The Great Ocean Road's top ten unique experiences that you can't miss!

Along Australia's winding coastline, from dense tropical rainforests to spectacular rock formations, there are many remarkable attractions. Just under three hours' drive from Melbourne is the Twelve Apostles, one of Australia's most famous landmarks, consisting of a row of towering limestone pillars standing in the sea. However, there are many other breathtaking sights along the Great Ocean Road, including renowned surfing beaches and wild koala habitats.

Experience the surfing spirit in Tofino

After leaving Melbourne, it takes less than 90 minutes to reach the town of Torquay, one of the world's surfing capitals. Here, you can visit Bells Beach to watch the Rip Curl Pro surfing competition held every Easter (March/April), see performances from the world's best surfers, or sign up for a surfing lesson. Torquay is also home to the famous surfing brands Rip Curl and Quiksilver. Stay here for a while and pick out some colorful surfing gear from the shops.

Enjoying lunch slowly at AIREY'S INLET

If you are craving for seafood, you can go to Airey's Inlet. From Torquay, it takes about 25 minutes to find this small town's big secret: the charming A La Grecque restaurant, which can cook the most delicious seafood on the entire beach. On a sunny day, order a plate of tender fried squid or fresh grilled fish, and enjoy it to the fullest at the outdoor tables, it's simply heavenly.

Immerse in the beautiful scenery of the town of Loen

When you drive into the fashionable town of Lorne, the ancient eucalyptus trees and the sparkling waters of the bay will be the first thing you see, which means you have arrived at a very special place. This popular resort is known as the Melbourne version of Byron Bay. You can go to The Bottle of Milk cafe for coffee (the burgers here are also very delicious), and then take a stroll along the one-kilometer beach. Lorne also has a thriving arts community: you can visit the vibrant Qdos Arts, or arrange a visit to the Sculpture Biennale, which takes place every two years, usually in March.

Experience BIRREGURRA Food Festival

From the town of Lorne, drive northwest for 30 minutes, and you will arrive at one of Australia's most popular dining destinations. Brae Restaurant, located near the inland town of Birregurra, has been ranked as one of the top 100 restaurants in the world, so booking is essential. The menu, carefully prepared by head chef Dan Hunter, constantly changes, showcasing the diversity of local ingredients, so you can expect a variety of foods, from tartare beef to rock lobster and more. Another acclaimed spot is the Forrest Brewing Company, located in the nearby village of Forrest, which is also a renowned brewery.

Visit the Kennett River to see koalas.

If you have listed the important item of watching koalas in your travel list, then from the town of Lorne, head southwest along the Great Ocean Road for about 30 minutes by car, and you will arrive at the town of Kennett River. It has become a famous koala viewing capital in Australia because these native animals live in large numbers in the blue gum forests on both sides of the continent. You can pay attention along the way, and maybe even see koalas leisurely walking on the road, or resting on the balconies of local houses.

Hiking through tropical rainforest

When you leave the Kennet River and drive inland for a short distance, you will find a completely different world: the Otway National Park, where lush and mysterious tropical rainforests attract the attention of tourists. You can walk along one of the paths through the mossy trees and surrounding fern pools, or drive 70 minutes to reach the Triplet Falls. If you want to stay overnight in this area, be sure not to miss the opportunity to see fireflies on the Melba Gully night walk. Remember to wear sturdy walking shoes and bring a flashlight.

Wongkara Parking Bay

Due to the beautiful coastal scenery of the Great Ocean Road, tourists need a place to park and enjoy the scenery, so some parking bays have been built. Among them, Warrnambool Bay is not very famous, only 15 minutes drive from Apollo Bay. Looking out from Warrnambool Bay, you can see the surging waves, jagged coastline, and rugged mountains in the background. This is also an excellent location for capturing the sunrise and sunset along the coastline.

Looking up at the California redwood forest in the beach forest.

When driving on the Great Ocean Road, you may only see the coast and cliffs, but if you drive inland from Skenes Creek for 40 minutes (15 minutes through Wye River), you will discover a beautiful and charming place: the California Redwood Forest. Take a stroll among these towering trees, or find a spot for a picnic in the woods. Drive about 15 minutes further south, and you will reach the Hopetoun Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the area. But before embarking on this journey, make sure your vehicle is suitable for the gravel road leading from Skenes Creek to this area.

Dining and enjoying the scenery in Apollo Bay

Apollo Bay is a beautiful place, located between the ocean and the mountains, with no town occupying such a beautiful location. The best restaurants in the area take full advantage of this. Chris's Beacon Point Restaurant is a lovely restaurant with a cozy treehouse feel, with interior decor made of local wood and views of the ocean through the trees. For a more relaxed atmosphere, La Bimba restaurant's magnificent waterfront and Spanish seafood rice will give you that feeling.

Visiting the Otaru Kihin Cape Lighthouse

Cape Otway Lighthouse

Flying over the Twelve Apostles Rock

Every person comes here to admire the magnificent towering limestone pillars standing in the sea, known as the famous 'Twelve Apostles'. However, this name is misleading. In fact, there are only seven of these pillars, which were once part of the mainland, but the surrounding rocks have been gradually eroded by the sea winds and waters, leaving these pillars standing abruptly in the ocean. To enjoy the most beautiful scenery, tourists can sign up for helicopter tours or scenic flights offered by local operators. While flying around the rock formations, the beautiful scenery of miles of coastline will be in full view, making this experience undoubtedly unforgettable.

Experience Gibson Stone Steps

The Twelve Apostles Rock

Exploring the Adelie Lake Gorge

Nearby Adelie Lake Canyon may be little known, but it is a must-see beauty near the Twelve Apostles. The canyon is named after a shipwreck, winding and extending to the coastline, offering different views of the coastline. You can descend to the beach along a long staircase and admire the towering rock formations from another perspective. In addition, at dusk, it is also a paradise for bird enthusiasts, with large flocks of short-tailed shearwaters flying overhead, which is very spectacular.

Hiking the Great Ocean Road Walkway

There is a way to explore the Great Ocean Road without driving, and that is by hiking. The 100-kilometer trail extends from Apollo Bay to the Gibson Steps and takes 8 days to complete. If hiking seems too tiring, you can also choose to join the Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk led by professional guides, which is a four-day luxury journey with many tourist attractions along the way. For the final 55 kilometers of this journey, you will traverse towering cliffs and wave-washed beaches under the guidance of experienced guides. Each night, you will stay in environmentally friendly luxury accommodations.