The Great Ocean Road

What better place to venture than your own backyard?  It’s fun traveling overseas but sometimes a short weekend getaway with loved ones is just as nice a treat.

A week ago I ventured off from Sydney with my sister and brother-in-law to Melbourne.  This was a special flight, it’s the first time my family have been on a plane and it went off without a hitch.

We arrived in Melbourne at 9am on Saturday morning, hopped into a rental car and headed south to Geelong.

Destination; The Twelve Apostles.

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This drive I’ve done before many years ago.  Of course not much has changed, the drive is still beautiful along the south coast overlooking empty stretches of sand with rough seas splashing at the coastline.

The drive itself is quite long and it’s a good idea to consider the time you’ll spend on the road before setting off.  While the distance is not that great the roads are not perfect and the speed limit in some areas is down to 60KM/h with 80KM/h zones most of the way.

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Along the way you’ll go through some great tourist stopovers.  About half way along is Lorne.  This town has some great cafes and restaurants as well as resorts and hotels for those who want to make the trip a bit more spaced out.

Not long after Lorne the road goes inland and you’ll spend some time driving through thick bush land or open farm land.  There are turn offs along the way to some great lookouts and other great things to see.

One important point I cannot emphasis enough.  Those cars lining up behind you looking impatient probably are.  Please pull over at the turn out bays and let them pass.

Once you reach The Twelve Apostles you’ll be surprised finding a tourist information center and kiosk next to a huge car park.  The kiosk isn’t especially tourist friendly, if you want any souvenirs  you’re going to be disappointed with hats and beer holders being the primary sales.  They do however sell coffee, drinks and other snacks.

Behind the carpark you’ll find a helipad with numerous operators running flights during peak times.

A short walk from the center and under the highway will lead you to a track going down to several different lookouts.  The views are breathtaking so be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to take in the scenery.

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We arrived not long before dusk and as you can see from these photos the views with the sun setting are awesome.

At the time we arrived there were at least 150 people walking up and down the paths so you might need to be patient to get a great photo in.

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There are other fantastic tourist spots along the coast line within minutes of The Twelve Apostles however as it was getting dark by the time we headed back to the car it was probably safer to call it a night and head back to Geelong to our hotel.  There’s always next time!

I’d recommend doing this trip in the warmer months as it can be quite cold along the coastline in Winter.

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All up this trip cost less than $2000 for 3 adults, including flights from Sydney, car hire, accommodation, meals and other costs.  All in all it was a great getaway and my family got to experience their first flight (and second on the way home).

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