What’s the one thing you remember most about childhood holidays? Bet you it involves poking elbows into your siblings and long games of ‘I spy’, punctuated by stops at dusty roadside servos for Paddle Pops. Yep, the great Aussie road trip is a rite of passage. But with attention spans fading faster than an ice-cream on a 40-degree day, the best tactic when road-tripping with kids is to pick a journey where a new adventure or jaw-dropping view lurks around every corner, keeping cabin fever at bay.
Nowhere fits this brief more than Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, which takes in rainforests, shipwrecks, mind-bendingly beautiful limestone rock formations and spectacular coastal scenery. Stretching from the hallowed turf of surf culture, Torquay; to the Great Otway National Park; past the majestic, craggy shards of the 12 Apostles, and beyond Port Fairy before officially ending in Nelson, many visitors know the Great Ocean Road as the 45-minute strip between Lorne and Apollo Bay. If you’ve got more time, try pitching a tent at Johanna Beach campsite, before moving on to Loch Ard Gorge in Port Campbell National Park. For a major leg stretch, hike the Great Ocean Walk through the Great Otway National Park, keeping an eye out for the koalas that call this bush paradise home.
Everyone in the back seat will have to agree: this is one of the best stretches of ‘I spy’ territory you’ll ever see.
More coastal cruising
Fleurieu Peninsula, SA – The Fleurieu Way offers a range of paths through the best of South Australia’s surf towns, taking in foodie havens and wildlife hotspots along the way. fleurieupeninsula.com.au
The Legendary Pacific Coast – NSW-Qld – This action-packed route takes you from Sydney to the Central Coast, Hunter Valley, Port Stephens and Coffs Harbour before hitting Byron Bay, the Gold Coast and Brisbane.
Indian Ocean Drive, WA – Drive from Perth to the iconic Pinnacles and explore nearby Cervantes before continuing to Jurien Bay for some snorkelling and other marine adventures, hitting Geraldton before returning to Perth.