|GREAT OCEAN ROAD - VICTORIA|
LOCATION: The Great Ocean Road (B100) begins near Torquay, 100 km. (60 miles) west of Melbourne, where the name changes from the
Surfcoast Highway, and follows the coastline for several hundred kilometres to Warrnambool where it rejoins the
Princes Highway (National Highway 1). |
Claims the road extends beyond this are incorrect, it does not extend beyond a point 12km. east of Warrnambool.
Along its length are spectacular coastal scenery, rain forests, waterfalls and quaint holiday, fishing and resort towns.
History of the road
FEATURES: Exceptional coastal and mountain scenery with walks, waterfalls, forests and numerous species of flora and fauna. Motels, Hotels, Caravan Parks, Guest Houses and Camping. Although the road is only a few hundred kilometres long, it is wise to plan at least one overnight stop along the way. There is so much to see you will constantly be waylaid at lookouts, waterfalls, forest walks and other attractions.
There is a detailed plan of the things to see and do in these pages and, if you follow these guidelines, you will get to see most of the attractions with time to travel the road safely and enjoy your tour.
Getting There: You can drive your own, or hire a car from Melbourne or Geelong to do the trip, or organised coach tours are available through many operators in Melbourne and Geelong.
You can take the Vline Railway from Melbourne to to Geelong (at the eastern end) or Warrnambool (at the western end). These trains run frequently and you can Click here for a timetable
One of Australia's most visited attractions, the Great Ocean Road is renowned for its spectacular scenery and rugged coastline. It meanders along the coast of the Southern Ocean between golden beaches with rugged rock outcrops, and the Otway Ranges, and passes through the Angahook-Lorne State Park and Otway State Forest, abundant rain-forest areas.
Pretty, well-serviced towns dot the coastline with the most popular being Lorne, Apollo Bay and Port Campbell. The area is rich in attractions ranging from cheeseries and quaint restaurants, to raging surf and spectacular outcrops. Among the most popular is the Port Campbell National Park, part of which is pictured above. These outcrops, include 'The 12 Apostles' a spectacular collection of eroded sandstone outcrops and are the centre of the park. Among the many other features are 'The Grotto', 'London Bridge', and 'Loch Ard Gorge', named for the ship wrecked there in the last century.
Much of this coastline is also known as the 'Shipwreck Coast', a reference to the many ships which were trapped and sunk on the many reefs over the past 150 years or so. Plaques and maps will be found which point to their location.
World famous surf beaches will be found along the coastline including 'Bells Beach', near Torquay, which is a venue for World Championship surfing. There are also many safe beaches near the towns where the family can enjoy leisurely swimming and water sports. Cape Otway features one of several light-houses along the coastline which steered mariners along their perilous way. Whales may be seen between May and September at Warrnambool at the western end of the road, and a Maritime Museum there explains the area with displays and history.
The forests of the region are among the most prolific in Australia and feature massive eucalypts and many species of ferns and shrubs. There are many waterfalls and walks to them are relatively easy from car parks and bush tracks. Information centres along the way provide everything you will need and there is plenty of accommodation to be found, however, it is wise to book during holiday periods. Highly recommended as a place to visit and some spectacular scenery.
The main towns along the road are:
Lorne | Apollo Bay | Port Campbell | Anglesea | Geelong | Torquay | Warrnambool | Peterborough | Princetown
You can click on any of these below for details of all towns along the coast and in the hinterland.
Information Centres will be found at Geelong, Torquay, Lorne, Apollo Bay, Lavers Hill, Port Campbell and Warrnambool. Click on ths link for details and addresses.
Some accommodation houses are listed below. There is an accommodation search engine link from which you can find a suitable establishment within a price range you can nominate. Because of its popularity, it is very difficult to gain accommodation along the length of the road at Easter, Chistmas and some other times. Even weekends can be difficult sometimes.
Make sure you book well ahead and secure your bed.
PLACES OF INTEREST:
Angahook-Lorne State Park
Cape Otway Lighthouse
Erskine Falls near Lorne
Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum Warrnambool
Mait's Rest Forest Walk - between Apollo Bay and Lavers Hill
Melba Gully State Park near Lavers Hill
Port Campbell National Park near Port Campbell
The Otway Forest Park
ACCOMMODATION & SERVICES:
Click on a link to find out more.
Information is available in holiday season from a caravan on the foreshore opposite the Anglesea Motel.
Great Ocean Road Visitor Centre
Foreshore, Apollo Bay. VIC. 3233.
Ph: 03 5237 6529. Fax: 03 5237 6194
National Wool Centre
Moorabool St. Geelong. VIC. 3220.
Ph: 03 5222 2900. Open 7 days.
Information is available from either of the 2 teahouse/restaurants at the T junction in the Great Ocean Road.
Lorne Information Centre
Mountjoy Pde. Lorne. VIC. 3220.
Ph: 03 5289 1152. Open 7 days.
Information is available from the Parks and Wildlife Office Ph: 03 5598 6382 or the Loch Ard Museum in Lord St.
Ph: 03 5261 4202.
A new interpretive centre has just been built opposite the 12 Apostles east of Port Campbell.
Warrnambool Tourist Information Centre
In the Maritime Museum. Warrnambool. VIC. 3280.
Ph: 03 5564 7837. Open 7 days.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Rail to Geelong or Warrnambool, By car or coach along the Princes Hwy from Melbourne or Adelaide. There are airstrips at Geelong and Warrnambool.
|© Copyright Peter W. Wilkins 2008|