Winding its way along the south-western coast of Victoria, taking in quaint coastal villages, remarkable natural landscapes and breathtaking panoramas, the Great Ocean Road offers one of the most spectacular coastal drives in the world – and is a must-do trip for any motorhome or campervanning enthusiast.
Hitting the (Great Ocean) Road: 7 Day Campervan Itinerary
Driving the Great Ocean Road, you can explore the bustling hubs of Torquay, Lorne and Warrnambool, to then slow right down to uncover lush rainforests, epic waterfalls and enigmatic native wildlife not far off the beaten path.
From the verdant splendour of Great Otway National Park to the tempestuous beauty of Victoria’s Shipwreck Coast and its dramatic 12 Apostles, you can see, feel and experience it all at your own pace on this unforgettable Great Ocean Road driving route.
Planning Your Motorhome Trip Along The Great Ocean Road
Can you do the Great Ocean Road in one day? While there are plenty of bus tours that claim you can do just that, the Great Ocean Road is a trip that deserves much more time and attention than these tours can provide.
So, how long does it take to drive the Great Ocean Road? At 250km, the Great Ocean Road doesn’t sound like it would take that long to travel. But, given the twisting, windy nature of many of the stretches of road – and all the stops you will want to make along the way – it usually takes around three to seven days to take in the entire Great Ocean Road route.
In this itinerary, we allow for a full seven days on the road, as this gives you time to enjoy the drive and the many enticing Great Ocean Road attractions along the way. Of course, one of the great things about travelling in your own motorhome or campervan is the fact that you make your own itinerary.
Want to stay longer here or spend less time there? You have everything you need in your campervan, with the freedom to stay where you want, when you want. Australia is a country that appreciates the great outdoors, which makes exploring it by motorhome a true joy.
In terms of planning your Great Ocean Road trip, take some time to research the various stops on this itinerary, and think about where you might want to stay along the way. While there are plenty of Great Ocean Road campervan sites and caravan parks, consider the time of year you plan to travel, and whether you may need to book in advance.
Great Ocean Road Itinerary
Taking you on one of the best campervan trips Australia has to offer, this itinerary journeys from Melbourne to Warrnambool along the Great Ocean Road. You may choose to do this itinerary in either direction, plus it’s worth remembering that there is plenty to see and do at either end of the Great Ocean Road, continuing on from both Warrnambool and Melbourne.
Driving Time: 1 hr. 30 mins
With the motorhome packed, it’s time to say goodbye to the bright lights of Melbourne, to travel south-west to Torquay, and the gateway to the Great Ocean Road. Driving down towards the coast, be sure to stop in at Geelong. Known as the gateway to the Bellarine Peninsula, Geelong has a gorgeous waterfront, where visitors can enjoy intriguing public artworks, picturesque landscaped gardens, and numerous ice-cream parlours and eateries. The Bellarine Taste Trail offers another tempting diversion, where visitors can discover local food and wine, boutique beers, fresh produce and seafood.
On to Torquay, where you will park up for the night. As a centre for surfing culture, Torquay and its surrounds are known for its surf beaches – most notably Bells Beach – as well as the Surf World Museum. Nearby Jan Juc offers impressive lookouts and the chance to uncover native flora. If you feel like stretching your legs, try the Jan Juc to Bells Beach trail (4km) or the Point Danger to Jan Juc walk (2km).
Driving Time: 30 mins
Day two of this Great Ocean Road campervan itinerary will take you to Aireys Inlet. With plenty of time to take in the sights today, consider stopping at Anglesea to wander its many parks and gardens, keeping an eye out for local wildlife. Kangaroos often hang out on the golf course at dusk, so be sure to say G’day if you decide to stay awhile and take in a round or two.
Fancy a walk? Stretching 44km from Torquay to Aireys Inlet, the Surf Coast Walk offers unforgettable coastal views, with easily accessible sections of the trail allowing for either short walks or multi-day experiences. Another appealing alternative is Point Addis Marine National Park, lined with craggy reefs, rockpools, limestone cliffs and wide sandy beaches. Situated on the edge of Great Otway National Park, the coastal hamlet of Aireys Inlet will be your home for the night. Here you can take a guided tour of Split Point Lighthouse, where you can enjoy sweeping views of the Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary and the Great Ocean Road region below.
Driving Time: 1 hr. 20 mins
On your way to Apollo Bay today, stop in at Lorne for breakfast. Long known as a seaside holiday retreat, Lorne is a charming coastal village peppered with Art Deco architecture, set alongside the tranquil waters of Louttit Bay. Wander Shelly Beach to discover its rockpools, take one of Lorne’s numerous bush and coastal trails, or simply relax with a coffee and watch the world go by.
With ten waterfalls within 10km of Lorne, you should really see at least one of them while you’re here. One of the most attractive has to be Erskine Falls, which plunges 30 metres into the lush fern-lined gully of the Erskine River. Teddy’s Lookout provides a perfect spot for a picnic further down the road, or alternatively, head to Wye River for a spot of bird watching and a chat to the locals.
On your way to Apollo Bay, Kennett River could see you spotting a whale or two between May and September, while a detour to Lake Elizabeth near the township Forrest could offer some eerily beautiful photographic opportunities.
Driving Time: 35 mins
Whether you’re planning to explore the various trails through Great Otway National Park, uncover local artists within captivating boutique art galleries, or sample the delectable range of seafood on offer here, you could easily make Apollo Bay your home for a few days.
Back on the road, take time out to stroll the rainforest boardwalk at Maits Rest. This self-guided trail offers an easy stroll through scenic fern gardens, surrounded by giant rainforest trees up to 300 years old. Triplet Falls provide another enticing diversion, with a one-hour loop taking in what’s thought to be the most spectacular waterfalls in Great Otway National Park.
Not far from here is Otway Fly Treetop Adventures. Depending on how far your sense of adventure will take you, you could take a treetop walk on a 25-metre high elevated walkway, or opt for a zipline tour through the trees.
On to Cape Otway, where you can explore Australia’s oldest lighthouse. With a fascinating history and views over its wild coastline, you can see why this is a popular spot for tourists. However, arriving early in the morning or late in the evening should allow you to miss most of the crowds. On the road to the lighthouse, keep your eyes peeled for the koalas that call these forests home.
Driving Time: 1 hr. 20 mins
With the 12 Apostles on the agenda today, it’s a good idea to get an early start. Stops along the way could include Melba Gully – known for its impressive Giant Myrtle Beech and Blackwood trees – and Johanna Beach, known for its excellent surf. After a pit-stop at Lavers Hill for brunch, you now journey on to uncover the wonders of the 12 Apostles.
Surrounded by majestic cliffs and endless stretches of dramatic coastline, these massive limestone structures tower 45 metres in the air, thrashed by the swells of the Southern Ocean. Best seen at dawn and dusk, the 12 Apostles can be explored in a number of ways, one of the most exciting of which has to be by scenic flight or helicopter ride.
Driving Time: 1 hr. 5 mins
After your overnight stop in Port Campbell, pack up the campervan and travel west to see further rock formations at The Arch, London Bridge – and its little penguins – and The Grotto. The Bay of Martyrs offers a fascinating – and somewhat macabre – history, as well as beautiful trails providing mesmerising views.
The Bay of Islands Coastal Park offers more excellent vistas, and tends to be a lot quieter than other Great Ocean Road attractions. From here, journey on to your final destination on this Great Ocean Road route, Warrnambool. A vibrant city rich in culture, Warrnambool has galleries and markets, museums and more, surrounded by all the raw coastal beauty this region is known for.
From Warrnambool, you can choose to drive back to Melbourne, which should take about three hours along the highway, or you can stay and explore. Set within an extinct volcano, nearby Tower Hill Reserve offers a unique haven for wildlife, while the Grampians National Park provides an abundance of waterfalls, trails and lookouts that should not be missed.
With your campervan stocked and ready to go, the wonders of Australia are just waiting for you to uncover them. Want to head west, east, north or south? The trip is yours to take in your quality-crafted KEA Motorhome.