Victoria’s Great Ocean Road is known to be one of the greatest touring roads in the world. Skirting the edge of the rugged Victorian coastline, meandering inland through verdant countryside and then touching the coast again, at every bend of the road there is another spectacular sight to see. The only thing that beats driving it is taking a cycling tour of the Great Ocean Road.
Part of the beauty of cycling the Great Ocean Road is that you can tailor your trip to suit your time schedule or level of cycling ability. There are Great Ocean Road cycling tours that cover the full distance of nearly 200 miles from Port Fairy to Melbourne and can be customized as you go, allowing you to take time off or take a break from cycling and travel by car if you choose.
If you like to go it alone or with your own group, there are plenty of towns and villages along the road with all the amenities you need to keep you going. Or if you prefer, you can choose to just ride as far as you like and then return to your starting point.
Torquay to Apollo Bay in Two Days
If you’re an experienced cyclist, a two day journey from Torquay, Australia’s “Surf City” not far from Melbourne, to Apollo Bay, a charming village near magnificent Cap Otway, is easily done. Do yourself a favor, though, and spend a day or two exploring the sights in and around Torquay before you start your trip. You’ll definitely want to check out Surf World, the world’s largest museum dedicated to the sport and lifestyle of surfing and you’ll want to check out the waves at world famous Bells Beach, home of the Rip Curl Bells Beach Pro, one of the world’s longest running international surfing contests.
On day one, you can start out as early or as late as you please, because you will only be riding about 25 miles to Melbourne’s most popular weekend beach retreat, the city of Lorne. In Lorne you will find a stunning beach for cooling off after your ride, fantastic restaurants and cafes and your pick of Lorne accommodations: everything from comfortable camp grounds to luxurious spa resorts is available.
You may even want to spend an extra night in Lorne, to give you the opportunity to cycle into the hinterland and explore the countryside. There are some fantastic rainforests, complete with cascading waterfalls and refreshing swimming holes within easy riding distance of the heart of the town.
Day two of your two day journey will not be all the rigorous, either. It’s only another 25 miles to Apollo Bay. Not quite as “posh” as Lorne, Apollo Bay has a nice homey feel to it and the locals will make you feel right at home. Here, too, you will probably want to stay longer than just overnight, since there is so much to see and do.
Stretching It Out: Apollo Bay to Port Campbell
By the time you reach Apollo Bay, you will probably want to stretch your bicycle tour of the Great Ocean Road out even further. If you decide to take on the 60 mile trip to Port Campbell, you won’t regret it, because this is one of the most spectacular legs of the Great Ocean Road.
You will start off with a hill climb up into Cape Otway, where road signs will warn you of koala and kangaroo crossings. They are not put there just to please the tourists, either. Wildlife abounds on Cape Otway, much of which is a protected National Park. A side trip to Cape Otway Lightstation may set you back a day, but you certainly won’t regret it. Built in 1848, the lighthouse is one of southern Victoria’s most popular attractions, partly because of the stunning scenery along the way, but largely because of the breathtaking vistas you behold from the tip of the Cape Otway peninsula.
There’s more awaiting you as you make your descent towards Port Campbell. Many of those who drive the Great Ocean Road do so with the express purpose of seeing the amazing 12 Apostles. Along with the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Uluru and the Blue Mountains’ Three Sisters, these ocean outcrops are one of the most photographed sights in Australia.
Take a commercial cycling tour of the Great Ocean Road or take it solo, you are bound to have an unbelievable trip. Take your time and you’ll enjoy it even more. There is so much to explore, you may never want to leave.
Rob writes for bookitnow.com.au about popular things to do and see in Australia. If planning on tour the Great Ocean Road either by car or bicycle you will find a wide range of Great Ocean Road accommodation on ‘Book it Now’. Stopover and rest in a relaxing Apollo Bay accommodation option along your route.