Distance
44.75 km
Ascent
888 m
Descent
881 m
Peak
87 m
Difficulty
Easy
Duration
2-4 hrs
Apollo Bay to Lorne: The Great Ocean Road

Overview

The Great Ocean Road was constructed over 13 years employing nearly 3000 returned soldiers from the First World War as a memorial to all Victorian soldiers. It was muted at the time as becoming the finest ocean road in the world. It’s a must-do cycle route, even though sharing the road with cars is a problem. The roller coaster ride contributes to the exhilaration of the magnificent views and there are inviting beaches all the way along to take a dip or just sit and feel free from daily cares.

Terrain

The Great Ocean Road is an iconic tourist road winding along the rugged southwestern coast of Victoria. It is undulating, hardly ever straight and has significant climbs, although none of them are agonizingly steep. The road verge is largely narrow, but in some places, it’s nonexistent. Prevailing winds from the southwest, which can be pretty mean, might determine which direction you take on this route. However, the easiest section of the road lies between Apollo Bay and Wongarra and this is why Apollo Bay has been chosen as the starting point.

The traffic along the road varies from steady to heavy depending on the time of day and time of year. The best time to go out is early in the day.

Access

Lorne and Apollo Bay are 67 and 110 kilometres respectively southwest of Geelong on the Great Ocean Road. VicRoads Maps Apollo Bay 519: N4 A and Lorne 528:G8 .

Food and Drink

Both resort towns have ample services, cafes, shops and accommodation to meet most needs except in peak times such as Easter.

Side Trip

Rather than doing any side trips, which invariably go up and up, riders may choose to only undertake part of the ride, stopping in Kennett or Wye rivers, which are both approximately midway between Apollo Bay and Lorne.

More Details

The easiest way to do this trip is to ride from Apollo Bay to Kennett River and return before the traffic and wind build up. There are two hills before Kennett River, but you can relax on the beach before heading back. The last 10 kilometers is the easiest, so even strong headwinds should not take away from a truly spectacular ride. You can start the ride at either Apollo Bay or Lorne, or for that matter, anywhere along the route depending on where you are staying, how far you want to go and of course, what the weather is doing.

The start at Apollo Bay takes you from the tourist information center eastward out through the town along the coast. Through to Skenes Creek, the road is relatively flat and straight. After Skenes Creek the road starts to become hillier and twisted until about the 16-kilometer mark where it kicks up to the first significant climb to the lookout at Cape Patton. This is a good place for a stop to enjoy the fantastic view back along the coast to Apollo Bay. The ride then flies down into Grey River across the bridge and then another climb before descending into Kennett River.

Here you will find toilets, a general store, and a beautiful beach. This is halfway for a turnaround and also halfway to Lorne if you continue. The onward journey takes you up shorter climbs with the road twisting around the cliffs until you again come down to shore level at Wye River where you will find the local hotel offering refreshments as well as another beautiful beach. Beyond Wye River the ride rolls along until you meet the largest climb of the ride at around the 33-kilometer mark.

What goes up must come down and so do you; to Cumberland River where you will find a caravan park with kiosk and amenities set beside a beautiful beach. The last stretch to Lorne is more of the same until you turn the headland past the famous pier and coast down into the town. The ride finishes at the tourist information center at the end of the shopping area.

Ride Log

  • 0.0 The ride commences in the tourist information center car park opposite Hardy St.
  • 0.1 Leaving the car park, turn right onto the Great Ocean Rd.
  • 5.5 You come into Skenes Creek where you will find amenities on the foreshore.
  • 15.6 If you want to take a stroll, visit the Carisbrooke Falls approximately 1km from the road.
  • 17.5 You have arrived at the Cape Patton lookout at the crest of the first major climb. Stop and enjoy the views.
  • 22.5 The road comes down into Kennett River where the store will provide you with refreshments. Take a rest on the beach.
  • 27.6 You come around the headland and down into Wye River where you will find a hotel and public amenities.
  • 37.0 After the last significant climb you might want to stop at Cumberland River. Take a walk up to the falls or a dip in the river or ocean.
  • 42.9 You crest the headland and turn for the downhill run to the finish in Lorne.
  • 44.4 Turn right into the tourist information center car park.
  • 44.5 The ride finishes in the car park.
Ride type:
Mountain biking
Road riding
Sightseeing
Commuter
Rail Trail
Gravel
Various
EPIC Ride
Fitness Level:
Low
Medium
High
Ultra Fit
Various
Terrain:
Shared Bike Path - Paved
Shared Bike Path - Dirt
On-Road Bike Lane
On-Road
Off-Road - Fire Trail
Off-Road - Rail Trail
Off-Road - Single Track
Off-Road - Double Track
Off-Road - Downhill
Off-Road
Gravel Road
Mobile Coverage:
Excellent
Good
Limited
Nil
Services:
Water
Food
First Aid
Toilets
Bike hire
Carparking
Bike servicing
Accessible by bike
Accessible by car
Accessible by public transport
Accessible by shuttle
Comments

Comments (0)

You must log in to send a new comment.