Things to Do Along The Great Ocean Road on a Road Trip From Melbourne To The 12 Apostles
If you travel by car non-stop from Melbourne to The 12 Apostles it will take you a little under 3 hours. But if you take the scenic route along The Great Ocean Road and stop at all the sights along the way you could spend a whole day heading up there.
There are so many great attractions and sights along The Great Ocean Road that you shouldn’t miss.
When most people travel from Melbourne to The 12 Apostles they skip most of the attractions along the way as they might not be aware of things to do along the great ocean road. It’s more than just a scenic drive. There are so many attractions along the way.
Are you planning a road trip to The 12 Apostles? Here are the best things to do on a road trip from Melbourne to The 12 Apostles.
Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery
The Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery is a great place to stop for lunch or a treat on your way up to The 12 apostles. In the main cafe, you will find a huge variety of chocolates, hot drinks, pastries, ice creams and desserts all made by expert chocolatiers and pastry chefs.
If you don’t have a sweet tooth there are also many savoury options available on the lunch menu.
If you have the time I suggest trying a tasting session, chocolate making class or chocolate high tea while you’re there.
Split Point Lighthouse
You might recognise this lighthouse as the lighthouse from Round The Twist. If you were a child of the 80s or 90s you probably remember watching this show after school on ABC.
The Split Point Lighthouse is a must-see attraction and only a short detour off The Great Ocean Road. The lighthouse is still in operation and there are daily tours of the lighthouse. If you’re lucky you might spot whales or dolphins from the top of the lighthouse.
Other attractions around the lighthouse that you should check out while you’re there include the Loutit Bay Lookout, The Lighthouse Tea Rooms, Split Point Lookout, Sentinel Rock and Castle Rock.
Memorial Arch at Eastern View
The Memorial Arch was built to honour the 3000 men that helped build The Great Ocean Road. The Great Ocean Road was built to commemorate the Australians who gave their lives fighting in the first world war. An astonishing 64% of volunteers in the war were wounded and 60,000 of the 330,000 Australian soldiers died in the war.
The current memorial arch isn’t the original arch. It is actually the fourth version of the arch to be built.
The first version was a toll point and once the road was paid off it was replaced by a wooden arch that burnt down in the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires. It was then replaced by a metal arch that was unfortunately destroyed by a truck leading to the fourth version that we have today. Hopefully, this one stands the test of time.
Lorne Beach is a patrolled surf beach. The Beach is 1.2km long. The Beach is a great place for swimming, surfing and fishing. If you’re taking kids make sure you check out the Lorne Beach Trampolines at The Lorne Sea Baths. Other facilities at Lorne beach include toilets, showers, a swimming pool, playground, BBQ areas, bike paths and picnic areas.
Not far from Lorne Beach is Teddy’s Lookout. Teddy’s Lookout is located at the end of George Street in Lorne. From George Street, you can take a short walk uphill to Teddy’s Lookout viewing platform. From Teddy’s Lookout, you will see a great view of The Great Ocean Road, the surrounding rainforest and the Saint George River. If you like you can take a 45 minute 1km walk along Teddy’s Lookout circuit to get great views of the Otways Ranges.
Sheoak Falls is one of the best waterfalls near Lorne. If you’re not fond of hikes you can get a pretty good view of the falls not far from the car park but if you like a challenge you can try to hike to the falls from The Sheoak Falls Picnic Area. The hike is approximately 3.6km long and is not for the faint-hearted.
Apollo Bay Bakery
After a long day of sightseeing on The Great Ocean Road, you’ll probably work up an appetite.
The Apollo Bay Bakery is a popular spot along The Great Ocean Road from lunch or breakfast. The Apollo Bay Bakery has over 25 varieties of pies and sausage rolls. But a must-try is the scallop pie. The Apollo Bay Bakery is famous for its scallop pie.
The bakery also has plenty of pastries, desserts and hot and cold drinks perfect for any appetite. The bakery is located across the road from Apollo Bay Beach so if you like you can pick up lunch from the bakery and eat it along the beach.
Maits Rest Rainforest Walk
The Maits Rest Rainforest walk is an 800m long rainforest trail in The Otways. Along the trail, you can take a self-guided tour of the rainforest. In the rainforest, you will see beautiful ferns and trees that are up to 300 years old. If you look closely you might spot some wildlife. Koalas, wallabies, ring-tail possums and grey-kangaroos are known to occupy the area. The Maits Rest Rainforest walk is very mild and should suit most fitness levels.
Great Otway National Park and Cape Otway Lightstation
The Great Otway National Park is huge. In fact, if you want to take the full hike around the whole national park it would take 8 days! But not all of us have time for that so you should try to just see the main attractions such as The Cape Otway Lightstation.
The Cape Otway Lightstation is the oldest surviving lighthouse in mainland Australia! The lighthouse was built in 1848 and from the lighthouse, you will be able to see some amazing views.
Castle Cove is another popular lookout along The Great Ocean Road. It is located just a 400m walk from The Great Ocean Road. If you have enough time you can walk from Castle Cove to Johanna Beach. The walk is around 2 and a half hours.
Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park
The Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park is a family-owned wildlife park home to many native Australian animals. At the park, you can get up close and personal with many Australian animals including dingoes. It is only 15 minutes from The 12 Apostles and is definitely worth a visit.
The Gibson Steps are only 1km from the 12 Apostles and you can even walk from The Gibson Steps to the 12 Apostles if you like.
The Gibson Steps were are 86 steps carved by Hugh Gibson. The 86 steps will take you down the beach. Just try not to go down the steps after it has been raining because these steps can be dangerous and slippery when wet!
Walking down the Gibson Steps can be a great way to make your way to The 12 Apostles.
What are your favourite things to do on a road trip to The 12 Apostles?
What should we add to this list?