The Great Ocean Road is a fantastic option for a fun family road trip. Being so close to Melbourne, and a gorgeous scenic drive, it is a great choice for Victorian families and tourists alike.
Your exact travel route depends on your final destination, and there are many relaxing and friendly towns to choose to visit along the way. From the bustling surf town of Torquay, to the quiet spot of Anglesea, to lovely Lorne. From the beautiful Otways to seaside Port Fairy, and historic Portland there's a stopover to please every member of the family.
If you're travelling from Melbourne, Torquay marks the start of your Great Ocean Road adventure. Why not stop and visit the famous Bells Beach, check out the Surf World Museum, pick up a new outfit from the many surf-store retailers, or head on a surf coast walk?!
A perfect choice for breakfast as you pass through Torquay is Cafe Moby, open 6.30am - 4pm Monday through Sunday. There is plenty of space to enjoy your food as a family outdoors, with a play area for the little ones to burn off some energy before hopping back in the car. Lots of yummy vegan and gluten free options are on offer at this quaint cafe, and the coffee is great.
Anglesea is located just 15 minutes west of Torquay. There are plenty of beautiful gardens and trails to explore on your journey. Anglesea Fruitz stocks organic breads and fresh local produce (including a yummy gluten free loaf and delicious pana chocolate), which makes it the perfect spot to stop for a mid morning snack. With plenty of fresh fruit and organic products to choose from you can grab something to please all the family, and enjoy your food by the waterfront.
It's not a trip down the great ocean road without a stop at the Split Point lighthouse. Did you know the lighthouse featured in the ABC's early 90's TV show 'Round The Twist'? The little ones will love a tour of the lighthouse. Half hour tours are on offer 7 days a week, beginning on the hour from 11am until 2pm, for around $40 for a family of four. There are plenty of trails in the area to enjoy a nice walk too.
Lorne is one of this mummy's favourite places to stay along the Great Ocean Road. The Mantra Lorne Resort is a nice spot to stay with your family, and it backs right onto the beach. There is an Endota Spa as part of the Mantra Lorne, so mummy can enjoy a nice massage while daddy takes the little ones to build sandcastles on the beach. Moons Licensed Expresso Bar is an excellent choice for lunch, with gluten free options.Alternatively, Bottle of Milk Cafe has plenty of vegan options.
Erskine Falls is a must see while in Lorne, being only 9km from the township. There are two lookouts to choose from, with the upper lookout being an easy few steps, but the lower lookout is a bit of a hike. After a long day exploring, Lorne Hotel is the perfect spot to visit for your family dinner. With relaxed bistro options, offering both gluten free and vegetarian meals, the Lorne Hotel has something for everyone. The kids zone at Lorne Hotel provides plenty of entertainment for your little ones.
The Great Otway National Park is stunning, and provides a variety of sight-seeing experiences, from coastlines and beaches to forests and lakes. There are many sections of walking trail for those looking to explore, or you can relax with a nice picnic to take in one of the many views.
The Twelve Apostles are arguably the most famous landmark of the Great Ocean Road. Located in the Port Campbell National Park, these majestic views shouldn't be missed.
Port Fairy is a quaint historic fishing village, located 290km west of Melbourne. There's plenty of nice walking tracks, or you can just sit back and relax by the waterfront. The Famers Wife Harvest Cafe is the top choice for brunch when in Port Fairy. With vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options on the menu it is hard to decide from the delicious options on offer. For dinner, Coffin Sally serves the best pizzas on the coast.
Take in the beautiful historic architecture as you explore seaside Portland. Portland is one of Victoria's first settlement towns, and has many activities to choose from. If your little ones love the sea, lighthouses and ships, this is the place to visit - you may even spot a whale!