How Far are the 12 Apostles from Melbourne?

How Far are the 12 Apostles from Melbourne?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 04/17/2020

Reading time: 4 mins

There is a 230 kilometres direct inland route from Melbourne to the 12 Apostles. However, a longer scenic day trip along the Great Ocean Road is a much more interesting option.

So, you are planning a trip to the 12 Apostles from Melbourne. You have already checked Google Maps and you reckon it will take about 6 hours to drive the 460 kilometres round trip from the city. That’s doable in a day, right? Well, technically yes. But taking the inland route there and back will be a pretty uneventful road trip. If you take the inland route, you will end up missing some of the best attractions on offer along the Great Ocean Road.

Instead of travelling inland, plan your itinerary to travel along the coastline. Drive along the Great Ocean Road to the 12 Apostles and make a number of stops along the way. Take in the scenery at lookout points, beaches and quaint towns including Lorne or Apollo Bay. A round trip tour from Melbourne to the 12 Apostles travelling along the Great Ocean Road will take your travel distance up over 500 kilometres. In order to see all the spectacular sights but save time, cut inland via Colac on your way back to the city.

How to get to the 12 Apostles from Melbourne

As you travel towards the 12 Apostles from Melbourne, you’ll head to the west, out of the city. As you make the trek, you will cross over the West Gate Bridge and onto Princes Highway towards Geelong. When you get closer to Geelong, you’ll be faced with two options – take the inland route towards Colac or head for Torquay.

If you choose the route towards Torquay, you will be able to enjoy the scenic drive along the Great Ocean Road. Choosing the scenic route will take you past some of Victoria’s best beaches, dramatic coastal cliffs, lush rainforest and charming seaside towns. The inland option will take you past farms, farms and more farms.

Can I visit the 12 Apostles in one day?

While it is possible to do the trip in a day, if you are driving yourself it’s not recommended. Trying to drive back to Melbourne along unfamiliar country roads at night after a long day of driving can be a bit dangerous.

If you’re short on time, a one-day tour is a great option to experience the Great Ocean Road and return to Melbourne the same day. Local guides are experienced in driving the winding country roads. That means you can sit back, relax, and fully take in the scenery surrounding you. All you have to worry about is getting the best angle in your 12 Apostles photos. Not having to drive means you can admire the stunning scenery and enjoy a refreshing nap on the return journey.

Tips for a safe trip to the 12 Apostles

If you are planning your own trip to the 12 Apostles, follow these tips for a safe and enjoyable journey.

  1. Plan your day ahead of time and set off early. Stop and check out all the exciting stops along the way. Just make sure you give yourself enough time to explore so that you don’t arrive at the 12 Apostles after dark.
  2. Don’t travel alone. It’s a long drive and you will need someone to share the driving with, especially as you head home at night. If you feel sleepy while driving, switch drivers or pull over and have a quick nap.
  3. Watch out for kangaroos, especially as you head home. The animals are most active around sunset and sunrise and can jump out unexpectedly on country roads. Adult kangaroos are definitely big enough to cause some serious damage to your hire car.
  4. If you have the time, spend a night somewhere along the Great Ocean Road. An overnight stay will break up the journey and help you avoid driving during the dangerous twilight hours. There are plenty of accommodation options in towns such as Port Campbell and Lorne that are worth taking the extra time to enjoy.
  5. Remember we drive on the left side in Australia!

Related article: How many of the 12 apostles are still standing?

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.