The Best Great Ocean Road Day Tour

by Katja Kaven

You are in Melbourne as a solo traveler and plan on doing the famous Great Ocean Road? But hiring a car is too expensive so you’re stuck with having to go on a tour? Don’t you worry, I was in the same situation and I had a blast on my tour. Now, while I’ve only tried one tour I obviously can’t tell you which is the best tour of all. BUT after my experience and talking to a lot of other backpackers, I can give you the ultimate tip for choosing the best Great Ocean Road day tour.

This tip can easily be the only criterion for you when picking the best Great Ocean Road day tour. In addition, I am going to give you a little overview of the places you’ll most likely be going to on your tour. But I think I’ve dragged on for long enough. Without further ado, this is my ultimate tip.

Drumroll please

Whichever tour company you choose, do a reverse Great Ocean Road day tour. Seriously, this is such a game changer. I went with Autopia and would unreservedly recommend them (not sponsored) but I’m sure there are other great tour operators as well. So, why is doing a reverse tour such a big deal when choosing the best Great Ocean Road day tour?

The Twelve Apostles

The Twelve Apostles are magnificent rock stacks that rise up to 60 meters high. They were created by erosion of the limestone cliffs of the mainland. Fun fact: there are eight apostles, and there were actually never twelve but just nine apostles.

This is probably what you came to the Great Ocean Road for.

The Twelve Apostles are probably the most famous place of all the places you’re going to. Doing a reverse Great Ocean Road tour means that you will be going there first thing in the morning. Well, after a little tea break since they are a three-hour drive away from Melbourne.

I did my Great Ocean Road trip on the same day as a friend of mine. While I was at the twelve apostles at around 10/11 in the morning with just a few people around, she was there a few hours later and it was absolutely packed. Doing a reverse Great Ocean Road tour means going “against the current” which in turn means less crowded places.

Other Places

Of course, the twelve apostles aren’t the only place you’re going to on your best Great Ocean Road day tour. Loch Ard Gorge is famous for the story about the washed up ship “Loch Ard” which left only two 19-year-olds surviving. You’ll be able to do some walks with nice views, go inside the cave or just relax at the pretty beach. Another cool part of your day is the Maits Rest Walk where you walk through a forest with fern gardens and giant rainforest trees.

Loch Ard Gorge
(by Sarah) Enjoy some time at the beach here.

Apollo Bay is a popular holiday place and another perfect stop for strolling along the beach and maybe getting ice cream (I didn’t have one, so not sure whether they have vegan options). On my Great Ocean Road tour, I also saw my first Koalas when we went to Kennett River. Another highlight was seeing my first kangaroos that were just chilling on a golf course we stopped at. Of course, we also went to the Great Ocean Road Sign to take some pictures.


All in all, my Great Ocean Road tour was an amazing experience! Doing a reverse tour definitely made it even more special, so I would strongly encourage you to do the same. Have you got any other tips for choosing the best Great Ocean Road day tour? Please let us know in the comments down below.

Unfortunately, group tours aren’t always what you expected them to be, so stay tuned for my blog post on group tours in the Blue Mountains.

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Kristin August 15, 2019 - 22:43

I’m looking at booking both this and a Blue Mountains tour. I saw your tease about Blue Mountains trip. Seems like there may have been some hiccups. Any suggestions?

tanlinesandtempeh September 11, 2019 - 10:01

Hey Kristin,

sorry for just now getting back to you. I talk a little bit about my experience here I’ve since been in contact with Coast Warriors. Some of my friends did a tour of the Blue Mountains with them and loved it, so I’d definitely recommend checking them out!


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