Great Ocean Road 3 Day Itinerary: A Local’s Guide (2024)

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By Audrey Chalmers

Looking For The Best Great Ocean Road 3 Day Itinerary?

You’re in the right place! We’re lucky enough to live just a short 20-minute drive from the start of the Great Ocean Road and we spend as much time as we can exploring it all.

This part of Victoria is simply unmissable, whether you live elsewhere in the state or are visiting from the other side of the world.

It is truly one of our top recommendations for a getaway in Victoria.

In this article, I will guide you through the ultimate 3 day, 2 night Great Ocean Road itinerary, so you can enjoy every moment of your journey.

If you’re looking for the easiest most convenient way to see all the Great Ocean Road sights, then I recommend taking a tour.

This is the best (and safest) option if you don’t want to deal with driving, don’t want the hassle of booking accommodation, or just want to relax and have a good time!

There are some great 3 Day Great Ocean Road Tours available with fun and informative guides who do all the driving for you.

The Twelve Apostles rock stacks and beach at Port Campbell National Park a visit here is one of the most popular things to do in Port Campbell Victoria.

👉 Looking for an excellent Great Ocean Road tour?

Our pick for the best Great Ocean Road tour is this Private 3 Day Great Ocean Road Tour with a perfect 5 Star rating.

Of course, driving the Great Ocean Road on a self-drive holiday is also a fun way to see all the sights – there’s nothing quite like a bit of independence.

This Great Ocean Road 3 day itinerary is ideal for those who are travelling with their own vehicle.

Best Great Ocean Road 3 Day Itinerary

The Great Ocean Road and the 12 Apostles are two of Victoria’s most scenic landmarks.

Wild and unspoiled coastline, magnificent ocean views, tumbling waterfalls, lush rainforest and lovely seaside towns are just some of the star attractions to see along the way.

Plan carefully and you can also enjoy wildlife encounters, gourmet food and more while ticking off key sites such as Torquay Beach, Erskine Falls, Loch Ard Gorge and the Otway Fly Treetop Walk.

From the best places to stop for lunch, and where to stay overnight, to the sights where you must stop and explore further, this is the Great Ocean Road itinerary you need for three days.

Day 1 – Melbourne To Apollo Bay

Your first day on the Great Ocean Road begins in Torquay, home to the world-famous surfing spot of Bells Beach.

Followed by a lookout, a lighthouse and the Great Ocean Road memorial sign before lunch in Lorne.

After that, waterfalls, koalas, another viewpoint and maybe even glow worms await before staying overnight in Apollo Bay.


Torquay is the Great Ocean Road’s official start point – and is also Australia’s surfing capital. So it’s the obvious starting point for this 3 day Great Ocean Road itinerary.

Other things to do at Torquay include browsing the town’s surf shops for clothing and equipment or taking a look at the Australian National Surfing Museum.

Torquay on the Great Ocean Road also offers several beaches. These include the venue for the famous Rip Curl Pro, surfer favourite Jan Juc and Point Impossible, where the Surf Coast walking trail starts.  

Bells Beach

People on the beach at Bells Beach in Victoria.

Bells Beach is home to competitive surfing’s oldest contest, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, which takes place over Easter weekend every year.

The swells rolling into the curved bay here are particularly impressive during winter.

But, no matter when you visit, seeing local and visiting surfers riding the waves is always spectacular.

Anglesea Loveridge Lookout

Woman reading the information boards at Loveridge Lookout with views of the beach and ocean at Anglesea in Victoria.

Loveridge Lookout is next on the list for your Great Ocean Road 3 days’ itinerary. 

One of Anglesea’s popular attractions, the lookout was built in 1938 by Bertha Loveridge, as a memorial to her husband. You can read their story on the signage provided.

This Anglesea lookout offers panoramic views over Bass Strait and the local beaches.

Plenty of parking is normally available, and a pergola provides shelter during inclement weather.

Loveridge Lookout

Where: Great Ocean Road access via Harvey Street, Anglesea 3230

Heading west on Great Ocean Road look for the sign at the Harvey Street intersection.

When: Always open

Entry: Free

Split Point Lighthouse

View of Split Point Lighthouse with blue sky and clouds in the background. One of the great things to do near Anglesea Victoria.

Taking Split Point Lighthouse tours can also be a key part of any Great Ocean Road drive.

This lighthouse is located in the attractive town of Aireys Inlet on the Shipwreck Coast and is important to local maritime history.

Split Point also remains a working lighthouse guiding ships through the dangerous waters of Bass Strait.

You can climb the lighthouse for 360 degree views over the coastline. In season, there’s a chance you might even spot dolphins or whales while gazing out to sea.

Split Point Lightstation is famous for having been used as the Round The Twist lighthouse in this popular 90’s children’s television series – for those who can remember back that far.

Tours are self-guided so you can take as long or as little as you like. Children must be over 5 years of age and able to climb the stairs. Our 6 year old grandson was able to manage it.

Tours are available daily (except Christmas day) every half hour between 10 a.m and 1.30 p.m.

Click here to book ahead.

Split Point Lighthouse

Where: 13 Federal Street, Aireys Inlet

When: Mon – Fri 10 a.m – 2.00 p.m, Sat – Sun 10 a.m – 3.00 p.m

Entry: From $10.00

Click here to book

Great Ocean Road Sign

Stature and Memorial Arch along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.

You’ll spot the Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch soon after leaving Airey’s Inlet.

Stopping here is a classic part of any Great Ocean Road itinerary. We still hop out of the car here after countless visits.

This simple yet famous landmark serves as a tribute to the returned WW I soldiers who built the Great Ocean Road. The site also features a statue and information boards.

You won’t want to miss the chance of snapping a pic of the iconic Great Ocean Road Sign – a must-have souvenir to commemorate your journey.

Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch

Where: 689/721 Great Ocean Road, Eastern View 3231

When: Always Open

Entry: Free

Lunch in Lorne

Lorne is one of the most beautiful towns along the Great Ocean Road, and it’s a good place to stop for lunch before hitting the road once more.

Here are the best places to eat in Lorne.

The Bottle Of Milk

The Bottle Of Milk is a lovely Lorne cafe serving top-notch coffee, superb shakes and smoothies, all-day breakfasts and delicious burgers.

It’s open between 8 am and 4 pm, Friday to Tuesday, and has outdoor and indoor seating.

The Bottle Of Milk

Where: 52 Mountjoy Pde, Lorne 3232

When: Fri – Tues 8 a.m – 4 p.m

Phone: (03) 5289 2005

The Salty Dog Fish and Chips

The best Lorne fish and chips are available at the Salty Dog.

Expect a good selection, plus large portions of the freshest fish and seafood. 

You can eat at the outdoor tables, on the grass nearby or at the beach.

Salty Dog Fish And Chips

Where: 148 – 174 Mountjoy Pde, Lorne 3232

When: Mon – Thu: 11 a.m – 7.30 p.m, Fri – Sat: 11 a.m – 8 p.m, Sun: 11 a.m – 7 p.m

Phone: (03) 5290 1300

👉 Join our Great Ocean Road Travel Planning and Tips Facebook Group here. It’s the perfect place to ask your questions and be inspired!

Erskine Falls

Picture of Erskine Falls one of the most popular Otways Waterfalls.

Erskine Falls in the Otways is a favourite Great Ocean Road attraction and it never fails to impress no matter when I visit.

Standing at 30 metres tall the falls tumble into a fertile gully filled with giant ferns.

To view the falls, there are two lookout platforms – the first is only a short walk away from the car park, while the second is at the base of the waterfalls.

Reaching this second lookout takes a bit more effort, as it involves climbing down several sets of stairs to reach the pool below.

It’s worth the effort though for the close-up views of these impressive Otways Falls.

The return journey back up the stairs will leave you gasping for breath but you’ll be glad you made the effort.

Erskine Falls

Where: Erskine Falls Road, Lorne 3232

A short 10 minute drive into the Otways past Live Wire Park.

When: Open year round

Entry: Free

Teddy’s Lookout

View of the Great Ocean Road, beach, and ocean from Teddy's Lookout in Lorne.

Teddy’s Lookout offers fantastic views of the Great Ocean Road as it crosses the St George River and curves around the Lorne Scenic Beach.

It sits 113 metres above sea level in the hills behind Lorne and offers such clear views across Bass Strait that some visitors even claim to have seen the Southern Lights, Aurora Australis from here.

One of the must-see attractions in Lorne, the lookout was named after the first colonial to discover the area while chasing stray cattle.

Take a leisurely stroll through the bush, just as he did, and make your way down to the St George River.

The walk promises the chance of spotting wildlife, but to be honest we never have. There are lots of birds, however.

Teddy’s Lookout

Where: 53 George Street, Lorne 3232

When: Always open

Entry: Free

Kennett River Koala Walk

Koala sleeping in a tree along the Kennett River Koala Walk on the Great Ocean Road. A Great Ocean Road 3 day itinerary must-see.

If you love cute creatures, then the Kennett River Koala Walk has to be one of your essential Great Ocean Road stops.

The whole route is 15 kilometres (about 9.5 miles), but many people follow only a short section.

Head uphill from the Kafe Koala General Store, look up high and chances are you’ll spot koalas sleeping in the eucalyptus trees.

Kennett River Koala Walk

Where: 15 Great Ocean Road, Kennett River 3234

When: Always Open

Entry: Free

Maits Rest

Man walking along a track at Maits Rest in the Otways surrounded by giant ferns.

Take a refreshing rainforest walk and you might also spy the Maits Rest glow worms.

This enjoyable half-hour, self-guided loop will take you past trees that are several hundred years old, lush fern gullies and mossy undergrowth.

To see the glow worms, bring a torch in the evening and look for them at ground level, lining the boardwalk.

Maits Rest

Where: Great Ocean Road 15 minutes west of Apollo Bay

When: Open all year

Entry: Free

Dinner in Apollo Bay

Here are a couple of ideas regarding the best places to eat in Apollo Bay during the first evening of your 3 days Great Ocean Road itinerary.

Chris’s Beacon Point Restaurant and Villas

If you want to eat at the highly-rated Chris’s Restaurant, you’ll need to book a table in advance at this foodies’ favourite.

The menu is modern Australian with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern touches and comes with a side helping of coastline and Otways views.

Chris’s Beacon Point Restaurant

Where: 280 Skenes Creek Road, Apollo Bay 3233

When: Thu – Mon 6 p.m – Close, Closed Tuesday and Wednesday

Phone: (03) 5237 6411

The Apollo Bay Hotel

This Apollo Bay pub sits right across the road from the ocean, so if you’re after a beach bar, this could be it.

You can dine at the restaurant or bar, and the food is freshly prepared with local, seasonal produce.

Steaks, pasta, seafood, chicken parma or schnitzel and sharing platters all feature on the menu.

Apollo Bay Hotel

Where: 95 Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay 3233

When: Sun – Thu: 11 a.m – 11 p.m, Fri – Sat: 11 a.m – Late

Phone: (03) 5237 6250

Overnight in Apollo Bay

For a family, couple, group or solo traveller, here are the best places to stay in Apollo Bay.

Beacon Point Ocean View Villas

Living room at Beacon Point Ocean View Villas with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the ocean.

Beacon Point Ocean View Villas by Skenes Creek are just 50 metres from Chris’s Restaurant.

During one of our trips to Apollo Bay, we chose to stay at this location.

It was wonderfully convenient being able to walk to the nearby restaurant without having to use the car again.

We especially appreciated not having to worry about being over the legal alcohol limit of .05!

There are one and two bedroom villas with full kitchens and sea view balconies, and some have a spa bath or cosy fireplace.

There’s also a tennis court, shared laundry facilities and a BBQ area.

➡️ Check Prices & Availability Here!

Coastal Motel

Coastal Motel sign with the ocean in the background.

The Coastal Motel in Apollo Bay is right there on the Great Ocean Road and across the road from the beach.

It offers modern, light-filled rooms, some of which have kitchenettes.

This value-for-money motel offers onsite parking, free wifi, and amazing showers.

Listen to the waves as you fall asleep at night.

➡️ Check Prices And Availability Here!

Apollo Bay Caravan Park

People relaxing around the swimming pool at Apollo Bay Caravan Park

For families, Apollo Bay Holiday Park is perfect.

We stayed here in a cabin with our grandchildren and they loved it.

There’s so much for kids to do here, including a pool, water play area, adventure playground and games room.

It’s the ideal overnight stop on your Great Ocean Road itinerary for 3 days, whether you’d prefer an unpowered site or an ocean view beach house. 

➡️ Check Prices And Availability Here!

Day 2 – Apollo Bay To Port Campbell

The second day of this Great Ocean Road itinerary includes Marriners Lookout, Cape Otway Lightstation, the Otway Redwoods, a couple of waterfalls and the Otway Treetop Walk.

It’s a good idea to bring snacks and a packed lunch as there are limited opportunities to buy food in the Otways.

There are a number of places in Lavers Hill where you can stop for a late lunch though, and I’ve included some recommendations.

During the afternoon, you can spot Melba Gully glow worms as well as seeing the 12 Apostles at sunset.

I share some great places to stay in Port Campbell where you’ll spend your second night.

Marriners Lookout

View of Apollow Bay and the Southern Ocean at Marriners Lookout.

This Apollo Bay lookout offers stunning views over the area and is also favoured by hang gliders.

The hilltop lookout is just a short way from Apollo Bay. After a 10-minute walk from the car park, you’ll be able to see right across Apollo Bay and out to sea.

The lookout is on private land so please be mindful and remember to shut the gate.

Marriners Lookout

Where: 155 Marriners Lookout Road, Apollo Bay 3233

When: Every day 6 a.m – 10 p.m

Entry: Free but there’s a donation tin to help maintain the track.

Cape Otway Lightstation

Cape Otway Lightstation on the Great Ocean Road with ocean and deep blue sky. A wonderful landmark in Victoria.

Visit the Cape Otway Lightstation and you’ll be able to climb the state’s oldest working lighthouse.

Cape Otway dates back to 1848, and is Australia’s most significant lightstation. Migrating whales can also be seen here during winter and spring.

The light station is known as the Beacon of Hope, even though countless lives have been lost in the area.

It was the first mainland site seen by 19th century migrants from America, Europe and Asia who arrived in Australia by sea.

Cape Otway Lightstation

Where: Lighthouse Road, Cape Otway 3233

When: 7 Days 9.30 a.m – 5.00 pm

Entry: Adults $19.50, Child $7.50, Family $49.50, Concession $17.50

Phone: (03) 5237 9240

The Redwoods Otways

Giant trees in the Otways Redwoods Forest.
Can you spot Andrew among the giant trees?

These Otway Redwoods are often confused with the redwoods in Warburton.

The Redwoods in the Otways is a native Californian species that has thrived in this area.

An easy 15 minute walk allows you to get up close to what might one day be the world’s tallest trees, as these specimens are still only in an early growing phase.

The Otways Redwoods

Where: Binns Lane, Aire Valley 3237

When: Always Open

Entry: Free

Hopetoun Falls

Hopetoun Falls one of the beautiful Otways waterfalls cascading over a fallen tree branch surrounded by lush greenery.

One of the most impressive waterfalls in the Otways, Hopetoun Falls is 30 metres high and tumble down dramatically into the Aire River.

There’s an upper viewing platform just 20 metres from the car park, or you can descend 200 steps to the platform at the base.

It takes around 30 minutes to complete the return walk to this lower platform.

When we visited in winter it was quite muddy and slippery, but the waterfall was at its peak.

Hopetoun Falls

Where: Hopetoun Falls Road, Beech Forest 3237

When: Always Open

Entry: Free

Beauchamp Falls

Beauchamp Falls cascading into a pool surrounded by lush greenery.

Beauchamp Falls in the Otways are close to some of the area’s other waterfalls and are worth visiting if you love this natural phenomenon.

The walk to reach them takes around an hour and is quite strenuous. It will take you past mountain ash, blackwood and myrtle beech trees, plus lots of lush ferns.

The track can get really muddy, I nearly lost a shoe! So be sure to wear good quality walking shoes, especially in winter.

Beauchamp Falls

Where: Beauchamp Falls Road, Beech Forest 3237

When: Always Open

Entry: Free

Otway Fly Treetop Walk

Elevated walkway amongst the tree canopy at Otway Fly Treetop Walk

This Otway Treetop Walk is a must for many doing the Great Ocean Road in 3 days.

This elevated, 600 metre, 25 to 30 metre high walkway allows you to wander among the treetops.

You can also take a zipline ride here, or explore the Enchanted Forest that’s full of pixies, fairies, and dragons.

Booking online is essential.

Otway Fly Treetop Adventures

Where: 360 Phillips Track, Weeaproniah 3237

When: Thu – Mon 10 a.m – 5 p.m (Last entry 3.30 p.m) Open every day in school holidays.

Entry: Adult $27.50, Child $21.50, Family $80.00

Book Tickets Here

Phone: (03) 5235 9200

Lunch in Lavers Hill

The Perch is considered to be the best place to eat in Lavers Hill although I think it’s a bit too fancy for lunch on the run.

For something you can eat in a hurry try Yatzies.

The Perch Lavers Hill

The Perch at Lavers Hill can be found at the highest point of the Great Ocean Road. So you can expect superlative, sweeping views.

The fine dining menu offers food prepared using the freshest local produce, and there’s an extensive wine list to match.

The Perch

Where: 1 -15 Great Ocean Road, Lavers Hill 3238

When: Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week

Phone: (03) 5237 3110

Yatzies Cafe

Yatzies makes a great pit stop if you’re after simple food, coffee, and supplies.

Food is served in takeaway containers even though there is a dedicated dining area.

However, on a cold day they have a roaring fire going and on a hot day the AC is much appreciated.


Where: 5225 Colac Lavers Hill Road, Lavers Hill 3238

When: 7 Days 9.30 a.m – 3.30 p.m

Phone: (03) 5237 3215

Melba Gully – Madsens Track

Madsens Track walking trail in Melba Gully among lush ferns and trees.

The Melba Gully State Park near Lavers Hill comprises around 50 hectares of rainforest within the Otways.

Here you can take the Madsens Track Nature Walk, which takes around half an hour through one of the state’s wettest points.

You might also spy the Melba Gully glow worms if you go at night.

Melba Gully

Where: 5 Melba Gully Road, Lavers Hill 3238

When: Always Open

Entry: Free

12 Apostles at Sunset

Image of the Great Ocean Road 12 Apostles at sunset with orange cliffs and fading blue skies.

Visit the 12 Apostles at sunset and you can witness the cute penguins coming in to shore.

You can also see the remaining seven limestone stacks that make up the Great Ocean Road’s most famous site.

These also change colour as the light fades, and the shadows cast at sunset make it all feel far more atmospheric than by day.

Dinner in Port Campbell

Dining options in Port Campbell include a beach bar and cafe, a local hotel and a modern eatery with a responsible attitude.

12 Rocks Café and Beach Bar

12 Rocks in Port Campbell is a laid-back eatery offering outdoor seating, sea views and contemporary Australian pub grub.

The fish and chips, steaks, burgers, seafood and pasta dishes are delicious, and the staff are efficient and welcoming.

12 Rocks Beach Bar & Cafe

Where: 19 Lord Street, Port Campbell 3269

When: 7 Days 9.30 a.m – 8.00 p.m

Phone: (03) 5598 6123

Port Campbell Hotel

This Port Campbell pub dates back to 1987 and occupies a big space.

Serving a good selection of food and drinks, this venue has a regular menu plus specials such as curries, slow-cooked dishes, pizzas, seafood and steaks.

There are vegan and kids’ options, plus food with European and Asian influences. 

Port Campbell Hotel

Where: 40 Lord Street, Port Campbell 3269

When: Mon – Thur 4.30 p.m – Late, Fri – Sat 12.00 p.m – Late, Closed Sunday

Phone: (03) 5598 6320

REAL Pizza Pasta Salads

Responsibly sourced fare is what it’s all about at REAL Pizza Pasta Salads in Port Campbell.

You can create your own pizza or pasta dish here, or opt for one of the listed salads.

Ingredients used here are all locally sourced, with a firm commitment to reducing food miles.

REAL Pizza Pasta Salads

Where: 25 Lord Street, Port Campbell 3269

When: Thur – Tues 5 p.m – Late

Phone: (03) 5598 6131

Overnight in Port Campbell

Stay overnight in Port Campbell and you can choose between a couple of motels close to the beach and a complex containing self-contained cottages.

Anchors Port Campbell

Deck and outdoor table and chairs with country views at Anchors accommodation in Port Campbell.

For spacious, self-contained accommodation in Port Campbell, take a look at Anchors.

It comprises a series of cottages set among 30 acres of private land. The hosts are very welcoming and the views are magnificent.

Luxury amenities like iPod docks, dishwashers,  spa baths and free bike rental are provided here.

➡️ Check Prices And Availability Here!

Loch Ard Motor Inn

Guest room at Loch Ard Motor Inn wtih a bed, television, a table and chair.

Loch Ard Motor Inn in Port Campbell offers beachfront accommodation in the centre of town and right by the beach.

Each room comes with its own balcony, and they all have a kitchenette.

There are also plenty of dining options on the doorstep and shared BBQ facilities are also available.

For the best (and private) views of the beach ask for Room 14 that’s pictured here.

➡️ Check Prices And Availability Here!

Southern Ocean Motor Inn

Balcony views at Southern Ocean Motor Inn in Port Campbell.

Also on Lord Street in the centre of town is the Southern Ocean Motor Inn. This property has a few rooms with sea views, and all are very clean and comfortable.

Some basic kitchen equipment is supplied with all accommodation, including a fridge and microwave.

This is a good option for families, with rooms sleeping up to five in each.

➡️ Check Prices And Availability Here!

Day 3 – Port Campbell – Warrnambool

Day 3 kicks off with another visit to the 12 Apostles, before breakfast at Grassroots Deli Café.

You can then visit Port Campbell lookout, Gibson Steps, Loch Ard Gorge, The Arch, London Bridge, the Grotto, the Bay of Martyrs and the Bay of Islands.

Depending on the season and your preferences, you can then do a spot of whale watching or hit the foodie trail before heading back to Melbourne.

12 Apostles for Sunrise

The 12 Apostles at sunrise is as unmissable as it is when the sun sinks down over the horizon.

As day breaks, again you can expect the Great Ocean Road 12 Apostles to change in terms of colour and depth.

It’s a great time to experience the famous site at its most peaceful too as only a few people bother to get up this early.

If getting up before daybreak isn’t your jam, you can leave the 12 Apostles until after you’ve been to the Port Campbell Lookout.

Breakfast At Grassroots Deli Café

Grassroots Deli Cafe specialises in serving yummy local produce daily.

The cafe’s tempting breakfast and lunch menu features burgers, wraps, toasties, homemade soup served with sourdough and more.

It’s our favourite place for breakfast in Port Campbell and we never eat anywhere else. But it can get busy so get here early.

Grassroots Deli Cafe

Where: 28 Lord Street, Port Campbell 3269

When: Mon – Sat 8.00 a.m – 3 p.m, Sun 8.00 a.m – 2.30 p.m

Phone: 0448 331 662

Port Campbell Scenic Lookout

View over the beach and Port Campbell town from the Port Campbell Lookout.

The Port Campbell Scenic Lookout is located only around two kilometres from town.

You get a great view over the coastline and town from here and of course some unparalleled photo opportunities.

The lookout is pretty easy to find. As you are driving west along the Great Ocean Road heading out of town you’ll go up a hill and round a bend where you’ll see a sign for the lookout car park.

Gibson Steps

Gibson Steps Beach one of the beautiful Great Ocean Road Beach. View of the beach and person climbing down the steps.

Only a couple of minutes drive from The 12 Apostles or Port Campbell is Gibson Steps.

These cliffs are the first stopping point in Port Campbell National Park for those on a driving the Great Ocean Road itinerary when heading west. 

At Gibson Steps you can see two towering limestone stacks rising up from the ocean.

You can also descend the 86 steps to Gibson Steps Beach to enjoy unrestricted views of the rock formations from here.

It’s also possible to walk the kilometre or so between Gibson Steps and the Twelve Apostles. 

Loch Ard Gorge

Loch Ard Gorge should be on everyone's Great Ocean Road 2 day itinerary. Soaring green covered cliffs jut out into the crashing waves of the Southern Ocean.

Loch Ard Gorge is also just a few minutes by car from the 12 Apostles.

There are several points of interest worth stopping for here, including the attractive bay itself, which has turquoise water and golden sands.

To either side of the bay are yellow cliffs topped with lush greenery.

There are two rock pillars at Loch Ard Gorge, known as Tom and Eva. These are named for the two sole survivors of a late 19th century shipwreck.

Other sights to see at Loch Ard Gorge include the Mutton Bird Island Lookout and Thunder Cave.

You can also take a walk and explore the shipwreck trail, or simply unwind on one of the famous Great Ocean Road beaches

The Arch

View of the curved arch in Port Campbell National Park on the Great Ocean Road with the deep blue sea behind it and green shrubs in the foreground.

Visit The Arch on the Great Ocean Road and you can see just what the limestone stacks – including the 12 Apostles – of the area were like before their arches collapsed.

The Arch is only a 10 minute drive from Port Campbell.

It’s also worth visiting the arch for a different view of the 12 Apostles from the walkway. Unusually, they can be seen backed by cliffs from this perspective.

London Bridge Great Ocean Road

London Bridge on the Great Ocean Road at Port Campbell in Victoria Australia.

London Bridge on the Great Ocean Road can also be found within Port Campbell National Park.

This natural rock bridge is one of the Great Ocean Road’s most iconic sights. Prior to 1990, London Bridge was connected to the mainland.

There are two viewing platforms here – lower eastern and upper western ones. Time your visit right and you might be lucky enough to see around 100 little penguins who return to shore here daily.

The views of the small birds can delight visitors of all ages.

The Grotto

View of the Grotto a must-visit Great Ocean Road 3 day itinerary destination. With see-through archway, ocean, greenery, and people descending the wooden stairs down to the bottom of the cliff.

The Grotto is one of the most fascinating. Is it an archway, a blowhole or a cave?

Inside the cavern, you’ll find a tranquil pool providing a strong contrast to the unsettled waters of the ocean beyond.

Due to the powerful wave action here, a viewing wall is in place to protect visitors from the stormy waters.

Bay Of Martyrs

Image of the island rock formations the Bay of Martyrs on the Great Ocean Road with the deep blue sea.

The Bay of Martyrs forms part of the 23 kilometre (14 mile) Bay of Islands Coastal Park.

From this relatively undiscovered site, you can enjoy uninterrupted Southern Ocean views. It’s paradise for keen photographers.

Bay Of Islands

The Bay of Islands on the Great Ocean Road with green shrubs on the forefround and aquamarine sea and bright blue sky.

Near the town of Peterborough, you can find the Bay of Islands Coastal Park.

These rocks have a different lighter coloured limestone than other rock formations in the area.

Even on a cloudy day, the lighter tone can make for better contrasts when taking pictures here.

It’s also worth visiting for the chance of encountering some local wildlife or unusual flora.

Winter: Warrnambool Whale Watching – Logans Beach

People scanning the ocean for whales in Warrnambool at Logans Beach whale watching platform.

Between June and September each year, you can spot Southern Right Whales from Logans Beach Whale Watching Platform in Warrnambool.

One of the most popular Warrnambool attractions, this purpose built platform is the best place to see whales as they frolic in the sea with their young.

During winter, whales migrate from the sub-Antarctic to the warmer waters around southern Victoria.

The female whales spend time near the shore in the nursery area before and after giving birth to their calves. So you’re more likely to see them clearly.

Meanwhile, the males stay further out at sea.

If you’re visiting during May or October there’s still a chance of spotting a whale or two. Be sure to bring your binoculars.

Summer – Timboon

If the 12 Apostles Gourmet Trail appeals, you’re visiting in summer, or you’re not really interested in going whale spotting, then Timboon might be the best final destination on your Great Ocean Road itinerary for a 3 days’ self-drive tour.

Lots of delectable treats await in Timboon – from savoury favourites such as cheese to sweet goodies like fudge or ice cream. So make sure you work up an appetite in advance of your visit.

The Timboon area is renowned for dairy farming and as such lots of products made with milk, butter and cream are available here.

You can visit all sorts of foodie spots in Timboon, including Dairylicious Farm Fudge, Berry World and the Little Bit of Sweet Lolly shop.

Of course, you can find some really great places to stop for food and drink in Timboon.

These include Berry Good Thai restaurant, The Fat Cow Food Co and the Timboon Railway Shed Distillery.

Another place we highly recommend stopping at is Shulz Organic Creamery and café.

Shulz Organic Creamery And Café

People enjoying a meal under the trees at Schulz Organic Dairy with cows in behind them in a paddock. A visit here is one of the great things to do in Port Campbell.

Shulz Organic Creamery and café is the home of Schulz Organic Dairy. This is a dairy farm just outside Timboon covering a site of around 1,000 acres.

The creamery and cafe have a lovely garden outlook and offer a seasonal menu featuring fresh local produce.

Shulz is part of the 12 Apostles Food Artisans Gourmet Trail.

Among the goodies to sample here are handmade cheeses, freshly baked scones and bagels, yummy coffee and milkshakes and delicious desserts.

Drive Back To Melbourne Via Colac

Once you’ve ticked off all the Torquay, Apollo Bay, Port Campbell and Lorne things to do on your list, it’s time to wind your way back to the city.

If you’re heading back to Melbourne, we recommend driving inland via Colac. This is the quickest route, with a driving time that’s typically under three hours.

3 Day Great Ocean Road Itinerary Map

Final Word: Great Ocean Road 3 Day Itinerary

The Great Ocean Road is one of the top Victorian attractions that no visitor wants to miss.

Starting out at Bells Beach with overnight stays in Apollo Bay and Port Campbell allows you to see all the wonderful sights in between.

With time for lunch stops in Lorne, Lavers Hill and Timboon, you can also follow the foodie trail while enjoying time in this unparalleled part of Australia.

Whether you follow this 3 day Great Ocean Road itinerary east to west or vice versa, a great time is guaranteed for all!

👉 Join our Great Ocean Road Travel Planning and Tips Facebook Group here. It’s the perfect place to ask your questions and be inspired!


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By Audrey Chalmers

Audrey grew up in Victoria and travelled the world but she always called Victoria home. She loves nothing more than exploring her home state and sharing it here.