With 150 miles of creamy cliffs, ocean views, and coastal forests, it's no wonder the Great Ocean Road is widely considered one of the most beautiful drives in the world. The two-lane highway was built after World War I to connect the cities of Torquay and Allansford, but now mainly attracts tourists wanting to see the Australian countryside along Victoria's Shipwreck Coast. The crown jewel of the drive is the so-called Twelve Apostles (although only eight remain), a set of great limestone cliffs that reign over the sea below.
Most Twelve Apostles tour options tend to be long, full-day tours departing from Melbourne, as the drive to their location in Port Campbell National Park can be slow-going with many tempting stops along the way. You'll have plenty of opportunities to learn about local culture and the wildlife populating the lush environments on either side of the Great Ocean Road on these narrated tours, which range in size from intimate private vehicle excursions to small-group tours to double-decker bus tours. Choose a helicopter flight tour to gain a bird's-eye view of the landscape below.
Other sites along the way to the Twelve Apostles include the Loch Ard Gorge, which has served as a backdrop for multiple Hollywood films, and London Bridge, an aptly named rock formation that naturally eroded into the shape of a double-span bridge.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Twelve Apostles are easily viewed from the side of the road; no hiking necessary.
Australians drive on the left side of the road, so if you are considering doing the drive on your own, be sure that you can safely navigate the single-lane twists and turns.
Not all day trips include meals, so consider packing a picnic to enjoy at a scenic stop en route. Some options do include lunch or snacks.
How to Get to the 12 Apostles
Some travelers opt to take their own road trip along the famous Great Ocean Road, camping for a night in Apollo Bay or sleeping in one of the towns along the way. If you're interested in cycling, you can either rent a bike and head out independently or book a cycling tour.
When to Get There
The Twelve Apostle lookout site is frequently crowded, so opt for a sunset tour or a reverse-order tour if you crave a more private experience. And remember: the coldest months in Australia are June through August, so pack accordingly.