The Great Ocean Road : An Unforgettable Wellness Trip

8 Jul, 2023

The Great Ocean Road is undeniably iconic. The 240km meandering National Heritage listed stretch of road along the south – west coastline of Victoria is a marvel in itself. With its rugged seaside cliffs, towering bluffs and striking panoramas, you’ll find jaw dropping scenery on every corner.

My tip for your holiday in this region is to take your time. You can travel the entire road in a day and take in most of the epic sights, but you will miss so much! I’ve put together a few of our favourite longer experiences near the Great Ocean Road so you can truly immerse yourself in its wonders.

The Great Ocean Road officially starts in Torquay, a coastal town around 100km southwest of Melbourne. You can start your wellness trip here with a surf camp experience hosted by Honu Honi Surf Camp. Over seven days, you and seven others will head off the beaten track to uncover surfing spots in nearby national parks and secluded beaches where you will learn how to surf. You’ll spend your nights in luxe glamping tents, enjoy four included yoga sessions and chow down on plant – based farm to table meals throughout the day. The package also includes a guided day trip to local waterfalls and other natural wonders.

"Great Ocean Road Resort’s ‘Replenish’ retreat includes guided nature walks, yoga, meditation and sound healing sessions."

If you’d prefer a slower, more restful pace, Great Ocean Road Resort in Anglesea offers a 2 night Replenish Health and Wellbeing Retreat. Filled with sessions designed to restore your physical and mental wellbeing you’ll spend your days in guided nature walks, yoga, meditation and sound healing sessions as well as surrendering to deliciously indulgent spa treatments. The package includes two wellness workshops with experienced facilitators and delectable meals in the resort’s fine dining restaurant. Anglesea’s main beach is set against a backdrop of red cliffs and is perfect for a swim or walk. The short walk to Anglesea Heath will bring you to woodlands and heathlands dappled with paperbark trees and plenty of local wildlife and colourful wildflowers to spot along the way.

"With its rugged seaside cliffs, towering bluffs and striking panoramas, you’ll find jaw dropping scenery on every corner."

A stop in at Lorne for a couple of days is a must. This quiet coastal town is renowned for its white sandy beaches and thriving arts community. It’s also an ideal base for exploring the Great Otway National Park (which stretches from Torquay to Princeton and up through the Otways) with its majestic ferns, ancient woodlands and misty waterfalls. You could spend days traversing this rainforest and never tire of its beauty. For a truly memorable experience, book a stay at Qii House – a serene sanctuary tucked away in a tranquil rainforest above Erskine Falls where you can experience Forest Bathing, or ‘shinrin – yoku’ in Japanese.

Continue along to Apollo Bay, the midway point of the Great Ocean Road. Here you will find plenty of picturesque vistas and fresh seafood. It’s also the start of the Great Ocean Walk, an 8 day 100 km cross country one way adventure that weaves through the spectacular and wild landscape before bringing you to the Twelve Apostles. Walkers can stay at any of the dedicated campsites or opt for one of the off – walk accommodations to access comfortable beds and warm showers throughout the journey.

Port Campbell National Park is where you will find the most notable sites of the region including the Twelve Apostles as well as London Arch and Loch Ard Gorge (one of my fav spots). Along this stretch you can also take the Gibson Steps down to the beach, snap ‘Instaworthy’ pics of The Grotto and watch waves crash below the natural rock arch, aptly named The Arch.

"The Deep Blue Hotel & Hot Springs beckons with its curated rock pools, waterfalls and sensory caves."

In Warrnambool, the Deep Blue Hotel & Hot Springs beckons with its curated rock pools, waterfalls and sensory caves.  We suggest staying overnight in one of the gorgeous rooms so you can spend even more time bathing at the award-winning open-air Hot Springs Sanctuary (and enjoy a treatment at the day spa!). Soak up the benefits of the unique mineral composition of the hot springs waters or explore the beautiful surrounding beaches and walking tracks where you might spot the local fairy penguins.

If you feel like taking the Great Ocean Road from the other direction and are up for walking through magnificent scenery for 5-8 hours a day (with plenty of stops along the way), the 6 day Great South West Walk is one of Victoria’s best kept secrets. You’ll traverse remote beaches, rugged cliffs and learn the stories of ‘the Shipwreck coast’. You’ll also experience the rich cultural heritage of the historic Indigenous site of Budj Bim guided by an Indigenous Ranger who will unveil its ancient wonders.

Whichever way you look at it, the Great Ocean Road will captivate both the adventurous and the contemplative. Its natural wonders, wild encounters and rich cultural heritage make it a destination that promises to leave an indelible imprint on your soul.

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