Once you are done exploring the beautiful city of Melbourne, it is time to get out and see the countryside. The Great Ocean Road is a 243km stretch of road along the south-east coast of Australia. This Australian National Heritage is visited regularly by tourists and locals as it can easily be explored in a day. If you are wanting to get out and spend some more time at each of the locations, then we would recommend stretching it out a little to the number of days that suits your schedule. We explored this beautiful part of the world over two days and will share all of the beautiful points we stopped off at during that time. If you are wanting to experience the raw, natural beauty of Victoria then this is your Great Ocean Road Itinerary, two days of unforgettable adventures await!  

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    Great Ocean Road Itinerary two days pinterest image     The Great Ocean Road trip itinerary starts at Torquay and ends in Allansford following the route B100. It is commonly driven west, from Melbourne to Adelaide and that is the route we will be taking you through today. In this post, we will be taking you on the journey from Torquay to Port Fairy, towns on either side of the start and finish of the Great Ocean Road. We will give you both camping and other accommodation options at different spots along the route so you can choose where you would like to stay.   Included in this guide are the following sights. These will all be discussed in greater detail later in the article. Day One Day Two
  • Gibson Steps
  • The 12 Apostles
  • Loch Ard Gorge
  • The Arch
  • London Bridge
  • Bay of Martyrs
  • Bay of Islands
  We will also discuss in greater detail
  • How to travel the Great Ocean Road
  • A brief history of the Great Ocean Road
  • How to prepare for your Great Ocean Road trip
 

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Great Ocean Road Itinerary – Two Days Along the Coast

 

Great Ocean Road Itinerary

Day One of the Great Ocean Road

This spot hasn’t quite made it onto the famous Great Ocean Road route, however, we think it deserves a place in this post. The small town of Lorne marks the start of our Great Ocean Road trip, with plenty of cute cafes, good restaurants and stunning cliff views nearby. The beautiful views from Split Point Lighthouse and surrounding beaches should be admired by everyone. During the winter months, it is possible to see whales out at sea as this is a popular migration route, so make sure you’ve got your binoculars!  
Split Point Lighthouse
The fascinating Split Point Lighthouse in Lorne.
   

Sights to See in Day One of the Great Ocean Road

Great Otway National Park The Great Otway National Park covers a large area of the Great Ocean Road, from Torquay to Princetown. Full of incredible waterfalls, this spot is perfect if you have more time and are into your hiking.  You can check out more walks in the National Park here.   Erskine Falls Walking Track The Erskine Falls walking track leads you away from the Great Ocean and up through a winding forest to one of the most popular waterfalls in the Otways National Park. The road then winds back down into the gully where you will enter the car park for Erskine Falls. From here, you can decide whether you want to view the 30m falls from above or below. There are stairs leading down to the top lookout which takes around 5 minutes from the car park. Climb a further 240 steps to be rewarded with the cool fine mist and the view of one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the area. Take the 4km walk to Blanket Leaf Picnic Area for a pleasant place to eat your lunch under shelter or shade. There are toilet facilities here and if you choose to bring the car there is also parking. For all the information you need to know for your visit to Erskine Falls, read our full guide over here.  

No camping, dogs or fires are allowed at Erskine Falls or Blanket Leaf Picnic Area.

 
the Erskine Falls waterfall view platform
The jungle vibes of the Erskine falls are a complete contrast to the Great Ocean Road.
  Teddy’s Lookout Admire the start of the Great Ocean Road from above at Teddy’s Lookout. A man-made walkway has been built down to the cliffs to allow visitors to enjoy the scenic views from above. If you are visiting in the Winter months, look out for the southern right whales as the migrate along Victoria’s coastline. There is parking here and a picnic spot under shelter.  
The Great Ocean Road from Teddy's Lookout
The road that lies ahead, 243km of coastal beauty.
  Accommodation near Lorne Luxury Lorne Seaview Terrace House looks like it is the perfect holiday home for your stay in Lorne. Book your stay at Lorne Seaview Terrace House, here. Mid Range Lorne World is a beautiful beachside apparthotel located near to Split Point Lighthouse. Book your stay at Lorne World, here. Budget Lorne Coachman Inn is a budget accommodation in Lorne, near to Split Point Lighthouse. Book your stay at Lorne Coachman Inn, here.   Camping Near Lorne Personally, we like to travel as much as we can by wild camping. We can recommend using the Wiki Camp app for both sights in Australia and camping spots. Camping along the Great Ocean Road can be a lot trickier and there are signs at every spot saying you can be fined for camping there. However, if you leave the B100 road, you will most likely come across spots for camping wild. It’s up to you whether you are willing to risk the fine or find a campsite to stay for the night. Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park is an option for a campsite near Split Point Lighthouse. You can book your stay at Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park, here.   Places to Eat in Lorne The Bottle of Milk – Selling a range of breakfast, lunch and dinner at a reasonable price. Movida Lorne – A Spanish Restaurant selling a selection of Tapas on the Great Ocean Road Pizza Pizza – As the name states, this restaurant serves Italian food and a pizza here will set you back $15-$20 depending on your choice of toppings.    

Also Read –The “Joys” of Camping (and Why We Love It!)

   

Day Two of the Great Ocean Road

Apollo Bay is a small town on the great ocean road route, perfect for a food stop or to stay the night. This beach town also has clothes shops for the fashion fanatics among us, open during the day and a selection of restaurants and takeaways open for food in the evening.  

Sights to See in Day Two of the Great Ocean Road

Gibson Steps Following on from Apollo Bay, the next spot worth stopping at on the Great Ocean Road is Gibson Steps. Here, there is an accessible viewing platform from the car park, giving a panoramic view of the waves crashing off of the rugged coastline.  
 
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  For access to the beach itself, there are 86 steps that lead you down to the beach. These aren’t always open, as at high tide the waves come perilously close to the cliff. It is not advisable to access the beach itself when the tide is too close as the waves are strong and fast.  
The steep steps down to the Gibson Steps beach.
Take care on your way down as those waves get rough!
  This is definitely a beautiful spot for some photos, so spend some time here enjoy watching the waves crash on the shore.  

From Gibson steps to London Bridge, drones are not permitted due to the helicopter tours in this area.

    The 12 Apostles The most well known and popular stop of the Great Ocean Road situated in Port Campbell National Park. The 12 Apostles are collections of limestone stacks, towering 45 metres high out at sea, with a 70 metre cliff looking over them. Since the apostles were first spotted, 5 have collapsed, leaving only 8 of these stunning arts of nature out at sea.  
Sunset over the twelve apostles
A golden sky over the stunning natural wonder of the 12 Apostles.
  The 12 Apostles is the first of two spots where you can witness penguins returning to the shore after a day in the ocean. This usually happens after sun down. There are toilets and a small cafe in the 12 Apostles Visitor Centre across the road, with the facility to fill up water there as well. Read our complete guide to the Twelve Apostles here for all the information you will need.   The 12 Apostles Gourmet Food Trail is also popular among tourists in this area. A 70km look of cheese, chocolates, whiskey and berries, to name a few. You can check out some of these award winning businesses below.     Loch Ard Gorge Just along the road from the 12 Apostles is the scenic spot, the Loch Ard Gorge. This isolated bay area is a beautiful spot to explore at low tide, being sheltered from the winds and protected from the harshest of waves. Head here early and you will have the place to yourself.  
Loch Ard Gorge beach
The tranquil Loch Ard Gorge beach after daybreak.
  The Arch The Arch is a naturally formed rock formation sitting out at sea with waves crashing through it. The natural phenomenon stands 8 metres tall, dwarfed by the size of the waves rolling in from the sea. It is easy to understand how these rock formations are created when you see the power of the ocean below.   London Bridge Pre-1990, this seriously impressive sea stack was connected to land by a double-spanning bridge. Since then, the power of the ocean has caused the first bridge to collapse, isolating it from the mainland. This is the second spot where you can witness penguins returning to the shore, the first being the 12 Apostles. Although the number of penguins is smaller, only 80-100 birds, the viewing platform is closer to the action.  
A view of London Bridge
What was once the mainland connected London Bridge is now another Sea Stack.
  Bay of Martyrs An area of dark, history for the Great Ocean Road, the Bay of Martyrs is also known as Massacre Bay and Massacre Point. This is down to the folklore of a genocidal event where European settlers killed a large group of Karrae-Wurrong Aboriginal men here. The stories say that they were ran off of the cliffs at this point, whilst a large group of women and children died in a swamp nearby. However, there is no written evidence of this actually happening and lots of other theories for the stories as well. Most people visit the Bay of Martyrs for the fantastic view of the sea stacks littering the shoreline of the southern coast of Victoria. You have now entered the Bay of Islands Coastal Park.  
A view of the Bay of Martyrs.
The hidden views from off-the-beaten paths along the Great Ocean Road.
  Bay of Islands The final stop on our Great Ocean Road two day itinerary is at the stunning sea inlet known as the Bay of Islands. This is the grand finale of your tour and perfect spot to watch the sunset on your Great Ocean Road adventure. The Bay of Islands is an area of coastline with dozens of limestone stacks littering the water. Over time, these stacks form and collapse from the rugged coastline surrounding this area. The measure of time and the realisation of how insignificant we are as a species to this planet is a truly humbling experience. Events on this planet happen over a much broader time than we are able to witness with our eyes, and that is something truly beautiful.  
Stunning views of the Sea Stacks
The size of the waves along here are phenomenal.
    Accommodation near Apollo Bay  Luxury – If you are travelling as a group, how about booking a stay at Bay Retreat and stay in a holiday home during your Great Ocean Road Trip. Book your stay at Bay Retreat, here. Mid-range Rayville Boat Houses looks like the perfect place to break up your Great Ocean Road Trip. With free kayak rental and log wood provided for a cosy fire in the winter months, what a perfect way to end the day. Book your stay at Bay Retreat, here. Budget The Apollo is a budget friendly accommodation in the heart of Apollo Bay. With onsite parking and close to shops, how could you say no?! Book your stay at The Apollo, here.   Apollo Bay Camping Beaucamp Falls Reserve is a free camp ground north of Apollo Bay. By staying here, you can also take a walk and see these falls in amongst the nature. If you are looking to pay for facilities and stay closer to Apollo Bay, Apollo Bay Recreation Reserve and Camping Ground is located by the sea and only a 5 minute walk to the shops.   Places to Eat in Apollo Bay Dragon Bay Inn – Offers a selection of Asian foods to eat in their restaurant or to take away. Great Ocean Road Brewhouse – Warm yourself by the fire at this dog-friendly beer garden. Casalinga – A delicious Italian restaurant with views of the bay.    

How to Travel the Great Ocean Road

The rugged coastline of southern Victoria can be explored by self driving, or by taking a tour bus. In this post, we will be delving deeper and giving our own opinion on the self drive camper van option. During the summer months, this road will be extremely busy. We toured the route in Winter and it was a lot quieter. Here is some information regarding tour buses if this is the option you would rather take.   Great Ocean Road Tour Bus
  • A one Day Great Ocean Road and 12 Apostles Tour will set you back $105, leaving at 7am from Melbourne and returning by 9pm. You can check out the itinerary and more information on this Great Ocean Road one day tour, here.
  • If you decide to spend longer on the Great Ocean Road, maybe the Great Ocean Road two day tour is the one for you. This tour will cost you $225 and leaves Melbourne at 7am, returning at 7pm. This tour only operates on Mondays and Thursdays. For more information on the two day itinerary for this Great Ocean road tour, click here.
  Buy a Campervan If you want to explore the Great Ocean Road at a more leisurely pace, buying a campervan might be your best bet! We did this with our little Hiace, Roxy, and made the most of this epic coastal route. We now also live in this van, saving thousands in accommodation costs. Read our full guide to buying a campervan in Australia for all the information you will need.   Campervan Rental We would recommend that if this is how you choose to travel too, that you stock up on petrol and food. When you hit the touristy areas of the Great Ocean Road, you will no longer come across a cheap Aldi, Coles or Woolworths, it will all be more expensive shops so if you are travelling on a budget, be sure to be prepared. Same goes for petrol, fill your tank before you hit the tourist trail, the prices sky-rocket.  

Here are some camper van rental companies in Australia.

 

If you are wanting to buy a campervan, check out the below links.

 
Touring the Great Ocean Road in our campervan
The greatest way to explore the Great Ocean Road, by campervan.
   

Also Read – Free Stuff Melbourne – Cheap things to do in Melbourne

   

History of the Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road was built between 1919 and 1932 by returned soldiers from World War 1, in memory of those soldiers who did not return home. Over the years it has allowed many locals and tourists to enjoy the beautiful scenery that Australia has to offer.  The 243km stretch of road is one of Victoria’s busiest tourist attractions and once you have finished exploring the beautiful city of Melbourne, this is the next place you should visit.    

Also Read – Trivia Melbourne – Interesting Melbourne Facts

   

Before You Leave for Your Great Ocean Road Road Trip

Before you set off on your Great Ocean Road two day adventure, there are a few things you will need to get sorted, These include what to pack, what insurance to get and how to get around the Great Ocean Road.  

Download our FREE full guide to arriving in Melbourne and getting yourself set up. This includes how to setup a bank account, superannuation and so much more!

 

Applying for an Australian Visa

If you have yet to leave for Australia then this is a section of interest for you. There are a LOT of different visa options for people arriving into Australia, from tourist visas to permanent residence visas. The most common visas, however, are the 3-month tourist visa and the Working Holiday Visa. If you are only visiting Australia for a short period of time then a tourist visa is your best option. These are easily obtained and relatively cheap, costing roughly $140AUD, and allow you to stay in the country for up to 12months. These can be applied for on the government website here.   If you wish to work and travel in Australia, a working holiday visa is your best option. These cost around $480AUD and allow you to stay in Australia for up to 12months, whilst working and earning money to travel. This visa also gives you the opportunity to extend your stay in Australia by up to 24months by working in certain job sectors.   For all of the information you need to know about the Australian Working Holiday Visa, read our full guide over here.     

What Clothes to Pack for the Great Ocean Road

As the name suggests, the Great Ocean Road runs along the sea. Therefore, if you are visiting in winter, there can be a bitter sea-breeze. Make sure to bring layers with you, as when the sun is down, it is bitterly cold but as soon as the sun hits, you could be in a t-shirt! The weather can be very mixed at this time of year so make sure you also have a waterproof with you. We would also recommend that you bring a jacket, boots, hat, scarf, and gloves so that you can enjoy the beautiful scenery without thinking out getting out of the cold. If you decide to explore the Great Ocean Road in the warmer months, you may consider bringing your swimwear with you to cool off in the sea. Be prepared for the hot temperatures Australia can experience and don’t forget your suncream! As there is a lot of walking involved in your Great Ocean Road two day adventure, comfortable shoes are the most important item to bring.  

If you need some advice on what clothing to pack, check out our packing guides for all seasons over here.

  You don’t want to forget your camera when you visit Australia and especially when you are driving along the Great Ocean Road. We brought our Canon camera, GoPro and Drone with us on this trip. Bear in mind that drones are not permitted between Gibson Steps and London Bridge due to helicopters flying in this area. You can check out what other travel tech we bring with us on our adventures here.  
The beautiful coastline of the Great Ocean Road
Rugged coastline for miles and miles along the Great Ocean Road.
   

What Food to Pack for the Great Ocean Road

When it comes to food, there are some restaurants in the towns on the Great Ocean Road. Some of these are listed below. We would recommend that if you are planning on cooking your own food or even for buying snacks, that you stock up at one of the larger supermarkets (such as Aldi and Coles) in Torquay as you won’t reach another until the end of the Great Ocean Road in Warrnambool. For cooking inspiration on your road trip, check out our recipes for delicious meals on the go.  

What Insurance to Get for Your Australia Trip

Insurance is one of the most important purchases you can make, when preparing for any trip. Healthcare in Australia is expensive and it’s not worth breaking the bank over an accident. For hassle free travel insurance, we highly recommend World Nomads Travel Insurance. These guys provide excellent cover, customer care and worldwide support, all for a very reasonably cost. Get your quote for travel insurance right here.  
A view of Split Point beach from above
Plan ahead for this trip of a lifetime.
   

Also Read – Free Camping Great Ocean Road – A Complete Guide

   

Download our FREE full guide to arriving in Melbourne and getting yourself set up. This includes how to setup a bank account, superannuation and so much more!

  So there you have it, your ultimate Great Ocean Road itinerary, two days along some of the most spectacular coastline in Australia. If you visited the Great Ocean Road yourself and enjoyed your trip then let us know in the comments section below. What was your favourite sight? How did you tour the Great Ocean Road? Where did you end up sleeping? Tell your fellow adventurers in the comments below. Also remember to share this with your friends and family that you are going to tour with. Sharing is caring and we want to inspire as many people as we can to visit this unbelievable part of the world. If you are planning an Australia trip soon then check out our other Australia content right here. Come and find us on social media to see where we are currently exploring. Tag us in your photos from the Great Ocean Road and we will share them with the rest of our community of explorers and backpackers.     Read Now:  

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This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Suzy

    I loved this post. I drove the great Ocean Road a few years ago in a day and we had a wonderful time. Now we are planning a Big Lap of Australia and cannot wait to take our time exploring it in more detail with our family. I didn’t know there was camping in Apollo Bay but think we will stay there during our trip 🙂

    1. highlands2hammocks

      It is such an incredible place! Glad you found it helpful and I can’t wait to see your photos from your next trip.

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