Accommodation Guide for Great Ocean Road Holidays

Figuring out where to stay along the Great Ocean Road can be confusing and challenging, but also exciting! There are so many locations you could stop and spend the night along the 243-kilometer stretch, with countless options to choose from. You can choose from campsites, self-catering accommodation options and luxury lodges…with everything in between. To help you, we’ve created this accommodation guide for Great Ocean Road holidays based on the town locations we recommend you stop in if you’re doing the Great Ocean Walk.

While we focus on the Great Ocean Walk, these are great places to stay for Great Ocean Road drivers, too. In fact, almost all of the accommodation options — except for campsites — are away from the walking trail. That’s why we transport bags between stops and offer a transport service for our walkers to reach their accommodations each evening and to start their walk again the next day.

So, whether you’re walking with us or you’re driving the Great Ocean Road, these are all great places to stay!

If you’re considering doing the Great Ocean Walk, we’d love to help you plan your journey. We’re a locally-owned business that’s been helping folks enjoy the walk that we helped build back in 2002. Check out our Customised Great Ocean Walk Small Group Tours and feel free to get in touch with any questions at all.

Accommodations on the Great Ocean Road

If you’re doing the full Great Ocean Road drive, you’ll likely be looking first for places to stay in Torquay, Anglesea, or Lorne. Those are the three more popular towns along the beginning of the route. The Great Ocean Walk starts in Apollo Bay, so we have lots of local recommendations for Apollo Bay listed below. However, if you have chosen a busy weekend to start walking and Apollo Bay is booked out, some walkers stay in Lorne and drive to Apollo Bay early in the morning.

For the Great Ocean Road, there are plenty of accommodation options in each of these three locations. We always recommend you consider the locally-run B&Bs and smaller hotels wherever you can. Since we’re a locally-owned small business, we like to give back to the community and ensure that the tourism investment here benefits our own communities.

Another great option to consider is self-catering accommodation. There are so many websites available to find your perfect stay based on your group size and needs, like Airbnb and Booking.com, which are easy to navigate and choose from.

Whatever you choose for yourself, at Walk91 we like to recommend places with character that make your visit all the more special. We work with outstanding hosts who prepare wholesome local food and offer a comfortable bed and a warm welcome. It doesn’t have to be luxurious to be the best in our book!

Where to Stay in Apollo Bay

Before you begin your Great Ocean Road walk, we recommend the following accommodations in Apollo Bay. Since Walk91 is based in Apollo Bay and this is the official start with the Great Ocean Walk, we’re happy to collect you from these accommodations (or any other of your choice in Apollo Bay) to commence your Great Ocean Walk. 

A white van is parked on a dirt path beside a winding forest road lined with tall trees and eucalyptus. The van has text promoting the Great Ocean Walk.

And if you want to base yourself in Apollo Bay for the duration of your walk we do offer a bus service where you will be safely transferred back to Apollo Bay each evening. Each leg of the walk starts at the endpoint of the previous day’s walk so that the walk is continuous. The bus itinerary starts weekly if you want to complete the whole walk in 7 days, but there is the option to walk  6 Days, 5 Days, 4 Days, or 3 Days -hike the cape, or 3 Days 12 Apostles Walk.

Most of these accommodation options are right in the heart of Apollo Bay and great places to stay along the Great Ocean Road itself.

Bright living room with white brick walls, a sofa, a TV, a wood stove, and a dining table. Large windows and glass doors bring in natural light. Open layout includes a kitchen area with white cabinetry.
  • Salty Cottage: This lovely Airbnb is in Martin Street, behind the main street and local supermarket – so it’s in a fabulous but quiet location away from the main street. The owner Trish has lived in Apollo Bay for most of her life and is the manager of the Cape Otway Lighthouse, so she knows the area very well! The cottage has 2 bedrooms with 3 beds and a bathroom and living room/kitchen. This is a great place to stay if you are staying for a few days as it has a home from home feel!
  • Captains Quarters: A nice and quiet location at the back of town, but just a 5-minute walk to the main street and harbor or a 10-minute walk to the bus stop. Heather is a local, whose husband is a retired crayfisherman. This accommodation has a double room upstairs and a twin bedroom downstairs, with a shared kitchen and bathroom. 
  • The Waterfront Motel: This motel is on the main street and opposite the bus stop, so perfect for those using v-line and carrying their own bags. It is also a great location to walk to the beach, as it is just across the road! This motel has some great reviews and Deb its owner has lived in Apollo Bay for many years.
  • The Beachcombers Motel: This motel is often a little cheaper than the others on the main strip as it is a few streets behind the main street, but it is a quiet place to stay, and the owners Chris and Alison will always make you feel welcome! Alison has taught our kids in the local school and has volunteered her time coaching netball at our local club, and Chris loves his footy, so they are fun to chat with.
  • Captains at the Bay B&B: This motel is 4 star and in a great location also behind the main street. Anna and Duncan serve breakfast in the breakfast room and it is a really comfortable place to stay.
  • The Eco YHA: The YHA is a great budget option here in town, with lovely lounge areas and kitchens to prepare meals. It also has a roof garden which is nice on a sunny afternoon watching the sunset. It is not just a place for young backpackers to stay. Many of our older walkers stay here too, so it has a nice mix of people if you feel like socialising!

Where to Stay in Cape Otway

As you continue along the Great Ocean Road, Great Otway National Park offers extraordinary opportunities to enjoy the flora and fauna of this region. From towering eucalyptus trees to lush fern-covered rainforest, from breathtaking beaches to wet gullies. This stretch of the Great Ocean Walk is absolutely stunning.

A kangaroo stands on a wooden path surrounded by dense greenery and twisted trees.

Accommodations in the park are rare, but we recommend The Great Ocean Ecolodge for a unique experience. The Ecolodge is a really comfortable building made of mud brick, and the grounds are really pretty with roaming Kangaroos exploring the grassland in the evening.

While you’re at The Great Ocean Ecolodge, connect with the very knowledgeable staff to ask questions and learn more about our wonderful part of Victoria. The Conservation Centre’s work helps preserve our precious ecosystem for the future.

Also, ‘Wildlife Wonders’ will be opening soon, created by Lizzie and Shane (the Ecolodge owners), so make sure you visit this great new attraction just outside of Apollo Bay which will help raise much-needed research funds for our wildlife in the area.

If you’d prefer to camp, there are several campsites you could choose from around the Great Otway National Park. But you must book your campsite in advance to avoid being moved along by the Park Rangers! We have more information on camping below.

For this stretch of the Great Ocean Road, most drivers will opt to stay in Apollo Bay and then carry on driving to Port Campbell. But, if you choose to do the Great Ocean Walk which runs alongside the road and winds along the beaches and coastline, instead of getting a glimpse or maybe even skipping this national park altogether, you can truly enjoy this beautiful escape into nature and even stay here for a night or two along your journey!

Camping Options on the Great Ocean Walk

You can certainly choose to camp during the Great Ocean Walk, instead of booking into accommodations. This allows you to stay closer to the trail itself each evening. If that’s of interest to you, there are several official camping locations along the Great Ocean Road walking route. 

Johanna Great Ocean Walk campsite

Camping options along the Great Ocean Road are located at:

  • Shelly Beach
  • Elliot Ridge
  • Blanket Bay
  • Parker Hill
  • Cape Otway
  • Aire River
  • Johanna Beach
  • Devils Kitchen
  • Ryan’s Den

Note that you must book your sites with Parks Victoria in advance of your hike. You cannot show up to a site without a booking. If you would like help booking a walk which includes camping and accommodation please contact us.

Also, some sites are spilt up between drive-in or group sites, and if you are walking, and without a car, you can book the smaller quieter ‘hike-in’ campsites.

The Great Ocean Walk ends at the iconic 12 Apostles, so some of our guests opt to return to Apollo Bay once they complete the journey. If you’d prefer to stay in Port Campbell for a night or two after you complete the walk, we’re happy to recommend local accommodations there that you’ll enjoy. Just let us know when you’re booking.

The Great Ocean Road continues on to Warrnambool, where the journey ends for those who choose to drive.

If you’re interested in the Great Ocean Walk and seeing much more of this stunning stretch of coastline than you could from a fast-moving car, we would love to help you plan your journey. Take a look at our 3-day Cape hike for inspiration or jump right in with our 7-day complete Great Ocean Walk. We’re always happy to help answer any questions, so feel free to contact us any time.