We never associate December and Christmas to the beach. However, if you find yourself in Australia, the last month of the year could be an excellent opportunity to see all the fantastic things the Down Under has to offer and thus magnificently finish the year. One such place, actually a route, is the Great Ocean Road. Stretching across around 300 km on the South-eastern coast of Australia, from Melbourne to the Victorian city of Torquay, this road is littered with breathtaking places. Even though you can drive the whole route in one day, the most common recommendation is to book a stay somewhere in the middle so that you could enjoy all the sights. Here are the best highlights of the Great Ocean Road, a road that is also regarded as one of the largest war memorials.
The Bells Beach
The first thing that comes your way if you’re starting from Melbourne is the Bells Beach that you should see. If you are surfing, or want to try it, then this place is for you – The Bells Beach is one of the biggest and most popular surfing beaches. If not, however, take a stop, relax somewhere on the beach and watch the local surfers showing themselves off. There’s a fantastic cliff-face there, and the views from it will leave you speechless.
The next stop should definitely be the old town of Lorne. It’s a very picturesque seaside town, very close to Melbourne with the Otway National Park on its doorstep. Even though Lorne is a home to roughly 2000 Aussies, it has so many beautiful and interesting cafes, galleries and shops to offer. If you’re there, take some time to take a walk on its beaches and get your feet wet in the ocean. You could use some of Lorne’s incredible apartments and hotels/motels to spend the night and enjoy everything this magical town has to offer.
Triplet Falls at Otways National Park
If you want to step back in time, you can do so just outside Lorne. The Otways National Park is one of those places in the world that you just have to visit. Once you step in, you’ll find yourself surrounded by tall trees, giant tree ferns and glorious waterfalls. One such waterfall is the Triplet Falls, which perhaps is the most precious jewel of this National Park. If you decide to walk around it, it will take you around an hour walking in the loop, and it’s is worth it. However, if you go to the Kennett River in the Otways National Park, you’ll have the chance to see wild koalas. Even though it is almost impossible to see koalas in the wild, this is the Great Ocean Road, and this spot is one of the rare ones where you can do this.
The 12 Apostles
Even though it looks like a bunch of rocks in the ocean, The 12 Apostles is the star of this spectacular show called The Great Ocean Road. Around 20 million years old and only 8 of them left (as the other four have fallen), this sight should be the biggest reason why you jumped onto this adventure. The best recommendation you could get is to either catch the sunrise or a sunset here. Prepare your camera as the view will drive you crazy!
Port Campbell National Park
Even though The 12 Apostles is a part of the Port Campbell National Park, it has so many other places to offer, such as the Loch Ard Gorge, London Arch or the Gibson Steps. Once here, take your time to see all the beaches carefully and, cliff top tracks and stories of shipwrecks. The best suggestion is that you grab an ice cream from an ice cream truck in front of the National Park, research all the sites you want to see in there and cross them off your list. However, mind that if you plan to stay there just a couple of hours, that’s not going to happen. You’ll probably spend the whole day there, so book a room just outside the National Park so you can continue your drive in the morning.
Another town that you should visit on this adventure is Victor Harbour. Even though this is not a big town, it does (just like Lorne) offer many places that you could see and eat and drink coffee at. Use the horse-drawn tram on the causeway from Victor Harbour to Granite Island, which a very popular site and spend your afternoon there. If you have the time, head to the Rosetta Head and enjoy the spectacular view.
As you can see, even though you can get through this route in one day, the best option is that you do it in at least three so that you could enjoy in all the magical moments it has to offer. This really is an experience that should be on your bucket list and so don’t miss out on it.
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