Although its name kind of suggests remoteness and inaccessibility from the outside world, the Great Ocean Road is pockmarked with towns and villages along its course. There are more than a dozen excellent destinations along the Great Ocean Road to stay and holiday at, each offering something different, and all having hotels.
Torquay is the best known town along the route, the centre of Victoria surfing, although cosmopolitan Geelong is actually the start point of the B100, an hour or so west of Melbourne on Port Phillip Bay. Torquay is, however, on the Great Ocean Road proper and is known for its surf shops and big competitions.
Neighbouring suburb Jan Juc has long beaches, too, and better access to the world famous Bells Beach, just south of here. The road heads southwest to the popular holiday resort town of Anglesea and then Lorne, from where it stays close to the shoreline all the way down to Cape Otway.
Both Anglesea and Lorne are good places to be based, Anglesea in particular offering all sorts of accommodation and entertainment. Lorne is more quaint and picturesque and has some fabulous seafood eateries over the water. Apollo Bay is a scenic drive from here and visitors are rarely disappointed with its location either.
The road cuts a swathe through the Great Otway National Park to Princetown and then Port Campbell, which features the famous Twelve Apostles within Port Campbell National Park. All along this coast, sometimes dubbed the ‘Shipwreck Coast’, is striking scenery, before the Great Ocean Road heads inland for Warrnambool, an underrated town with big beaches.
Other towns outside the scope of the Great Ocean Road include charming Queenscliff and the township of Point Lonsdale in the east and Port Fairy on the western side. Port Fairy in particular is a beautiful place to be based, with bags of history and nice places to stay.