If you haven't heard of Australia's Great Ocean Road you're not alone but you are missing out. With a mix of funky small towns, nature filled national parks, stunning coastal views and striking rock formations there is something to see in every mile of the drive between Torquay and The Twelve Apostles.
London Bridge, The Great Ocean Road (Photo Credit - VisitMelbourne.com)
Here are a few of my favorite spots to visit along the way.
This is a great stopping point after the first part of the drive, particularly if you've come all the way from Melbourne. Apollo Bay is definitely a tourist stop but it's collection of local restaurants offers great options for anything from casual cafe eating to fine dining with a few. As you come into town from the East there are several nearly empty beaches to enjoy. The beach in Apollo Bay has ample parking and mellow surf to dip your feet in.
Koalas! Koalas! Koalas! Sorry, had to get that out of my system. Cape Otway is home to a historic lighthouse on the southernmost point of the Great Ocean Road region. More importantly, along the road to the lighthouse you can see koalas in their natural habitat. Drive slowly, keep an eye on the eucalyptus trees, watch out for other stopped cars, and you'll be rewarded with an up close view.
(Photo Credit - @dreverybody)
One of the many beautiful rock formations along the Great Ocean Road, London Bridge offers a striking lesson in the power of the ocean to transform the coastline. Originally a double span similar to it's namesake, in 1990 the span near the shore unexpectedly collapsed leaving only a single arch.
(Photo Credit Wikipedia)
The Twelve Apostles
The Twelve Apostles are the last and grandest of the rock formations along the Great Ocean Road. There is a small visitor center with a series of well maintained pathways that offer views of the Apostles in both directions. Don't let the crowds stop you from going, this is one of the most beautiful spots in Australia. Once you go you'll tell everyone you know about it and start planning your next trip.
(Photo Credit - Ryo Shima)