Hi everyone! Today, I’ll share with you my experience of the Great Ocean Road: places I visited, ate, and loved mostly!
This is one of the most touristic and famous (and beautiful!) roadtrip to do in Australia (after East Coast I think) so I absolutely needed to it, especially because I was living in Adelaide since a long time. And Adelaide is one of the starting city of this trip (either this one or Melbourne). But I’ll tell you the story from Adelaide to Melbourne, are you ready?
When two good friends told me that they were planning a trip on the Great Ocean Road in the months to come, I told them that I was definitely in. But when suddenly I got a call from them telling me that they lost their job and they were finally going there next Monday, I was like: whaaaat?
Ok, so what do I do now? I’m 2 hours away from Adelaide, about to start my farm work because I want to stay a 2nd year in Australia (but everything in me says: you don’t want to do this!) and I got this new offer! Question is quickly solved, surely because I also know that I can easily got a job in Melbourne which can perhaps can help get me a sponsorship to stay forever in Australia.
Next weekend, I’ll come back to Adelaide into my old backpack. I’m happy to see my friends again, they are surprised to see me but I’m happy because I followed what my heart was telling me to do.
I absolutely didn’t plan anything for this trip, except reducing all the stuff that I have to carry around because it was really insane! My friends took care about the car rental and buying some necessary stuff (camp lamp for example) and here they are on Monday picking me up at the hostel. Now let’s go!
From Adelaide to Port Fairy
I’ll divide the trip in two categories: travel in between Adelaide and the Great Ocean Road and truly the Great Ocean Road travel (which is actually super short! But more on that later). I’ll start with the travel in between which happens to start first! When we left Adelaide, we went to Second Valley, one of the places that I liked the most around Adelaide. After hiking a little bit around the sea and the cliffs, we slept a little bit up in the land in a free camp.
Next day: we made a stop to eat at Port Elliott Cockles Café, that I’ve been too few months ago but in a really different setting (I was recovering from a bad hangover with Goon, Australian or foreign people traveling Australia, you’ll understand me and feel with me my pain and for people who don’t know about this exquisite drink, don’t drink it, it’s a cheap wine that you can find in Australia and mess you head up!). But on this day, I had no headache and I could finally appreciate the beautiful meals with local food that I had on my plate. We also did a stop at Horseshoe Bay, which is beautiful. But be careful if you put Horseshoe Bay in you GPS on your smartphone because they are a loooot of places called this way in Australia and it might indicates you the one in Queensland, miles away from where you are (I’m now wondering if we can still call our phone smart?).
After that, I’ll be shorter. We stopped at Lake Alexandrina, Blue Lake at Mount Gambier, Cave gardens, Umpherston Sinkhole, Portland and Port Fairy. We decided each day what we were going to do the next day and figured out that these spots looked quite nice. But you basically can stop everywhere you feel like stopping to! There is no one good trip and plan!
From Port Fairy to Melbourne
From Port Fairy, we then stopped at Peterborough, London Bridge, Golden Arch, 12 apostles, Loch and Gorge, Apollo Bay, Wye River, Lorne (good restaurant address: The Bottle of Milk), Erskine Falls, Bell’s Beach, Torquay (great café address: Moby Cafe).
Basically, you have all the “rocks attractions” in the same area. We were kind of surprised that some rocks are gathering waaaay more people than the others. For example, all the sites were really quiet and we were grateful on how lucky we were that we’ve finally done that in winter. But when we arrived at the 12 apostles, that was just crazy. Hundreds of people everywhere, even for some coming by helicopter; I had this feeling that it was a joke. I don’t know how much these people must have paid and how extremely polluting this is but that really felt wrong. We didn’t enjoy as much as the other sites this place, as it was a little bit ruined by that. And honestly, if you have time to wander a bit about Australia, you’ll find places that in my opinion are as just as beautiful.
My advices for your trip (conclusion of my mistakes too)
- Never, EVER EVER EVER (I hope you’ll understand) do this roadtrip in campervan in Winter without the perfect equipment. We bought sleepbags in K-Mart (really cheap store) in Adelaide before living and clearly they were not hot enough. You’ll need hot sleepbags. So if you’re planning to do the same trip as us, consider bringing your own sleepbags from home-country (depending where you live) or go buy a good quality one in Kathmandu
- To rent our awesome Scoubidou Machine, go on Campervan Village website
- Indulge stopping to eat hot meals in restaurant
- If you’re under a diet, plan EVERYTHING in advance. See my guide here for that!
- We took a week to go there and it was too long. You can easily do it in 3 days and have the time to see the essentials. If you’re short on time, I’ll even suggest you do a 1-day tour from Melbourne.
I hope you enjoyed this article! If you want to know more about Melbourne, see my other article: 20 things that I did and liked in Melbourne