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The Great Ocean Road itinerary options from Melbourne

Sort out your road trip day-by-day, including accommodation and activities, quickly and easily.

Being only 243 kilometres long, the Great Ocean Road - which hugs the Victorian coastline from Torquay to Allansford - has all the makings of a road trip.

It could last one day or you could stretch it out for a week if you choose to drive all the way to Adelaide. We've outlined itineraries to suit short and long Great Ocean Road road trips here.

Plus, keep reading for details on where you can hire your car, recommended accommodation, must-sees on the drive and even a few activities you can tuck into along the way.

Book car hire for these Great Ocean Road itineraries

Great Ocean Road map


Recommended itineraries based on length


Great Ocean Road day trip

Start the day off early and cover all the highlights from Melbourne. Day trips can take 14 hours so be prepared for a long one and make sure you switch drivers often.

DayItinerary
Day 1

  • Distance: 527km
  • Approx. drive time: 7 hours, 30 minutes
Melbourne to Twelve Apostles, return
1-day The Great Ocean Tour

1-day The Great Ocean Tour from Experience Oz

Long day driving not your style? Make it easy on yourself by booking a one-day tour from Melbourne instead.

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Great Ocean Road 2-day itinerary

DayItinerary
Day 1

  • Distance: 309km
  • Approx. drive time: 5 hours

Melbourne to Port Campbell

Day 2

  • Distance: 287km
  • Approx. drive time: 3 hours 40 minutes

Port Campbell to Melbourne

Anchors Port Campbell

Anchors Port Campbell from finder.com.au Hotels

Stay overnight in Port Campbell in one of the sweetest cottages in town. It includes a spa bath, free Wi-Fi and easy access to Port Campbell Foreshore.

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Great Ocean Road 3-day itinerary

DayItinerary
Day 1

  • Distance: 152km
  • Approx. drive time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Melbourne to Lorne

Day 2

  • Distance: 159km
  • Approx. drive time: 3 hours

Lorne to Port Campbell

Day 3

  • Distance: 404km
  • Approx. drive time: 5 hours

Port Campbell to Melbourne

Lorne Bush House Cottages and Eco Lodges

Lorne Bush House Cottages and Eco Lodges from finder.com.au Hotels

Live the eco-tourism life in Lorne in these recently refurbished cottages. Complete with treatments to help you relax after a long drive.

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Learn to Surf at Torquay

Learn to Surf at Torquay from Viator

While you have the time, remember to catch a surf break in Torquay. It's a must do when visiting this popular surf beach.

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Clifton Beach Lodge

Clifton Beach Lodge from finder.com.au Hotels

Stay close to the action at Clifton Beach Lodge in Princetown where the 12 Apostles are literally a hop and skip away.

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Great Ocean Road 4-day itinerary

DayItinerary
Day 1

  • Distance: 152km
  • Approx. drive time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Melbourne to Lorne/Fairhaven

5-day option: Add a day in Anglesea to see the coast by mountain bike.

Day 2

  • Distance: 140km
  • Approx. drive time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Lorne to Princetown

Day 3

  • Distance: 270km
  • Approx. drive time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Princetown to Mount Gambier

Day 4

  • Distance: 424km
  • Approx. drive time: 5 hours

Mount Gambier to Melbourne

5-day option: Spend the afternoon and 5th day in Coonawarra sipping this wine region's best tipples before heading back to Melbourne.

Day 1 - stay at Lemonade Creek Lodges, Lorne
Day 1 - stay at Lemonade Creek Lodges, Lorne

finder.com.au Hotels

Day 2 - stay at 12 Apostles Creek Cottages, Princetown
Day 2 - stay at 12 Apostles Creek Cottages, Princetown

finder.com.au Hotels

Day 3 - stay at Golden Chain Tower Motor Inn, Mount Gambier
Day 3 - stay at Golden Chain Tower Motor Inn, Mount Gambier

finder.com.au Hotels


Great Ocean Road 7-day itinerary

With a week at your fingertips, it's possible to drive from Melbourne to Adelaide via the Great Ocean Road, although if you've made the journey it's easiest to fly back to Melbourne as the quickest drive will still take you 8 hours.

We've outlined a one-way trip to Adelaide below. You also have the option to extend your days in select locations mentioned in shorter itineraries above for a round-trip that won't cost you more time on the road.


Melbourne to Adelaide via Great Ocean Road map

DayItinerary
Day 1

  • Distance: 199km
  • Approx. drive time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Melbourne to Apollo Bay

Day 2

  • Distance: 115km
  • Approx. drive time: 2 hours
Apollo Bay to Port Campbell

Day 3

  • Distance: 243km
  • Approx. drive time: 3 hours
Port Campbell to Mount Gambier

Day 4

  • Distance: 132km
  • Approx. drive time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Mount Gambier to Coonawarra

Day 5

  • Distance: 393km
  • Approx. drive time: 4 hours 14 minutes
Coonawarra to Victor Harbor

Day 6

  • Distance: 50km (not including Kangaroo Island)
  • Approx. drive time: 1 hour
Victor Harbor to McLaren Vale

Day 7

  • Distance: 40km
  • Approx. drive time: 45 minutes
McLaren Vale to Adelaide

Day 1 - stay at Waterfront Motor Inn, Apollo Bay
Day 1 - stay at Waterfront Motor Inn, Apollo Bay

finder.com.au Hotels

Day 2 - stay at Anchors Port Campbell
Day 2 - stay at Anchors Port Campbell

finder.com.au Hotels

Day 3 - stay at Golden Chain Tower Motor Inn, Mount Gambier
Day 3 - stay at Golden Chain Tower Motor Inn, Mount Gambier

finder.com.au Hotels

Day 4 - stay at Coonawarra Bush Holiday Park, Coonawarra
Day 4 - stay at Coonawarra Bush Holiday Park, Coonawarra

finder.com.au Hotels

Day 5 - stay at NRMA Victor Habor Beachfront Holiday Park, Victor Habor
Day 5 - stay at NRMA Victor Habor Beachfront Holiday Park, Victor Habor

finder.com.au Hotels

Day 6 - relax at Southern Vales Bed and Breakfast, McLaren Vale
Day 6 - relax at Southern Vales Bed and Breakfast, McLaren Vale

finder.com.au Hotels


Search for more accommodation options


Great Ocean Road camping

Camping grounds are abundant along the Great Ocean Road. This includes in and near Great Otway National Park, Otway Forest Park and Port Campbell National Park. Many are hike-in camping spots that are stove-only. However, if you're driving you can check out the following powered caravan sites:

BIG4 Apollo Bay Pisces Holiday Park
BIG4 Apollo Bay Pisces Holiday Park

finder.com.au Hotels

Great Ocean Road Tourist Park
Great Ocean Road Tourist Park

finder.com.au Hotels

Prefer to tour? Let someone else drive and guide you with these top Great Ocean Road tours.

Great Ocean Road Driving Overview

  • Length: 243 kilometres
  • Recommended time: 2-3 days
  • Highlights and attractions: The Twelve Apostles, Bells Beach, Angelsea Hill, Teddys Lookout (Lorne), Marriner’s Lookout (Apollo Bay), Cape Otway Lightstation, Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve, London Arch, The Grotto, Bay of Islands, Gibson Steps and Lord Ard. Read more.
  • Great Ocean Road weather: The weather is pleasant throughout the year with max temperatures of 22°C and min temperatures of 6°C. Winter is the rainiest season. Summer is the driest.
  • Best time to go: To avoid the crowds road trip over winter between June and August. It's the rainiest season but comes with the chance to go whale watching. Alternatively, travel during spring or autumn for clearer skies and off-peak prices.
  • Car: Economy to large car. Roads are sealed and well-maintained.

Stephanie Yip

Stef is the Travel Editor at finder.com.au and has been writing about travel for over a decade. She's visited over 50 countries and has had some incredible experiences, including hot air ballooning over Cappadocia, hitchhiking across Romania and seeing the Northern Lights (twice!). And while she’d never say no to a luxury escape, she's far more likely to stretch her travel dollars as far as they can go by keeping her ear to the ground for unbeatable travel bargains. And she'll tell you all about them, too! Stef has had articles featured on Travel Weekly, Escape and Hostelworld.

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