You’ll need more than a day to experience the vast beauty of the Great Ocean Road. And to do so, you’re going to need somewhere to stay.
For those who linger a little longer, the region will reward with magical towns, coastal scenery and natural bushland as far as the eye can see.
Rest your head at one of these beauties and you’ll awake fresh as a daisy, ready to explore the Great Ocean Road.
Where to stay in Torquay
Set on the pristine shores of Zeally Bay Beach, the Wyndham Resort is a failsafe option in Torquay – the coastal town is also considered the first stop along the Great Ocean Road. Stay in one of the stylish guest rooms or spacious apartments, most with patios or private balconies. The outdoor swimming pool is the property centrepiece, flanked by resort chairs and tables aplenty.
Twilight Glamping brings the concept to a whole new level of convenience. Their pop-ups provide unique luxury getaways along the Great Ocean Road – all you have to do is pick a spot. Once you land on a location, Twilight Glamping will set up their luxe bell tents before you arrive and pack it all up after you leave. All tents feature single or queen beds, crisp linen, cushions, rugs and fans – just the right amount of luxury needed for a hassle-free camping trip.
You’ll find the RACV Resort within easy reach of Torquay and Jan Juc beaches. It is renowned for its well-polished and welcoming coastal hospitality and consistently over-delivers on expectations. The rooms are resort-style with plenty of modern character to boot.
Where to stay in Aireys Inlet
Many disregard Aireys as just another pit stop between Anglesea and Lorne, but its bevy of accommodation options make it worthy of a night or two stay.
The Big4 Holiday Park is a great budget option with both cabin and camping facilities. The vast grounds are packed with amenities, including a children’s playground, outdoor swimming pool and private bathroom with a shower. There are also barbeque facilities for campers and kitchen facilities in the cabins.
Romantics flock to Aireys Inlet Getaway for an indulgent home away from home. Set among two-and-a-half acres of native gardens, these villas cater to a variety of group sizes. They are also the only accommodation in Aireys Inlet with both a swimming pool and outdoor heated spa, plus a tennis court.
Bristlebird is for those who dream of a modern seaside home. This chic four-bedroom property wouldn’t be out of place in the Hamptons (Long Island’s playground for America’s rich and famous). In summer there’s a vast shaded deck for entertainment, plus several nearby surf beaches, bike trails and coastal walks all offering stunning views of the Great Ocean Road.
Where to stay in Apollo Bay
Apollo Bay is one in a long line of unassumingly beautiful towns found along the Great Ocean Road – with every kind of accommodation you could want, plus a few extra.
The Apollo Bay Holiday Park puts you right among the action, allowing you to stay right along the coastline of Victoria’s southwest. The cabin and campsite facilities are nestled among bushland, fronting both the beach and the river.
If being perched on the Apollo Bay hillside is more to your taste, Point of View villas is an aesthetically-pleasing paradise. Each of the five properties provide the perfect escapist location, with timber floors and exposed roofing truly setting the Art Deco scene. Unwind in a Jacuzzi bath overlooking the pristine Bass Strait and surrounding farmland.
Hostels are great for local travellers who value clean, simple lodgings at an affordable price. The YHA delivers on all this, but a stay here feels more in line with a funky hotel than a hostel Their Apollo Bay eco arm features two spacious lounges, two kitchens, outdoor balconies and a rooftop deck with beautiful views. Various room types are available including four multi-share, twin/double and family sizes.
Where to stay in Beech Forest
The three-bedroom Otway Cottage can accommodate up to six people, providing a cosy, clean and comfortable option for groups to enjoy. Sitting high atop the Otway Ranges, use the cottage as a base camp to explore the beautiful sleepy hollow of Beech Forest. Unwind in front of the fireplace and enjoy the picturesque surrounds; the Otway Fly Treetop Walk, Triplet waterfalls, Beauchamp and Hopetoun waterfalls, and magical rainforest walks are all within reach.
Where to stay in Anglesea
To truly drink in the stunning scenery of Anglesea, camping is the only way to go. Eumeralla Scout Camp is set high on the cliffs, offering spectacular views of both the beach and township. Alongside cabins and dorms, there are an array of bush camping sites allowing you to sleep under the stars. Bush walks and mountain bike tracks are also on hand, as is the famous Bells Beach just around the corner.
Boutique AirBnb 100 Steps to the Beach is our pick for special occasions. The bungalow-style retreat was purpose-built for couples, providing a colourful oasis metres from the ocean. The interior décor is kitsch and coastal, while the native garden comes with an undercover lounge area and idyllic hanging chair.
Great Ocean Road Resort has seven room types to choose from: one, two, or three-bedroom studios provide the ideal base camp for endless outdoor adventures, granting a clean, modern oasis for you to retreat back to. The recreational facilities also excel, with a tennis court, gym, pool, spa and salon all provided onsite.
Where to stay in Cape Otway
Australia’s oldest lighthouse has guided sailors safely to shore since 1848, and you can spend the night inside it. The Cape Otway Lightstation sleeps up to 16 in four renovated bedrooms and has a beautiful old-style wood stove and open fire place.
The unique Bimbi Park serves first as an accommodation provider, with quirky campsites, onsite vans, bunk rooms, standard and deluxe cabins all set among sheltered manna gum woodland. Sleep under the watchful eye of koalas, and spend your days horse riding, ebike riding and rock climbing. By night, retreat back to the grounds to enjoy the perks of an on-site outdoor theatre, which showcases free feature films and shorts during the peak holiday periods.
Where to stay in Lorne
Lorne is a great place to base yourself along the Great Ocean Road – and the accommodation in the area is quite affordable, considering you’re basically getting million-dollar views wherever you stay.
Qdos Arts, a culturally-rich retreat on Victoria’s southwestern coast, is a study in pure aesthetics. Luxury Japanese-style tree houses serve as accommodation, sleeping two people each.
Qdos is Lorne’s first contemporary art gallery, and it serves as a cultured escape from city life. There are seven gallery exhibitions a year, showcasing significant members of the Australian and international arts community.
Three minutes away from the town centre, you’ll find Allenvale Cottages: a hideaway cabin that is perfect in making you feel a million miles away civilisation. Brimming with vintage furniture and books, this spot appeals to families seeking a low-key country retreat with plenty of outdoor space. It also shines in both summer and winter.
La Perouse is Lorne’s answer to a charming French seaside escape. This small hotel has been kitted out to the nines, with extra attention paid to a luxury-inclined traveller – think linen bathrobes, Aesop bath products, Apple TV and electric blankets. Each of the white-walled rooms have north facing private verandas, outdoor baths and ocean views.
Alternatively, get a front row seat to Lorne’s natural beauty by way of the Foreshore Caravan Park. It’s divided into four different sites that cater to all types of campers – including dog friendly, river, park and ocean sites. Visit the website to find the site that best caters to your needs.
Where to stay in Port Fairy
There’s a reason Port Fairy was named Wotif 2019 Australian Town of the Year. This coastal paradise is home to one of the busiest fishing ports in Victoria, and is considered the last (but not the least) stop on the Great Ocean Road.
Take in some of the town’s nautical beauty at The Merrijig Inn. This cosy historic bed and breakfast feels a little otherworldly, packed with quirky accents, and it’s perfect for a gastronome. Dine on home grown produce and savour a cooked breakfast in the sunny, garden-facing atrium. Opt to stay in their iconic Attic Room, overlooking Port Fairy’s picturesque wharf.
Filled with old school coastal charm, the Belfast Cottages will quickly feel like home. These self-contained cottages are only two minutes from the town centre and are spread out along 1.5 acres of land. For an additional fee, guests can choose to book the Swim Spa Room where the luxury hot spa pool is located.
Drift House is a luxury option. Contemporary restoration of a classic two-storey 1850s bluestone manor with luxurious finishes, a delicious locally-sourced breakfast hamper, and designer touches aplenty. It isn’t for the budget-friendly, but if you splash some cash you’ll get to experience the 5-star private pool out on the deck.