Great Ocean Road.
Melbournes vibrant second city is the gateway to the Great Ocean Road region. Enjoy dining, sailing and annual events throughout the city and around Geelong’s stunning marina.
OCEAN HOUSE – LORNE
There is no finer way to begin your journey than with a stay at Ocean House. Offering a unique oceanfront getaway for groups of all sizes accommodation options include the entire house, indivudual sections or the newly built, Ocean Apartment.
ANCHORS – Port Campbell
Located right by the scenic Port Campbell National Park and within 10 minutes drive of the world famous 12 Apostles, Anchors comprises of three boutiques cottages sitting atop a hill on 30acres of green land. Overlook the surrounding region with glimpses of the ocean from your spa bath this home away from home style accommodation is perfect for couples romantic escapes and those needing easy single level access.
CROSSING THE BAY WITH SEAROAD FERRIES
If your travelling from the Mornington Peninsula cross Port Phillip Bay aboard the Queenscliff – Sorrento passenger and vehicle ferry.
THE TOUR MAP
Last week a 4 day opening arose in our schedule and without hesitation we departed for Great Ocean Rd to seek luxury experiences and enjoy one of world’s most scenic coastal drives. Not only did we bring all our camera’s along in an effort to bring the adventure to YouTube, we were also joined LIVE by thousands of viewers from around the world on Periscope!
Our journey began in our hometown of Sorrento, and took us around Australia’s southern coast to the infamous 12 Apostles in Port Campbell National Park. Along the way we discovered so many unique experiences and welcoming locals we can’t wait to go back and try all the things we missed. (Of which there are many, this trip should be taken over atleast 10-20 days, or longer if you have it, to truly be appreciated. )
As one of Australia’s most scenic touring regions you will never be short of an exhilerating adventure. Stop in one of the Great Ocean Road’s 11 towns along the way to enjoy local produce and wines, take part in surfing lessons, helicopter tours, and scenic hikes, or simply relax at one of the region’s wonderful day spa’s (who are also happy to visit your acommodation).
Here we share our journey and trip logistics, and provide all the links you need to make the experience your own.
REGION VISITED: GEELONG & BELLARINE
SIGHTSEEING: SEAROAD FERRIES + GEELONG MARINA
STAYED: NOVOTEL GEELONG
DINING: FLYING BRICK CIDER CO + CENTRA HOTEL, GEELONG
As we are based on the Mornington Peninsula, which is located directly across the bay from our tour starting point of Geelong, we took our car and travelled onboard Searoad Ferries from Sorrento to Queenscliff. On our return trip we were also treated to the newly renovated P.O.S.H Lounge, enjoying bay views accompanied by wine & local produce platters. Our P.O.S.H ticket included a glass of wine or beer. Cocktails and other menu items were available at additional costs) More on Searoad Ferries here.
Driving through the beautiful Bellarine we came across Flying Brick Cider Co. and called in for a quick (and delicious) cider tasting session (Locally produced chilli, ginger & lime cider anyone?). This vibrant indoor/outdoor dining venue is perfect for families, with green grass for miles that the children can enjoy whilst still being easy to see.
We arrived in Geelong for lunch and visited the newly opened Centra Hotel to relax for the afternoon. A picture of classic Italian style with excellent service this stunning new bar & dining venue is officially now our go-to restaurant in Geelong. Visit this remarkably refurbished hotel to enjoy italian bistro style dining or a drink in the bar & outdoor couryard.
Spending our first night in Geelong we checked into Novotel and were delighted to discover valet parking and friendly staff who handled our last minute booking with ease.
The Novotel is located in the heart of Geelong and provided the perfect starting point for our touring. We spent the afternoon overlooking the marina as we prepared to explore the local scene, then walked throughout the yachts and around Geelong before heading back to Centra for dinner. There was so much on the menu we wanted to try at lunch, and the atmosphere was warm and cosy after a long day of running around impromptu planning.
VISITED: LORNE, APOLLO BAY
SIGHTSEEING: BELLS BEACH, SPLIT POINT LIGHTHOUSE
COFFEE STOP: THE TEAHOUSE, LORNE
STAYED: 7 FALLS LUXURY APARTMENTS, APOLLO BAY
DINED: NECK OF THE WOODS, GEELONG + LA BIMBA, APOLLO BAY
After a wonderful nights sleep (and a great shower!) we decided to start our first long day of touring with a healthy breakfast and visited the highly reccommended, (thanks Centra Hotel), Neck of the woods cafe. This vibrant space serves up wholesome home made local produce & awesome coffee in a beautifully designed, light filled space. If your in Geelong and looking for coffee or a light meal, go here.
Managing the technical logistics of driving, filming & live streaming all at once we wound through forest drives and enjoyed endless ocean vistas as we made our way towards our next overnight stop in Apollo Bay.
We took a walk along Bells Beach and stopped for a quick live tour of Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet, answering hilarious questions from international viewers regarding Australian wildlife, before getting back on the road to enjoy the views.
We arrived in Apollo Bay as the sun was setting and caught some fresh air at the beach before checking into 7 Falls luxury Apartments. Unfortunatley we hadnt time to fully photograph our sumptuous 3 bedroom villa, however if your needing larger style, self serviced accommodation in Apollo Bay we highly reccommend you take a look here.
VISITED: PORT CAMPBELL
SIGHTSEEING: PORT CAMPBELL NATIONAL PARK, 12 APOSTLES
COFFEE STOP: THE SHOPPE, LAVERS HILL
STAYED: ANCHORS PORT CAMPBELL
DINED: SANDY FEET CAFE, APOLLO BAY + REGIONAL PRODUCE AT HOME
Food is always a priority on our travelling agenda and our morning began with priority no. 1, breakfast. We quickly discovered Sandy Feet Cafe, a busy little cafe with a casual beach vibe offering organic local goods, fresh juices, and a wonderful breakfast menu. All set to explore we got back on the road and began the next leg of our scenic journey.
Approaching Lavers Hill we made a last second decision to stop and stumbled upon boutique cafe, The Shoppe. Astounded to discover such wonderful food, service & coffee we stayed for a while and enjoyed the atmosphere, shopped the gift store and made friends with the neighbouring farms horse.
As we approached Port Campbell, a sign declaring local produce for sale at a farmhouse along the road was too great a calling for us foodies to ignore. We called in and met more amazing Great Ocean Rd locals, Tiff, Ryan, and 3 gorgeous children who gave us a tour of their farm, introduced the sheep & gave us a sneak peak inside their new produce store. We also discovered this property was the home of 12 Apostles Cottages, a boutique cottage style accommodation suitable for families & couples. Whilst not quite 5 Star I think these are some of the friendliest people on Great Ocean Rd, and the cottages were spectacularly clean. Highly reccomended if luxury isnt at the top of your priorities list. Read more about them here.
We arrived at the 12 Apostles visitor center quite late in the day and with very little charge on our devices. Sadly we only managed a few photos and a quick scope before all cameras failed us, though we did catch some amazing scenery for ourselves & were more than happy to be heading to our Port Campbell luxury accommodation, Anchors. Located only minutes away we were excited to rest and come back fresh for exploring in the morning.
Arriving at Anchors was an absolute highlight of the trip. Located on 30 acres of private land our cottage was one of only three and enjoyed sensational views from every angle we looked, spa included. This was going to be an enjoyable evening, and it began with a real espresso and an instant fire. Need we say more. (though ofcourse, we will.)
At Anchors Port Campbell no detail has been spared to ensure the ultimate in guest comfort. Upon entering these boutique apartments not only you will find all the expected refinements of a fully equipped kitchen, king size bed, spa bath and modern furnishings, you will also discover an array of well considered everyday extra’s.
A real espresso machine equipped with fresh coffee was the perfect pick-me-up after a long day discovering the Great Ocean Rd. Natural Australian bath products and candles complimented our spa, and an instant fireplace set the mood in seconds providing the perfect ambience to a relaxed evening. Our most cherished extras included a bluetooth BOSE mini entertainment dock, quality cotton robes, fairy lighting, and local handmade chocolates upon arrival.
Situated in one of Australia’s most picturesque touring regions you won’t have any trouble finding something to do when you stay at Anchors. The most difficult decision on our holiday was deciding if we should spend the night in and appreciate the relaxing vibe and views, or if we should adventure out and discover the wide range of local wines, produce and experiences on offer in the area. In the end, with only one night to enjoy our private hideaway, and such a well equipped kitchen, we decided to pick up some up local farmgate produce and cook at home.
If however your lucky enough to have time on your side, we highly recommend you stay a little longer and explore the many delights of the local region. For those wanting something extra special book a helicopter tour over the 12 apostles and experience awe as never before.
VISITED: PORT CAMPBELL
SIGHTSEEING: PORT CAMPBELL NATIONAL PARK, 12 APOSTLES
COFFEE STOP: THE SHOPPE, LAVERS HILL
DINED: UNION ST WINE BAR
On our final day off to explore we woke up slowly, enjoyed our fresh coffee and a sublime shower before packing up and heading straight for the 12 Apostles.
Various tracks run throughout Port Campbell National Park and we enjoyed calling into each and every lookout available to experience the awe inspiring views. If you manage to visit this region plan time to just stop and take in these stunning natural wonders, without photographing or running around. Its so amazing to just stop here and breath. Locals have suggested shouting from the cliffs to be great for stress relief, we didnt get to try this but must next time. We looked crazy enough as it was talking to Periscope.
We walked the many paths throughout the National Park to access the beach and get up close to the sensational southern ocean. Walk carefully and venture out on the rocks to capture some amazing photos as the waves crash behind you. (Excercise extreme caution though, it can be very slippery and the waves can be alot bigger than your expecting)
After walking almost 4km throughout Port Campbell National Park we settled in for the stunning 3.5hr drive back along the coast to Geelong. Upon arrival we made our way to all time favourite, Union Street Wine Bar, and enjoyed a platter and pinot before spending the night with friends and taking a morning ferry home.
Our Great Ocean Rd holiday was a sensational experience that I would highly reccommend to anyone. Notable experiences we want to try are the Otways gourmet trail and 12 Apostle helicopter rides. Suitable for families, couples, friends or corporate groups this amazing region has something for everybody.
You can follow our route along Great Ocean Rd by opening our live Google Map in your google maps app. Click here to access the map.