Great Ocean Road with Kids, Road Trip Itinerary
There are so many things to do on the Great Ocean Road with Kids that it makes a fantastic road trip. Below you can find the ultimate Great Ocean Road itinerary for families to enjoy this incredible stretch of coast. Whether you are heading on a weekend getaway from Melbourne, or are visiting from interstate or overseas, you will no doubt fall in love with Victoria visiting the stunning coastline we call the Great Ocean Road.
Great Ocean Road With Kids
As Melbourne locals, we have visited the Great Ocean Road on many occasions, at least a few times a year or even more. Sometimes for a day trip to visit certain cities or to do a specific activity, other times for a weekend getaway, and every now and again, a longer trip.
To help you plan your epic Great Ocean Road family road trip, we have put together a Great Ocean Road Map for the most epic road trip, as well as a list of the best things to do on the Great Ocean Road that are family friendly for all ages.
While many tourists come to the Great Ocean Road to see the 12 Apostles, there is so much more to see and lots more to do. If you only have a day, it is still worth the drive to visit them, but if you have more time, make sure to slow down to see it all.
Below you can find our best tips on how to plan your Great Ocean Road itinerary to make it either a quick road trip for the day or weekend, or an awesome family holiday.
Great Ocean Road Itinerary
Stops to make and things to do on the Great Ocean Road with kids.
See further down in the post for more details on what to see and do at each stop.
- Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery
- Anglesea Golf Club
- Live Wire Park
- Erskine Falls
- Teddy’s Lookout
- Kennet River Koalas
- Apollo Bay
- Otway Ranges / Bimbi Park
- Otway Fly
- Twelve Apostles
- Loch Ard Gorge, London Bridge, The Arch
- Tower Hill
Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean road is 243kms long and runs from Torquay near Geelong all the way to Warnambool. As we are based in Melbourne’s west, we have grown up holidaying in different places along the caost And now as a parent, we explore the Great Ocean Road with the kids as much as we can.
Just over an hour from Melbourne centre, the Great Ocean Road makes the perfect day trip from Melbourne, weekend getaway, or Summer holiday for those who love the rugged coast.
If you are heading to the Great Ocean Road with kids on a day trip, note that the whole drive will take around 5 hours or so if you plan to go the whole way, and there are many stops. Then, of course you need to come back again.
If you have time to stay overnight for even a night or two, it will be much easier, and much more enjoyable. Otherwise if you really only have the day, select a few main stops from this Great Ocean Road Itinerary so that you actually have time to stop and exprerience them.
If you live in Melbourne and really want to explore the Great Ocean Road in depth, you may want to take a holiday for a week or so, or otherwise you could break it up into sections taking multiple trips.
Great Ocean Road Map
Things To Do On The Great Ocean Road With Kids
Below you can find details on the Great Ocean Road attractions we have listed above. As mentioned, if you live in Melbourne, you may want to break it up into a couple of shorter road trips, depending on the kids ages. But if you have kids that are good in the car, then a longer road trip is possible.
From the various road trips we have done with our family, these are our best recommendations on visiting the Great Ocean Road with kids.
The first stop after you head onto the Great Ocean Road from Geelong is the famous Torquay, which has one of the best beaches in Melbourne. The coastal town is thriving in Summer with café’s, shops and restaurants, and has a fantastic kid friendly beach which is patrolled.
Torquay makes a great day trip from Melbourne on its own if you are looking for a family beach day. Otherwise it makes a great start to your Great Ocean Road family road trip.
2. Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery
A must do stop on your Great Ocean Road Itinerary for kids and an easy pit stop for breakfast or a snack is the Great ocean Road Chocolaterie where you can find a delicious range of chocolate and gelato that will blow your mind.
Be sue to stop in for a free tastings available, and some chocolate making classes, as well as a whole range of different chocolates for purchase.
3. Anglesea Golf Club
We have added the Anglesea Golf Club to your Great Ocean Road Family Road Trip Itinerary not for the golf in particular, but because of the numerous kangaroos that roam the grounds. It makes an easy rest stop to see if you can spot the iconic Australian animals. Best time is either early morning or late afternoon where the kangaroos are easily visible.
The golf club also run kangaroo tours around the course. The 25 minute tours take you around to see the kangaroos in their natural environment while learning all different facts about them.
Another beautiful stop that should be on your Great Ocean Road Itinerary is Lorne. It is a fantastic spot for fishing, surfing, and swimming, and lots of other fun activities.
The biggest attraction is of course the gorgeous beach, but a visit to the Lorne Sea Baths on the seafront is a must, as well as a walk along the shipwreck trail.
There are so many things to do in Lorne so if you can stay overnight, it is well worth it. There are some fantastic family friendly hotels in the area too.
Live Wire Park
If you are travelling the Great Ocean Road with kids, then Live Wire Park is a fun activity for the whole family. Live Wire Park is the first completely off-grid elevated adventure park in Australia and has a range of circuits for all ages and abilities.
It makes a great morning of afternoon out along the Great Ocean road for the whole family, and the kids will love climbing up high into the treetops and zooming around the forest. Even if you have little ones, there are different courses, and also walking tracks around to get close up to nature.
One of the best waterfalls near Lorne, and one of the most accessible, and most beautiful waterfalls near Melbourne is Erskine Falls. If you are doing a family road trip along the Great Ocean Road then they are definitely worth a stop.
The falls are surrounded by rainforest, and you can either stop at the first view point to view them, or take a walk down the 240 steps.
It isn’t a difficult walk, but it isn’t pram friendly so for little ones, take a carrier. Make sure to hold the kids hands as it can sometimes be slippery.
One of the easiest stops to make on your Great Ocean Road road trip, is the Teddy’s lookout. Named after the first colonial that came across the area, the look out is 113 metres above sea level, and is arguably the best look out along this stunning stretch of coast giving a birds eye view of the Great Ocean Road.
Teddy’s Lookout is in Lorne, and although we have mentioned Lorne already, Teddy’s Lookout is worth a mention on it’s own, especially if you are planning a road trip in a short amount of time and don’t plan to stay in the area.
Kennet River Koalas
A great place to spot koalas on the Great Ocean Road is at Kennet River. Make sure to look up while you drive through town, and don’t be surprised if you see one crossing the road. If you see a crowd of people in one spot, it usually means that there is a koala nearby and everyone wants to closer look.
Kennet River beach is also a beautiful spot to dip your feet or have a surf. It is a beautiful family friendly beach and a great spot to stay the night if you are on a longer Great Ocean Road, road trip.
Almost half way along the Great Ocean Road you will find a paradise they call Apollo Bay. It is one of the bigger towns along the coast and is a beautiful place to base yourselves for a few nights if you have the time. The beach has plenty of water sports such as fishing, boating, surfing or just swimming and playing in the sand.
Then, in just a short drive you can be surrounded by the rain forest where you can go on bushwalks, or explore the various waterfalls in the area.
Cape Otway Light Station
A road trip along the Great Ocean Road with kids isn’t complete without a visit to the oldest surviving lighthouse on mainland Australia.
Cape Otaway Lighthouse is around half an hour along from Apollo Bay. You can walk around the surroundings and take in the view or you can also take a self-guided tour around the lighthouse and learn about the history of the historical shipwrecks.
Otway Ranges / Bimbi Park
Bimbi Park in the Otway Ranges is a beautiful spot to stop on your road trip and the perfect place to base yourselves for a few days if you have the chance. Famous for sleeping under the koalas, Bimbi Park allows you to go off grid and really get up close to nature.
There are lots of different walks, E-bike tours, and other fun activities in the area. Or just sit back and relax and watch all of the wildlife roaming around the park.
Otway Fly Treetop Adventures
If your family likes the forest, then the Otway Fly Treetop Adventures makes a great day out. Set in the lush forest of the Otway Ranges, there is something for the family, young or old.
For those looking for a more relaxing experience the Otway Fly is perfect. The 600mtr elevated walk up 25 mtrs high in the treetops offers stunning views of the region.
And for those looking for an adventure you can check out the Treetop Adventures and zoom through the forest on the huge zipline.
Arguably the most famous stop along the Great Ocean Road with Kids or not is the Twelve Apostles in Port Campbell, one of the best national parks near Melbourne. In fact, these limestone pillars attract so many tourists who take the long drive just to see them!
You won’t find twelve unfortunately, today there are only eight left so if you want to see these natural wonders you better get in quick before we lose more of them.
Although the Twelve Apostles can be viewed from the platforms and are stunning to see, you can also take a 15 minute helicopter ride over them if you really want to be impressed. Plus, the kids would love that!
If you have older ones, there are also a few hikes in the area too that are family friendly.
Loch Ard Gorge, The Arch, London Bridge
Just a few minutes from the 12 Apostles, in the Port Campell National Park, you can find Lock Ard Gorge.
Named after the ship Lock Ard, which smashed into the cliffs of Mutton Bird Island, there isn’t actually a wreck to see now days, but the history is still there.
This stunning gorge has two yellow washed cliff faces surrounding a bay of crystal clear water. The best views are from the lookout above however you can head down to the sand and even have a swim too.
It isn’t a patrolled beach, so stick to the shore, especially with the little ones.
If you have reached Warrnambool, you are at the end of your road trip along the Great Ocean Road, and what a great spot to finish up. Warrnambool the largest town on the Great Ocean Road. With nearly 650 ships meeting their fate on this striking stretch of coastline, the area is steeped in a rich history, earning its title of the Shipwreck Coast.
There is so many things to do in Warrnambool including the Flagstaff Hill Martime Museum and cheese factory. The beach at Warnambool is also beautiful and perfect for swimming for families. Wale watching is also quite popular in the area too.
As a little extra, Tower Hill Reserve, which is Victoria’s first National Park, makes a great day trip from Warrnambool and is definitely worth a visit if you have made it this far. Tower hill is home to a variety of Australian wildlife. From kangaroos and koalas, to emus, wallabies, and about 150 bird species.
This wildlife reserve also sites on a large volcanic crater which is believed to have erupted about 32,000 years ago.
Enjoy Your Great Ocean Road Family Road Trip!
There are so many things to do on the Great Ocean Road with kids that you will probably want to do this road trip more than once. Take a look out our city guides for more information if you are planning on staying in one place for a few days.