Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is one of the most spectacular scenic drives in Australia stretching for almost 280 km between Port Fairy and Torquay. We recommend taking at least two days to explore this part of Australia. There are plenty of places to stay along the way in your campervan and we list a few good ones.
Great Ocean Road. Photo: barekiwi via IG
Great Ocean Road. Photo: laurraalycebell via IG
(2 hours from Halls Gap in the Grampians)
Port Fairy is a quaint seaside town of whitewashed cottages built by whalers and fishermen in the 19thcentury.
- Browse through boutiques, antique shops, and art and craft shops.
- The Port Fairy Folk Festival, one of Australia's largest music festivals, is held each year in March. Enjoy a long lunch at one of the pubs, cafes or restaurants.
- Learn to surf
- From the wharf take a cruise to the seal colony on Lady Julia Percy Island.
- Learn about the local maritime history on the Port Fairy Maritime and Shipwreck Heritage Walk.
- Port Fairy has over 50 National Trust classified buildings. It's a living museum and a very pretty one at that.
There are several caravan parks in Port Fairy and nearby Warrnambool.
- Gumtree Caravan Park
- BIG4 Port Fairy Holiday Park
- Gardens by Easts Beach Caravan Park
- Belfast Cove Caravan Park provides privacy with neatly trimmed 7 foot hedges around each campervan site.
If your trip coincides with the Port Fairy Folk Festival in March, you’ll need to book way in advance or move on to the Great Otway National Park.
Port Fairy Coast
(1 hr from the Great Otway National Park, 1 ½ hours from Port Fairy)
Snaking round the coast, you’ll see the craggy towers of the Twelve Apostles rising out of the ocean. You can take photos from the boardwalk or Gibson’s steps and explore the paths at London Bridge, Bay of Islands and Loch Ard Gorge. If you stay in the area, you can rise early to capture the Twelve Apostles when they are at their best.
- Princetown Recreation Reserve and Camping (Princetown)
- Apostles Camping Park and Cabins (Princetown)
- Great ocean Road Tourist Park (Peterborough)
Twelve Apostles. Photo: yueshizhang via IG
Photo: we_are_explorers via IG
Photo: eliegottlieb via IG
Great Otway National Park
Explore the ancient rainforests, fern gullies, heathlands, glow worm caves, waterfalls, lakes and beaches of Great Otway National Park.
- Melba Gully, the Jewel of the Otways, is a dense rainforest of Myrtle Beech, Blackwood and towering tree-ferns. At night it twinkles with glow worms.
- Madsen's Track Nature Walk is an adventure into a magical world of ancient, mossy trees and cool fern gullies. It is 35 minutes round trip.
- There is a Redwood Forest in the Otway National Park, and though not native, it is a magical place to visit.
- Take a treetop walk among towering blackwood gums at the Otway Fly.
- Walk among prehistoric tree ferns on an easy 800 metre board walk loop at Maits Rest.
- Triplet Falls cascade through lush forests and mossy tree ferns. There are toilets, picnic tables and several walks from here.
- Hopetoun Falls near the town of Beech Forest on the way to the Redwood Forest.
- Beauchamp Falls, a magical veil of water.
- The Gables is an easy 800 metre return walk from the car park through a grove of Sheoak trees to one of the highest seacliffs in Australia. In Spring and Autumn look for migrating whales.
- There are 60km of mountain bike trails in the Forrest region of the Otways.
- Picnic with a view! In the east Otways - Blanket Leaf, Sheoak, Distillery Creek, Grey River and Moggs Creek are great picnic spots. In the west Otways try Lake Elizabeth, Melba Gully, Shelly Beach and Blanket Bay. Picnic areas normally have toilets, sheltered tables, BBQs, and walking trails.
Maits Rest. Photo: Where_Brooklyn_At via IG
Beauchamp Falls. Photo: christophermaxwell
There are excellent camping opportunities throughout the Park, many are suitable for campervans.
- Blanket Bay on the beach
- Sharps Campground
- Bimbini Park caravan Park and Camping
- Aire River West has fireplaces
- Aire River East
- Johanna Beach campsite is nestled in the sand dunes
Redwood Forest. Photo: azmal malik
(40 minutes from Great Otway National Park and 3 hours from Melbourne)
Apollo Bay is a fairly large coastal town with plenty of good restaurants, fresh seafood, and beaches.
For amazing views head to Marriners Lookout at the northern end of town off Marriners Lookout Road. For a scenic drive head up Barham River Road along the Barham River through lush rainforest to Marriners Falls.
CAMPING between Torquay and Apollo Bay
- Apollo Bay Holiday Park
- BIG4 Apollo Bay Pisces Holiday Park
- Anglesea Beachfront Family Caravan Park
- BIG4 Anglesea Holiday Park
- Big Hill Track Campground in the Great Otway National Park FREE
- Cumberland River Holiday Park
- Jamieson Creek Campground: FREE and on the beach
- Wye River Road camping area: FREE
- Kennet River Holiday Park
- Sharps Camping area. FREE
Apollo Bay. Photo: jimbobprod
(50 minutes from Apollo Bay, 2 hours from Melbourne)
With a lively arts community and fresh sea breezes, Lorne has been attracting holiday-makers for more than a hundred years.
- Cast a fishing line off Lorne pier.
- Stroll the boutiques, cellars, galleries, Qdos Arts outdoor sculpture garden, the restaurants, and some of Victoria’s oldest cafes.
- There are many beautiful walks around Lorne, such as the ocean walk to Teddy's Lookout and the Sheoak Falls and Swallow Cave.
- Erskine Falls is a short drive inland and has walking trails.
CampingAllenvale Mill Bush Campground is free and has toilets and picnic tables.
Between Lorne and Melbourne, enjoy the rugged coastline as your campervan meanders along cliff tops. Ride the waves at Anglesea, Bells Beach, Jan Juc, and Torquay. Torquay is also home to Surf World Museum, which celebrates Australia’s surf culture.
Cockatoos in Lorne. Photo: jeriah91 via IG
Kalimna falls near Lorne. Photo: NathanMattinsonPhotography via IG
Midway between Melbourne and Lorne, Geelong is a bay-side city with sophisticated restaurants, a thriving art scene, entertainment, lots of events, and a relaxed atmosphere. It is also the home of Little Creatures Brewing and they do free brewery tours (closed public holidays).
Nearby Bellarine, on the peninsula, has been building a reputation as a food and wine destination. The Bellarine Taste Trail takes in the wineries, restaurants, cafes, breweries, fresh produce, goat’s cheese, olive oil and seafood of the region.
- BIG4 Discovery Parks Geelong: Kid friendly
- BIG4 Bellarine Holiday Park: Kid friendly
- Bellarine Bayside Holiday Park: On the water.
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