Great Ocean Road Australia: Roadtrip Photo Locations
Planning a Great Ocean Road trip but haven’t quite nailed down the locations you’d like to visit most? Continue reading as we breakdown the top road trip photo locations when visiting The Great Ocean Road Australia.
A trip along the Great Ocean Road simply isn’t complete without a stop at a few key destinations along the way. There’s the 12 Apostles, Port Campbell, Loch Ard Gorge and many, many more.
The Great Ocean Road is one of the world’s top road trip itineraries, and for good reason – I mean the name really suggests it all doesn’t it? With staggering limestone cliff sides, countless national parks, lush forested walks and of course the many seaside towns, The Great Ocean Road Australia really has quite a lot to offer. Let’s dive in and show you our top suggestions for your Great Ocean Road itinerary.
The 12 Apostles
There’s no denying the region is ultra famous because of one significant formation in particular – the 12 Apostles. In fact, there’s only seven that remain standing and they’re actually referred to as limestone rock stacks. The 12 Apostles area is home to an abundance of marine & bird life, dramatic coastline and of course the staggering rock formations the area has become so well known for.
How to get to the 12 apostles
The 12 Apostles is a four and half hour drive from Melbourne CBD. There is a more direct route via the Princes Highway and Colac taking only three hours. For the vast majority of travellers however, the main journey is likely to include the Great Ocean Road portion. If travelling from Torquay, the one way trip should take two hours via the Princes Highway. The entire Great Ocean Road section from Torquay totals three hours and forty-five minutes.
The best photo locations at the 12 Apostles
We’d recommend getting to the 12 Apostles at sunrise to avoid the crowds. Unfortunately sunset can get extremely busy, so to avoid the crowds, you may have to compromise on time and sleep. With that said, there’s really not a bad spot to take a photo on the main boardwalk provided you get a half decent sunrise and reasonably good weather. It’s recommended to stay close by in the seaside village of Port Campbell. You can check out some accommodation options right here.
Gibson Steps, Great Ocean Road Australia
The Gibson Steps are an absolute must if you’re hoping to get a few shots on the beach and get up close and personal to one of the rock stacks. The limestone cliffs make for a very dramatic background. Again, this location is best visited after at sunrise. It’s an easy one kilometre walk from the 12 Apostles information centre/car park to the Gibson Steps.
Hopetoun Falls is brilliant side trip if you’re in the area. It’s certainly one of the more striking short walks I’ve completed with towering ferns and dense, lush rain forest. It’s approximately an hour drive from The 12 Apostles and well worth the stop over. Photos can be taken from the end of the boardwalk, or if you’re feeling adventurous, with a short hop, skip and a jump from the main track, you can get a little closer to the falls.
Split Point Lighthouse Aireys Inlet
Split Point Lighthouse was a surprising little find on our Great Ocean Road trip – not to mention a rather nostalgic one as well. After all, this is where parts of the Australian children’s TV show ‘Round The Twist’ were filmed. Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet was the main backdrop used throughout the ’90’s’ show and was certainly a fun novelty photo opportunity. There’s also a fantastic little coffee shop on the main road in called ‘The Lighthouse Tea Rooms’.
Loch Ard Gorge, Great Ocean Road
One of the Great Ocean Road highlights is the Loch Ard Gorge. Located between the 12 Apostles and Port Campbell, the sheltered bay was well worth the photo (we did however arrive on a calm day with no wind). It’s a short walk down to the Loch Ard Gorge boardwalks and beach.
This stretch of coastline is aptly named ‘Shipwreck Coast’ – with a rather tragic seafaring history. Loch Ard Gorge was named after the famous shipwreck from 1878 from which only two survived. The two survivors dragged themselves to shore upon the sheltered beach of the now named, Loch Ard Gorge.
Port Campbell, Great Ocean Road
Ten minutes drive from Loch Ard Gorge you’ll pull into the quiet seaside town of Port Campbell. After an early start to the day, we stopped at a small cafe called ‘Forage on the Foreshore’ for a bite to eat. The view from the cafe is absolutely breathtaking, opening out onto the Port Campbell Foreshore – a calm, sheltered stretch of beach surrounded by more towering limestone cliff sides. This is a must stop on your Great Ocean Road itinerary.
Image source: Forage on the Foreshore
Well that’s a quick wrap on our Great Ocean Road Australia itinerary for your next road trip. Of course, there are many other locations to stop in and visit such as Apollo Bay, Lorne and plenty of other waterfalls in Otway National Park. However, they may have to wait for next time.
In the meantime, check out the full Great Ocean Road trip video below.
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