be spotted, but we were lucky enough to see a few ones that were sitting in trees along the road to the famous Cape Otway Lighthouse, and we later figured out that it was quite common. I found that the road to the lighthouse was incredibly beautiful and the actual lighthouse was a little disappointing – or maybe I was just in shock that they charge 19.5 AUD for an adult to enter it. We didn’t visit, so I can’t tell if the price was worth the view.

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Port Campbell National Park

When thinking about the Great Ocean Road it’s difficult not to think about the 12 Apostles that without a doubt is the most popular site on the route. And the spectacular stacks that rise from the ocean and make up for an amazing view are really worth visiting. The downside of visiting the 12 Apostles is that you probably have to share the spot with tonnes of other people. Both times I’ve visited it has been very crowded – but no visit to the Great Ocean Road without seeing the iconic rock formations.

The 12 Apostles aren’t the only rock formations in Port Campbell National Park and honestly, I found both Loch Ard Gorge and London Bridge more spectacular. As the name implies, Loch Ard Gorge is a gorge and what I really like about this spot is that there are several walks in the area that give you the opportunity to explore the rock formations from different angles, including from a picturesque little beach with the clearest blue water. London Bridge is a single arched rock formation that is just beautiful.

Worth-mentioning spots nearby include the rock formations Bay of Islands, the Grotto and the Arch and the city of Warrnambool that is the best place to spot whales between May and September.

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This little fishing town is located four hours drive from Adelaide and is a true gem. Robe has during the last recent years become a great local holiday spot and with good reason. It offers a beautiful beach, incredible coastal views and a nice and vibrant little town centre. We had the best dinner at Sails, which is highly recommended if you’re into seafood.

Worth-mentioning spots nearby include Coorong National Park that offers beautiful nature experiences and lots of birds.

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Along the Limestone Coast, Beachport was my favourite spot. With a nice and long beach with white sand and the most turquoise water I’ve ever seen, this little beach town offers a pretty good view. Beachport’s main attraction is the 772-metre long jetty that is the perfect photo spot. We indeed took a lot of photos from there. Don’t forget to drive by the Beachport Conservation Park and take one of the many walking tracks in the area.

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A few words about the route between Adelaide and Melbourne

Even though the Great Ocean Road only defines the stretch between Torquay at east and Warrnambool at west, the road still continues all the way to Adelaide. There is definitely a reason why the stretch between Torquay and Warrnambool is so popular, and it’s without a doubt the biggest highlight. However, there are also many beautiful places to discover between Adelaide and Warrnambool. A highlight is the Limestone Coast that offers incredible nature experiences and nice towns including Robe and Beachport. It’s recommendable to drive from Adelaide to Melbourne and not the other way around to have the greatest experiences at the end.

We did the trip in five days, which was enough time to explore the sights we wanted to. We had nights in Robe, Mount Gambier, Warrnambool and Lorne on the way and had to drive between two and five hours per day. I didn’t find Mount Gambier very interesting but the three other places are highly recommended to stay for a night.

These were my favourite spots along the road between Adelaide and Melbourne. It’s worth mentioning that there are so many other nice places, and the best thing about driving the Great Ocean Road and beyond is that there is something to see and do along the whole route.

Read more posts from Australia here.

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Der er så mange fantastiske steder i Australien, og en af mine favoritter er the Great Ocean Road. Langs vejen er der masser af ting at se. Naturoplevelser inkluderer fantastiske klippeformationer, uendelige kystudsigter, smukke strande, frodig regnskov og nationalparker med koalaer og andre typisk australske dyr. Derudover er der masser af små byer langs ruten, der er værd at besøge. 

Jeg har kørt the Great Ocean Road to gange nu. Den første gang tog jeg turen hele vejen fra Adelaide til Melbourne med min familie og brugte fem dage på landevejen. Den anden gang gjorde jeg ligesom de fleste andre og tog en dagstur fra Melbourne med en flok venner. I dette indlæg deler jeg mine yndlings-spots fra the Great Ocean Road og videre, der forhåbentlig kan inspire dig til at opleve denne fantastiske del af Australien. De første fire spots er placeret tættest på Melbourne og kan alle opleves på en enkelt dag – længere tid kan dog anbefales. De sidste to spots er placeret tættere på Adelaide.

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Bells Beach

Den første gang jeg besøgte the Great Ocean Road tog vi en lille detour fra ruten og kørte til Bells Beach. Og hvis du har tiden, kan det anbefales. Bells Beach er kendt for at være et af Australiens bedste surfspots, og professionelle surfere fra hele verden kommer her for at ride på de svære bølger. Der er forskellige udsigtspunkter, hvorfra du kan beundre surferne for at gøre, hvad de gør bedst, og det er nemt at bruge en masse tid her. Det kunne vi i hvert fald ikke lade være med. 

Spots der er værd at nævne i nærheden inkluderer surferbyen Torquay, den lille strandby Anglesea og det lange strandstykke, der inkluderer Fairhaven nær Aireys Inlet. 

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Der er masser af små fine strandbyer langs the Great Ocean Road, men min ultimative favorit er Lorne. Det er en stemningsfuld by med en smuk strand og masser af gode restauranter og butikker. Jeg var især vild med maden på den græske restaurant Ipsos. I løbet af højsæson kan byen godt være overfyldt med mennesker, men Lorne er charmerende alligevel og med dens gode stemning og fantastiske placering, synes jeg, at det var det bedste sted at hænge ud og slappe af på ruten. 

Spots der er værd at nævne i nærheden inkluderer det smukke Erskine Falls, Lorne Golf Course, der er det perfekte sted at spotte kænguruer og wallabies lige inden solnedgang og den større strandby Apollo Bay.  

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Great Otway National Park

Et af de bedste steder at kigge efter koalaer er i Great Otway National Park. Tilsyneladende er der flere forskellige gåruter i området, hvorfra de kan spottes. Vi var dog heldige at se nogle stykker, der sad oppe i træerne langs vejen til det kendte Cape Otway Lighthouse, og vi fandt senere ud af, at det var helt normalt. Jeg fandt ruten til fyrtårnet helt fantastisk smuk og selve fyrtårnet en smule skuffende – eller også var jeg bare i chok over, at det kostede 19,5 AUD ≈ 90 kr for en voksen at komme op i det. Vi gik ikke ind, og jeg har derfor ingen anelse om, om udsigten var prisen værd. 

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Port Campbell National Park

Når man tænker på the Great Ocean Road, er det svært ikke at tænke på the 12 Apostles, der uden tvivl er rutens største trækplaster. Og de spektakulære klippeformationer, der skyder op af vandet og udgør en fantastisk seværdighed, er virkelig et besøg værd. Det negative aspekt ved at besøge the 12 Apostles er, at du med stor sandsynlig skal dele udsigten med tonsvis af andre mennesker. Begge gange jeg har været der, har der været overfyldt med mennesker – men ikke et besøg til the Great Ocean Road uden at have set disse ikoniske klippeformationer. 

The 12 Apostles er ikke de eneste klippeformationer i Port Campbell National Park og for at være helt ærlig, så synes jeg faktisk, at både Loch Ard Gorge og London Bridge var mere spektakulære. Loch Ard Gorge er en kløft, og det jeg virkelig godt kan lide ved dette spot er, at der er forskellige stier i området, der giver mulighed for at opleve klippeformationen fra forskellige vinkler, inklusiv fra den lille pittoreske strand med det klareste blå vand. London Bridge er en enkeltbuet klippeformation, der bare er utrolig smuk. 

Spots, der er værd at nævne i nærheden inkluderer klippeformationerne Bay of Islands, the Grotto og the Arch og byen Warrnambool, der er det bedste sted at spotte hvaler fra maj til september. 

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Denne lille fiskerby er placeret fire timers kørsel fra Adelaide og er en sand perle. Robe er i de seneste år blevet de lokales foretrukne feriespot og med god grund. Byen byder på en smuk strand, fantastiske kystudsigter og en hyggelig og stemningsfuld bymidte. Vi fik den bedste middag på Sails, der kan anbefales, hvis du er til seafood. 

Spots, der er værd at nævne i nærheden inkluderer Coorong National Park, der byder på smukke naturoplevelser og en masse fugle. 

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Beachport var mit favoritspot langs the Limestone Coast. Den lille by byder på en fantastisk strand med hvidt sand og det mest tyrkise vand, jeg nogensinde har set, og det er ufattelig smukt. Hovedattraktionen i Beachport er den 772 meter lange mole, der er det perfekte fotospot. Vi tog helt ufattelig mange billeder der. Glem ikke at køre forbi Beachport Conservation Park og tag en af de mange gåruter i området. 

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Et par ord om ruten mellem Adelaide og Melbourne

Selvom the Great Ocean Road kun definerer strækningen mellem Torquay i øst og Warrnambool i vest fortsætter vejen helt til Adelaide. Der er i særdeleshed en grund til, at strækningen mellem Torquay og Warrnambool er det mest populære stykke, for det er uden tvivl det største højdepunkt. Der er dog også mange smukke steder at se mellem Adelaide og Warrnambool. Et højdepunkt er the Limestone Coast, der byder på fantastiske naturoplevelser og hyggelige byer, der inkluderer Robe og Beachport. Det kan anbefales at køre fra Adelaide til Melbourne og ikke den anden vej for at gemme de største seværdigheder til sidst. 

Vi brugte fem dage på turen, hvilket var nok tid til at opleve de seværdigheder, vi gerne ville. Vi overnattede i Robe, Mount Gambier, Warrnambool og Lorne på vejen og kørte mellem to og fem timer hver dag. Mount Gambier synes jeg ikke var særlig interessant, men ellers er de tre andre steder anbefalelsesværdige at overnatte i. 

Dette var mine favoritspots på ruten langs Adelaide og Melbourne. Det er værd at nævne, at der er så mange andre fine steder, og det bedste ved at køre langs the Great Ocean Road og videre er, at der er så meget at se og gøre langs hele ruten. 

Læs flere indlæg fra Australien her.

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