The Seek Society recently spent some time adventuring the Victorian coastline and infamous Great Ocean Road, Australia. Equipped with a kombi from our friends at Hire A Kombi and Seek wares, the Great Ocean Road is a must do Australian road trip. From the dramatic winding coastline drive to the wild wonderland of Great Otway National Park, we’ve listed below 5 of our top highlights from this trip, the Great Ocean Road is a memorable adventure for all ages, interests and fitness.
1/ Great Otway National Park – Rainforest Walks
Throughout the Otways there are walks of varying length and difficulty that will allow every family member the chance to enjoy nature on foot. Most of them reach a crescendo at a spectacularly gushing waterfall – some particularly strenuous walks are a tease when the final stretch is within earshot of the running water.
Meandering through the rainforests, spotting for wildlife and appreciating nature in all her glory was a definite highlight of these lush green walks.
2/ Surfing The 12 Apostles
The Great Ocean Road region has some of the world surfing professionals’ favourite surf spots. Most famous of all is internationally renowned Bells Beach, home to the annual Rip Curl Pro event – a hallmark event for Victoria.
The coastline from Torquay to the 12 Apostles has surf spots dotted along it. You get a clue that the surf is pumping when certain car parks along the Great Ocean Road are full of local tradesmen’s vans and utes – having downed tools for the day to capitalise on the good conditions.
If you’re an inexperienced or beginner surfer, the best way to learn is to take a surf lesson. These are usually held by qualified professionals on easier breaks (usually east of Apollo Bay or west of Warrnambool). Between Cape Otway and Warrnambool is not the place for the newbie surfer, with bigger swells and tougher conditions.
3/ Coastline Sunsets & Sunrises
The dramatic cliffs and coastline of the Great Ocean Road deliver dreamy and striking sunsets and sunrises. Parking the kombi in remote locations and watching the colours emerge along the clifftops at dawn and dusk was high on the agenda day to day along the Great Ocean Road.
Some of the places we were super grateful to witness spectacular sunsets or sunrises were:
Loch Ard Gorge, The 12 Apostles, beach views at Apollo Bay and Cape Otway Lightstation.
4/ Beauchamp Falls (and all the waterfalls)
Located in Beech Forest, Victoria, this was one waterfall we don’t suggest you miss when looking at your itinerary down The Great Ocean Road. Beauchamp Falls crashes over a ledge into a large pool just outside Beech Forest, this 20-metre waterfall rewards a somewhat strenuous walk. To get to the falls, take the walking path from the picnic area, located off the Aire Valley Road. The three-kilometre path is an hour’s walk return, and requires reasonable fitness. The descent to the falls leads to a viewing platform (there is no access to the falls). The path back is steep and has steps that can be slippery when wet. Take care when walking in damp conditions.
Did you know Lorne has more than ten waterfalls within ten kilometres? There’s plenty to explore and walks suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Best of all, they look their best in Winter when the crowds aren’t there. The Great Otway National Park boasts one of the highest rainfalls in the state so these spectacular waterfalls flow all year-round!
5/ Redwoods Forest
At the remarkable Californian Redwoods, let your imagination come to life along this enchanting walk, where fairytales come alive! This remarkable stand of the world’s tallest tree species have thrived in Otway soil, far from their native California. Towering on the sheltered river flat at the Aire Valley Plantation, these Sequoia Sempervirens Trees were originally planted in 1936 by Victorian foresters for experimental purposes. While still in their youthful growth phase, the Otway Redwoods may one day claim the title of tallest trees in the world. A walk for the first time between the massive trunks flanking the river creates a special feeling of awe and reverence – not to be missed.
Further information on visiting and planning your adventure along The Great Ocean Road can be found here.