While I stayed in Melbourne, I really wanted to do a roadtrip to Great Ocean Road and Grampians National Park. I started to look for possible travelmates through facebook backpacker groups and also posted myself about it on one of the groups. Me and four other people had the same plan so we met up, organised our five day roadtrip and hit the road. I also documented the whole roadtrip and made four videos in total. You can see all the videos from below.
We hired a car from Kollektivehire. It was Toyota falcon, a hatchback. The car itself was amazing. It used both petrol and autogas which the latter one is really cheap even though it runs out quicker. There was USB charger for up to three phones, two drawers in the booth which were full with equipment like cutlery, flashlights, pot, pan, gascooker, gasbottles. On the roof we had a roofrack that had three tents, five sleeping mattresses and five chairs inside. So the only thing we needed to buy for the roadtrip was sleeping bags.
The first day we pretty much just met up in one spot, went to buy the sleeping bags and food and drove to the first free camping site on our route. We stayed in Mount Moriac truck stop. It had picnic tables under a roof, toilets and running water. When we got there, there wasn’t that many people so we all fitted in there. We build our tents, cooked and ate and just as we were going to sleep, my friend got in to our tent and suddenly froze and then leaped out of the tent. There was a huntsman, one of those big spiders, in our tent. Ah, what a nice start to the roadtrip.
On the second day, we drove though Torquay and then carried on to our first stop, Bells Beach. It’s a surf beach and home to Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach the world’s longest running surfing competition. You can pretty much spot surfers there all year round.
We carried our way and drove to Split Point Lighthouse. The lighthouse is located in Aireys Inlet and is a functioning lighthouse. You can climb up the lighthouse at a cost of 14 dollars (adult). We didn’t go up it though because the view was good enough from the ground.
So the next stop was probably the one that everyone was waiting for; Memorial Arch at Eastern View, the Great Ocean Road sign. There is a small parking lot right next to the sign so that you can get that photo that everyone has of the sign. They’ve even build a small platform which you can stand on to make sure you get the best picture.
After seeing the sign and getting our photos, we drove to Sheoak Falls.There’s a small parking lot where you can leave your car and then take a walking path to the falls. The walk itself is worth it. It is quite narrow at times and there’s few stairs. If you’ve seen waterfalls before, it’s not gonna blow your mind.
Next we drove inland to visit the Otway Fly Treetop walk. The treetop walk is 600 metres long and it’s 47 metres high at the top of the tower. It’s world’s longest and highest of it’s type in the world. Ticket per adult is 25 dollars, but we got the student price, about 22 dollars, even though we’re not students, but they didn’t ask any student card or anything. The walk is pretty cool since it’s quite high and you can see under your steps. There’s also a bushwalk. If you’re not too keen on walking high and paying for it, I would recommend skipping this and going to Apollo Bay and so on after the Great Ocean Road sign.
After the treetop walk we hit the road and camped at Beauchamp Falls free camping site for the night. The campsite is really nice and there’s a lot of Australians that go there for the weekend or when they got days off. There’s also a nice walk to the actual falls.
Next day we walked to the Beauchamp Falls and then carried our way. We stopped in Princetown to buy some food and then went to the world famous site, The Twelve Apostles. The Twelve Apostles is a collection of limestone stacks which were formed by erosion. Despite it’s name, there’s only ever been nine limestones and because of the erosion, only six is remaining. We went there during the day and it was crowded. So be quick when you see that photo opportunity. There is quite a big parking lot and the visitor facilities have multiple toilets, opportunity to buy souvenirs and snacks.
For the night, we camped near the Twelve Apostles because we wanted to see the sunset over there. We checked our first campsite out, ate and then headed back to the Twelve Apostles. If you can, definitely go there during the sunset. It was quite a view. There also weren’t that many people as there were during the day.
We went back to our campsite but got told that you’re not allowed to stay there overnight. So we found another free campsite somewhere near Timboon. Next day we left the campsite, fuelled up in Timboon, stopped in Port Campbell to recycle and head back to the route.
We stopped by The Razorback, Loch Ard Gorge and The Grotto. They are really cool looking rock formations, but after The Grotto we went straight to Warrnambool. There is few other formations after The Grotto, but all of them are really close to each other and requires short distance driving and several stops so we got bit tired of that and it was also +30 celsius degrees.
In Warrnambool, we topped up our groceries before heading towards Grampians National Park. When we got to Grampians, we pretty much drove straight to the campsite and set up our camp and stayed there for the rest of the day. The campsite is called Plantation Campground and it’s around 30 minute drive north from Halls Gap. It’s free, there’s toilets, a bucket shower, picnic tables and places to start a fire.
Next day was our last day on the roadtrip. We went to do The Pinnacle walk. The walk is 4,5 kilometres return and it’s uphill and parts of the walk is on the cliffs. Bring water, camera and some good enclosed shoes! Trust me the walk, even though it’s pretty long and heavy, it’s worth it. The view from up there is amazing.
Jaws of Death was our next stop. The place is found as Reed Lookout & The Balconies. In here you can sit on a rock that works as a balcony. Both, the Pinnacle walk and Reed Lookout & The Balconies are right next to Halls Gap.
Last place on our trip was McKenzie Falls which is also relatively close to Halls Gap. You need to take few steps down before you get to the bottom and the stairs are bit narrow and can be quite slippery so watch out. Once you get to the bottom, you can see the whole waterfall and a rainbow at the bottom of the fall. Now, there is a sign that says ‘no swimming’ but we did take a cheeky dip as there were other people doing it too.
The night we stayed again in the Plantation Campground. Next day was just all about packing and driving back to Melbourne.
The whole roadtrip was an amazing experience. We had the best group and the weather was on our side. If you ever have chance to do the Great Ocean Road and/or visit Grampians National Park, I higly recommend it!