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The best way to see the Great Ocean Road

Get on board the bus and buckle your seatbelt! It’s gonna be a big day! In just under 12 hours, we’ll be covering 500 kilometers along the Great Ocean Road. There are a lot of ways that you can travel the Great Ocean Road… you can do multi-day trips in a camper van, go it alone in a rental car and stay in one of these amazing Great Ocean Road AibBNBs, or join a one day Great Ocean Road tour. I chose to take a Gray Line tour (click for a 10% discount on the Great Ocean Road Tour) because as much as I love gorgeous scenery, I’m a bit of a history buff and to miss that aspect of the Great Ocean Road is to miss one of the most beautiful parts.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

12 apostles Gray Line Great Ocean Road

1. Know the places to go

Sure, you’ve seen the 12 Apostles and you may have heard of Loch Ard Gorge… but did you know that Urqharts Bluff offers a great photo opportunity? Or that George’s Takeaway will give you an opportunity to try flake (fillet of shark)? Your friendly driver does, and by the end of the tour, you will too.

Gray Line Great Ocean Road Australia

2. Timing

If you travel the Great Ocean Road alone, you may be tempted to take 1,798,642 photos of the 12 Apostles. After all, if you’ve searched the Great Ocean Road on Instagram, you’ve seen at least that many photos from other travelers. The trouble with that, though, is that if you spend all your time taking photos at your first stop, you’ll miss some other gorgeous landmarks.

Taking a tour with a guide who leads the trip multiple times per week means that they’ve perfected the timing of photo ops with travel so you can see the most in one day. Trust their timing and be back to the bus when they ask. Being on time means that your guide may even fit in a few unscheduled photo ops.

Loch Ard Gorge arch Gray Line Great Ocean Road Australia

3. Lookout for wildlife

The big picture windows of the bus gives you ample opportunity to watch for native Australian wildlife. Watch for kangaroos that spend their days laying around, panting like dogs since they don’t have sweat glands. And keep your eyes on the trees, because koalas call this area home.

4. A little bit of Australiana

On your way to the Great Ocean Road, stop in the town of Anglesea for a Bush Billy tea in the style of swagmen from the Colonial Era. Be brave and try the Vegemite (it’s a tourist’s right of passage to try this Australian favorite).

Then, indulge in a Lamington. Back in the Colonial Era, the Governor of Queensland was having guests over and wanted a new treat. For Lord Lamington’s party, the typical French vanilla sponge cake cut into smaller squares, dipped in chocolate and rolled in shredded coconut so it wouldn’t get on ladies’ white gloves. It was a big hit with the guests and remains that way today.

GrayLine Billy Bush tea at Grants Picnic Ground, Sherbrooke Forest

5. Big bus=less likely to get motion sickness

I don’t know about you, but curvy roads and I don’t quite get along. For me, though, to travel in a big bus is much less quease-inducing than a car. And, our great driver even promised to make wide turns wherever he could to straighten out the road for us.

Entrance to the Great Ocean Road Loch Ard Gorge arch Gray Line

6. You want options? You’ve got them!

If you’re on a backpacker’s budget, like me, you’ll be stoked with the opportunity to visit the Great Ocean Road. If you’re looking to splurge a bit, Gray Line offers the option to add on a helicopter tour of shipwreck coast and the 12 Apostles.

Gray Line Great Ocean Road twelve apostles helicopter

7. History

Without knowing the history, the Great Ocean Road is just another beautiful seafront drive. But with a Gray Line tour, you’ll learn about the history of the WWI heroes who built the road and the importance of this passage to Australian culture. You’ll also learn about a few of the 157 shipwrecks that have occurred along this coast.

Gray Line Great Ocean Road

8. Current events

Did you hear about the Christmas 2015 bush fires? Or the landslide that closed portions of the Great Ocean Road in 2016? Your driver has and will point out the community that’s rebuilding and the road reconstruction. Be sure to be on the lookout for the house that’s been built on a stilt.

Gray Line Great Ocean Road stilt house

9. Movie time

Since moving to Australia, I’ve heard of plenty of movies that feature this great country. It wasn’t until my tour with Gray Line, though, that I got to watch Oddball. Set in the town of Warrugal (which we traveled through on our trip), this heartwarming story follows a troublemaking dog who becomes an unlikely protector of penguins. It’s based on a true story, and is the perfect way to end a day of beautiful scenery.

The Sweet Wanderlust readers get a 10% discount on this tour. To book, click here.

Book a tour with Gray Line Australia

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The best way to see the Great Ocean Road The best way to see the Great Ocean Road

Disclaimer: I received this tour free of charge. All opinions are my own, though, and I wouldn’t recommend anything to you that’s not awesome!


Melbourne's best freakshakes: 12 cafes serving insanely OTT shakes

Sunday 2nd of April 2017

[…] Ripe through a straw. Then, it’s topped with coconut ice cream, which is fresh and delicious, a Lamington, fairy floss, strawberries and a cherry. I took so long taking photos of this gorgeous creation […]


Wednesday 1st of March 2017

The Great Ocean Road is one of my bucket list Will keep this post in mind when I go there!

Agness of Fit Travelling

Saturday 11th of February 2017

This is my favourite place in Victoria. I would love to visit Great Ocean Road asap!


Sunday 12th of February 2017

I'm already dreaming about my next trip there!


Saturday 21st of January 2017

Which traveler does not have the Great Ocean Road in their bucket list? I know I do! This post only reminded me why I need to visit this part of Australia asap. The view of the Twelve Apostles and other scenic sights only make me year for a trip Down Under!


Wednesday 25th of January 2017

I hope you make it here soon, Abigail!


Saturday 21st of January 2017

Ah one of my favourite places in Victoria. I too get terrible car sickness so tend to hate going along here if I haven't taken travel calm. There's so much to see and do along here. Just love it!


Wednesday 25th of January 2017

Please tell me more about this travel calm!!