It’s time to wrap up my three-part Melbourne series talking about one of my favorite adventures in Australia yet: traveling the famous Great Ocean Road. This is one of those tourist stops that, if you come to Australia, you absolutely must do, as the day-long tour will take you to nearly a dozen iconic sights and landscapes. It’ll be a long, but very rewarding day where you get to experience some of the best sights in Australia along an incredibly scenic drive.
The first thing to keep in mind when planning this tour is what you want to get out of it. For me, I’m not a fan of crowds, I like having enough time to take photos at my leisure, and I didn’t want to spend much extra than what I absolutely had to. So after doing some research, I settled on the Reverse Great Ocean Road led by Australian Wildlife tours. And personally, I think this is one of the best options available for anyone looking to do the tour. First, the cost is relatively the same as all the other tours, give or take $10-15 dollars. Second, unlike the other tours offered, this is the only one that does the trip in reverse. Meaning we took the highway from the city to the end of the GOR, and from there we turned onto the actual GOR and started making our way back to the city taking the standard scenic route. Doing it this way meant that we avoided huge amounts of crowds as everyone else going the standard route would generally stop at around the same time at each sight so there’d be hundreds of tourists all trying to get their photos in before being hurriedly shuffled back onto the bus. So going in reverse meant less tourists which equaled more time to enjoy each location. Third, the reverse trip happened to be the only one that also offered both lunch and dinner, as opposed to just lunch. And last, Wildlife tours throws in a few extra stops to ensure that you can actually see natural wildlife on your travels which is an extra bonus. So all in all, I firmly believe this was the best tour for your money.
Where we went:
Colac Park – A short, first stop after the morning drive to enjoy tea and cookies.
Gibson Steps –A beautiful stairway carved into the rocks on the beach created to help shipwrecked boat crew.
Loch Ard Gorge – Arguably my favorite stop on the entire tour. The beautiful towering limestone cliffs and secluded beach made it a perfect stop for lunch.
12 Apostles – These iconic rock formations are practically what the Great Ocean Road is known for. It was incredible to seem them in person!
Otways Rainforest – An incredibly fresh forest with some of the tallest species of trees in the world.
Apollo Bay – Quaint seaside town with amazing gelato!
Wildlife Viewing – Though I can’t remember the name of the town we stopped, this was probably my second favorite part of the trip. Our driver brought along bird seed that the beautiful native parrots were very interested in so they flocked to us for an up-close hand feeding opportunity. Plus there were several koalas sleeping on the low hanging trees offering us closer views of them than in any wildlife reserve. It was amazing!
Lorne & Anglesea – Popular seaside resort towns we passed through.
Memorial Arch – The historic Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch that marks the beginning of the road.
Surf Beach – An iconic Aussie beach that was happening to be preparing for an upcoming surf competition!
Torquay – Our last stop where we enjoyed a huge pizza dinner and beautiful ocean views before finishing the short drive back to the Melbourne.
After driving along for hours alongside the beautiful coastal views I was heavily yearning to have my very own vacation home amongst the others in the seaside towns. The crystal clear waters and beautiful sand beaches, accompanied by incredible rock formations are definitely worth the trip- it’s truly unforgettable.