The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s classic road trips. All it takes is a quick Google search to realise there are thousands of options for things to do, places to see, and destinations to stop off at along the way. So many, that it’s daunting to even know where to begin when it comes to planning your trip.
I was lucky enough to cruise down down the Great Ocean Road last year. Along the way, I made sure to find the best backdrops for photos. Here are four of the best along the way:
#1 Gibson Steps
There’s no doubt that you’ve drawn a big red circle around the Twelve Apostles on your Great Ocean Road map (alright, well, you probably don’t own a map, but you know what I mean). At the very bottom of Victoria, the hugely significant landmark is an incredibly popular tourist spot – and for good reason.
What surprised me when we explored the Twelve Apostles was that the Gibson Steps were actually my favourite part of the stop.
Walk down the eighty-something steps to the beach and you’re dwarfed by the massive cliff next to you. I’ve always been a fan of places that make me feel small and remind me how big the world is – and Gibson Steps certainly does both. From the beach, you have a plethora of angles to play with, and no matter which way you point your camera, your backdrop will be beautiful.
#2 Twelve Apostles
Of course I’d be remiss of me not to mention the Twelve Apostles. These huge limestone formations are incredible in person and for photos. Whether they’re the subject of your photo or a backdrop, these apostles give you a stunner Instagram every time.
Dawn and dusk are the best times to visit the formations given the way that the rocks change colour as the sun drops down, but it’s also the busiest time. I’d suggest visiting the Twelve Apostles on a weekday, or arriving well before sundown to claim your territory.
#3 Loch Ard Gorge
The best part of the Great Ocean Road – with risk of sounding like a complete nerd – is the geology. The rocks, cliffs, and limestone formations will take your breath away, and the Loch Ard Gorge is no exception.
While the beach can get a bit busy on weekends, there’s plenty of sand for everyone. For the best photos, get close to the water’s edge. If you’re lucky enough to have a drone or aerial camera, the views will be even greater.
#4 Hopetoun Falls
If there’s a waterfall, we’re chasing it.
Waterfalls are one of those natural attractions that everyone just loves. Plus, they’re one of the most photogenic destinations around. I was keen to stop at every fall I could find along the way, and Hopetoun Falls turned out to be the quietest, calmest, and easiest to photograph without including strangers in your shot.
When I arrived, only a few others were there, making it easier to get the best angles for great photos. Erskine Falls were another favourite, but as more people poured into the area, it became more difficult to set up a nice photo.
Let’s be honest, the entire Great Ocean Road is just one big Instagram feed. You’re really spoilt for choice, and no matter where you stop, you’ll be leaving Insta-inspired.
Leah Dobihal is an avid writer and traveller based in Sydney. On weekends you can find her on the lookout for the perfect avocado smash and planning her next adventure.