Renowned as one of the most scenic routes the world has to offer, the Great Ocean Road is a dramatic 243km stretch of coastline with everything you could desire for the perfect getaway. The region boasts a striking contrast between rugged coastlines and ancient rainforests, and is culturally diverse with an established art scene and vibrant music festivals. Seeped in maritime history, the area also offers colonial buildings, museums and Australia’s oldest lighthouse.
To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 unmissable sights and experiences for your break away:
1. The Great Ocean Road coastline is littered with spectacular natural rock formations, most notably the 12 Apostles. However, just a short step inland, you will stumble across the Otways, which are home to some of Australia’s most impressive rainforests. Explore the area on foot, bike or horseback and observe wild animals in their natural habitat (if you’re lucky, even the elusive platypus), all with an idyllic backdrop of beautiful waterfalls and tranquil lakes; you can even enjoy a jaw-dropping Tree Top Walk.
2. Make sure you find time to unwind with a touch of pampering. The region is famous for its rejuvenating geothermal spa treatments, so why not try them in the luxury surroundings of the highly acclaimed Saltair Spa Retreat in Torquay? Try the Indigenous Inspired Rhythmic Massage for something completely different but totally relaxing.
3. Surf and beach culture undeniably dominate the shopping experience along the Great Ocean Road. For something different, head off the beaten track to explore the smaller coastal villages and markets where you will discover a wide array of unique souvenirs, local produce and home-baked items. Visit The Goats of Gaia Soap near Apollo Bay for hand-crafted body care products made from the milk of holistically raised goats.
4. There is a rich, eclectic cultural vibe in the region that offers something for everyone, and the locals’ appreciation of art is palpable. Marvel at the impressive art and sculpture collections at Qdos Arts, the epicentre of the vibrant arts scene in Lorne. The art isn’t the only feature at Qdos – the gourmet offerings in the cafe are pretty impressive too.
5. The Great Ocean Road boasts some excellent restaurants, wineries and micro-breweries. Sample the sophisticated cool climate wines of the Jack Rabbit Vineyard on your way through Geelong, or if you’re looking for an exceptional dining experience, make sure you book early for Brae in Birregura. Dan Hunter’s new venture serves up contemporary cuisine with a commitment to organic and local seasonal produce.
There is no shortage of things to see and do, so after a busy day, why not top it off in style? Take a look at our luxury accommodation on the Great Ocean Road, and find the perfect spot to relax and unwind.
Image Credit: Visions of Victoria