Must-Stop Places on the Great Ocean Road 

As one of Australia’s most iconic tourist destinations, the Great Ocean Road has been captivating visitors from all over the world for generations. But where are the must-see stops on this 243-kilometre road?

The Great Ocean Road winds its way through some of the most stunning landscapes Australia has to offer, with pristine beaches, towering cliffs, and ancient rainforests all vying for attention along the way. As we’ll see, there are plenty of beautiful places to explore along the way.

If you’re planning a trip to this part of the world, we’ve rounded up the top ten places to visit along Great Ocean Road to guide your route. Whether you’re into breathtaking views, historic landmarks, or local attractions, there’s something for everyone on this famous stretch of highway.

At Walk91, we’re passionate about bringing visitors to this gorgeous part of southern Australia through our walking tours of the Great Ocean Road. Whether you’re looking for a shorter trail or you’re ready to hike the whole route, we help bring your walking dreams to life.

While we will be focussing on the best places to stop along the Great Ocean Road from a driving perspective, you can always get in touch if you want to talk about taking a walk. As locals who love this route, we have plenty of recommendations for you to check out. 

1. The Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road

Perhaps the most famous attraction on the Great Ocean Road, the Twelve Apostles are a series of towering limestone stacks that rise out of the ocean along the coastline. Despite the name, there are only eight stacks left standing, but they are no less impressive for it. 

The best time to visit is at sunrise or sunset when the light creates a dramatic effect on the rock formations. If you’re planning on spending a bit of time in this gorgeous spot, take a look at our 12 Apostles Accommodation Guide for advice on where to stay.

If you’re keen to explore this area on foot, check out our 3-day Twelve Apostles Walk for a walk on the wild side of Australia. Starting in Aire River and ending at the spectacular Twelve Apostles, encounter this landmark at the end of an epic walk.

2. Loch Ard Gorge, 12 Apostles Coast on the Great Ocean Road

Named after the ship that ran aground here in 1878, Loch Ard Gorge is a stunning natural feature that is well worth a visit. Several walking trails around the gorge offer spectacular views of the rugged coastline and the turquoise waters of the Southern Ocean. 

Be sure to check out the impressive natural archway, known as London Bridge, which was partially destroyed by erosion in 1990.

3. Cape Otway Lighthouse on the Great Ocean Road

Located at the southernmost point of the Great Ocean Road, the Cape Otway Lighthouse is a must-see for history buffs and nature lovers alike. 

The lighthouse was first built in 1848 to guide ships safely around the treacherous coastline, and today it is one of the oldest working lighthouses in Australia. 

Take a guided tour to learn about the lighthouse’s fascinating history and take in the stunning views from the top of the tower.

For more information about attractions in Otway, check out our blog on Five Things to Do in the Otways

4. Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road 

If you’re looking for a place to relax and unwind, Apollo Bay is the perfect destination. This picturesque seaside town is nestled at the foot of the Otway Ranges and offers plenty of opportunities for swimming, surfing, and fishing. 

Take a stroll along the waterfront or browse the local shops and cafes to get a taste of the laid-back coastal lifestyle.

5. Bells Beach on the Great Ocean Road 

Known the world over as a premier surfing destination, Bells Beach is a must-visit spot for anyone with an interest in catching waves. This famous beach is home to some of the best waves in Australia and has played host to the Rip Curl Pro surfing competition for over 50 years. 

Even if you’re not a surfer yourself, it’s still worth a visit to watch the experts in action and soak up the relaxed beach vibes.

6. The Redwoods, Otways on the Great Ocean Road

For a unique perspective on the rainforest, head to Otway Fly Treetop Adventures. This eco-tourism attraction offers a range of activities, including zip-lining through the canopy, walking along the elevated walkway, and exploring the interactive displays in the visitor center. 

It’s a great way to get up close and personal with the flora and fauna of this ancient rainforest. If you’d prefer something a little closer to the ground, you can also discover the landscape on an enchanted forest trail.

First planted for experimental purposes in 1936 by Victorian foresters, these native Californian trees have thrived in Australian soil and grown into the mystical forest you see today.

Easily accessible on foot from the car park but the roads surrounding Beech Forest are not suitable for large vehicles or caravans.

7. Port Campbell National Park on the Great Ocean Road 

Home to some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in Australia, Port Campbell National Park is a must-visit destination on the Great Ocean Road. The park is home to several iconic landmarks, including the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, and the London Arch. 

Take your time exploring the many walking trails and scenic lookouts, and be sure to keep an eye out for native wildlife like kangaroos and echidnas.

8. The Grotto on the Great Ocean Road 

Located just a short distance from the Twelve Apostles, The Grotto is a natural rock formation that offers a unique photo opportunity. The Grotto is a large sinkhole that has been eroded by the ocean over time, creating a natural archway that frames the stunning ocean views. 

You can access The Grotto via a short walk from the nearby car park, and it’s worth visiting during low tide to see the water cascading down the rocks.

9. Warrnambool on the Great Ocean Road 

Located at the end of the Great Ocean Road, Warrnambool is a vibrant coastal town that offers a range of attractions for visitors. The town is home to several historic buildings and landmarks, including Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village and the Warrnambool Breakwater. 

You can also visit Logan’s Beach to see southern right whales during their winter breeding season or explore the local markets and galleries to pick up some unique souvenirs.

Logan’s Beach, Warrnambool (Source | License)

10. Lorne on the Great Ocean Road 

Another popular coastal town along the Great Ocean Road is Lorne. This charming town offers a range of activities for visitors, including surfing, swimming, and hiking in the nearby Otway Ranges. 

Take a walk along the scenic Lorne Pier or explore the many cafes and boutique shops that line the main street. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try your hand at rock climbing or abseiling at nearby Teddy’s Lookout.

Whether you’re interested in natural landmarks, historic attractions, or coastal towns, there’s something for everyone along this iconic stretch of highway. So why not plan your own Great Ocean Road adventure today and discover the magic of this truly breathtaking destination?

If you’re ready to start planning your adventure by foot, get in touch with our team for advice and an array of trails to choose from. We can’t wait to welcome you to the Great Ocean Road and all the wonders that await you here.