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Australia’s Great Drives – The Great Ocean Road

Stretching down along Australia’s Southern Coastline from Torquay to Allansford is perhaps Australia’s most well known “Great Drive” The Great Ocean Road. This long winding piece of roadway includes some of the most spectacular ocean views along its 243km journey. Broken up into 3 sections it is not a short trip by any means. In fact to do the road and yourself justice you be well advised to allow at least a couple of days to travel along it and see the many wonderful sights and towns that are nestled in along the route.

From the twelve apostles to natural rainforest waterfalls there is something along this road for everyone to marvel at. The road itself is an enjoyable and relaxing drive through the many bends and curves hugging the coastline, regardless of whether you’re on a motorbike, or in a 4WD, bus or car.

For those interested in its history the road itself was built between World War I and World War II by returned servicemen to honour their fallen comrades. The road took 16 years to build and was all done by hand with picks, shovels and dynamite. It was also Australia’s first toll road but was later a gift to the Victorian government and motorists no longer incur any toll.

If you are planning a journey to the Great Ocean Road there is accommodation available the whole way along the trip to suit all budgets and tastes from bush campsites and backpackers, to bed and breakfasts, cottages and luxury hotels. Geelong, Queenscliff, Lorne, Apollo Bay, Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Portland offer the widest variety, but for an alternative you may like to try a hinterland getaway.

Good food and wine are synonymous with the Great Ocean Road region. Local chefs make the most of the fresh foods produced in the area, including berries, cheeses, herbs, mustards, vegetables, honey, mussels and crayfish. There are many vineyards near Geelong that specialise in cool climate wines such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Shiraz. Many of these wines are easily found on the wine lists of the Great Ocean Road’s restaurants.

This enjoyable mix of nature, culture and the road itself make The Great Ocean road truly one of Australia’s “Great Drives”. So if you get the chance, plan a trip, take your car and enjoy.

Thanks to Suzanne Johnston for her submission. Suzanne receives a $25 gift voucher for her winning contribution. If you would like to enter your favourite place as a Great Australian Drive email your submission to