Stretching 243 kilometres along the rocky coastline of Victoria, The Great Ocean Road is considered one of Australia's greatest road-trip destinations, boasting picturesque coastal towns and awe-inspiring views at every turn.
Beautiful national parks, deserted white sandy beaches and majestic fern gullies make up the region's dramatic natural landscapes, and koalas, kangaroos and other wildlife can often be spotted in their natural habitat.
Located just two hours from Melbourne, the Great Ocean Road spans from the surfing capital of Torquay to the whale watching town of Warrnambool, and is dotted with some of Australia's best rainforest scenery, rich maritime history, gourmet restaurants and crystal clear beaches.
One of the most popular stops along the way is the world-famous Twelve Apostles, magnificent natural rock structures that are more than 20 million years old and rise up majestically from the Southern Ocean's rugged coastline.
Sunset is a particularly breathtaking time to take in the Apostles, as a colony of over 1,000 little penguins can often be seen from viewing platforms above the limestone cliffs.
The rare Southern Right Whales also come to breed in pockets of this rocky coastline, and endangered Blue Whales can often be seen within a few kilometres of the Warrnambool cliffs.
Adventurous travellers can embark on The Great Ocean Walk, a picturesque "hop-on, hop off" walking trail of fern gullies, tall blue gum trees and sweeping coastal views. Stretching 104 kilometres, the full walk takes approximately five days to complete, traversing from the fishing village of Apollo Bay, through the koala-rich forest at Cape Otway and finishing with a breathtaking view of the Twelve Apostles.
More spectacular scenery can be found in the 12,000 hectares of the Great Otway National Park including the cascading Erskine Falls, and the Otway Fly Tree Top Walk, a 600 metre long, 30 metre high elevated walk that ascends through rainforests, complete with a zip-line tour.
The Great Ocean Road is also a perfect location to immerse yourself in Australian beach culture by taking a surfing lesson at Torquay - home of the iconic Bells Beach and internationally renowned surfing brands, Rip Curl and Quicksilver.
It's possible to visit the Great Ocean Road as a day trip from Melbourne, but a better experience by far is had by those who take time to savour the landscapes, communities, habitats and wildlife along the way.
On the Great Ocean Road, the drama and beauty of nature unfolds around every corner. This is a landscape that captivates, inspires and invigorates.
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