10 incredible must stop places on the great ocean road
Step off the main track and explore the lesser-known treasures of the Great Ocean Road.
By Amy Fraser and Ute Junker
The Great Ocean Road is an adventurers’ ideal mixture; anticipate spectacular natural marvels, quaint eateries offering oh-so-delicious meals and huge wilderness studded with local fauna and jaw-dropping scenery.
Stretching over 243km (150mi), amid this spectacular coastline’s prominent sites there’s a plethora of bucket-list-worthy adventures. Read on to uncover the Great Ocean Road’s hidden beauties.
If witnessing a koala in the wild is high on your checklist, you’ve come to the correct location. From Lorne, keep following the Great Ocean Road southwest, and in roughly 30 minutes you will arrive to the municipality of Kennett River.
This has become recognized as one of Australia’s koala-spotting capitals, due to the vast numbers of these natural creatures who make their home among the blue gums that border the main road. Take a trip along the Koala Walk and keep your eyes out for our cuddly buddies napping in the trees.
A journey along the Great Ocean Road may be all about coastlines and cliffs, but take a 40-minute diversion inland from Skenes Creek – 15 minutes beyond Wongarra – and you’ll find yourself among a lovely forest of huge Californian Redwood trees, sometimes known as Beech Forest.
Stroll amid the tall woods or just settle for a picnic and absorb in the strange scenery.
Among the Great Ocean Road’s vibrant green trees are a series of flowing falls, each with its unique beauty.
One of the most attractive is the Hopetoun Falls, about a 15-minute drive from Beech Forest. Marvel at it from the viewpoint above or trek through the forest ferns to witness – and hear – the full power of the 30-metre falls falling into the stream below.
If you enjoyed the 12 Apostles, Childers Cove is another one to add to your list. Perched yards away from the white-sand beach are a variety of limestone rocky cliffs reaching up to 70 metres (229.6 ft) high above the ocean.
With a junior 12 Apostles spirit – sans the crowds – Childers Cove could well be the crown jewel of the Great Ocean Road’s hidden treasures. Visit during low tide and be sure to bring your camera.
A car journey along the Great Ocean Road radiates peace, adventure and independence – all the more reason to bed down beneath the stars at one of remote Victoria’s quiet Sky Pods.
These remote eco-cabins mix nature and luxury, utilizing solely solar power to fuel your stay.
Spend your evening’s cosying up by the fireplace before watching the sunset paint the sky pink. Just a few nights here and you’ll no sure feel a wave of tranquility sweep over you.
Nestled in Connewarre’s wetlands, only 10 minutes from Torquay, is Moonah; a boutique fine dining restaurant nestled in the scenic Minya Winery.
The restaurant provides sweeping views of the billabong, and with just 12 diners sitting at one time, you’re assured a top-quality panorama with the service to match.
Tuck into their multi-course cuisine made of fresh fruits and vegetables from the kitchen garden, and bio-dynamic regional wines to complement. We’re not sure what’s more gorgeous, Chef Tobin’s decorated dishes or the lovely environment they’re served upon.
The Great Ocean Road’s Warrnambool is well-known for its natural marvels, from the native species at Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve to the hundreds of whales that pass past Logan’s Beach every winter. But wildlife’s not the only drawcard to this beachfront community.
The region’s also known as the Shipwreck Coast, and at Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum and Village you can find out why. Witness shipwrecks under the depths of the water, immerse yourself in 1900s life in the hamlet and set your eyes on age-old antiques.
Along the Great Ocean Road, you’ll encounter seductive natural marvels from the 12 Apostles to Umpherston Sinkhole, not to mention the unending shoreline of magnificent beaches.
Among the lesser-known wonders, only a few minutes walk away from Loch Ard Gorge is Thunder Cave; created over 20 million years, it’s surely another of Mother Nature’s artworks worth viewing. If you’re wondering why it’s named ‘Thunder Cave’, listen out and you’ll soon understand why.
A LA GRECQUE
If the cool coastal air has got you in the desire for seafood, stop in at Airey’s Inlet.
About 25 minutes from Torquay, this little village conceals a great secret: the beautiful A La Grecque restaurant, which offers up wonderful Greek-Australian meals and some of the finest seafood on the coast.
On a bright day, a meal of their delicate fried calamari or freshly grilled seafood, served at an outdoor table, is nirvana.
POINT ADDIS MARINE NATIONAL PARK
The Great Ocean Road’s not short of an epic panorama, but one of the finest seascapes has to be Point Addis National Marine Park. Climb to the summit of the Jurassic-like craggy cliffs on the Koori Cultural Walk and gaze out over the wide panoramic vistas.
If you haven’t felt the soothing sensation of freedom from the wide road yet, you surely will here. The greatest thing is, you’ll probably have the horizon to yourself — save the occasional kangaroo and a few of surfers in the waves below.
Topic: must stop places on the great ocean road
I am arguably the most popular Australian writer of all time. I am from the town of Karrinyup in rural Western Australia. When I was young, I was fascinated by the unique landscape of Australia, and I decided to support himself by writing books about the Australian landscape.
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