The world-famous Great Ocean Road runs for 240 km along some of Australia’s most jaw-dropping coastline. While everyone knows the name of the celebrated stretch, what lots of people don’t realise is how accessible it is! Arrange a motorhome hire from Melbourne and less than two hours later you can be in the midst of it!
The surrounding region has a myriad of fabulous offerings too. So we recommend taking at least 4-5 days to explore this famous route properly. In less than a week, you can take in spectacular coastal scenery, historic villages, dramatic waterfalls and ancient rainforests. The Great Ocean Road is the perfect choice for short motorhome hire holiday from Melbourne. You could even tag it onto a longer Victorian road trip adventure.
But where are the best places to visit on the Great Ocean Road in your motorhome hire from Melbourne?
Here is our very favourite route after picking up a campervan from a Melbourne motorhome hire depot. Now all you need to do is pack!
Once you pick up your motorhome hire from Melbourne, head west through the pretty inland farming regions. You’ll eventually reach the far end of Great Ocean Road. Then, over the next few days, make your way back along the dramatic coastline. This creates a perfect motorhome hire holiday loop of countryside, mountains and coast!
Leaving Melbourne, head your motorhome towards the country town of Colac. This is the perfect place to break up the picturesque inland drive towards the coast. Don’t miss a stroll through the pretty Colac Botanic Gardens on the shores of Victoria’s biggest freshwater lake, Lake Colac. There’s easy parking for your motorhome hire here too.
In Campbell National Park, Loch Ard Gorge captivates visitors with dramatic panoramic views from its lookout, and equally dramatic tales of shipwrecks and heroes of old! The sheer ochre cliffs curve down to embrace a pretty little beach below, which you can reach via the staircase to the right of the lookout. It’s one of the best places along this whole stretch to experience the power of the Southern Ocean. Although, as you’re driving along the coastline in your motorhome hire from the Melbourne direction, you’ll be constantly amazed by the spectacular vistas.
The Twelve Apostles
The Twelve Apostles are a dramatic collection of limestones rising from the ocean just off the coast in the Port Campbell National Park. Appearing on posters and travel advertisements around the globe, they are a definite must-see! Be aware that this is a very popular tourist destination, and EVERYONE wants to get ‘that’ photo. So prepare for a bit of creative motorhome parking (or a walk) and a jostle for the best vantage point! There’s even helicopter tours if you fancy a bird’s eye view! Interesting fact! Due to the power of the sea and the rain, there are now actually only eight ‘apostles’ left standing.
The epic 104 km long Great Ocean Walk coastal trail leads hikers along a dramatic coastline of soaring cliffs and remote beaches. It starts at Gibson Steps at Twelve Apostles and ends at the gorgeous little seaside town of Apollo Bay. (The Great Ocean Road runs inland here, up through the rainforests of the ‘Otways’, whereas the walk hugs the rugged and remote coastline.) The whole walk takes eight full days…but of course, most people just drive this stretch in their motorhome hire from Melbourne and enjoy some of 14 short walks accessed from the Great Ocean Road.
On the way through the Otways, history buffs should turn their motorhome hire coastwards again, and detour to Cape Otway Light Station. Built in 1848, this the oldest surviving lighthouse on the Australian mainland! Take a guided/self-guided tour of the lighthouse, dinosaur museum, WWII bunker and Telegraph Station. Climb 90m to the top of the lighthouse for spectacular views of the wild waters where the Bass Straight meets the Southern Ocean. Adventure more your game? Don’t miss the chance to fly 30m above the forest floor on a thrilling zipline through the lush rainforest canopy at the Otway Fly.
Apollo Bay is an awesome destination for outdoor adventure with opportunities for SUP-ing, fishing, mountain biking and rock-climbing. (Chat to us about which motorhomes come with a bike-rack!). This is also the location of one of our favourite campsites on the whole of the Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay Pisces Holiday Park. And now, an important philosophical question about hiring a campervan to visit Apollo Bay. “If you didn’t eat a scallop pie at the Apollo Bay Bakery, were you even in Apollo Bay at all?” One for us all to ponder…
A further 30 minutes up the road brings you to Kennett River. This unassuming little town offers you one of the best opportunities in Australia to see koalas in the wild! Stroll Kennett River’s pretty Koala Walk for your best chance to spot one of the ten furry cuties who snooze in the town’s blue gums.
The seaside holiday town of Lorne is one of the most popular stops along the Great Ocean Road – with good reason! Set between the turquoise waters of Loutit Bay and the lush Otway National Park, you get the best of both worlds! Stroll the golden beaches, and explore the little galleries, cafés and wineries and, nearby, Erskine Falls is one of the region’s most accessible waterfalls. Cascading 30m down into a peaceful fern gully, it’s one of the prettiest too! Motorhome Hire Holiday Tip: Be aware that the carpark at Erskine Falls is quite small so arrive early to ensure you can park your motorhome hire with ease.
Torquay marks the end (or start, depending on your direction of travel!) of the Great Ocean Road. Being 20km south of the city of Geelong, means it’s almost an outer suburb these days…but still retains a laidback ‘surfie’ vibe.
Take in the panoramic views from the clifftops over Bell’s Beach as you check out the pro surfers carving up the world-famous breaks. Every Easter for over 60 years, the Rip Curl Pro, the world’s longest running surfing contest takes place here. You’ve got to be pretty good to surf here – swells regularly reach 3-5m! Gnarly dude!
This is the town where two of the world’s most iconic surf brands, Quicksilver and Rip Curl, originated. Drop into the Australian National Surfing Museum to enjoy the vast colourful collection of boards and memorabilia – and be awed by incredible surf footage!
Ready to book?
We’re ready to help! Because, when you want the best motorhome hire holiday, it makes sense to have the best motorhome hire team looking after you, right? (Well, that’s what our customers tell us anyway!)
At Gallivanting Oz, we always take the time to get it right for you. That’s our difference. We ensure that you are matched with your perfect campervan. We firmly believe that there’s no such thing as a silly question. Ask us about anything and everything; your motorhome, your route and timing, right through to the nitty-gritty of insurance and the worry-free cancellation policies.
Chat to our friendly travel team today. You’re in the safest of hands when you book with Gallivanting Oz.