Things To Do
Recognised as one of the best road trips in Australia, the Great Ocean Road is famously knowns for its extraordinary collection of rock formations, stunning scenery and endless coastal attractions. Undoubtedly one of the most iconic of these attractions is the 12 Apostles. Located just 10 minutes from the park, witness the rugged splendour of the magnificent rock stacks that rise from the Southern Ocean. Created by constant erosion of the mainland’s limestone cliffs from the stormy Southern Ocean and blasting winds, the softer limestone was eventually separated from the mainland and formed the caves in the cliffs and the 12 Apostles that can be seen today. We recommend sunrise and sunset to view the apostles, as they change colour from dark and foreboding in the shadow to a brilliant sandy yellow under a full sun. Other must-see sites along the Great Ocean Road between Princetown and Allansford, all within a short drive of the park include the Gibson Steps, Loch Ard Gorge, London Arch, The Grotto, Bay of Martyrs and Bay of Islands.
Hiking and walking trails
Along the Great Ocean Road, you can find many walking tracks and hiking trails that boast spectacular coastal views. Leave the car at the 12 Apostles and enjoy the short 1.1km walk to the Gibson Steps. The walking track leaves from the 12 Apostles information centre and passes under the Great Ocean Road, re-emerging at the Gibson Steps viewing platform. Further down the road, discover the four main trails of the Loch Ard Gorge and admire the power of mother nature. Ranging from 200m to 3km, allow 2-3 hours to complete all the tracks and take in the view. Closer to the park you can explore the Port Campbell Discovery Walk and enjoy incredible views of the town, along the coast and across the bay. Climb the steps from the beach at Port Campbell Bay or access the trail from the Great Ocean Road to the west of town and discover the heritage of the Shipwreck Coast along the 3.8km roundtrip walk.
Tours and charters
With so many breathtaking destinations and attractions to explore around the Port Campbell area a great option to take in the sights is to join a local tour or charter. Discover the region and reach new heights via a helicopter tour, breath in the fresh coastal air on a hiking tour or take in the sights in the comfort of a mini bus. 12 Apostles Helicopter tours are a great local provider that allows you to take in the coastline of the Great Ocean Road via helicopter. View the iconic landmarks from a new angle on one of their three tours that fly year-round. If experiencing the Great Ocean Road from the land is more your style, jump aboard a full day eco tour. Take in all of the sights from the comfort of a mini bus with frequent stops along the way to allow you to explore the many beaches, coastal features and National Parks. Hiking tours are another great option and allow you to explore the Great Ocean Road Walk at your own pace.
The Great Ocean Road region offers up many gourmet dining experiences and quaint sea-side towns serving up reliability good coffee with a smile. Port Campbell is no exception to this with fantastic local cafes and restaurants ready to welcome you in for a warm meal. You’ll find a variety of dining experiences on Morris St, the main street of Port Campbell, a short 5-minute walk from the park. For the best woodfired pizza in town we recommend Grassroots Deli Café or for a relaxing coffee and sweet treat the 12 Rocks Beach Bar Café is a must visit. Serving up breakfast lunch and dinner, 12 Rocks is the perfect location for a delicious meal and casual dining experience. If you’re wanting to soak up the seaside vibes with a spot of fish and chips, the local favourite Frying Nemo is hard to go past. Listen to the waves crash on the foreshore, while enjoying the days fresh catch. Further down the road, you can sample single malt whisky, vodka, schnapps and other classic spirits at the Timboon Railway Shed Distillery.
The Great Ocean Road Region is not only famous for its breathtaking coastal scenery but also some of Australia’s most beautiful rainforest. Once you have explored the coastline it is well worth the day trip out to the Great Otway National Park, located roughly an hour from the park. Immerse yourself in the towering trees, ancient flora and fauna, an abundance of wildlife and spectacular hinterland views. Breath in the fresh air and take your time exploring and getting back to nature while visiting the flowing waterfalls, such as the Triplet Falls, experience natures wonder, the glow worm, at Melba Gully or take on a new perspective and view the rainforest from Otway Fly Tree Top Walk. While in the area a visit to the southernmost point of the Great Ocean Road, Cape Otway, is a must. The Cape is home to Australia’s oldest lighthouse, still in operation today, as well as the Cape Otway Centre for Conservation, which offers the opportunity to observe wildlife accompanied by a qualified guide.
Discover your sense of adventure and get active amid the spectacular landscapes of the Great Ocean Road. If you’re visiting during the summer months, soak up some sunshine and enjoy water sports, with everything from beginner and advanced surfing, canoeing and kayaking and scuba diving on the ship wreck coast. Year round the region provides endless opportunities to get out and about. Take a stroll along the beautiful white sandy beaches or coastal trails and pack a picnic to make the most of the many lookouts dotted along the coast. Hire or bring your bike for a unique perspective on the seaside towns and historic rail trails throughout the region, including the Camperdown to Timboon, coast to crater rail trail. Or pack your clubs and play a round of golf at one of the many renowned local courses, including the Anglesea Golf Course which allows you to not only improve your swing but make friends with the kangaroos that spend their days lounging on the fairways.