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Great Ocean Road

Often rushed, the Great Ocean Road should be the Destination, not the Journey. The Great Ocean Road is an Australian National Heritage listed 243-kilometre (151 miles) stretch of road that hugs the contours of Victoria's rugged southwest coast winding between hillsides and beach, through the rainforest and past the Twelve Apostles. It is one of the 20 coastal areas in Australia to have a heritage listing and is arguably one of Australia's greatest and most spectacular coastal drives.

Built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932, it is the world's largest war memorial dedicated to casualties of World War I. The road is most noted for its varying terrain alongside the coast and provides access to several prominent landmarks including the nationally significant Twelve Apostles limestone stack formations. Great Otway National Park, Scotchmans and Tower Hill, and the Princess Margaret Rose Cave and the Glenelg River  

great ocean road

 Some Interesting Facts on the Ocean Road

  • Lorne is worth a visit. This seaside town was the first place to be declared an area of 'Natural Beauty and Special Significance' by the Australian Government.
  • Workers building the Great Ocean Road got a pleasant surprise in 1924 when a ship carrying beer and spirits was stranded near Cape Paton. It is said that construction came to an abrupt halt for 2 weeks.
  • Everyone wants to see the Twelve Apostles, but threw is no real rush: they have been there for 20 million years already.
  • London Arch, on the other hand, doesn't have long left. Named London Bridge before it collapsed in 1990, it was connected to the mainland. Now it's just an Arch, half its old self.
  • With over 80 shipwrecks along its coastline the Great Ocean Road's coast, also known as Shipwreck Coast.
  • Apollo Bay's neighbouring Otway National Park is one of the best places for spotting wild koalas. It used to be home to dinosaurs too, but they're all dead now.
  • Great Ocean Road is arguably one of the world’s most scenic drives
  • Torquay is home to two of the most famous surfing companies Quicksilver and Rip Curl and, of course, the famous surf at Bells Beach
  • The finishing line for Great Ocean Road is Warrnambool and it also marks the official end of the Melbourne to Warrnambool Classic cycle race - the world's longest one-day endurance race.
  • Calm Queenscliff used to be a defence post heavily fortified to protect Australia from Russia, France, and at one stage, the United States.

Thinking of driving the Great Ocean Road? Try our 8 Day Great Ocean Road & Grampians self-drive itinerary

great ocean road
Brent Narbey
Submitted by
Brent Narbey
: 2 Feb 2018 (Last updated: 4 Feb 2020)

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