I love to visit different countries and explore their cities, landscapes, cultures, and natural wonders. Australia is one of my favorite countries to visit because it can provide all these things in my travels. The vast countryside with its kangaroos and wonderful people has always fascinated me. I like to rent a car and drive on my trips, so while I visited Australia I did the same.
There are so many advantages to driving on the open road during a road trip. You get to see sites and nature that you normally wouldn’t see on a basic tour or by foot. You can stop at just about any place you’d like and take photographs of the landscape. When you get tired of driving, you can spontaneous stay at a hotel or resort of your choosing—or just pitch a tent in the open wilderness.
Before visiting Australia, I did some research and learned that there are tons of road trips throughout the entire country that visitors and residents alike can take. Since my partner and I were flying into Melbourne, we decided that the best option was to take a road trip on the famous Great Ocean Road. Though traveling by car is of course an option, I decided to rent a van hire in Melbourne so that we could sleep in it on the side of the road when we needed to.
We visited tons of noteworthy and breathtaking sites on the trip, but listed below are my five all-time favorites:
If you think that looking at rocks is not your cup of tea, then let me prove you dead wrong! This is one of the most gorgeous rock formations in all of Australia, maybe in the world. If you can reach the area before sunrise, then it’s even more breathtaking. The 12 Apostles are actually a collection of limestone structures that have been formed by erosion over thousands of years. Though it’s named 12 Apostles, there are only eight remaining, so make sure you get a chance to view them before the remaining stacks take a tumble. This site was definitely one of the greatest natural delights of our trip!
Loch Ard Gorge
Only a five minute drive from 12 Apostles, this gorgeous and colorful gorge was named after the ship Loch Ard that shipwrecked on a nearby island. Not only is this site full of history, it’s also a great place to have a picnic with your family and enjoy the beautiful limestone formations and crashing waves of the ocean.
London Arch is a naturally formed arch that used to be connected to the mainland but buckled unexpectedly in 1990. Although no longer a natural stone bridge, it’s still a beautiful site to behold. You can sit in the viewing areas by the arch, take some great pictures, or just enjoy the scenery at sunset.
This is one of the most well-known locations to visit on the Great Ocean Road. It is quite a formidable site, with crashing waves and sharp rocks jutting out of the water. Cape Otway Lighthouse overlooks the cape and is one of Victoria’s oldest working lighthouses. There have been nearly a dozen shipwrecks in this area, many of which you can still see the remnants. Enjoy the view and check out some restaurants nearby that will serve crayfish and abalone straight from the cape.
These falls are located in the Great Otway National Park. As the name suggests, there are three waterfalls cascading over tropical rainforest flora and fauna. To and from the falls is a brisk two kilometer walk. So pack a lunch, take a hike, and enjoy another one (or maybe three!) of Australia’s natural wonders.
Bonus sites: The first three sites on this list are all part of the Port Campbell National Park, which in turn is part of the Shipwreck Coast. There are a ton of beautiful cliffs, rock formations, and natural wonders to explore in this area, including The Gibson Steps and The Grotto.