Which is the Best Great Ocean Road Tour?

Which is the Best Great Ocean Road Tour?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 06/06/2019

Reading time: 7 mins

Discover the range of Great Ocean Road tours that include seeing the iconic Twelve Apostles, an ancient rainforest, and Aussie wildlife.

It’s no surprise why the Great Ocean Road is one of Victoria’s top attractions to visit. Travelling along the road, you can expect seaside towns, native wildlife, and dramatic coastline.

The road itself is 243 kilometers, filled with attractions including the Twelve Apostles, the highlight of any Great Ocean Road tour.

There are multiple Great Ocean Road tours to pick from to suit all travellers. Whether you want a private tour, a way to avoid the crowds, to watch the sunset, or a multi-day tour, there is something for everyone. No matter what tour you select, you’ll have an incredible time travelling along the Great Ocean Road.

Great Ocean Road & 12 Apostles Tour

Great Ocean Road & 12 Apostles Tour

One of the most popular Great Ocean Road tours, this tour operates daily and can carry a maximum of 39 people. The day starts early, with pick up times from 6:45 AM (depending on your pickup location).

As you set off, you’ll stop by a popular coastal town for morning tea, before visiting Memorial Arch, the first attraction of the day. The tour passes by many towns before stopping at Apollo Bay for lunch. You’ll then set off on a guided walk to the cascades at Melba Gully, a dense rainforest area.

The next stop is the main attraction, the Twelve Apostles! Get your cameras ready and snap some photos of the iconic limestone stacks. You’ll then head off to Shipwreck Coast and Loch Ard Gorge where you’ll hear the tragic shipwreck that took place. You’ll see Razorback and other Port Campbell National Park attractions before going back to Melbourne.

Great Ocean Road private tour

Large Coach - Great Ocean Road Tour

A private tour is perfect for those who want to explore the coastal road without having other people, or to be with friends and family only. You can request stops you’d like to make, but below is the sample itinerary.

After leaving Melbourne, you’ll stop by a town for morning tea before seeing Memorial Arch. Next, you’ll head back down the road and stop to do a walk to spot koalas and native birds like kookaburras, parrots, and lorikeets.

For lunch, you’ll stop in beachy Apollo Bay to grab something to eat at a cafe, before making our way towards the main attractions. You’ll go through Port Campbell National Park and see attractions including the Twelve Apostoles and Loch Ard Gorge. Finally, you make your way back towards Melbourne after a spectacular Great Ocean Road journey.

Great Ocean Road in Reverse Tour

Reverse Great Ocean Road Tour

The reverse tour is great for those who want to avoid most of the crowds at the attractions. The tour runs daily and departs from 6:20 AM, depending on the pickup location you select.

Up first we go straight towards Shipwreck Coast where we’ll come across the Twelve Apostles! We will also stop by other Port Campbell National Park attractions, including Loch Ard Gorge. To make a change from the coastal views, we make our way to do the Maits Rest walk through the ancient rainforest, Great Otway National Park.

Back to the coastal views, we drive through different quaint towns with beautiful beaches. We’ll go to Memorial Arch before stopping by a town for a bite to eat and a chance to spot more koalas.

Great Ocean Road Sunset Tour

Great Ocean Road Sunset Spectacular

Seeing the Twelve Apostles at any time of the day is a breathtaking sight, but add in a beautiful sunset and the view is nothing short of magical. Starting around 9 or 10 AM (seasonal), you’ll be collected from your pickup location in Melbourne and whisked out onto the Great Ocean Road.

The first stop of the day is a river walk in Anglesea, then we stop by Memorial Arch for photos and a beach walk. Next,we go to Kennett River, a great place where you can spot Australian wildlife, including koalas! This is also a spot to grab a bite to eat for lunch.

After food we make our way back on the bus and travel along the coast, hearing stories of Shipwreck Coast as we approach it. We also drive through Port Campbell National Park and stop at some of the attractions along the way. Finally, we get to the Twelve Apostles and watch as the sunsets behind the limestone stacks. After the breathtaking view, we make our way back to Melbourne.

2 Day Great Ocean Road Tour

2 Day Great Ocean Road Tour

This tour is perfect for those who want to explore the Great Ocean Road in depth. The tour operates on Monday, Thursday and Saturday and includes morning tea, park entrance fees, dormitory accommodation (private available), breakfast, and a dinner in the price.

On the first day after departing Melbourne you go to Tower Hill, a dormant sunken volcano filled with Aussie wildlife. At Tower Hill, you’ll also have some lunch! During winter, after lunch we’ll go to Logan’s Beach have a chance to do whale watching.

Next up we head down along Shipwreck Coast and visit Bay of Islands, Bay of Martyrs, The Grotto, and London Bridge. To end the first day, we catch the sunset at the iconic Twelve Apostles before having a classic BBQ dinner at the accommodation.

After you’ve had breakfast on day two, we make our way to Loch Ard Gorge, and the Twelve Apostles. Depending on the tide, we’ll climb Gibson Steps and have the Twelve Apostles tower us from the beach.

After experiencing the coast, we drive down towards Otway Rainforest to do the Maits Rest walk. Lastly, we stop off at Apollo Bay for lunch and a chance to see the surfers along Bells Beach before heading back to Melbourne.

Great Ocean Road Boutique Tour

2 Day Great Ocean Road & Phillip Island Tour

Your day begins around 6:45 AM where you’ll head out and spend the day along the Great Ocean Road! This tour consists of a small group with a maximum of 10 travellers who’ll enjoy spending the day seeing iconic landmarks.

The first stop of the day is at Colac for a quick bite to eat before going towards the Twelve Apostles and along Shipwreck Coast. We’ll make stops at Loch Ard Gorge, London Bridge, and Razorback. For lunch we stop in Port Campbell before travelling through Otway Rainforest. We also stop at Kennett River to spot koalas and other wildlife.

As we start making our way back to Melbourne, the final stop is in the popular coastal town of Lorne.

2 Day Great Ocean Road & Grampians Tour

2 Day Great Ocean Road & Grampians Tour

This tour is for those who want to see the coast and the nature side of Victoria. This tour operates on Monday (between April to October) and Monday and Friday (November to March). Dormitory accommodation is included in the price of the tour which a chance to upgrade to a motel.

On the first day you’ll explore the iconic sights of the Great Ocean Road, with lunch included. You’ll start the day seeing Memorial Arch, go for a beach walk at Lorne and Anglesea, and a then chance to spot Aussie wildlife at Otway Rainforest.

Next, we head towards the Twelve Apostles, and go along Shipwreck Coast for other main attractions. You’ll then spend the night in the Grampians with a chance to spot some kangaroos at night.

The second day of tour is spent at Grampians National Park with breathtaking views. We’ll spot more Aussie wildlife and do hiking through the national park. For lunch we stop at Halls Gap before taking a walk to Mackenzie Falls or Silverband Falls.

After the waterfalls we’ll go to Lake Bellfield and walk along the lake’s shore and enjoy the mountain air at Reed’s Lookout or Lake Bellfield. You’ll then start making your way back to Melbourne, completing an incredible two day trip.

When planning your tour, ensure you book early as these tours can get booked out in advance, especially during the holiday periods. There are also opportunities to do a helicopter ride on some tours, but it’s not  always guaranteed.

Related article: What is the difference between the Great Ocean Road regular and large coach tours?


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.