Victoria is home to one of the most iconic stretches of coastline riding in the world. Each year, thousands of tourists flock to the southern state to admire the views offered by the run from Anglesea to Port Campbell. For motorcyclists, the road is an amazing series of twists and turns that remind all those who ride it why they love motorcycles.
Doted from start to finish with coastal villages and surfing towns, there is no shortage of day trip destinations for riders who want to ride all day, or just take a quick quirt to the nearest coffee shop. This self-guided tour takes in the full length of The Great Ocean Road from Anglesea, past the world-famous Twelve Apostles, and through to Port Campbell.
AT A GLANCE
Total distance: 169km each way
Estimated duration: 4 hours (with stops)
Riding the Great Ocean Road in its entire length from Anglesea to Port Campbell is almost a rite of passage for Victorian motorcyclists, and a bucket list ride for riders around the country and the globe. Because of its status as an international tourist destination, the road is in excellent condition and well maintained, making it suitable for riders of all skill levels. Traffic congestion is common due to drivers not familiar with the roads, and keen to take in the views. the mostly single-lane route has regular turnouts, but patience does need to be exercised during busy periods. Road work can also cause traffic delays if a contraflow is required.
The Great Ocean Road officially starts at Anglesea, where an iconic archway marks the spot where the fun begins. The 100km run from the Melbourne CBD along the M1 Freeway will take approximately 80 minutes. This is the perfect juxtaposition to the enjoyment ahead, being arguably the most boring ride on the planet. Take care, speed cameras do not need to be signposted in Victoria, and they show no mercy.
Many riders choose to congregate at the surf-side village of Torquay for a quick coffee and a fuel-up before heading off. The direct route from Torquay to the start of the Great Ocean Road is via the B100. For first-timers, taking in the world-famous surf break at Bells Beach along the C132 is almost compulsory, and offers an excellent first photo opportunity.
Once you pass under the famous arch, the road hugs the coastline for 73km (1.5 hours) until it reaches Apollo Bay. It’s a twisting and turning motorcycling Nirvana that runs through numerous seaside village and popular surfing spots. There are ample lookouts to admire the view and snap that all-important selfie. If time permits, also add a stop at Lorne.
Apollo Bay is the halfway point on this ride and a great place to stop, stretch the legs and enjoy morning tea or lunch at one of the numerous cafés that overlook the coastline.
From Apollo Bay, the road cuts across Cape Otway and briefly touches the coast again at Glenair before heading inland to Lavers Hill. The road then turns back towards to coast to Wattle Hill, through Princeton before you get a view of the water again at Pebble Point. This 80km (70min) run may lose the ocean views, but it more than makes up for it with superb riding conditions through the Otway Ranges, passing through farmland and forest areas.
Your first glimpse of the world-famous Twelve Apostles will appear within minutes of passing through Pebble Point. Leave plenty of time to enjoy the spectacular views and take a walk down Gibson steps.
To be able to truly say you have ridden the full length of the Great Ocean Road, the final 11km (10 minutes) ride into Port Campbell needs to be undertaken. Port Campbell offers ample eating choices, and for those making their Great Ocean Road ride a multi-day event, there is plenty of accommodation. Those who love a full day of riding can use it as a lunch spot and turnaround point to retrace their steps back to Torquay, or head inland to the M1 and be back in the Melbourne CBD in under three hours.