The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most famous driving routes. It weaves its majestic way along the South Australian coast, beginning just next to Melbourne in Torquay and ending 243 spectacular kilometres later around Warrnambool – with numerous additional roads popping inland for a bit, too.
With so much to see and do here, you’ll likely fly home after your trip with not just your camera filled to the brim with photos and memories, but your mobile phone and maybe even a sketch pad as well!
To help you get excited for your visit, here are our top natural attractions along this stunning drive.
Anglesea Golf Club’s kangaroos
Around 20 minutes or so southwest of Torquay is your first stop, especially if you’re a golf lover. Golf, you say? But that’s not a natural attraction!
Aha! But that is where you are wrong. Here in Anglesea, nature and golf collide in a fantastic activity for all ages, as the resident Anglesea Golf Club attracts local kangaroos in their hundreds. Around 300, to be more exact.
These fuzzy creatures love parading around the course, and even come close to the Clubhouse in the evening, so you can grab a few drinks while you watch their antics.
Oh, and you could play golf as well, if you wanted.
There are few natural sights more famous along the Great Ocean Road than the 12 Apostles. These limestone rock formations jut proudly out of the ocean, having formed due to erosion around 10-20 million years ago, according to Visit Melbourne.
Particularly around sunset and dusk, where the dramatic changes of colour paint an unreal spectacle on the rock faces, these proud formations have been the subject of many a photograph in recent history.
You can see them for yourself by making your way 6 kilometres west of Princetown where the 12 Apostles walk starts. This trail is around 600 metres to 1 kilometre long, and can be accessed in part by wheelchairs and prams.
Great Otway National Park
If you love nature walks, you’ll likely be thrilled to visit Great Otway National Park, stretching between Torquay and Princetown. All manner of natural splendours can be found here, from luminous green forests to towering rock formations (the 12 Apostles are a part of this area) to iconic local creatures.
Many tourists love to take the Great Ocean Walkthrough here, a nearly 100-kilometre trail that meanders along the coast, from Apollo Bay to Glenample Homestead. This track passes forests, estuaries, rocky shores and more during its course, making for a truly all-in-one nature experience.
You don’t have to attempt the whole thing in one go, however. There are plenty of trailheads along the way, allowing you to simply jump on and off wherever suits you. Feel like a shorter walk? Jump on a single section and get your mates to pick you up at the other end!
Your Great Ocean Road tour is not complete without photos of the 12 Apostles.Your Great Ocean Road tour is not complete without photos of the 12 Apostles.
Tower Hill Game Reserve
Went you finally arrive in Warrnambool, head along the coast just a little bit further to reach Tower Hill Game Reserve – Australia’s first ever national park (opened in 1892, according to Visit Victoria).
The entire park sits inside a 30,000-year-old caldera, with loads of nature walks dispersed throughout for a fun day activity. You begin in the local visitor’s centre, learning about the local natural and Aboriginal history, then proceed to your walk of choice. We recommend the 30-minute Peak Climb, which yields stunning views when you reach the end.
However, the animals are largely the main attraction here. Koalas, kangaroos, emus, wallabies, echidnas and more reptiles and waterbirds than you can shake a didgeridoo at wander freely, giving keen-eyed tourists plenty of unique selfie possibilities.
Guided tours are also available.