Best time to drive the Great Ocean Road

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  • Post last modified:June 28, 2024
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Driving the Great Ocean Road is always spectacular. There’s something special about when the sun makes the legendary limestone formations glow in golden tones, but so is it when the picturesque waterfalls in the forests flow at their max after heavy rains.

March–May

With temperatures hovering around the high teens, hiking along the Great Ocean Road is blissful in autumn. Some embark on the multi-day Great Ocean Walk, while others settle with the highlights, like the shipwreck-framed trails around Loch Ard Gorge and the Bay of Martyrs (it isn’t called the Shipwreck Coast for nothing). The crowds are manageable, too, bar the notoriously busy Easter weekend, which usually is the time for the yearly Rip Curl Pro surf competition at Bells Beach in Torquay.

June–August

You’ll almost have the Great Ocean Road to yourself from June to August, the year’s coolest and wettest period. If you need to warm up, spend some extra time at the attractions with indoor displays along the route, such as the Australian National Surfing Museum, Cape Otway Lightstation and Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village. Gazing across the ocean, you might spot southern right whales, which migrate along the Great Ocean Road from May to October — a favourite location to watch them is the specifically designated platform at Logan’s Beach in Warrnambool.

September–November

Thriving on rainy days, the Great Ocean Road’s stunning waterfalls, like Erskine Falls and Hopetoun Falls, flow at peak levels from late winter well into spring. Tread carefully when you admire them, though: With rain comes slippery conditions on boardwalks and steep paths.

December–February

Tourist buses ply the Great Ocean Road like never before between December and February. Our advice to avoid the madness: Visit the most popular overlooks (including the Twelve Apostles) either early or late in the day. Also, bear in mind that the gorgeous weather comes with unforgiving UV rays, so cover up with a hat and sunglasses even during brief stops.

Average weather Great Ocean Road

MonthHigh (°C)Low (°C)Rain (mm)Wet days
January2213446
February2214415
March2013558
April18127011
May16109213
June1499714
July13810615
August14810416
September1599014
October17108112
November1811639
December2012528
Source: Bureau of Meteorology.

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