When-Where-Why?

Mandatory stop on the famous Great Ocean Road during our Australian road trip. It stretches from Torquay to Warrnambol.

We had planned 4 full days in December 2019 but we were very disappointed and shortened the trip to 1.5 days. People are lying to you saying it’s amazing. It’s pretty but it’s not wow either. We have much more beautiful landscapes in France and in Europe.

The road itself is not very long, it will depend on the stops you make.

The first part, which stretches from Torquay to Princetown, is of little interest. There are a few beaches, the sea is beautiful, but if you come back from other places in Oceania or just Tasmania, you will find the beaches very bland. This part is mainly for surfers; if you surf you will be very happy! There are big rings, surf shops and bars and restaurants. Please note, the cities are not very large.

This is the second part that is really interesting and where you should spend time, the one where the 12 apostles are.

Before you go

Here we use the Australian dollar (AUD). 1AUD = 0.62 euros in November 2019.

There is wifi in a lot of cafes and restaurants but also free wifi in the city.

You can buy phone cards with a lot of internet.

At Vodaphone, for 30AUD you have unlimited calls and messages and 30GB of internet for 30 days.

I recommend that you download these applications:

– Great walks: The application of hikes in Tasmania. She will give you the list of the biggest hikes in every corner of Tasmania.

– MapsMe: The best application for up-to-date offline maps.

-Wikicamps: This application lists all camping sites (free / paid), water points, and certain places of interest. It works offline.

– Camper Mate: This application gives you access to campsites but it does not work offline.

-FuelMapsAustralia: This application lists all the petrol stations.

Transports

You can move with all types of vehicles. The roads are good.

Housing

There are accommodations everywhere, especially in very touristy places; you will therefore have no trouble finding accommodation.

If you have a motorhome or if you are camping, there are some more or less expensive places. I advise you to use the Wikicamps app. We managed to sleep with our motorhome on a somewhat hidden parking lot so as not to pay, near the 12 apostles (at Gibson steps).

Food

There are a few convenience stores and lots of restaurants. I recommend eating a Fish & Chips at the Port Campbell restaurant which is five minutes from the pier. It’s so good !

In some places there are electric bbqs available and picnic areas.

Activities

If you like to surf there are many options throughout this portion.

There are plenty of views of the beaches or the coast; here are a few:

– Bells Beach

– Aireys Inlet

– Big Hill

– Teddy’s Lookout

– Cape Patton Lookout

You may be lucky and see beautiful parrots and parakeets at Teddy’s Lookout.

Some lookouts are nice because there are several in the same place and it will make you take a short walk (on the flat, it will be accessible at all levels).

If you want to see waterfalls there are several options in Lorne. You can access Eskine Falls by car and then walk for a few minutes to see this beautiful waterfall 30 meters high (the hike from Lorne takes 6 hours round trip). There are some hiking trails, you can ask the visitor center for the map, they will all be listed on the back.

We were sold Kennet River as Koala’s The Place to Be (on Gray River Road) … we only saw one. You may be luckier than us!

There are people who started to feed the birds and now some are used to pecking in the hands of tourists. They are beautiful, there are a lot of red parrots.

You can visit and climb up Australia’s oldest lighthouse at Cape Otway. Unfortunately, it is not free.

If you arrive after opening hours (9 am-5pm), you will still be able to see the lighthouse (the road is long enough to go to the site so it would be a shame to leave empty-handed!). Next to the WC there is a path which takes you along the coast in a small forest and will give you access to viewpoints on the lighthouse.

The road to the lighthouse is lined with eucalyptus, so you can come across koalas!

This is where you go on the Great Ocean Road (unless you’re surfing!). On this side, the coast is more steep, something is happening, it’s much less bland, it’s beautiful!

– Lookout of the 12 apostles: there is a large parking lot, from there you will walk for a few minutes to reach two beautiful viewpoints. It is very popular at the end of the day for the sunset and much less in the morning. Both are to be done.

– Lookout Loch Ard Gorge: You continue the road for a few minutes and you will arrive at the Loch Ard Gorge car park. From there, you will have a circuit which will allow you to admire several beautiful coves, different rock formations and different parts of the coast. Try to do them all, they are well signposted and the trail is clean and accessible. If you do them all on foot from Razorback to Sherbrooke Estuary, allow about two hours of walking in all and it’s nice. Otherwise you can go a little further by car to do the walk in two parts.

– Port Campbell: This town is nothing very interesting but it has some nice restaurants. There is a view of the bay when you leave.

– Lookout The Arche: Continue another five minutes by car and you will reach this point of view.

– Lookout London Bridge: Continue another five minutes by car and you will reach this view.

– Lookout The Grotto: Continue another five minutes by car and you will reach this point of view. There are a few steps to reach the arch but it is very pretty.

– Bay of Martyrs: A slightly changing landscape (but not too much). There is a walk to do if you have time.

– Bay of Islands: Five minutes further.

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