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Drive along the stunning Great Ocean Road to explore Australia’s dramatic southern coastline. Keep your camera ready, because craggy cliffs, charming villages, seal and penguin colonies and secluded beaches are possible sightings on every turn. The trip’s highlights are the impressive free-standing rocks called the Twelve Apostles, separated from the steep cliffs by the eroding effect of the ocean.
The Great Ocean Road starts at Torquay, which is an just over an hour’s drive southwest from Melbourne, in the direction of Avalon Airport. The winding road connects Torquay with Allansford in the southern state of Victoria. If you can’t hire a car, take a coach from Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station to Geelong, the departure point for coastal bus services.
Learn how to surf on Bell’s Beach in Torquay, where some of Australia’s famous surf-wear brands started out. Further south is Anglesea, a coastal town surrounded by rainforest. Kayak over the Anglesea River or visit the Sunday craft market .
Enjoy the many cultural delights in Airey’s Inlet or climb the historic Split Point Lighthouse. Explore the Great Otway National Park at Lorne and hike through heath and rainforest to the Erskine Falls. Drive inland from Apollo Bay to do the Otway Treetop Walk.
If you love hiking solo or with a guide, set out on the Great Ocean Walk from Apollo Bay. The 8-day coastal trail leads all the way to the Twelve Apostles viewing platform in Port Campbell National Park. Camp along the way if you can carry your gear or book hotels along the way.
As seen from Port Campbell National Park, the limestone towers that make up the Twelve Apostles are sure to impress. Don’t be surprised to find only eight rock formations; the name is merely symbolical. Return to the viewing deck at dusk to see little penguins waddle ashore.
Finish your road trip at the historic quarter of Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village in Warrnambool and treat yourself to fresh seafood with ocean views.
*Savings based on all vacation package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Expedia.com from January through December 2017, as compared to price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages. For Free Flight or 100% Off Flight deals, package savings is greater than or equal to the current cost of one component, when both are priced separately.