Chris Brown Takes On The Great Ocean Road In 24-Hours
The ultimate Victorian winter road trip.
The Great Ocean Road is one of the most spectacular drives in the world, stretching 243 kilometres from Torquay to Allansford. The 12 Apostles, Bells Beach, and those insta-worthy ocean views are just some of the reasons why this is one of the most popular and scenic road trips in Australia.
With all that natural beauty crammed into one stunning coastline, the main attractions can get pretty busy during the summer months, which is why you shouldn’t be afraid to visit in winter (despite the cold weather). The Great Ocean Road has a completely different vibe in winter – it’s cooler and quieter for starters, meaning you’ll get to experience the iconic sights in a more peaceful and relaxed setting.
To prove its winter worth, The Living Room sent Chris Brown on an epic 24-hour road trip along the famous coastline to test out how much he could pack into one tank of fuel in his Ford Escape SUV.
Here’s where he went:
Chris’ journey started at the gateway of the Great Ocean Road, Torquay (aka. the surfing capital of Australia). As you may have guessed, surfing is the activity of choice in Torquay and you’ll be glad to know that a visit in winter guarantees fewer crowds and consistent swells. In fact, any seasoned surfer will tell you that surfing in the cooler months is surfing at its best.
Just outside of Torquay is Bells Beach, the iconic home of the Rip Curl Pro, the longest running surfing competition in the world. Bells is arguably Australia’s most famous surfing beach, and while you may not be able to ride the waves like the pros there are plenty of surf schools around if you want to give it a red hot crack. Chris happens to be an avid surfer and was lucky enough to paddle out with ex-pro surfer Adam ‘Robbo’ Robertson (#legend) and catch a few gnarly sets.
Australian National Surfing Museum
If you’d prefer to ‘surf through the ages’ rather than the waves, then a visit to the Australian National Surfing Museum should be on the cards. Chris and Robbo hit up the museum to check out the exceptional collection of surf boards and surfing memorabilia on display. The town of Torquay is also full of surf shops, surf tours and everything else connected with surfing if you want even more of a surf fix.
If you’re after a change of scenery, head deep into the forest to the nature mecca that is Lake Elizabeth. Home to prehistoric looking trees, glow worms and the native platypus, the lake is a short drive from the mountain town of Forrest in Victoria's Otways.
To make the most of his 24 hours, Chris hit the road at the crack of dawn in search of the elusive platypus. At the lake, he jumped into a canoe with local guide Bruce Jackson of Otways Eco Tours who says you’re 95 percent guaranteed to see a platypus if you join a local tour (we like those odds). Thanks to Jackson's extensive botanical knowledge, Chris also learned about the local environment as they sought out the shy platypus.
Winter might not be the warmest time of the year to visit Victoria, but if you’re brave enough to jump in the car and buck the trend you will not be disappointed. Just remember to rug up!