By Telma and Thomas | 24 January 2016 | Australia | Travel Guides

Having a Great Ocean Road Itinerary is a must, as well as knowing how to experience it and make the most of it. Victoria’s most scenic drives, the Great Ocean Road is a magnificent touring route that is worth a visit while exploring Australia. We suggest checking Visit the Great Ocean Road for more information.

A lot of debate goes on regarding how long should a person take to drive the Great Ocean Road.
Believe or not, same people do it in one day. Which in our opinion is a little rushed and people do miss out on a lot of beautiful spots. Unless, the only thing people want to see is the Twelve Apostles. But there is so much to explore! Don’t be too hasty! What people need to understand, again and because it’s Australia, are the distances. The driving can easily take up to two hours in between towns.

The Great Ocean Road itself is around 243 km/150 miles, between the cities of Torquay and Allansford. But the famous touring route, Torquay to Port Fairy, is about 664km/413miles, and to drive that distance would take a minimum of 9 hours. So if you are planning on having multiple stops (which you will!),  take pictures, enjoy the scenery and take your time, one day will not be enough.

Along the way you will encounter dozens of towns which offers different experiences to explore. There is something for everyone’s taste, from surfing to hiking, scenic lookouts, to history and heritage.

victoria and south australia borders

Great Ocean Road Itinerary

Four days / three nights

Our journey started in Adelaide, and through historic fishing villages, national parks, lighthouses, the popular limestone rock formations (Twelve Apostles and London Bridge), sheer cliffs, panoramic views, surf towns, and 1000km/620miles later, we arrived in Melbourne.

  • Victor Harbor
  • Mt Jagged Wines
  • Meningie
  • Coorong National Park
  • Cape Jaffa
  • Beachfront (1st night)
  • Mt Gambier (Blue Lake)
  • Port MacDonnell
  • Nelson (Border – South Australia / Victoria)
  • Lower Glenelg National Park / Mt Richmond
  • Port Fairy – Allansford – Great Ocean Road Sign
  • Bay of Islands & Bay of Martyrs
  • The Grotto
  • London Bridge
  • The Arch
  • Loch Ard Gorge
  • 12 Apostles (sunset)
  • Princetown (2nd night)

travelling from adelaide to melbourneTop: Left to Right – Blue Lake; The Grotto| Bottom: Left to Right – Loch Ard Gorge; 12 Apostles

  • Gibson Steps
  • Cape Otway (Lighthouse)
  • Apollo Bay
  • Kennett River (Koalas in the wild)
  • Lorne (3rd night)
  • Aireys Inlet
  • Bells Beach
  • Torquay
  • Geelong

tourist attractions in great ocean roadLeft to Right: Cape Otway; A beach somewhere in between Aireys Inlet and Torquay

Great Ocean Road Trip Recommendations:

  • If you can, take your time to explore this part of Australia. If you can’t, be very specific on the things you want to see. Prepare for some compromising
  • A Day Trip is not worth it and it is a waste of money.
  • It is a long drive. Add some stops, you will enjoy must more
  • Arriving at the 12 Apostles at sunset it’s breathtaking
  • Bring insect repellent, sand flies are unbearable during the evening
  • Drive carefully, so you don’t get unexpected surprises crossing your way (Wallabies/Kangaroos)
  • Try and visit beyond the touristic stops, there are dozens of little towns along the way, and it would be a pity to miss some
  • Download the Great Ocean Road Interactive Map

How much driving the Great Ocean Road cost?

We did not pay for accommodation; it wasn’t worth it. We knew at the end of the trip there was a nice bed waiting for us. The car rental was fairly inexpensive, the food we bought was from the local supermarkets and the only activity was the ticket for the Cape Otway Lighthouse.

renting a car for the great ocean road

Below is a breakdown of our costs:

Despite all the information that we read online and everyone’s advices, we slept in the car for 3 nights. Yes, guilty!
We obviously didn’t just stop the car in the middle of the road; we made sure we stopped at residential areas and preferably near public toilets.

Cost: Zero

Car Rental: 4 days. Pick-up: Adelaide Airport, Drop-off: Melbourne Airport.
Cost: AUD$50/USD$35/GBP£25 per day
Full Cover Zero Excess: AUD$10/USD$7/GBP£5 per day
Petrol Cost: AUD$80/USD$55/GBP£45 – 1000km/620miles

Cost: AUD$140/USD$97/GBP£75

Cape Otway Lighthouse – AUD$35/USD$25/GBP£20 two people
We had a few meals at local restaurants but all the rest was from the local supermarkets.

Cost: AUD$175/USD$130/GBP£100 two people


The total for 4 days/ 3 nights driving the Great Ocean Road was AUD$350/USD$252/GBP£195
Per day: AUD$87.50/USD$63/GBP£48 – For two people

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What do you think of our budget and itinerary?

things to do and see on great ocean road

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We are Thomas and Telma – the writers, photographers, videographers and founders of Blank Canvas Voyage.

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