Hi travellers! We are Alex and Victor from @alexandreatravels. Welcome to our travel guide on the Great Ocean Road located in Victoria, Australia.
Alex was born in Melbourne and fell in love with travel after her first overseas trip to Europe when she was 21! After that, she worked as a travel agent and spent the next few years doing trips while studying at university.
Victor was born in Houston, Texas and came to Australia five years ago to study optometry. We met because we were neighbours. Alex is now working as a psychologist and Victor as an optometrist. We love to travel as a way of getting out of our comfort zone and experiencing new cultures.
Our goal is to see as many places as we can before settling down. Both of us have always loved capturing our moments so we could have memories to look back on. It’s been a fun hobby to learn photography as a couple over the last few years and it goes hand in hand with travel.
Our Adventures around the World
Alex was born in Australia and although she has travelled to over 35 countries, she couldn’t imagine living anywhere else but Australia. She did a lot of her travelling before she met Victor and had a few long trips to Europe (2-6 months), spent a while in Southeast Asia (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam) as well as Mexico and South America.
Victor was born in Texas and decided to move to Australia to pursue a course in acting as well as optometry. Before he met Alex he had travelled to Central America, around the United States and also to Indonesia.
When we started dating, our first trip was to Sri Lanka. It was such a special trip as Victor was going to volunteer to provide free optometry services. So we got to see a lot of local villages which were very eye opening. We spent a while after that travelling around and absolutely loved the gorgeous beaches, chill vibe and amazing places to hike that Sri Lanka offers!
After that, we went to Thailand which is one of Alex’s favourite places and ticked off one of her bucket list items which was to spend a night camping on a boat at Maya Bay. We also went to Mexico and experienced a friend’s wedding on a beach in Tulum which was unbelievable.
Living near the Great Ocean Road
Victor moved to live an hour away from Great Ocean Road for work. Alex then moved there after we did a year-and-a-half of long distance. It was tough to be away from each other. We have been to the Great Ocean Road a few times now as it’s only a one hour drive away. We drove the road one weekend when Victor just moved down there as Alex had not been since she was a kid and wanted to take photos at the best spots.
Road Trippin’ the Great Ocean Road
We did the Great Ocean Road in one day. We live close and didn’t have to stay overnight but we would recommend finding a coastal town to stay at rather than doing a tour from Melbourne which has limited flexibility. There are many tourists on the stops and it’s also an incredibly long day.
Both of us recommend staying for at least two nights so you can wake up early, do a whole day out there and then go back to your accommodation and chill and not have to drive back to Melbourne. We have been to all the stops along the Great Ocean Road and our favourites are Gibson Steps Beach, the Twelve Apostles Lookout, Loch Ard Gorge and the Grotto.
Sunrise at the Twelve Apostles Lookout was spectacular and probably our favourite experience on the road. Watching the sky turn pink over the view of the apostles was stunning. Even though we have been there a few times it still takes our breath away. We recommend waking up early for that!
5 Best Things To Do on the Great Ocean Road
One of our favourite memories along the Great Ocean Road was going on an incredibly hot day and being able to swim in the beautiful lagoon of Lord Ard Gorge. This place has become a famous Instagram spot in recent times but actually it’s just a great place to swim (when it’s warm enough).
We recommend spending time here, after seeing the main spots, to take in the view. But there is so much more to the Great Ocean Road than just Lord Ard Gorge. Here are our top five recommendations for things to do:
- Watch the sunrise at Twelve Apostles Lookout: Experience gorgeous views and less crowds than other times of the day. Sunset is also great.
- Walk on the sands of Gibson Steps Beach: Meander along this superb beach near the apostles and enjoy less crowds than the lookout.
- Stop off at Lorne: Although it’s not technically part of the Great Ocean Road, you still have to stop off at this beach town. Enjoy a burger at the “Milk Bar” or have lunch at one of the many great cafes. Also, stop by Teddy’s Lookout for gorgeous views over the Great Ocean Road.
- Have fish and chips in Port Campbell: Fish and chips is such an Aussie experience and having it at the beach is an Aussie bucket list item.
- Visit Lord Ard Gorge: If it’s a warm day then spend time swimming in the icy water at low tide when you can explore the nearby cave.
Where to Stay on the Road
Lorne is a gorgeous coastal town to stay at on the Great Ocean Road. It’s full of surf shops and cafes and has a bit of a Byron Bay vibe. Port Fairy, on the other hand, is a really cool town with great places to eat and nice shops. The Oak & Anchor Hotel is a gorgeous hotel to stay at if you are looking for something special. Apollo Bay or Port Campbell are other options too.
Need to Know Before you Go
We recommend attempting to see the sunrise at the Twelve Apostles Lookout early in the morning, then going to Gibson Steps Beach where you can take photos in front of the apostles with no one else around. After that, head to Lord Ard Gorge before 10am and you will beat the crowds.
The Grotto is a stop that is often missed but if you go down to the bottom you will find a lovely view of the ocean through a cave which is created by the waves. To beat the crowds, start at the Grotto and then work your way back towards the Twelve Apostles Lookout and Gibson Steps Beach as the tour buses normally start at Twelve Apostles and end at Lord Ard Gorge.
Even if it’s a warm day, bring warm clothing. The Great Ocean Road is a windy part of Victoria and the mornings can be freezing! We recommend staying overnight rather than taking a tour from Melbourne. Also, bring food! There are options at Port Campbell but nothing on the main road.
If you are looking to experience another special part of Victoria, after the Great Ocean Road, then check out the Grampians. But please don’t climb over the fences. Many people do this to capture photos, however the cliffs are unstable. You can still get good photos without risking it!
Thanks for reading and enjoy your road trip on the Great Ocean Road!