Australia, The Twelve Apostles: A spectacular coastal journey

June 8, 2019

by Natalie Beach

[Read time approximately 6 minutes]

Here’s something you should have heard before… Australia. The Great Ocean Road. The Twelve Apostles. Does it ring a bell?

If it didn’t, here it is for you. Ding, ding. Most people who come to Australia or who dream of coming to Australia should have heard of the journey down the Great Ocean Road to the Twelve Apostles before. If not, now is the time you might want to add it to that extensive bucket list of yours.

The Great Ocean Road is renowned for its spectacular views, windy roads, forest walks and not to forget the star attraction, The Twelve Apostles (this year, in 2019, you can probably call them The Eight Apostles). On a local and global scale, both Australian citizens and tourists make this journey each and every day. Some days the sun is shining, other days it might be raining, after all the state of Victoria is known for its four seasons per day. Rug up, strip down. Whichever way the weather goes, be prepared and don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The journey itself begins in Melbourne for most. If you don’t have a car you can hire one, if you don’t want to hire one you can advertise to share the journey with new friends (but only if you’re game) or you can take the bus.

To drive from Melbourne to The Twelve Apostles direct (skipping the scenic tour of the Great Ocean Road and ALL of the fun), you’re looking at travelling approximately 227.5km which should take you around 3 hours providing there are no road works. However, as I said, you’re skipping all the fun!

Haven’t you heard, it’s about the journey, not the destination… but, in this case, it is about both.

Bells Beach, Torquay, Australia

Melbourne to Torquay: 104.5km, 1hr 20min

Get in your car and set the first destination to Torquay. You won’t regret it. Torquay is a beautiful happening coastal town which sports some great surf beaches and the beginning of the Great Ocean Road. If you’re hungry you may wish to stop here for a bite to eat. It should take you about an hour and twenty minutes from Melbourne (104.5km). But leave early so you miss the traffic and arrive in time to see a stunning sunrise from the world-famous Bells Beach.

Erskine Falls, Lorne, Australia

Torquay to Lorne: 46km, 50 min

The next part of your journey takes you through the most spectacular windy roads you’ll ever drive down and you’ll want to stop at the Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch. Although, if you get car sick, I strongly recommend taking your tablets before you go. The Memorial Arch was built to signify the servicemen who built GOR and today although it is not the original arch, it is one of the most photographed spots along GOR since opening in 1922. For your Instagram worthy photograph, you’ll have the GOR sign and the some of the most beautiful Australian beaches in the background for all your friends and family to see, but please be careful taking those selfies as a lot of traffic passes through here.

Arriving in Lorne, it is a great place to stop and explore for the night or just grab a few refreshments and go. Step onto Shelley Beach to explore rock pools, try your hand at surfing Lorne Surf Beach, head over to Lorne Jetty to cast a line or two or take a short trip to Erskine Falls. No matter what you like, Lorne certainly has a lot to offer.

Lorne to Apollo Bay: 47.3km, 1hr

Back in the car and your navigation system is now attempting to deliver you to Apollo Bay. That is if you decide to go there. You may want to turn off the track at Skenes Creek to head towards Beech Forest where you can visit one of the most visually spectacular rainforest walks and waterfalls known as Triplet Falls. If you do turn off, I also recommend seeking out the Californian Redwood forest. This forest signifies what dreams are made of, I mean, if I were to have a ‘happily ever after’ and a land in which fairies could exist, this forest is THE one. Magic happens here and it comes to life for all people who see and experience it. The Californian Redwood forest is honestly utterly breathtaking and well worth the detour!

Whereas if you skipped past Apollo Bay, no hurt feelings, although you would miss yet another attractive beachside town. After visiting the redwoods you can join back up to GOR on the other side of Apollo Bay, via Binns Road. Binns Road is a very scenic adventure captivated by lush ferns and Mountain Ash trees and one which should be taken slowly, especially if driving in the wet.

Triplet Falls, Beech Forest, Australia

Apollo Bay to The Twelve Apostles: 87.1km, 1hr 20min

Whichever way you chose to drive, Maits Rest is your next stop. Maits Rest is a fantastically short 30-minute hike through the Otway Rainforest and the best part is it’s suitable for all people even those of us who are a little rusty on the hiking front.

Continue along the windy roads and a couple of stops later, you may wish to book a campsite at Johanna Beach. Be aware though, this is not a beach for swimming and is only for the highly skilled surfers amongst us. At night, if you stay, a sunset should certainly be on the cards followed by a late night drive up the road to Melba Gully. Don’t forget to pack warm clothes, the kids, and a torch covered in red cellophane. Curious where I’m taking you? Well, Melba Gully is filled with Glow Worms of course, but because we want to protect them, you need to cover your torches with red cellophane and stick to the paths only. Upon return to your campsite, if it is a clear night, gaze up. The stars are glorious!

For the rest of your journey along GOR, you can either follow the ugly brown tourist signs and explore further depths of this great region, or you can make your way to The Twelve Apostles!

Here it is, we have finally arrived. Hopefully, you are savvy enough to either get here super duper early or an hour or two before sunset. The amount of buses and cars that arrive at our final destination daily is absolutely remarkable in itself. Take a moment, to plan your arrival time. Once here, set up a picnic, explore the walkways, walk down to the beach and take as many selfies as your heart desires. You made it and it was well worth the drive!

Natalie Beach

By Natalie Beach

Have you ever wondered what life was like Down the Rabbit Hole? For me, I wonder this all the time. Sometimes I jump feet first and other times I fall head first. Which ever way I get there, it brings me to you; where documenting some of life’s sweetest moments, greatest treasures and all of the mishaps in between come to life.

Read more at downtherabbitholetravel.com

Leave a Comment...

Kristine

June 14, 2019

An excellent read and an amazing journey to venture on. Thank you for your inspirational adventure.

Sue

June 14, 2019

Makes me want to go back!

Lindsay

June 14, 2019

Great Ocean Road beautiful but don’t bypass Apollo Bay.

Kris

June 14, 2019

Great read Natalie ?

Cheryl rockliff

June 14, 2019

Great blog Nat. Very informative and interesting. Brought back many memories having been there and brought up some places that we didnt get to. Something to look forward to for the next trip.

Cheryl

June 14, 2019

Excellent and informative. .great photos too.

Kim

June 14, 2019

Sound like I need to make a road trip!

Neil

June 14, 2019

Well done and it certainly gives people a good direction to follow and see for yourselves what a great trip it is and what is to see and do ?

Jillian hunter

June 14, 2019

Sounds fabulous better make my way down the great ocean road again soon

Sharon Beckley

June 14, 2019

Great story on the Vic coast line. Beautiful photos. Thanks for your information.

Marie Wallis

June 14, 2019

An enjoyable and informative read ?

Lauren

June 14, 2019

Loved reading this!! ??

Bec

June 14, 2019

Nice pics and read,Have been meaning to do this for too long!
I will be locking it in after reading this.
Thanks for sharing the story :)

Katherine Leigh

June 14, 2019

Great article, beautifully written and informative. It makes me want to grab a camera and go adventuring.

Chellee

June 22, 2019

Your article has made me look at the GOR with a new viewpoint. Can’t wait to do it again and include redwood forest

Heather

July 19, 2019

Thanks for the blog Natalie
Informative and fun
I felt like I was right there exploring as I read.
I did the GOR with my family as a kid, and look forward to seeing it again with my family and kids as a parent.