How Long is the Great Ocean Road?

How Long is the Great Ocean Road?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 09/05/2018

Reading time: 4 mins

Experience the scenic Great Ocean Road, one of the most famous coastal drives in Australia.

The Great Ocean Road is a picturesque route that takes travellers through an array of attractions and towns. Without a doubt, it is one of the world’s best, and most scenic road trips on offer.

The road itself spans 243 kilometres along the southwest coast of Victoria. Along the long windy road, there are plenty of coastal towns, golden beaches, wildlife, and rock formations to see.

When it was made

The Great Ocean Road was built to remember Victoria’s WWI servicemen and women. The road also helped connect the isolated towns along the coast, and a better route for tourism and to transfer timber.

The construction took place between the years of 1919 to 1932 by the returning soldiers of WWI. To celebrate the 75 year anniversary of the road, there was a two soldier sculpture that was put up next to the Memorial Arch.

Where the road starts and finishes

The Great Ocean Road begins at the east end of the coast in the town of Torquay and spans out to the small town of Allansford.

Some travellers may mistake Memorials Arch to be the starting point of the road, but it’s located half an hour after you drive through Torquay.

Most travellers will start their journey from Melbourne, expanding their travels an hour longer. From the city, you’ll drive through long stretches of farmland and Geelong, before arriving at the coastline.

How to travel there?

To experience the diverse attractions of the Great Ocean Road has to offer you must first decide how you will travel. Many travellers choose to join a tour, travelling on a bus with a guide, who can inform you of the history and information this land has to offer.

Others decide to hire their own transport, renting a car or motorbike so they can fish out the alternative stops, concealed from the crowds. This can also be a great offer if you want to take your time exploring the scenic route.

Otherwise, if interested in a unique experience of the Great Ocean Road, why not take part in the cycling events held in the summer? Events such as the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, where you can cycle along the coast.

What to see

Bursting with an array of attractions, the key motive in travelling the Great Ocean Road is to stop at the many locations along the way. You can see the main highlights all within a day, or expand your trip and take your time driving along the coast.

Twelve Apostles

The most renowned stop along the way is the Twelve Apostles, a collection of limestone rock formations that rise out of the coastline in awing size. You can check out this iconic attraction towards the end of the road just before Port Campbell on one of the viewing platforms.

Kennett River

One popular site to spot incredible wildlife is Kennett River, where you can see the Koalas lazing about amidst the trees. Other animals you could see here include king parrots, kookaburras, and wallabies.

Aireys Inlet Caves

A hidden gem along the road includes the Aireys Inlet Caves, close to Sunnymeade Beach. When the tide isn’t in at Aireys Inlet main beach, make your way towards the caves along the left side of the beach. Around this side of the beach also has some rock pools.

You may even notice a tall lighthouse, this is the Split Point Lighthouse, known from the show Round the Twist!


Spend time walking along a golden sandy beach enjoying the fresh ocean breezes or head out into the water and go surfing. Isolated beaches such as Sunnymeade Beach and Blanket Bay are good for some downtime and quietness.

If you’re looking for good surfing beaches go down to Johanna Beach, Anglesea Beach, and Lady Bay. If you’re new at surfing, Torquay Beach, Apollo Bay, and Bells Beach have surfing schools available.

Have at least one full day to travel to this amazing location, as driving from Melbourne to Allansford alone takes at least 5 hours with no stops. There are several accommodation options along the way or try to set off early in the morning if you are keen for a one day experience.

Previous article: Eucalyptus Trees of the Otway Rainforest

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.