Great Ocean Road Australia

6 Things You Shouldn't Miss on the Great Ocean Road this Summer

13 Jan 2022
Image credit
Els Morgan
Great Ocean Road Australia

Summer traditions look different depending on where you’re from. 

In Canada, it’s customary to spend a week with the family in a country cottage. Swedes enjoy putting a floral wreath around their heads. Germans flock to man-made beaches called 'strandbars', and Americans gorge themselves on reconstituted ‘meat’ in hot dog eating competitions!

But what’s Australia’s favorite summer pastime? 

A road trip along the Great Ocean Road!

Image Credit: @greatoceanroad

Well-known for its rugged cliffs, deserted beaches and popular surf villages, the Great Ocean Road in Victoria's southeast corner is a bucket list item you can return to time and again.

Regardless of which way you drive it, there’s always something mystical about this beloved stretch of highway. So pack the car, cue up the tunes and enjoy this list of things to do on your next trip along the Great Ocean Road!

Blink and you’ll miss it on the drive from Torquay to Lorne 

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Escaping Melbourne is your first victory of many on this trip, but you'll soon hit sensory overload of another kind on this stunning stretch between Torquay to Apollo Bay.

About halfway between the popular surf spots, the Queenscliff Coastal Reserve provides scenic walks and beautiful lookouts just outside of Lorne.

Impossible for even your most device-addicted kiddo to ignore, the town of Lorne itself is spectacular. Spend the morning wandering the foreshore here before joining the locals for lunch at the famous Swing Bridge Cafe and Boat House.

Image Credit: @melloveslogan

If a picnic is more your style, there are amazing waterfalls within a short drive of the main street of Lorne.

Upper Kalimna Falls, Cumberland Falls and Sheoak Falls are all equally stunning - the only real problem is fitting them all into one day!

Image Credit: @mick.smith334

We recommend taking this stretch as slow as you can to uncover beaches, seafood eateries, and piers that are perfect for catching sunsets over colorful ocean horizons.

Plan on staying a while?

G’day Parks has several holiday parks to choose from between Lorne and Torquay:

Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park

Anglesea Family Caravan Park

Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park

Ingenia Holidays Torquay

Stop by Mait’s Rest For an Authentic Rainforest Walk!

Image Credit: @julesetien

A drive along the Great Ocean Road wouldn’t be complete without a rainforest walk.

If you’re looking for an authentic experience without the expense and hassle of paying, check out Mait’s Rest in the Otway Ranges.

A must-do for anyone passing through the Great Otways National Park, you’ll find this secluded 800-meter circular path 15 minutes from Apollo Bay. 

Image Credit: Teagan White

Stretch the legs and breathe in rainforest aromas as you scour the area for wildlife amongst the amazing variety of native flora here. Mait’s Rest is also well known for its glow worm population. Bring a flashlight if you plan on staying for the show!

Plan on exploring the Otways a little longer?

Check out these awesome G’day Parks nearby:

Kennet River Family Caravan Park

Apollo Bay Holiday Park

Catch Some Wildlife at Tower Hill Reserve

Another natural sanctuary in the southeast corner of Victoria, Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve is a glorious little peninsula just a stone’s throw away from Warrnambool. 

Image Credit: @hamishreed

The extinct volcanic crater here is dominated by sandstone hills and dense vegetation. Be sure to keep an eye out for koalas, emus, kangaroos, echidnas, and turtles, as well as a wide variety of water birds like ducks and spoonbills!

Something of a hidden gem, the Tower Hill area boasts four well-maintained and safe walking trails with varying levels of difficulty. It also has guided tours where you can learn about the reserve’s rich ecological history. 

Scale to New Heights at Live Wire Park 

Looking for a thrill? 

Live Wire Park is a must-do adventure destination that offers a truly unique Australian forest experience - from above!

Image Credit: @livewirepark

Touted as Australia’s most extreme zipline with levels to suit all ages, this park is well worth an afternoon stop.

Pick between two challenging circuits and take the chance to go face to face with the park’s famous Shockwave Zip Coaster. Cruise through the forest canopy as you take the corners at breakneck speeds…

…hold up, a zipline course that takes corners? 

Discover Erskine Falls 

The Otway Range is well renowned for its myriad majestic waterfalls, but one tends to stick out from the others.

Image Credit: @pdwallace

Erskine Falls cascades 30 meters down the forest walls and is only a short deviation off the Great Ocean Road after Lorne. You can park just a few minutes away for easy viewing, or opt for a more strenuous hike via the Erskine River Walk, which ends up back at Lorne. 

While dazzling views are well worth the climb, don’t forget to pack a water bottle, and maybe a change of clothes!

Visit a local Brewery 

By no means are we condoning drinking and driving. However, it’s no coincidence that some of Victoria’s most talked about breweries can be found on the Great Ocean Road. 

Where to begin? 

Image Credit: @theaireyspub

Salt Brewing Company at Aireys Inlet serves up some truly creative craft concoctions.

Ales made with blood orange? Passion fruit-infused IPAs? An ocean view? Yes, please! 

Looking for a more primitive vibe? Head to Forrest Brewing Company

This laid-back brewery offers a revolving cast of seasonal beers sourced from only local ingredients. Order up a charcuterie board, grab a summer lager, and spend an evening relaxing on their rustic patio!

Image Credit: @forrestbrewery

With so much to do on your next trip down on the Great Ocean Road, we hope we’ve made your decision-making easier.  Still looking for accommodations options?

Check out more G’day Parks on this world-famous stretch of coast!

Discovery Parks - Warrnambool

Central Warrnambool Holiday Park and Motel

Port Fairy Holiday Park

Great Ocean Road Tourist Park

Barwon River Holiday Park

Discovery Parks - Geelong

Browse ALL VIC Parks

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