What beaches are along the Great Ocean Road?

What beaches are along the Great Ocean Road?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 10/11/2022

Reading time: 4 mins

A trip along the Great Ocean Road is a journey enjoyed by millions of people each year. The iconic road is accompanied by rugged coastal views, sheer cliffs, and incredible rock formations – including the world-famous 12 Apostles.

Located in south-west Victoria, the Great Ocean Road runs from Torquay through to Allansford, and covers 243 km. The vast Southern Ocean is visible for much of the journey, and with this comes an impressive number of beaches to visit.

Whilst not all beaches are safe for swimming, many of the beaches in this region are world-famous for surfing, thanks to the consistent conditions.

Great Ocean Road Beaches

  • Torquay

    Though the road technically begins after Torquay, we cannot leave this one out. The town of Torquay is a popular holiday destination – thanks to the friendly locals, relaxed culture and vibrant bars and eateries – and it boasts a beautiful and calm front beach. Perfect for families and water activities like paddleboarding or kayaking.

  • Jan Juc Beach

    Immediately south of Torquay, Jan Juc is a patrolled surf and swimming beach. The conditions can get a little rough with larger swells, so it’s a good option for those more confident in the water.

  • Bells Beach

    A renowned surf beach. Bells Beach is the site of the Ripcurl Pro Surf Championships. This beach is best for spectating the surfers, but the surf conditions mean it’s not a safe spot to swim. It’s also a fantastic fishing spot at low-tide.

  • Anglesea Beach

    Patrolled during peak summer times, the moderately calm conditions are okay for swimming. The smaller swell also makes this a great beach for surf lessons for beginners. The beaches in Anglesea are surrounded by impressive red cliffs and hiking trails.

  • Fairhaven Beach

    The longest stretch of beach along the Great Ocean Road, Fairhaven is the perfect spot to stretch your legs after a long drive. Another great surfing spot, you can swim in the patrolled areas.

  • Lorne Dog Beach and Lorne Beach

    A perfect spot for a family day at the beach. Lorne has all the facilities for a big day out. It is one of the safest swimming spots along the Great Ocean Road thanks to the sheltered shoreline. When you are done at the beach you can walk across the road and take your pick of the cafés and restaurants.

  • Apollo Bay Beach

    Crescent shaped beach in the busy Apollo Bay. Patrolled by lifesavers, the protected coastline makes it a great place to swim. Surfers can head a little further down the road to Johanna Beach.

  • Johanna Beach

    West of Apollo Bay, Johanna Beach is a much sought-after surf beach. Excellent for camping and surf trips. Johanna Beach has 25 camping grounds and is popular for fishing for salmon.

  • Gibson Steps

    This is a fantastic beach which gives breathtaking views of Gog and Magog – 2 massive limestone stacks just off the coast. Take the 86 steps down to the beach and enjoy a stroll and the view. The conditions can change quickly, so this is not a beach for swimming or surfing.

  • Loch Ard Gorge Beach

    Located in the Port Campbell National Park, the cove beach of Loch Ard Gorge is beautiful. The beach is surrounded by towering limestone cliffs. At dusk in the warmer months, you can see thousands of muttonbirds flock home for the evening. Another beach for observing, not swimming or surfing.

  • Port Campbell Beach

    A great spot for swimming, this beach is ideal for families to stop at and cool off on a hot day. Not one of the best spots for surfing. Port Campbell has a few bakeries and cafés, so why not grab some treats and head to the green foreshore that looks directly out to the beach and ocean.

You can drive yourself along the Great Ocean Road and stop in as many beaches as you wish. There are also fantastic day tours to the 12 Apostles you can join and enjoy the scenic 3-hour drive from Melbourne.

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.

Previous article: