A short 90 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD and home to the Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road is a journey not to be missed. If you’re heading into Melbourne for the weekend, add an extra day or two to your trip and spend some time discovering one of the most iconic road trips in Australia.

The highlights:

  • Catch some waves at Bells Beach
  • Unlock the energy of the Twelve Apostles
  • Stay in the remote beauty of Lorne

Good for:

  • Surfers
  • Couples
  • Families

Best time to go:

High season in Lorne is over the Australian summer – December and January months. While over this time, swimming is on the cards, it also comes with the crowds, taking away from the tranquil atmosphere. Instead, consider going in the shoulder seasons from September to November or February to May for a quieter experience.


Lorne is known as a resort town along Great Ocean Road. Discover what lies beyond the central area of Lorne leaving you amongst natural beauty and hilly streets. Stop by Loutit Bay for a swim in crystal clear waters or wander through Otway National Park. Lorne brings an array of dining options and unique retail stores. If you have the luxury of visiting from May to September you can also partake in whale watching season, leaving Lorne as a prime location to make the most of these incredible sea creatures’ movements.

Ten waterfalls within 10 kilometres make Lorne a great choice when chasing waterfalls. Our top picks are Erskine Falls, Lorne Pier and Teddy’s Lookout.

Here are our top 10 things to do in Lorne.

Dining options:

There are a number of dining options along the coast line leaving you with a choice of cafes, bars and restaurants. Some of our top picks are:

Bohemia Café and Bar: Breakfast and brunch
Bottle of Milk: Burger bar
Moons Espresso Bar: Coffee and cake
Marks Restaurant: Focus on local produce


Known as the surfy selection on Great Ocean Road, Torquay is home to Bells Beach, where surfers from all over the world come to experience the swell. Beyond surfing, you can visit the gorgeous sandy beaches and enjoy snorkelling off Point Danger Marine Sanctuary.

Key vantage points include Yellow Bluff and Point Danger’s Anzac Memorial too.

Local tips:

  • Discover the beaches during the off season for smaller crowds and to escape the scorching heat.
  • Stay overnight so that you can wake up and watch the sunrise to the west. Mantra Lorne has an unbeatable location set along the coastline. Discover the Twelve Apostles at sunrise and sunset and watch as they change colours and create an impressive ambience.

Hire car: If you’re not in Melbourne for long, make sure you organise a hire car for the day to Great Ocean Road. Hertz offers great packages for short term hire.

Interesting to know:

  • Torquay is considered one of the surf capitals of the world featuring Bells Beach
  • Heard of Quicksilver and Rip Curl? This is where these brands were born.
  • Cape Otway Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse still standing in Australia.
  • The Twelve Apostles are limestone stacks formed by erosion. Now with only seven left standing, they are up to 60,000 years old, with the erosion process beginning 10-20 million years ago.

Organise your stay

Book your accommodation along Great Ocean Road at Mantra Lorne here, or if you're thinking of taking a day trip from Melbourne check out Melbourne City accommodation options here.

Looking to extend your trip? If you’re travelling from Melbourne in search of your next destination, consider taking the road trip from Melbourne to Adelaide to really get some mileage.