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Honestly, I could spend actual weeks driving around The Great Ocean Road and just soaking in all the beauty. But calm yourself down, me, because sometimes you just need a weekend getaway to reset, and there’s nothing like hitting the road surrounded by boundless natural beauty to do just that.

So how do you narrow down the goodness to a few days? You plan smart so you can get the best in just a few days, you hire yourself a ride from Budget and you kick off from the funky city of Melbourne.

Torquay

It’s the official starting point of The Great Ocean Road, and it’s also home to Bell’s Beach, the super famous hotspot for surfing. So if you’re in any way enthusiastic about this ocean sport, it’s a pretty big highlight. There’s also a bunch of other pretty beaches, like Jan Juc, that are great for swimming, surfing, or lounging around.

Aireys Inlet

It’s the home of the Round The Twist lighthouse! This will never stop being exciting to me! The real name is Split Point Lighthouse and it was built way back in 1891. Get yourself on a guided tour so you can get right up in there and climb the spiral staircase, you know your inner 90s kid is dying to. The whole of Aireys Inlet is also just one of those cute seaside towns.

Kennett River

There is nothing more exciting than spotting wildlife in their natural habitats, and koalas usually make that pretty difficult. Kennet River is home to a bunch of koala colonies so your chances of spotting these fuzzy little guys are actually pretty good. Can confirm from the last time I was there.

The Twelve Apostles

I mean, obviously. You literally just can’t take a trip along The Great Ocean Road and not make a stop off at the Twelve Apostles, especially when they keep falling into the ocean. They have a majesty that words can’t explain, you just have to be there.

Loch Ard Gorge

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Lord Ard Gorge

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Speaking of natural beauty, Loch Ard Gorge is only three minutes from the Twelve Apostles and serves up a kind of dramatic landscape that you don’t get to see every day. Sure, this beach surrounded by steep cliff alls has seen a bunch of shipwrecks in its day, but in terms of swimming or improving your Insta snaps, it’s a winner.

Grotto

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Grotti Grotto

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Sounds, well grotto, but it’s actually bloody beautiful. This sinkhole is weirdly overlooked, considering it’s one of the prettiest spots along this road. You can check it out from one of two viewing platforms, one with easy access for all and the other down a steep decline for those of you feeling fit.

Port Fairy

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First light in Port Fairy

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This cute fishing village is so worthy of a visit. Watch the action at the busiest fishing port in Victoria, then taste it, obviously. You’ll have trouble just picking one seafood restaurant, but once you do you can walk it off with a wander down wide streets lined with 19th-century cottages.

Yes, I know, it’s the perfect itinerary. You’re welcome. If you haven’t packed your bags yet I can only assume it’s because you’ve been busy assembling your travel squad. Happy trippin’.

Image: iStock Images / [DrRave]