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Great Ocean Road Travel Guide

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  • Photo: Alberto Loyo / Shutterstock

Plan Your Great Ocean Road Vacation

The Great Ocean Road, which snakes along Victoria's rugged and windswept southwestern coast, is arguably Australia's most spectacular coastal drive. The road, built by returned soldiers after World War I along majestic cliffs, occasionally dips down to sea level. Here, in championship surfing country, some of the world's finest waves pound mile after mile of uninhabited, golden, sandy beaches and

rocky headlands.

Although this region is actually on the southeast coast of the Australian mainland, it lies to the west of Melbourne, and so Melburnians refer to it as the "West Coast." From the city, you should allow two or more days for a West Coast sojourn.

Driving is the most convenient way to see the region, and the only way to really enjoy the Great Ocean Road. Although the route is officially deemed to be 243 km (152 miles), and runs between the towns of Torquay in the east and Allansford (near Warnambool) in the west, most people think of it as the much longer route that continues farther west to Port Fairy and Portland. Its many twists and turns and wonderful sights along the way take many hours to explore.

The going may be slow on the most scenic routes, especially during the summer holiday period. The winding road is notorious for its motor accidents (you’ll notice roadside signs along the route reminding visitors that Australia drives on the left), so take care on the bends and slow down.

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