- Travel in winter or low season if possible, though the 12 Apostles section will still have crowds.
- Slow down and stay for at least 2 nights along the GOR to maximise all that it has to offer but it also means you can explore with early morning starts before the tour buses arrive from 10am onwards at the 12 Apostles.
- Simon’s Greenland’s advice though is to complete the Great Ocean Road in the ‘reverse’ direction.
The idea is to depart Melbourne at about 7 am or earlier and drive inland directly to the 12 Apostles via Colac. Once on the GOR make your way along the coast taking in Loch Ard Gorge, Razorback and Gibson’s steps before making your way to Maits Rest (the Otways National Park) and Apollo Bay and onwards.
Points of interest along the GOR:
– Port Campbell – pretty little town and good choice of hotels, fuel and supplies
– Cape Otway National Park: Drive along to the lighthouse and spot Koalas along the way (watch ou for cars stopping suddenly). Note that there is a fee for the lighthouse – $19.50AUD pp or $49.50AUD for a family.
– Otway Fly Treetops Adventure – zip lining or Tree Top walk – book the zip lining in advance.
– Kennet River – buy some birdseed ( $2.50AUD ) at the Koala Cafe and head to Grey River Rd, where there are Crimson Rosellas and King Parrots who will fly down from the Manna Gums and feed from your hands- it’s amazing!…. if you then wander around the Manna Gums on the road or even venture into the caravan park might get up close to a Koala.
Sandy Feet Cafe -good coffee and great breakfast options.
Iluka Motel & Restaurant – cheap and cheerful – their vegetarian pizzas were delicious (shout out to the staff who rescued my Nikon Camera, which I forgot at the dinner table forever grateful).
The Private Tour Guide recommends the Bayleaf (closes at 2pm), La Bimba (closes at 3pm) and the Scallop Pies a the Apollo Bay Bakery.