Enter one of the most raved about and popular caravan and RV roadtrip routes in Australia: the Great Ocean Road. Filled with unbelievable sights and wonders, this drive makes the top of our list every time, and gives us some serious #vanlife envy.
Get ready to gaze in awe and wonder as you pass through iconic landmarks and have the chance to get up close and personal with some of the nicest views around - but, only if you know which places to stop at and see.
Lucky for you, we’ve put together a list of popular pit stops that are a must when embarking on this epic route. Keep reading to find out which spots you need to add to your bucket list:
Photo Credit: clogwog
Welcome to Australia's surf capital! Even if you don’t want to dabble in surfing yourself, Torquay is worth stopping in just to watch the brave surfers battle the treacherous ocean waves on Bells Beach.
Take a one- or two-day pit stop in the Town of Lorne. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants to keep you occupied. Plus, just a short drive outside Lorne, you’ll find Teddy’s Lookout, which offers up some of the best views of the Great Ocean Road.
Photo Credit: iv.ra
Want to see koalas in the wild? Of course you do.
Situated between Lorne and Apollo Bay, Kennett River is a small town flanked by Otway National Park. Spotting a koala in the middle of town is commonplace. Plus, there’s a caravan park here if you just can’t seem to part with your new, furry friends!
Photo Credit: TripAdvisor
Once you reach Apollo Bay, you’ll have made it about half way through the Great Ocean Road. Check out Mariners Lookout for panoramic views of the town, and take a well-deserved coffee break (the coffee’s good in Australia, trust us). Now, the bad news is: you’re half-way done. The good news is: some of the most breathtaking sights lie straight ahead of you!
Photo Credit: Y Travel Blog
Photo Credit: CNTravel
Cape Otway is Australia’s second-most-southerly point of mainland and serves as a breathtaking coastline. It’s also encompassed by the Great Otway National Park that’s filled with contrasting landscapes of rainforests, rocky cliffs and sandy beaches.
It’s beautiful and rugged with a towering white lighthouse that’s actually the oldest surviving lighthouse on the mainland, as well as the most significant.
The lighthouse was built in 1848, and was known as the “Beacon of Hope”. Many thousands of 19th century migrants who spent months traveling to Australia from destinations, such as Europe, Asia and North America, were greeted by this lighthouse. For many, Cape Otway was their first sight when arriving in Australia.
If you’re looking to soak in some history along the Great Ocean Road, this is a fantastic place to find it.
These steps take you down to the beach along a steep rock cliff, where you can get up close and personal with the ocean, and with the incredible rock formations. Make sure you know when the tide is coming in, as the ocean can start creeping up on you real quick, and you can’t exactly “climb” up the cliff.
Photo Credit: iv.ra
Photo Credit: theplanetD
Astounding views of crashing waves amongst the rugged splendour of the iconic 12 Apostles is what you can expect to find here. These fascinating limestone formations work together to create an unforgettable view you will remember for years to come.
The 12 Apostles can be viewed from the side of the road in your caravan or, if you want a closer look, you can also opt to hike to one of several closer spots and take it all in.
Try timing arriving here at either sunrise or sunset for incredible photo ops. Either way, we definitely recommend busting out the camera and taking more than a few shots here.
Photo Credit: The Aussie Nomad
One of the most popular sites along the Great Ocean Road is the site formerly known as London Bridge before its collapse in 1990. Despite this, the renamed London Arch still makes for a marvelous site. Bask in the sun and gaze upon cliffs, brilliantly coloured water, and the splendour of nature as you take in this formation created by persistent erosion.
Loch Ard Gorge
Photo Credit: I Am 12 Apostles Coast & Hinterland
This loveable spot is just a three-minute drive from the Twelve Apostles, and it’s not something you want to miss out on. The gorge boosts a smooth bay and clear blue water that’s enclosed by two, yellow-washed cliffs.
There’s even an intriguing history behind the name of the famous landmark. In 1878, a large ship with the name “Loch Ard” beached nearby after a long journey from England. Sadly, only two of the 54 passengers survived. The two remaining rock pillars have been named Tom and Eva, respectfully, after the two survivors of the 19th century shipwreck.
Photo Credit: Flickr
Another popular tourist attraction, The Grotto is situated in the Shipwreck Coast, which stretches from Cape Otway all the way to Port Fairy. This place is essentially a sinkhole where limestone cliff has detached and fallen away to meet with the receding cliff line.
This mystical place might very well be one of the most enchanting rock formations in Australia with its seemingly welcoming entrance that invites a feeling of peace and sanctuary. You can view this pit stop from afar, or be adventurous and journey down the nearby flight of stairs, allowing you to get up close and personal with enchanting sites of the coast and ever-stretching ocean.
While Port Campbell doesn’t mark the end of the Great Ocean Road, it marks the end of this blog. The Great Ocean Road actually continues on and finishes at Port Fairy, but Port Campbell’s close proximity to Port Campbell National Park (where the 12 Apostles and many other landmarks are located), makes it a popular rest stop for travelers. Spend a night here to relax and digest all the magnificent sights you’ve seen. Oh, and enjoy a flat white in one of the marina cafes to wrap up the most epic of all roadtrips.
Photo Credit: iv.ra
Wherever your adventures take you, there will always be unlevel and rocky roads - especially in Australia! Make sure you have a set of Lynx Levelers handy before you embark on your epic roadtrip. They can be found on Amazon or at Walmart in North America, and at WallCann in Australia.