Great Ocean Roadtrip
Something I have always wanted to do but never got around to was a roadtrip down the great ocean road.
So with a few days off work thats what we set out to do! My travel partner in crime was my main man Leigh.
As this trip was last minute, not alot of pre planning was in place, i knew as we were leaving straight after i finished work that we would possibly only make it to Geelong from Gippsland the first day. So while Leigh was driving i was on our trade systems trying to find some last minute accommodation in Geelong.
We ended up finding a little cute and basic motel just out of Geelong called Rose Garden Motel which was accommodating and somewhere nice to just rest out heads for the night. First thing in the morning we checked out and headed down to the foreshore, as there was a massive bike race on in town we didn’t get the usual view but it was lovely to have breakfast overlooking the water.
** If you head to Geelong and you’re up for a bit of an adventure i would recommend a walk along the waterfront, there is multiple wooden statues that can be seen along the way.
Our next leg was probably my favourite, along the way we found the cutest town called Barwon Heads. Leigh promises me he will take me back here one day but the inlet is just beautiful to walk along. We ended up stopping here for a few hours (Leigh was going through a full POKEMON phase and wanted to walk a much as possible) the view along the walks was absolutely beautiful.
A must do for anyone who grew up in Australia in the 90’s is to stop in Split Point and hike up to the lighthouse, it is the very same light house from the childhood tv show “Round the twist” so as you can imagine I was super excited to hike up the hill to see this lighthouse in person.
Once we finally arrived into Lorne, i knew where I wanted to stay, the one and only Mantra Lorne. It is always my recommendation for families or couples travelling to Lorne, as it is easily the biggest resort in the area and one of the very few that is not located behind or above shops on the main street. Located right on the beach it is a short walk through a tree plantation and there you’re relaxing on the main beach!
While in Lorne, we couldn’t wait to find somewhere to eat and there is no shortage of excellent restaurants along the main street. As Leigh is quite literally addicted to seafood, we opted for the Maple Tree Lorne Seafood Restaurant and it was really quite nice, if you go in summer see if there is any seats free outside as it is well worth it! After dinner we walked up the main street to the local bar to find somewhere to relax for the rest of the night, the Lorne Hotel Bistro is definitely a must do if you like a drink on a outdoor deck looking over the bay while listening to some nice music or if your lucky a live band.
The next morning, we checked out and headed straight back to the beach for a walk along the foreshore all the way to the pier, you will see a lot of locals along the way as this is their main exercise track.
Apollo Bay was the next stop we made for some lunch at The Great Ocean Road Brewhouse (great for craft beer lovers) and for a swim in the shallow bay. On the day we stopped by they had their local market along the foreshore park so we explored through the markets one by one until we hit the road headed for a slight detour thinking we could visit the Cape Otway light house!
You can pay to enter and explore but for the price we decided not to and walked along an alternative back track which if you walk far enough you can get a long distance view of the lighthouse instead (just watch out for snakes) as per any beach track it is quite narrow is some sections with bushland all round. Well worth getting out of the car to stretch our legs for as the trees provided some much needed shade and breeze!
Just past Cape Otway, is the one of the major reasons tourists head for the Great Ocean Road, the twelve (or lesser) apostles. They have such beauty and mystery about them! I’m glad we got to see them while there is some still standing, although we didn’t time our visit very well. This place is very crowded and busy! You will be pushing through the crowd just to get a glimpse (a selfie stick is a must!).
After the twelve apostles, our original plan was to stay somewhere like Port Campbell but after driving for a few hours Leigh was not keen to stay here as it was small and after staying in Lorne he wanted something nicer, we kept driving to Warrnambool but again he wasn’t impressed. As the night grew closer we decided to drive just a bit further to Port Fairy and we were so glad that we did! It was beautiful! Even over the long weekend, we managed to find last minute accommodation at Central Motel. Nothing fancy just clean and a bed to sleep in. We spoke to reception who were happy to offer some tips for dinner and also breakfast. As our accommodation was right in the middle of time we set off on foot and discovered a lot of restaurants were either full or not open. We settled for Gregory’s and waited for a table to be free. It was well worth the wait and satisfied our bellies!
In the morning we were excited to try out this “surf shack” that reception had recommended for breakfast so after checking out we drove over to Charlie’s on East (a surf club) for a full breakfast! It is situated right on the beach so with the right weather you can enjoy your meal outside (it was a little windy when we were there so we ate inside). Leigh who is a BIG eater enjoyed his full breakfast and was ready to go for another walk (Did i mention he is addicted to POKEMON?) We went for a drive around town and found that Port Fairy have their own little island called Griffiths Island and it was one of my favourite places. If you pay $2 as you walk over to the Island they will let you walk up into the lighthouse they have there and give you a little history talk (I loved it!) but the best gem about this island is the beaches they were absolutely beautiful and definitely a locals secret (bring your swimmers!)
After a long walk around Griffiths Island it was time to head back to reality and the long drive back to Gippsland!
You can view my must do’s and guide of The Great Ocean Road here!