There’s nothing more exciting than grabbing your best friend, winding down the windows on a pearler of a day and hitting the coast for a good old fashioned road trip. Add one of the world’s most scenic coastlines and you’re set.
We speak of the Great Ocean Road; you know, Victoria’s eastern coastline where weaving in and out of the rainforest to pristine white-sand beaches is all in a day’s work. One minute you’re standing underneath a full flowing waterfall at Erskine Falls, the next, ducking out of overhead swells at the famed Bells Beach.
It’s truly one for the bucket list.
So, whether you’re a local revisiting or a tourist gracing our shores for the first time, read on for must-visit spots when heading down to The Great Ocean Road this year.
A cute, quaint local hangout where fresh seafood dominates the menu. Be sure to try the fish of the day, caught locally and served fresh with delicious hand-cut chips.
RACV Torquay Resort
This 5-star hotel is the perfect retreat for your first night away. With luxurious and spacious rooms overlooking the renowned RACV Torquay golf course, the balconies are the perfect spot to perch with a glass of vino in hand.
Rejuvenate at One Spa with a variety of remedial and relaxation massages and more.
Rise and grind! An early start (and quick trip) to the world-famous Bells Beach is a must-see, where the famous Rip Curl Pro is held. Like all things in nature, the swell is totally weather-dependent. One day you could see professionals carving waves, the next the water could be as flat as a puddle. Nevertheless, Bells Beach should definitely be on your list.
The Bottle of Milk
A great spot for some proper coffee (Seven Seeds Coffee Roasters) and delicious, gourmet burgers. It has a distinctive hipster feel, much like a Fitzroy-but-by-the-beach vibe. You simply can’t go wrong with the ‘What Everybody Gets’ burger.
MoVida, the popular Spanish stalwart, has been loved by Melburnians for over ten years, but now, Frank Camorra and his MoVida team bring their popular tapas meals to the shores of The Great Ocean Road.
Nestle in by the window as you watch the rolling waves of nearby Lorne front beach as you delve into this truly unique menu. We love the traditional Spanish Croqueta’s!
Set your GPS to Erskine Falls, an hour drive from Torquay, and take the short stroll to the waterfall. Instead of viewing from the platform, hike upstream over the rocks and flowing water, where only locals know. Here you can stand underneath the rushing falls.
La Perouse Lorne
This French-inspired B&B is completely design-driven, decked out with thoughtful details throughout. It’s set aside in a quiet street off Lorne’s main strip, and is a cosy stay should you be looking to sit back and unwind in this coastal Victorian town.
The Twelve Apostles
If you can wake early enough, it’s worth hitting the road to Port Campbell, a two-hour drive from Lorne, where you will see the dramatic sunrise over the Twelve Apostles – one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations. The jaw-dropping view with soft, orange light that illuminates the Apostles is a sight not to be missed!
Loch Ard Gorge
Just a few minutes up the road, the Loch and Gorge is a stunning, secluded beach worth spending the afternoon at. Stand on top of the cliff and you’ll be amazed at the sheer size of the cliffs and the narrow opening out to sea.
As you head back to Melbourne, visiting one of Australia’s best-rated restaurants is a must! If you’re a food connoisseur, a trip to the world-renowned Brae will have you dining in food heaven. It was, after all, voted 44 Best Restaurant in the World in 2017.
A trip to Brae, however, does require some careful planning: be sure to book a few weeks in advance to avoid disappointment.
The best time of the year to visit The Great Ocean Road is from November to March, during the warmer months. Also, heading down during spring will have you see the famed Instaworthy canola fields!
For more information, head to Visit The Great Ocean here