The Great Ocean Road is Australia’s most spectacular and well-renowned road journey — one that every Australian and visitor to Australia must experience at least once in their lifetime. Given the splendour and natural beauty of the entire stretch of highway, the road also sees a significant amount of awestruck travellers come from far and wide just to spend a couple of days exploring the region. If you are planning on a visit and are wondering about the best time of year to come, then read on for some tips that will help you plan your adventure.
There is a good reason why the Great Ocean Road experiences a peak season, and that’s because visiting in the summer months of December through to February will leave you captivated. Not only is the divine beauty of the Great Ocean Road even more pronounced at this time of year, but summer is also when you can do all the warm-weather activities, like surfing, swimming, snorkelling, beach lounging and so forth.
Unfortunately, with the sun and fun of the summer peak season also come the hoards of people who also want to enjoy it. However, if you prepare well for the volume of people that will be on the road you will still have a really fun time. For example, if you book your accommodation early, take a Great Ocean Road tour instead of drive, and plan out all your stops, then you won’t be affected too much by the swarming crowds.
If you come at the right time of year, you could spend your time visiting some of the fun festivals that are native to the region. Again, the summer months pull in the crowds with the Falls Music Festival in Lorne, the Lorne Pier to Pub festival, the Geelong Vintage Rally, the Apollo Bay Show, the Food & Wine Festival and the Port Fairy Moyneyana Festival.
The calm winter months
The winter months of June through to August offer an escape from the heat and the hoards, and are said by some to be the ideal time for a drive on the Great Ocean Road. At this time of year, the weather is gentler, the traffic is less chaotic, the accommodation options are unlimited, and everything is less expensive. You can come and watch for the whales during their migration, or simply sit back and view the less settled sea. There are still plenty of Great Ocean Road tours available during the off season as well, so you can still get there easily without a car.
There is a lot to be said for shoulder seasons: the crowds are still small, the weather is beginning to fine up, and nature is in full action. At this time of year, the waterfalls in Otway National Park experience peak run-off, the wildflowers begin to bloom, and the wildlife are active with their spring routine. Remember to bring your rain gear just in case!
When it comes down to it, there really is no bad time to visit the Great Ocean Road: there is only awesome and even more awesome! Of course, when you decide to come will always depend on what activities you would like to do and what your ideal vacation is.