Having spent a stunning few days traveling Melbourne and Victoria, Jake and I decided to spend our last day road-tripping it down to the iconic Great Ocean Road.
How To Visit The Great Ocean Road In One Day
Although it’s pretty much impossible to drive the entire 243km of The Great Ocean Road in one day, it’s possible to see all of the stunning rock formations of ‘The Shipwreck Coast’ around Peterborough and Port Campbell.
As Jake and I drove to The Great Ocean Road from Melbourne, we started the day from the Bay of Islands near Peterborough and worked backwards towards the Twelve Apostles. As self-confessed nature junkies, we were blown away by the sheer beauty of The Twelve Apostles & London Bridge, as well as smaller wonders such as The Grotto and The Arch.
A full day is plenty of time to stop at all the stunning coastal formations of The Shipwreck Coast, so if you’re looking to see the Great Ocean Road in one day, here’s the route I recommend:
1. Bay of Islands
2. Bay of Martyrs
3. The Grotto
4. London Bridge
5. The Arch
6. Loch Ard Gorge
7. The Twelve Apostles- Lookout
8. The Twelve Apostles- Gibson Steps
Bay of Islands
Located just west of Peterborough, The Bay of Island sees rugged limestone stacks towering above the Southern Ocean.
The layers of the rocks and the variety of colour and texture along the coastline makes this natural wonder a must-see!
Bay of Martyrs
Two minutes down the road from The Bay of Islands lies the stunning Bay of Martyrs, a beautiful beach from which to admire the rock formations.
Jake and I had this entire beach to ourselves, making it a fantastic contrast to the bustling and busy tourist hubs of The Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge.
This cute little wonder was one of my top picks on The Great Ocean Road!
A serene blue pool fills this formation and looks almost photo-shopped against the crashing ocean waves in the backdrop. And you guys know that I have a thing for blue water!
Fun fact: The Grotto was formed by sinkholes in the limestone cliff.
As a British girl, I couldn’t help but giggle when I saw ‘London Bridge’ pop up on a sign post.
This giant arch has colours and textures so detailed, that you can’t help but imagine Mother Nature sitting there with a palette of watercolours and a paint brush.
London Bridge isn’t particularly a bridge formation anymore, as the strip of rock that attached the arch to the main land fell in 1990. Apparently there were two people stranded on top of the arch as it fell. Scary.
The Arch is literally five minutes away from both London Bridge and Loch Ard Gorge, making it another natural wonder well worth seeing!
This formation is best seen during rough seas, as the waves crash in and around the arch.
Loch Ard Gorge
It’s incredible when a single place is so detailed and stunning that you could spend hours upon hours there. That was certainly the case with Loch Ard Gorge.
This dreamy gorge has many short walks around it allowing you to gaze out to the ocean at the Gorge’s natural formations.
Having stalked Instagram and good old Google before our trip, Loch Ard Gorge was the spot that we were most excited about seeing. It’s safe to say that we left with literal heart eyes.
The gorge itself is a beach nestled in a narrow passageway between cantaloupe-hued sweeping cliffs. From the clear, sparkling ocean, to the details of the rock layers, Loch Ard Gorge is packed with natural beauty.
You can access the beach down a short walkway from the Loch Ard Gorge lookout point.
The razorback is a short stroll from Loch Ard Gorge. A long, slim stack and an array of smaller stacks tower above the crashing ocean.
The Thunder Cave
The Thunder Cave gets its name literally! When the waves crash into the depths of this cave, it sounds like thunder.
The small island that lies at the edge of the gorge can be seen from another lookout point.
The 12 Apostles
**Insert drum roll** The Aussie icon is here!
The Twelve Apostles are truly magnificent and the view points accessed from the visitor information centre offers sweeping views across these grand rock stacks.
Eight Apostles are left standing, with the most ninth stack meeting its briny fall in 2005.
Although The 12 Apostles is undeniably beautiful, I wasn’t a fan of how crowded and touristy it was. Bitumen paths and buses upon buses of tourists made it seem too much like a run of the mill photo spot.
My advice is to make sure you have time to visit some of the lesser-known spots, such as The Grotto or Bay of Islands to be fully swept away in the areas natural beauty.
The 12 Apostles- Gibson Steps
two apostles that lie on the Western side can be viewed off the beach
at Gibson Steps. It’s great to see them at ground level as they
basically dwarf you with their grandeur!