Things to Do Great Ocean Road

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From Torquay to Warrnambool, there are plenty of things to do along the Great Ocean Road including surfing, dining, viewing natural wonders and wildlife and staying in picturesque villages along the way.

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Take a Journey of a Lifetime

The Great Ocean Road region is more than a drive, it’s a journey everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime. Against a backdrop of dramatic coastal scenery, ancient rainforests, fertile volcanic plains and legendary surf beaches, you can create your own voyage of discovery.

  • The Great Ocean Road region has many secrets up its sleeve. Slow down, stay a few days and take the road less travelled
  • Tick off the big ones – Torquay, Great Ocean Walk, Twelve Apostles, whale-watching at Warrnambool and driving Turton’s Track – and map out your own unique adventure
Things to do Great Ocean Road - viewing natural wonders

Visit Great Ocean Road’s Natural Wonders

Nature has endowed this region with more than its fair share of natural assets – ocean, forest, waterfalls, volcanic plains and coastal scenery.


  • Come for the Twelve Apostles and stay for a dramatic sunrise vista or a chopper ride
  • Chase an Instagram-snap at Loch Ard Gorge, London Bridge or the Bay of Islands Coastal Park
  • Witness the relentless power of the Southern Ocean as it continues to shape this stunning coastline


The Great Otway National Park is dripping with waterfalls.

  • Trek through age-old rainforests to sparkling, shaded waterfalls. Ogle Erskine Falls near Lorne, take a peek at picture-perfect Beauchamp Falls near Beech Forest or stake out a picnic place at Hopkins Falls near Warrnambool


  • Day trip through fertile farmland on vast volcanic plains
  • Take in a sublime sunset from the rim of an inactive crater at Tower Hill
Things to do Great Ocean Road - staying at picturesque villages

Stay a While at Picturesque Villages


From surf-centric Torquay to historic, harbour-side Portland, the coastline hums with seaside stop-off places. Port Fairy is spot on for old school charm, and just a beach or two away from large-as-life Warrnambool with its whale watching and maritime history.

  • Scale the lighthouse at laid-back Aireys Inlet
  • Head to neighbouring Anglesea’s brilliant beach and boardwalk
  • Visit Lorne’s famous foreshore doused in stylish shops and cafes
  • Head to nearby Wye River which serves up quieter pace and brilliant surf
  • Stay at Apollo Bay and Port Campbell, drop-dead lovely bayside bases for your travels


  • Head to Forrest which boasts world-class mountain bike trails and a stay-awhile brewery
  • Stay a while at Deans Marsh and Birregurra, both of which tender old-style hospitality and welcoming B&Bs
  • Retreat to windswept, isolated Johanna or Lavers Hill, the highest point on the Great Ocean Road


  • Mosey around regional centre Colac
  • Linger in Camperdown’s spacious streetscapes
  • Head to dairy town Timboon which is reinventing itself as a look-at-me foodie destination
  • Explore Irish-at-heart Koroit, nestled on a dormant volcano rim
Things to do Great Ocean Road - Surfing in Bells Beach

Head to Victoria’s Premier Surfing Destination


Torquay is the spiritual home of surfing, and a hotspot for all things surfing.

  • Visit the Australian National Surfing museum 
  • Have a retail experience that celebrates Torquay origins
  • Visit legendary Bells Beach, home of the Rip Curl Pro and a wicked right-hander
  • Spot experienced boarders paddle beyond the fierce shore break for consistent, long fast walls at Winki Pop


Where the national parks meet the sea, surfing’s a natural.

  • Visit Johanna (near Lavers Hill), the back-up venue for the Rip Curl Pro, and revered for consistent, punchy surf and great barrels
  • Head to Easter Reef (Port Campbell), a booming tow-in-break for lion-hearted surfers


There are plenty of wicked waves in the region’s west.

  • Hit Japs (Warrnambool), a powerful beach break that dishes up epic rides for experienced surfers
  • Check out The Passage, a short right hand point break, or the two reef breaks, Gabbo’s and Oigles at Port Fairy
Things to do Great Ocean Road - dining on food and wine

Dine on Food & Wine


You’re set to live it up with an astounding diversity of swanky restaurants, quaint cafes and casual eateries.

  • Slurge at Brae with a degustation crafted by a celeb chef
  • Soak up stunning ocean views from your clifftop restaurant table at Chris’s Beach Point
  • Dine beachfront at Scorched or shaded by towering rainforest deep in the Otways
  • In healthy hubs like Torquay, look for eateries devoted to low food mile, organics or closed loop
  • Serious about your beans? Seek out a single origin brew at a roastery coffee shop


Your appetite will never be caught short here. From dare-you–to-drive-past farmgate shops to kiosks and hole-in-the-wall cafes, there’s an abundance of takeaway tucker options.

  • Stock up on artisan cheese, local olives, pick your own berries, chocolate, organic veg and more
  • Meet the winemakers and brewers as you bag a swag of award-winning local vinos and crafty beers
Things to do Great Ocean Road - spotting wildlife

Wildlife Viewing

The Great Ocean Road region and its diverse ecosystem teem with wildlife. Some of it lives nowhere else in the world.

  • Book a stay at the Great Ocean Ecolodge and enjoy a koala or tiger quoll conservation experience alongside dedicated ecologists working on ecological monitoring and habitat restoration
  • Take an after-dark adventure to see ferny banks glittering with the sparkle of tiny native glow worms in Melba Gully
  • Explore the nocturnal animal world on a guided night walk through the Tower Hill wildlife reserve populated by kangaroos, koalas, emus and more
  • Watch the kids go wild for the Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park with its free range setting for native animals plus a petting area where you can hand-feed friendly critters
  • Book a round of golf or a bistro meal at the Anglesea Golf Course just to eyeball the club’s resident population of Eastern Grey Kangaroos bounding about the greens
Things to do Great Ocean Road - learning about its history

Learn about the History & Mystery of the Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road region is alive with the history and mystery of bygone eras – ancient Aboriginal culture, maritime heritage and tall tales.


  • The Great Ocean Road itself pays homage to servicemen lost in World War I and 3,000 returned soldiers who carved the 243km route from rocky cliffs. Unearth their stories at the Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch


Aboriginal people have belonged to these forests, coastlines and plains for more than 40,000 years.

  • Connect with the Aboriginal people’s intriguing culture and way of living at the Cape Otway Lighthouse Precinct, Worn Gundidj Visitor Centre in Tower Hill or the Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape in Heywood


  • Wander the beautiful Shipwreck Coast, then set your sights on Warrnambool’s Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village or any of a bevy of lighthouses to dive into the region’s rich maritime history
Things to do Great Ocean Road - Warrrnambool Art Gallery

Immerse Yourself in the Art & Culture of the Region


  • Find art clustered on walls alongside sculptures, ceramics and studio pieces at independent galleries and creative cooperatives in Torquay, Lorne, Aireys Inlet and Port Fairy. Warrnambool Art Gallery hosts more than 2,000 artworks spanning thousands of years
  • At Cororooke, find an art gallery-come-community-theatre housed in a former church. Enrol in a masterclass or browse eclectic curations fusing modernist with traditional. Choose a love-at-first-sight piece and make it yours or chat with a creator about a just-for-your commission


  • Whether it’s what you came for or an add-on, a cultural festival is a must-do. There are countless to choose from: Lorne Sculpture Biennale, Lorne Festival of Performing Art, Birregurra Weekend Festival & Art Show, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Aireys Inlet’s Festival of Words, Koroit Irish Festival and many more

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