The road curves gently along the bush-clad cliff side. Around the bend, the picturesque coastline opens up before you; golden sand, shimmering water, and the verdant bush ascending from the ocean’s doorstep.
The Great Ocean Road is one of Victoria’s most popular tourist attractions, and it’s easy to see why; this stretch of coastline is more than enough to take your breath away. Built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932, the road itself is dedicated to those killed during World War I and is considered to be the world's largest war memorial.
Situated at the gateway to the Great Ocean Road, Peppers The Sands Resort is the perfect base from which to explore this stunning part of the world. Perched on the northern headland of Torquay, the resort is surrounded by an impressive 18-hole Championship golf course. If you’re looking for Torquay accommodation at its finest, you’ve found it.
Activities & Attractions
The Great Ocean Road is a scenic tourist drive, the main part of which extends from Torquay to the township of Allansford, just before Warrnambool. The drive is 244 kilometres in length, and takes roughly 4.5-5 hours driving non-stop.
However, this picturesque drive is not about getting there; it’s about what you see along the way.
The coastline itself is the main attraction. The expansive waters of Bass Strait meet the beautiful golden sand of the shoreline; it’s little wonder that these beaches are so popular. There are an endless number of beaches worth visiting along the drive, with Aireys Inlet, Lorne and Anglesea proving to be the most popular choices of those nearest to Torquay. For those who love to catch a wave, the region is a surfing mecca; close to Torquay, Jan Juc and the iconic Bells Beach are the best places for experienced surfers. If you’re keen to ride a wave for the first time, Torquay Beach itself is the best place to learn, with a number of surf schools operating within the area.
A short distance into the drive, the iconic Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet – made famous by its inclusion in the hit television series Round the Twist – is a popular tourist destination. Regular guided tours are available, allowing visitors to climb the original staircase and enjoy the panoramic ocean views from the balcony.
Towards the end of the Great Ocean Road near Port Campbell, tourists flock to the world-famous Twelve Apostles. Created by the constant erosion of the limestone cliffs, these rock formations rise majestically from the ocean and create a stark contrast against the brilliant blue of the surrounding water. The best time to view the Twelve Apostles is at sunrise or sunset, as visitors can experience their dramatic change in colour as the sun’s position alters.
For those who want to experience the wonders of the Great Ocean Road on foot, the Great Ocean Walk is an excellent option. The coastal walking track spans 104 kilometres in total, however most hikers opt to walk certain sections that suit their itinerary. Walking the coastline on foot gives you a totally different perspective; wander through leafy national parks, explore secluded beaches and enjoy the spectacular views out over the marine sanctuaries that extend along the coast.
Head inland from the Great Ocean Road and you’ll find fertile farmland and vineyards aplenty. The good news is you don’t need to leave this iconic road in search of fine food and wine; many of the restaurants and wine bars along the drive make the most of the fresh local produce that’s available. If you’re keen to sample the very best gourmet delights this region has to offer, the Otway Harvest Trail and Twelve Apostles Gourmet Trail are two fantastic options
For those who choose to drive all the way to the end of the Great Ocean Road, relaxation awaits. The natural hot springs of Warrnambool provide visitors with the perfect way to rejuvenate; sink into the beautiful warm water and let your mind, body and spirit relax.
While the winter months are a little cool to swim along the coast without a wetsuit, the Great Ocean Road remains a truly stunning drive during the cooler weather.
Many tourists choose to visit the area over winter in the hope of seeing southern right whales as they make their annual migration north from Antarctic waters to Australia’s southern coastline. If the timing is right, the best place to view these magnificent creatures is from the specially constructed viewing platforms at Logans Beach, just before Warrnambool. This section of the coast is Victoria's southern right whale nursery, and it’s common for these gentle giants to come within one hundred metres of the shore here.
Ideally situated at the entrance to the Great Ocean Road, Peppers The Sands Resort offers a range of beautifully furnished one bedroom studios and suites – many of which feature spectacular views of the manicured golf course.
Just minutes from the local beach and Great Ocean Road, this Torquay resort is the perfect place to stay for those who wish to explore this iconic coastline.