Melbourne to Apollo Bay
187 km/116 miles, about 3 hours
Ease into your roadtrip with the leisurely drive from Melbourne to Torquay, just over an hour's drive. Home to some of Australia's best-known surf beaches, Torquay marks the official beginning of the Great Ocean Road. Dose up on surf culture at Surfworld before visiting Bell's Beach, host of the annual Rip Curl Pro.
Stop at Anglesea Golf Club for a kangaroo tour and see kangaroos lounge under trees on the surrounding greens.
Magnificent coastal views will dominate the next 30 kilometres as you drive to beach town Lorne, the perfect spot for lunch – fish and chips on the beach is a must.
As you make your way to Apollo Bay, you'll travel up along cliff-tops offering incredible views and alongside wild beaches – take time to stop at the lookouts for photos, or beachside for a stroll.
From Apollo Bay, follow the Great Ocean Road into the lush Otway National Park, and turn off to the Cape Otway light station (about a 50-minute drive). Take a tour of the oldest surviving lighthouse in mainland Australia. Climb to the top, 90 metres above sea level, to see where the Bass Strait meets the Southern Ocean.
Just west of Apollo Bay, the Wildlife Wonders ecotourism experience is a conservation area where visitors can see koalas doze in the treetops, potoroos and bandicoots forage on the ferny forest floors and kangaroos hop along the horizon against a spectacular ocean vista.
Make your way back to Apollo Bay for the night. Dine at Chris's at Beacon's Point, where gourmet food is complemented by spectacular cliff-top views, and sleep next to the beach at Whitecrest. Or enjoy dinner with a view at La Bimba in Apollo Bay, and relax in self-contained accommodation on the beachfront in one of the boutique options available.