Distance: 187Km, Approx. Travel Time: 2.5Hr
Depart Melbourne via the West Gate Bridge and follow the Princess Highway towards Werribee. You may like to visit the Werribee Open Range Zoo where animals from Africa, Asia, North America and Australia roam in open grasslands. Continue to Geelong, Victoria's second-largest city, and explore its historic waterfront; a lively area filled with restaurants and cafés. The Geelong waterfront with its colourful bollards and yachts is a sight to behold. Call into the Bellarine Peninsula and get to the wild heart of Port Phillip Bay with a South Bay Eco Adventures tour (optional) into the habitat of dolphins, seals, whales, penguins and sea birds. From here, a short drive to Torquay - the official start of the spectacular coastal drive along the Great Ocean Road. The Surf World Museum at Torquay documents surfing history in the region and provides interpretative displays. Along with Bells Beach, Torquay is recognised among the world's premier surf locations. Time permitting, you can learn to surf with the experts. Continue on through the townships of Anglesea and Aireys Inlet to Lorne, a resort-style town combining restaurants and shops with historic properties and natural attractions such as the Angahook-Lorne State Park. Approaching Apollo Bay, the contrast between rugged coast and inland forest becomes more spectacular. The stretch between Lorne and Apollo Bay is considered by many to be the most picturesque section of the Great Ocean Road. The highway is carved into sheer cliffs that drop away into the ocean, offering commanding views of the waves swelling and crashing onto the rocks and beaches below. This small fishing and farming village is also an excellent base for exploring the waterfalls and rainforests in the Otway National Park whilst enjoying the fresh seafood and local produce. Not to be missed is dinner at award-wining Chris Restaurant, which overlooks Apollo Bay.
Overnight: Apollo Bay.