Australia Travel Blog

Ultimate Guide to Great Ocean Road Accommodation

Australia’s Great Ocean Road is a global bucket list destination and here you can learn about the best accommodation along this stretch of the dramatic and beautiful Australian coastline.

The majority of the accommodation on the Great Ocean Road consists of small B&Bs. This means you’ll want to book in advance to secure the best options and Great Ocean Road hotel deals. This means planning out your itinerary before, and particularly where to stay. For the best 1, 2, 3, 4-6 and 7 day itineraries, see my Great Ocean Road Itinerary post here. For a guide to the main attractions the length of the Great Ocean Road see my Great Ocean Road Holiday Planning Guide here.

Great Ocean Road Map

Great Ocean Road Map for where to stay

Larger towns along the Great Ocean Road

There are no big cities along the Great Ocean Road, however, there are a few towns if you prefer to stay somewhere a bit more bustling than the very peaceful seaside coves.

This ultimate guide to Great Ocean Road accommodation contains affiliate links. That means I may earn a small commission when you use the links on this site. You will pay nothing extra for this, but you will be helping me to continue posting helpful articles for your travel planning needs.

Torquay

Surfer at bells beach, torquay on grate ocean road

Torquay acts as the official starting point for the Great Ocean Road (on the Melbourne side), so many visitors choose it as their base. It is very convenient for the beginning of the Great Ocean Road. So, if you want to maximize the amount of time actually on the Great Ocean Road, Torquay may be a great choice.

The town is particularly famous for its affiliation with surfing. Nearby Bell’s Beach (more on that soon!) is well known as one of the world’s best surfing beaches, so Torquay is much-loved by members of the surfing community. Fun fact – the international surf brand Rip Curl started right in Torquay. You can learn to surf or – if you’d rather keep your feet on the ground – you might like to pay a visit to the Australian National Surfing Museum.

Even if you’re not a surfing fan, you can still find plenty to do while staying in Torquay. There are several beautiful coastal walks, and mountain-biking is another popular way to explore the trails.

If it’s something more relaxed you’re after, then you’ll be thrilled to hear that Torquay is also famous for its scrumptious food scene. You’ll find many great cafes and restaurants in Torquay, as well as a nearby vineyard and winery known as The Minya.

Distances

   Distance from Melbourne: 95 kilometers

   Distance from Torquay, beginning of the Great Ocean Road: 0 kilometers

   Distance from Allansford, end of the Great Ocean Road: 243 kilometers

   Distance from 12 Apostles: 176 kilometers

Best for:

Adrenaline junkies and outdoor adventurers, those wanting to start early and see the Great Ocean Road in a day.

Best Places to Stay in Torquay

  RACV Torquay Resort – A  5-star luxury resort only 100 meters fro the beach. Great facilities including two indoor swimming pools, a fitness center, and a tennis court. Spa and wellness center, free w-fi and great reviews!

Peppers The Sands Resort Torquay – a 4.5-star modern resort with ocean views and situated around a large outdoor landscaped resort-style swimming pool. Friendly staff and quiet, comfortable rooms in a well-reviewed location.

Wyndham Resort Torquay – a 4.5-star modern resort with ocean views and situated around a large outdoor landscaped resort-style swimming pool. Friendly staff and quiet, comfortable rooms in a well-reviewed location.

OnShore Torquay is a lovely resort for families. The property has an outside resort-style pool, an indoor pool, large apartments, and facilities to self-cater.

Check Prices, Reviews, and Availability of ALL Torquay accommodation 

 

Lorne

Lorne Swing Bridge and Boathouse on Great Ocean Road

Although Lorne is only about 1/10th of the size of Torquay, it’s a popular place to stop along the Great Ocean Road. This means the town’s population swells with visitors, especially during the busy summer season. As such, it’s a great choice if you’re looking for a bustling place to stay along the Great Ocean Road.

Its small size does mean it has a laidback, friendly atmosphere that’s perfect for families. If you’re exploring the Great Ocean Road slowly, then you may even like to stay a couple of nights in this sleepy but charming town. It’s right on the coast, so beach lovers will love wandering along the soft sand of Loutit Bay or Main Beach. During whale season, you might even catch some frolicking sea mammals!

In-land, you’ll find the stunning Otway National Park, which offers many beautiful walks. Inside and around the National Park, there are also more than ten gorgeous waterfalls, which are a favorite of bushwalkers and photographers. It’s no wonder that Lorne has been described as ‘where the bush meets the beach’.

For those craving some more cosmopolitan comforts Lorne also offers some great cafes and boutique shops. There’s certainly more than enough to keep you busy for a few days in Lorne.

Distances

  • Distance from Melbourne: 142 kilometers
  • Distance from Torquay, beginning of the Great Ocean Road: 46 kilometers
  • Distance from Allansford, end of the Great Ocean Road: 193 kilometers
  • Distance from 12 Apostles: 131 kilometers

Best for:

Those looking for a relaxing base, with beaches and nature within easy reach. It is particularly well suited as an early stop, being roughly 1/4 of the way along the Great Ocean Road.

Best Places to Stay in Lorne

Lorne World – Lorne’s only 5-star accommodation, these highly reviewed studios are 300 meters from the beach.

Chatby Lane Lorne is a 4.5-star adult-only boutique hotel. Partial sea views from your balcony or patio, excellent wifi and clean, modern apartments and suites, this hotel is well situated close to restaurants, cafes, and supermarkets.

Lornebeach Apartments – A lovely 4.5-star boutique hotel with two indoor pools, free wifi and located rights across from the beach.

Cumberland Lorne Resort – Another great 4.5-star Great Ocean Road resort. It is an ocean-view apartment-style hotel, a few minutes walk from the beach and surrounded by restaurants.

Check Prices, Reviews, and Availability of ALL Lorne accommodation 

 

Apollo Bay

Apollo Bay_where to stay on the great ocean road

Another wonderful place to stay along the Great Ocean Road is Apollo Bay. With its long horseshoe-shaped beach and laid back atmosphere, this charming town wins over many visitors. In fact, you might just meet a few locals who visited and never left.

As with many of the popular towns along the Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay offers up amazing views and unforgettable walking trails. Apollo Bay is also close to the stunning Otway National Park, where you’ll find some of Victoria’s best walks and mountain-biking trails.

Historically, Apollo Bay was popular with fishermen – of the commercial and hobbyist variety. There are still plenty of recreational anglers around, and the love of fishing also means there are several amazing seafood restaurants in Apollo Bay. If you’re a foodie, you’ve definitely got to try a seafood platter here.

If all that exploring has you thirsty, you’d best also drop into the Great Ocean Road Brewhouse to try a hometown beer. Even your four-legged friends are welcome to visit!

Distances

  • Distance from Melbourne: 190 kilometers
  • Distance from Torquay, beginning of the Great Ocean Road: 116 kilometers
  • Distance from Allansford, end of the Great Ocean Road: 150 kilometers
  • Distance from 12 Apostles: 87 kilometers

Best for:

Those looking for a convenient and all-round fabulous half-way stop, as well as foodies who especially love seafood.

Best Places to Stay in Apollo Bay

Chocolate Gannets – A perfect 5-star luxury apartment stay for couples. These two self-contained villas look over the beach. The seafront villa has full ocean views and has excellent reviews.

The Dolphin Apartments are the best 4.5-star self-catering apartments in Apollo Bay. They are located a 10-minute walk into the main part of Apollo Bay and the penthouse has ocean views.

Captains at the Bay is an upscale B&B that includes a kid’s club and an executive floor. With a restaurant and bar, a fitness room and excellent reviews, this is a great accommodation option right in the heart of Apollo Bay.

Apollo Bay Waterfront Motor Inn – Along with Captain’s at the Bay, this is Apollo Bay’s best 4-star accommodation.  Directly opposite Apollo Bay, some rooms have ocean views. The rooms are very clean, the staff are friendly, the wifi is good and the Motor Inn has very high reviews.

Beachcomber Motel & Apartments are by far the best-reviewed 3.5-star accommodation in Apollo Bay. Free wifi, a garden, restaurant, and very clean rooms give this property its good reviews.

Check Prices, Reviews, and Availability of ALL Apollo Bay accommodation 

 

Allansford

where to stay on Great Ocean Road_Allansford Pier Victoria, Australia

Right at the other end of the route, Allansford is another option for where to stay along the Great Ocean Road. Perhaps due to its more inland location, it’s not as popular with visitors as Torquay, Lorne or Apollo Bay – but it’s still worth considering.

The biggest drawcard of Allansford is the Allansford Cheese Factory. As the name suggests, this is a paradise for those who love cheese. Here, you can taste all different varieties, and also enjoy a tasty meal in the restaurant/café. Even if you don’t stop overnight in the town, you can’t miss this GOR highlight!

Another attraction close to Allansford is the Logans Beach Whale Watching Platform – a great spot to catch some playful whales between May and September. Or, head further north and find yourself at the Hopkins Falls Scenic Reserve, with its picturesque falls.

Distances

  • Distance from Melbourne: 335 kilometers
  • Distance from Torquay, beginning of the Great Ocean Road: 92 kilometers
  • Distance from Allansford, end of the Great Ocean Road: 243 kilometers
  • Distance from 12 Apostles: 65 kilometers

Best for:

Those who would prefer to forego the coast for the countryside. And cheese lovers!

Best Places to Stay in Allansford

Secluded Homestead– A sweet, light and comfortable cottage with one bedroom in this secluded and peaceful B&B set within the Australian bush.

Check Prices, Reviews, and Availability of ALL Allansford accommodation

 

Warrnambool

warrnambool near great ocean road

Technically Warrnambool isn’t part of the Great Ocean Road, but it’s so convenient for the end of the route that it’s worth including. Warrnambool is also the largest town on this list, with over 34,000 permanent residents.

The sprawling town spreads out around Lady Bay, a picturesque beach that’s popular with both locals and temporary visitors. Beach lovers are sure to love the ease with which you can pop across to enjoy the sun, surf, and sand.

While Warrnambool is mostly a residential city, there are several tourist attractions as well. One of the most significant is the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum, which has won various tourism awards. Most famously, it has many objects salvaged from the 19th Century shipwreck, the Loch Ard.

As the largest town on this list, Warrnambool is well-equipped with various restaurants, shops and accommodation options. Even if you don’t stay overnight in the town, it’s a good option to stock up on essentials like groceries for your onward travel.

Distances

  • Distance from Melbourne: 345 kilometers (via GOR)
  • Distance from Torquay, beginning of the Great Ocean Road: 248 kilometers
  • Distance from Allansford, end of the Great Ocean Road: 10 kilometers
  • Distance from 12 Apostles: 73 kilometers

Best for:

Those who prefer to stay in a busier and better-equipped town while traveling along the Great Ocean Road.

Best Places to Stay in Warrnambool

Gallery Apartments – A dazzling 4.5-star modern boutique hotel that includes a kids pool and room service and a lovely outdoor swimming pool.

Quest Warrnambool is a well-known hotel chain with free wifi and a great location. It is well-reviewed with spacious rooms and lovely balconies.

Seashells on Banyan Apartment– This is my favorite 4-star apartment in Warrnambool. It is pretty, modern, and stylish with almost all perfect reviews.

Check Prices, Reviews, and Availability of ALL Warrnambool accommodation 

 

Small towns and villages along the Great Ocean Road

Although there is much to love about the larger towns along the Great Ocean Road, it’s equally charming to base yourself in some of the smaller townships. Here are five of the most interesting.

 

Port Campbell

Port Campbell Beach near 12 apostles on great ocean road, VIC, Australia

The charming and lively town of Port Campbell is a popular stopover point for one big reason: it’s convenience to the 12 Apostles. If you’re hoping to get up early to beat the crowds at the 12 Apostles, then staying at Port Campbell is an excellent choice.

The 12 Apostles is certainly not the only attraction near Port Campbell, however. The town itself is small but has a charming atmosphere. There are several quaint cafes and typical country bakeries, which are perfect for tasty and informal meals.

The jetty is also famous, and no visit to Port Campbell is complete without visiting it. From the jetty, you’ll have a beautiful view of the surrounding limestone cliffs.

Distances

  • Distance from Melbourne: 283 kilometers
  • Distance from Torquay, beginning of the Great Ocean Road: 187 kilometers
  • Distance from Allansford, end of the Great Ocean Road: 55 kilometers
  • Distance from 12 Apostles: 11 kilometers

Best for:

Those wanting to be close to the 12 Apostles, which is great if you’re looking to get up early

Best Places to Stay in Port Campbell

Alkina Lodge – has quickly become synonymous with Great Ocean Road accommodation luxury. The Lodge lies between Port Campbell and the 12 Apostles. It is one of the most luxurious boutique accommodation to be found along the Great Ocean Road and receives stunning reviews.

Southern Ocean Villas – stylish and contemporary, these lovely villas have decks as well as free wifi, air conditioning, massage services, and is close to the restaurants of Port Campbell.

Anchors Port Campbell has magnificent views from its floor to ceiling windows. There are 3 contemporary 4-star villas and the retreat is only 8 miles (or 13 km) from the Twelve Apostles.

Anchors Beach House is perfect family accommodation. A contemporary residence with the Port Campbell foreshore within walking distance.

Portside Motel has great views, air-conditioning and large rooms that have private balconies. It’s hard to go past the Portside Motel for the best budget hotel in Port Campbell.

Check Prices, Reviews, and Availability of ALL Port Campbell hotels 

 

Kennett River

where to stay on the Great Ocean Road - Kennett River reserved park

For a town with just 50 residents, Kennett River sure garners a lot of attention! This tiny town is wedged between Lorne and Apollo Bay, and the main reason for its fame is the cuddly critters that call it home.

Most famously, Kennett River is the perfect place to engage in a bit of koala-spotting. It’s well-known as one of the best places to see these loveable marsupials, so you shouldn’t be surprised if you suddenly stumble upon crowds of visitors looking up!

While the koalas are a bit drawcard, Kennett River is also famously the home of many colorful and beautiful birds, including king parrots and rosellas. You can pick up some birdseed from the local shop, and they’ll eat right out of your hand!

You’ll find a caravan park as well as a few other options around Kennett River. You may also like to base yourself in Wye

Distances

  • Distance from Melbourne: 164 kilometers
  • Distance from Torquay, beginning of the Great Ocean Road: 68 kilometers
  • Distance from Allansford, end of the Great Ocean Road: 172 kilometers
  • Distance from 12 Apostles: 106 kilometers

Best for:

Animal lovers, families and those who want to stay somewhere peaceful and relaxing.

Best Places to Stay in Kennett River and Wye

Big4 Wye River Holiday Park– A very well-reviewed 3-star holiday park

 Kennett River Holiday Park– Another 3 star holiday park providing economical great ocean road accommodations 

 

Port Fairy

where to stay on the great ocean road -Port Fairy

If it’s charm and charisma you want from your trip along the Great Ocean Road, then it doesn’t get much better than Port Fairy. This gorgeous historic town is like a time capsule, with row after row of 19th-century villas. It gives a true glimpse into the Australia of yesteryear.

That’s not to say that Port Fairy is a town that’s behind the times. In fact, despite its modest size, it’s quite the bustling hub. There’s a good selection of cafes, small artsy boutiques, and even a golf course.

Being on the coast, Port Fairy has long been associated with the sea. Many of the charming homes on display once belonged to fishermen or sailors, and there’s even a maritime heritage discovery trail.

Port Fairy is great all year round, but one highlight is the annual Port Fairy Folk Festival which is typically held in March, and attracts some amazing artists from Australia and abroad.

Distances

  • Distance from Melbourne: 378 kilometers
  • Distance from Torquay, beginning of the Great Ocean Road: 275 kilometers
  • Distance from Allansford, end of the Great Ocean Road: 37 kilometers
  • Distance from 12 Apostles: 138 kilometers

Best for:

Those looking for a romantic and charming break towards the end of the Great Ocean Road (if coming from Melbourne).

Best Places to Stay in Port Fairy

Oscars Waterfront Boutique Hotel can’t be matched in terms of its location. 4.5-star rooms with attentive staff. Large rooms, the restaurant, and its spectacular rooms make it a highly reviewed property.

Clonmara Country House and Cottages – 4.5-star cottages a short drive from Griffiths Island Lighthouse and Tower Hill. A fitness center, jacuzzi, golf course, and free wifi are lovely extras but the rooms and food also get very high reviews.

  Tides Apartments – 3 lovely, light and modern apartments with fantastic views. Very highly reviewed and with free wifi.

Hearn’s Beachside Villas are highly reviewed 4.5-star beachside villas. The 7 villas have free wifi and front a pristine piece of Australian coastland.

Check Prices, Reviews, and Availability of ALL Port Fairy accommodation 

 

PIN IT FOR LATER

Great Ocean Road Accommodation options

Further Links and Information

   All of the Great Ocean Road Accommodation options can be viewed here

   For the best 1, 2, 3, 4-6 and 7+ day itineraries, see my post here.

   See my Great Ocean Road Holiday Planning Guide to the main attractions along the Great Ocean Road here.

   Get Your Guide 12 Apostles activities and tours are here

[p-svg-icons icon=”tag” wrap=”b”]   More detailed information on how to book transport, airfares, accommodation and travel insurance is available on my Travel Resources page

   For other great things to do outside of Melbourne, see my blog post on wonderful walk and hikes to the east of Melbourne in the Dandenong Mountains and Yarra Ranges here 

   For 5 great reasons to visit the village of Gembrook in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne, see my blog post here

   And for another wonderful destination when you are planning travel to the Great Ocean Road Australia as part of a larger Australian holiday, see my blog post about Canberra’s hidden sculpture garden here

If you’ve enjoyed this post, share it with your friends now and sign up for my newsletter. Become a member of the TripAnthropologist tribe and to receive other great posts and tips by your own TripAnthropologist for your next travel destination!

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Great Ocean Road Holiday - A Comprehensive Planning Guide TripAnthropologist
    25th November 2019 at 10:27 pm

    […] To decide where to stay on your Great Ocean Road holiday, see my Ultimate Guide to Great Ocean Road Holidays Accommodation post here. […]

  • Reply
    Nadia
    7th December 2019 at 1:41 pm

    We missed out on the GOR trip the first time we were in Oz. Definitely saving this amazingly researched list for next trip!

    • Reply
      admin
      7th December 2019 at 2:36 pm

      Thanks Nadia! I think a little planning allows you to see so many amazing things on this route!

  • Reply
    Ann
    7th December 2019 at 5:38 pm

    You always have such good posts, where you always put in that extra effort. Thank you for sharing this with us, I am sure pinning this for later! 🙂

  • Reply
    Karen
    8th December 2019 at 1:45 am

    You pin image is enough to entice a visit and with coastline like that this must make an amazing road-trip. We’ve yet to conquer Australia although pining this future reference when we eventually make it that way.

    • Reply
      admin
      8th December 2019 at 6:13 am

      Thanks so much Karen. It’s such a fragile and beautiful coastline!

  • Reply
    Angela Price
    8th December 2019 at 8:54 pm

    A nice post to read as I have done this trip myself however I drove from Adelaide and through to Melbourne staying for 3 nights on the GOR. Brings back happy memories.

    • Reply
      admin
      9th December 2019 at 5:21 am

      Thanks Angela, I’ve not done it in that direction but it would be soooo much better than the inland route!

  • Reply
    Nancy Hann
    11th December 2019 at 2:14 am

    This looks like a beautiful part of the country. Thanks for all the great tips on places to stay.

    • Reply
      admin
      11th December 2019 at 6:57 am

      It’s beautiful and wild – I’m glad you like the post 🙂

  • Reply
    Great Ocean Road Itinerary - TripAnthropologist
    12th December 2019 at 1:32 pm

    […] Guide to the Great Ocean Road here. To find out where to stay on the Great Ocean Road, see my Great Ocean Road: Where to Stay post here. And for everything you need to know about the showpiece of the Great Ocean Road, the Twelve […]

  • Reply
    5 Great Reasons to Stop by Gembrook | TripAnthropologist
    2nd January 2020 at 8:15 pm

    […]  For comprehensive planning guides, itineraries, accommodation options and the best tours from Melbourne for your Great Ocean Road holiday see Great Ocean Road Holiday – A Comprehensive Planning Guide, Great Ocean Road Itinerary, and my Ultimate Guide to Great Ocean Road Accommodation. […]

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