Where to Watch the Sunset on the Great Ocean Road

Stretching out for 243 kilometres along the sunny south-eastern coast of Australia, the Great Ocean Road is one of the country’s most beautifully maintained wonders.

Spanning all sorts of terrains, from mountainous rainforests to wild beaches and tiny towns, the road offers an overview of Australia’s spectacular scenery all in one go.

Around every twist and turn in the road, you’ll be exposed to fresh sights, including dramatic cliff faces, pristine beaches, and the lush Otway Ranges.

While the Great Ocean Road offers breath-taking landscapes at any time of day, it is particularly stunning at sunset, when the sea views are bathed in a milky gold glow. Along the route, there are plenty of places to lookout and enjoy the scenes from, as the natural land formations change colour under the setting sun. It is the perfect way to end a day.

But with so much coastline to cover, where are the best spots to see the sunset along the Great Ocean Road?

  • Twelve Apostles

    The viewing platform at the world-famous Twelve Apostles site offers exceptional views out across this ancient rock formation, where the jutting shapes carve interesting silhouettes against the setting sun. These large rock formations formed over twenty million years ago, all from the natural occurrence of erosion. Back then, these apostle’s stacks were once apart of the Great Ocean Road’s landscape. However, after continuous storms, wind, and sea spray, the cliff top rocks were slowly cut away until small hollow sections appear. These eventually turned into caves, until eventually these sections caved in, leaving behind large rock pillars significantly separate from the mainland. Seeing this natural phenomenon is a must-do when travelling along the Great Ocean Road, so why not visit it when the rocks are glowing with the orange sunset. At just a five-minute walk from the car park, the viewing platform is the ideal place to catch the sunset.

  • Cape Otway Light Station

    The Otway Ranges give the Great Ocean Road a splash of greenery, with their lush vegetation and eclectic selection of wildlife, but they aren’t the only sight to behold along this part of the route. Dating back to 1848, the Lighthouse is a heritage site, being the oldest surviving lighthouse on the mainland of Australia, with a vast and significant history for the local community. For many years in the 19th century, thousands of migrants leaving Europe, Asia and North America headed towards their new home of Australia. Slowly coming to shore with the first sight of the new land being the Cape Otway Light Station. The area is just as stunning as it was back then, with the region offering beautiful views out to sea when the sun is beginning to set.

  • Gibson Steps

    Gibson Steps is located near the Twelve Apostles, these hand-hacked steps lead down to the wild scenes of Gibson Beach. Prepare to be dwarfed by the massive cliff line rocks and limestone stacks scattered around the shore. Here, you can settle down in the sand and watch the sunset against one of the Great Ocean Road’s most spectacular backdrops.

  • Loch Ard Gorge

    Loch Ard Gorge marks the spot where the Loch Ard shipwreck took place and the two young survivors made it to shore. The beach was named after this tragic incident in 1878, with the 52 crew members and passengers perishing in the shallow sea. While here, you can take in the spectacular views, as well as visit the nearby cave where the duo took shelter. Simply settle in the sand or trek out along the many walking tracks and look out points scattered nearby the hidden seashore. The rugged beach offers the ideal backdrop for watching the sunset against.

  • The Grotto

    Just a short drive away from London Bridge, The Grotto is famed for its steep staircase that leads down to a fascinating hollowed out cave. It may get forgotten compared to the nearby Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge, but the Grotto is one of the best natural formations hidden along the Great Ocean Road. It is essentially a sinkhole which is a blend of blowhole, archway, and cave all at once. The years of erosion has caused this natural formation, from years of saltwater and wind cutting the limestone cliffs away. A wooden boardwalk has been built to let visitors get up close to the grotto safely, with the smooth boulders and rock pool inhabitants in view. You can watch the tide come in during the afternoon and see the waves crash through as they’re turned golden by the setting sun.

  • Apollo Bay

    You don’t have to be in the serene nature Great Ocean Road offers to enjoy the sunset. With many of the towns being just as glorious when lit up by the orange glow. Either park yourself down on the town’s centre beach or sit along the main shop strip. People watching the locals and other visitors enjoying their time in this romantic setting. What’s great about Apollo Bay, is after you’ve enjoyed the sunset show, you can get up and walk only a short minute to one of the nearby restaurants for a mouth-watering dinner.

  • Lorne Rooftop Restaurant

    If you can’t wait for dinner, appreciate the sunset while tucking into dinner at the same time! With the Lorne Rooftop presenting a perfect blend of ocean views and lively atmosphere. Sip on a beer or sparkling wine and look out over the horizon to see the world transform into a soft orange and pink glow. Once the sun sets, you as well get a after show of the brilliant stars come to life above you.

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