Soak up the views along one of the world’s most epic drives.
Australia’s most spectacular drive, the Great Ocean Road takes you along the wild and windswept coastline of the Southern Ocean, past world-class surfing breaks and isolated beaches, through pristine rainforest and charming seaside towns, and to the famed rugged limestone stacks known as the Twelve Apostles. Although the 243-kilometre drive starts at Torquay and ends at Allansford for a popular day trip from Melbourne, Hipcampers can make the most of the scenery by slowing down and settling in to some great camping sites, from beaches to bush, along the way.
Surfers won’t want to skip Torquay: Next to Bells Beach, it’s famed for its big swells and hosts the world's best surfers at the annual Rip Curl Pro around Easter. Those who prefer to stay on dry land can embark upon the 44-kilometre Surf Coast Walk to Airey’s Inlet. A little farther south, Lorne has inviting white-sand beaches and a relaxed atmosphere, making it a great place to see migrating whales between May and September. Around town, expect to find centrally located powered sites with access to swimming pools, camp kitchens, and laundry. Just south of Lorne, Cumberland River Reserve is set in lush surroundings and has unpowered sites with access to hot showers, laundry, and barbecues.
At the foothills of the Otways, the little town of Apollo Bay is a great place to base yourself for walks into the hinterland and around Great Otway National Park, as well as for exploring the 104-kilometre-long Great Ocean Walk, which starts in Apollo Bay and ends at Gibson Steps near the Twelve Apostles. This is also a good spot for wildlife spotting: Look out for platypus and koalas at Lake Elizabeth near campgrounds with powered and unpowered sites with access to laundry, camp kitchen, and barbecues. Just outside Apollo Bay are additional holiday parks, while the more adventurous can find basic hike-in campsites along the Great Ocean Walk, including Johanna’s Beach Campgrounds, tucked behind sand dunes near a popular surfing beach.
The Great Ocean Road’s star attraction, the seven rocky stacks of the Twelve Apostles jut out from the ocean and can be seen from a network of viewing platforms around the clifftops. Visit around sunset and you might also spot penguins come into shore after a day’s fishing. The closest campsite to the Twelve Apostles, Princetown Recreation Reserve and Camping offers powered and unpowered sites with access to hot showers, laundry, and a barbecue area. Twenty minutes east, Port Campbell Recreation Reserve is set in a natural reserve with powered and unpowered sites, plus access to hot showers, laundry, barbecues, and free wifi.
At the end of the Great Ocean Road, the city of Warrnambool is famed for its whales, best seen from Logans Beach between June and October. You can also dive into the lively arts scene, discover the history of the Shipwreck Coast at Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, and admire the historic lighthouses, whitewashed cottages, and maritime charm of nearby Port Fairy. Powered and unpowered sites with access to the camp kitchen, barbecue, laundry, and shower are available at holiday parks on Warrnambool’s foreshore, while nearby family- and pet-friendly Hipcamp sites typically offer powered sites, some ensuite.