The Great Ocean Road was one of my main bucket list items I wanted to do when returning to Australia. I had a vision of driving the road itself in a camper van surrounded by friends with music blasting, but due to a lack of money and time constraints doing it this way was just not an option the first time I visited. A friend and I decided to simply do a day trip to see the main attractions and make it easier on ourselves than having to go it alone. Although it wasn’t my ideal scenario or how I’d envisioned doing the trip, I still had an amazing day and the Great Ocean Road itself did not disappoint.
The trip was reasonably priced and took the whole day to drive all the way to the twelve apostles and back with stops in-between. Our first stop was a tea and coffee break at a gorgeous little lighthouse near the beginning of the road itself. Our guide was brilliant at getting everyone talking and gave us so much information about the Great Ocean Road and how it was built. I’m not usually one for group tours or anything like that but I must say it was nice having to opportunity to sit back and relax whilst seeing the sights and learning so much along the way.
We made small little stops along the road to get pictures of the coastline but the next main stop we made was by far my favourite. We stopped near a small café just off of the road itself and due to the amount of tourists that would pass by, the local parrots and kookaburra’s had become very tame. This meant we were able to spend time feeding the parrots and we even got to spot some wild koalas! Seeing the wild koalas was absolutely incredible, as far as I’m aware they’re usually pretty hard to spot in the wild.
The main stop of the trip was of course the twelve apostles. I was so excited to actually see that view with my own eyes and it did not disappoint, it was absolutely stunning! It was one of those pinch me moments where it really hit me where I was and that I had actually made it to Australia.
Our final stop before heading back to Melbourne was Lock Ard Gorge. This was the only chance we had really to get onto the beach and it was gorgeous. At that point it was later in the day and the sun was going down slowly giving everywhere this golden light that made it look incredible. I wish we could have stayed longer until the sun actually set but it was a long journey to get back. Overall I really enjoyed the day and was happy to be able to do the trip with such good company.
My second trip to the Great Ocean Road early this year was absolutely incredible also, but a very different experience! I finally got to fulfil my dream of doing the trip in a camper van surrounded by friends as I went along with my good friends and the majority of Crunchy Town, the only downside was that there was thirteen of us all cramped into the camper van. Of course this is neither legal or particularly safe so I’m not necessarily recommending this idea to anyone, but I certainly enjoyed myself and it was just the way Crunchy Town did things!
We made the trip over a weekend to go and visit another couch surfing house on the Great Ocean Road (I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the small town it was in!) and ended up going as a group of 22. The other house slept 5-10 people and there were already 5 staying there so it was a little cramped to say the least! Fortunately coming from crunchy town no one minded sleeping on floors or sharing beds so it didn’t lessen the experience in any way, if anything it made it more fun having so many people and the challenge of it. One evening for dinner there were 31 people all in one house which made for an interesting night.
We only had two days to explore the road itself but we made the most of it. On the Saturday we ventured out to a waterfall, an art gallery and a beach not far from the house which was a great day and on the Sunday we made the trip to the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge. Although I had already seen the apostles and the gorge I still found myself in awe of the view, it is absolutely stunning. It was so different experiencing it this time around with such a different group of people making it so much more special. It took us a lot longer to get to the apostles and back into Melbourne having so many of us cramped into the van but it was all part of the experience and it was one of my favourite trips I have done in Australia.
Both times I visited the Great Ocean Road I was amazed by its natural beauty and would still love to revisit and drive it myself. Both experiences were unforgettable for different reasons and I would highly recommend making the trip yourself if you are visiting Australia!