The Great Ocean Road: 7-Day Campervan Itinerary

Scenic Wonders of the Great Ocean Road

Wonderful sights, sounds and experiences await you on the Great Ocean Road without having to clock up a huge mileage and spend many hours behind the wheel. Cute koalas in the wild (and beautiful rosellas), inspiring waterfalls, laid-back little towns, fresh seafood, chocolates, home-grown honey and the legendary Twelve Apostles rock formations. And for the thrill seekers, there’s ziplining above the rainforest. All that and more in 7 days with this itinerary, starting just 2 hours south of Melbourne. Victoria’s Great Ocean Road is one of the most beautiful campervan road trips in all of Australia.

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Day 1: Melbourne to Lorne via Bells Beach

Torquay is the official start of The Great Ocean Road, and Bells Beach is just 9km further on. If you’ve ever watched the Rip Curl Pro on TV, you absolutely must stop at Bells because it’s the home of the world's longest-running professional surfing competition. No matter what season you visit, you can check out the waves that challenge the world’s best surfers.

Other popular stops include:

  • Split Point Lighthouse,
  • Aireys Inlet, and
  • the Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch.

Day 2: In and around Lorne

Sitting comfortably between the forest and a beautiful beach, Lorne offers the visitor so much, including the only patrolled beach in town (Lorne Beach!).

Visitor Information Centre 15 Mt Joy Parade, Lorne

Check out their fascinating Great Ocean Road Story display.

If you love waterfalls, there are plenty in this area, such as:

  • Henderson’s Falls,
  • Phantom Falls,
  • Sheoak Falls,
  • Upper & Lower Kalimna Falls,
  • Erskine Falls is an easy 15 minute drive from Lorne. At 30 metres high, it’s the most popular waterfall in Lorne.

Live Wire Adventure Park 180 Erskine Falls Road, Lorne

It is described as “Australia’s most sustainable adventure park” and has treetop platforms, dense forest, and iconic Aussie wildlife. But their absolute ace is the Shockwave Zip Coaster. Imagine ziplining for 525 metres and reaching speeds of up to 40 kph. Canopy Circuit is their wheelchair-accessible 120-metre elevated walk through the rainforest. Plus the kids will love their netted, 5-zone trampoline course. Something for everybody, right?

Day 3-4: Lorne to Apollo Bay

The road tracks along the coastline with a drop-off to the ocean on one side and on the other side the Otways steeply, with lots of worthy stops along the main coast road. Most attractions are clearly signposted.

  • For easy walks, look for the Sheoak and Carisbrook Waterfalls, starting from car parks along the Ocean Road.
  • The Grey River Reserve has a pretty picnic area; if you’re there after dark, you might see glow worms.
  • In Apollo Bay, you can buy fresh seafood from the pier. Beach swimming too.

Kennett River Koala Walk Midway between Lorne and Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road

Your best chance of seeing koalas in the wild, sitting in their favourite eucalyptus trees, is here in one of Victoria’s biggest koala colonies. Early morning and late afternoon are the best koala viewing times. It’s a good spot to see the colorful King Parrots & Crimson Rosellas. Kennett River is very popular, meaning crowded, during whale watching season (May-September).

Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary Great Ocean Road, Marengo

Situated 150m offshore, the sanctuary protects 12ha of ocean life, including the Little Henry Reef, an intertidal reef that hosts many invertebrates (sea snails, tube worms and abalone). Beautiful seaweed gardens, including Bull Kelp forests, are a little further out. All this just south of Apollo Bay.

Day 5-6: Apollo Bay to Port Campbell

Just 90 minutes of driving will take you from Apollo Bay to Port Campbell, famous for the Twelve Apostles. Surprisingly, despite its worldwide fame as the Twelve Apostles, there have never been 12 rock formations here! Originally called Sow and Piglets, you’ll now see only six rock stacks in the famously photographed view, with a seventh near the main viewing platform. At the start of this century, there were nine, but two collapsed, one in 2005 and the other in 2009.

Gorge Chocolates (and Alpacas) 1432 Princetown Road, Cooriemungle

As well as producing delicious chocolate treats, Gorge hosts Victoria's largest alpaca stud, Surilana Alpacas, and they sell a range of alpaca products.

Apostle Whey Cheese 9 Gallum Road, Cooriemungle

Talk about paddock to plate; here's a great example. You'll see the whole process from milking to hand-making the gourmet cheeses. Free cheese tastings too. Newborn calves are aplenty from March-September.

Other attractions near Port Campbell include:

  • London Bridge Lookout, where Little Penguins come ashore at dusk.
  • Gibson Steps Lookout takes you down 89 steps to the wild ocean beach.
  • The Grotto, a cave and sinkhole halfway down the cliff.
  • In October, Mutton Bird Island witnesses the remarkable return of the Short-tailed Shearwaters (a.k.a. muttonbirds) from Russia and Alaska—a migration of 30,000 km. You can see them at dusk every day as they flock home in their thousands to feed their hungry and noisy chicks in their burrows.
  • Helicopter and fixed-wing flights are available to marvel at the Twelve Apostles and the Shipwreck Coast from above.

Day 7: Port Campbell to Melbourne

If you’re returning to Melbourne via the inland route (the A1 highway), consider a stop at Colac. Attractions include Otway Estate (a combined winery, brewery and cider), Beeac Windmill Park (displaying many old windmills) and ShortHive Honey in the Murray Street Market (where you can pick up their Salted, Espresso, Cacao and Chilli Honey). Depending on the weather, Lake Colac is the largest freshwater lake in Victoria.

Colac Botanic Gardens Fyans Street, Colac

This beautiful heritage-listed botanic garden was established over 150 years ago. The Huntingdon elm is especially loved, along with the giant pagoda tree and four Tecate cypresses.

Reminder: Melbourne is Australia’s second largest city with a spread-out population of over 5 million. Getting around can take hours because of road congestion, so be sure to plan enough time to comfortably connect with your flight home.

Campervan Itineraries