Places to Visit on The Great Ocean Road: Day Trip Edition

great ocean road guide
Image: MrinaalDattBlogs

The Great Ocean Road is one of the most scenic routes in the world. Imagine driving on a road with endless ocean on one side and majestic mountains, quaint little towns and epic views on the other. Well, that is exactly the beauty of this road in Australia that sees hundreds of thousands of visitors each month.

And having moved to this fantastic country a little less than 10 months ago, it was finally time for us to give this road a visit. Now keep in mind that the actual road is over 664 kilometres long and takes about three days to visit and explore at the minimum. But most individuals make short day trips out of it, which is exactly what we did to first sample this much talked about piece of Australian National Heritage.

Officially the road begins from Torquay, which many individuals call the ‘surf capital’ because of its amazing waves that are perfect for, well, surfing. Or you can take the route through Lorne and reach your first pit stop:

1. Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery

great ocean road chocolate factory
Our breakfast at the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery. Image: MrinaalDattBlogs

Well, of course this iconic place had to be on our list of places to visit on the Great Ocean Road. Open since 2016, this place is a haven for chocolate and ice cream lovers. Lovingly called “The Chocolate Factory” by many, the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery true to its name is an actual chocolate factory where you can see sweets being manufactured firsthand.

There are tons of flavours to choose from when it comes to shopping for chocolates. But wait, that is not all. You can also buy skincare, souvenirs and more. Or simply take a seat in their cafe that also serves savouries apart from lip smacking pastries, hot chocolate, and more, with a side of melted chocolate!

Our first reaction when we dipped into the chocolate was “it tastes so fresh” which is normally not something you’d associate with a packaged eatable like chocolate. But we said it. Maybe it is because the chocolate is prepared on site, or maybe it is the quality of their beans. Who even knows? It is chocolate that we’re more interested in.

2. A random, secluded beach

great ocean road beach guide
An empty beach with pristine sand on the way to Lorne. Image: MrinaalDattBlogs

Driving a little further away from the bustling city of Melbourne and its suburbs, you leave behind the chaos and start seeing long, empty stretches of nothingness. And just when you think, “how much longer?”, you see something. A shade of blue that feels like it has descended from the sky on earth, because just on the horizon you can see… well, the great ocean. The excitement which had started to fade a little again brims to the top.

About twenty minutes you in, you understand what the “hype” was all about. And it sure doesn’t disappoint. With huge mountains on your right and an endless ocean to your left, and you – a tiny human, a speck of dust in the larger scheme of things – in the middle of it all.

Along the road you will come across plenty of “beaches”. Essentially these are corners where sand has accumulated for you to go down to and they are almost empty. It’s akin to having your own private beach, even if just for a few hours. The sand, the water, everything is so clear and in colours you never thought still exist thanks to rapid urbanisation and pollution.

But hey, seeing these beaches along the Great Ocean Road makes you think maybe there is hope for humanity afterall.

3. Teddy’s Lookout

teddy's lookout
Teddy’s Lookout offers visitors a complete 360 degree view of the ocean and the mountains from a height. Image: MrinaalDattBlogs

Well, you’ve seen the ocean from below by going down the road. Now how about viewing it from the top? One of the most scenic lookouts along the road, Teddy’s Lookout offers you a picturesque, 360 degree view of the mountains and the ocean. There are three different treks that you can also undertake while you’re there, or you can simply sit on a bench to enjoy a quiet picnic, OR if you are a history buff like me, read about the various rock formations and be fascinated by the forces of nature.

Located in Lorne, Teddy’s Lookout is a few minutes walk from the parking area and free to enter.

4. Lorne Jetty

Lorne Jetty
The Lorne Jetty offers you a view of the ocean for as far as your eyes can see. Image: MrinaalDattBlogs

Technically a fishing pier, the Lorne Jetty has one of the blue-est waters you’ll ever come across. With people of all ages around, it certainly is a change from the quiet and calm of the rest of the places but it has a certain way of inspiring awe. On one side you can see the beautiful town of Lorne against the backdrop of the mountains and on the other, an endless ocean for as far as your eyes can let you see.

This may also be a great pit-stop for a relaxed (or quick!) lunch before you move on to your next destination.

P.S. Though we didn’t have enough time, Erskine Falls is also a short 15-minute drive from Lorne.

5. Apollo Bay

apollo bay beach great ocean road
While a stunning place, Apollo Bay is a bit of a sleepy town. Image: MrinaalDattBlogs

An hour’s drive from Lorne, Apollo Bay is another town that actually reminds you of little hamlets straight out of a fairytale. The beautiful beach makes for a stunning foreground, as the farms with horses and sheep in the hills take your breath away.

Soon as the sun begins to set, a mist starts to descend on the waters reminding you of how you truly are a tiny speck of dust in the grand scheme of things.

On your way back, you can either take the same route home, or opt for the road in the hills which makes for a wonderful change of scenery from the ocean views (not that one can get tired of that!).

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