Everywhere in the world has its own reputation and myths, and sometimes it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. We’ve rounded up some of the most common myths about the Great Ocean Road for you. Here’s the lowdown on what’s true and what’s not.
1. There are only 7 remaining Twelve Apostles – TRUE
This collection of limestone stacks which jut out of the ocean is one of the Great Ocean Road’s most iconic sights. However, in actual fact there were never 12 Apostles. The original nine stacks used to be called the Sow and Piglets, but they were renamed the 12 Apostles in the 1930s, possibly due to the locals’ religious inclination at the time. Due to a lifetime of erosion, one of the stacks collapsed in 2005 and another collapsed in 2009. This leaves only 7 remaining today.
2. The beaches are only for surfers – FALSE
It’s true that we have some of the best surf beaches in Australia and in fact Bells Beach is host to the world’s oldest professional surfing competition, the annual Rip Curl Pro.
But did you know the Great Ocean Road has countless beaches? This means there’s probably going to be a beach to suit every type of person.
While there are certainly some fantastic surf beaches with large and powerful waves, there are also calm and sheltered beaches that are great for swimmers. There are also beaches that are great for walking, rockpooling, diving and exploring. Click here to read more about the local beaches.
3. The movie “Point Break” was filmed at Bells Beach – FALSE
Bells Beach is definitely one of our most famous surfing breaks. The final scene of the 1991 American action film, Point Break, starring Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves, was set in Bells Beach. However it wasn’t actually filmed there. It was shot at a beach called Indian Beach which is located in the state of Oregon, USA.
4. The Great Ocean Road is the world’s biggest war memorial – TRUE
The Great Ocean Road stretches for 243 kms from Geelong to Portland. It was constructed by returned soldiers from WW1 between 1919 and 1932, and was dedicated to soldiers who did not make it home from the war. This does in fact make it the world’s largest war memorial.
5. The snails are carnivorous – TRUE
It’s true! In the Great Otway National Park, you’ll find the rare Otway Black Snail. It is a carnivorous snail which feeds on slugs, earthworms and insect larvae. It has no jaw, but it has long, sharp, backward pointing teeth which hold the prey while it is devoured.
6. Koalas are not real bears – TRUE
If you’re planning a visit to the Great Ocean Road you’ll be pleased to hear that you have a great chance of seeing one of Australia’s most popular native animals, the koala. You’ll usually able to spot them at Kennett River or at nearby Cape Otway.
While these gorgeous, fluffy-eared creatures are named “koala bears”, they are not actually a member of the bear family. They are marsupials, so after giving birth a female will carry her baby koala in her pouch for around six months.
7. It’s a day trip from Melbourne – ARGUABLE!
Many people do indeed take a day trip to the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne. But consider this: it’s about 3 hours drive from Melbourne to some of the main sights. And there’s so much to see and do here that a day trip doesn’t give you time to do it all justice.
Not only that, but if you don’t spend a night here you’ll miss out on the possibility of seeing one of our beautiful sunsets or admiring our glorious night sky.
We recommend you spend at least 3 whole days here to get the best out of the region.
If you’d like to find out more about what to see and do on the Great Ocean Road please click here to browse our blog.
Where To Stay
Luxury accommodation is available at Alkina Lodge (+61 3 8899 7426 ; alkinalodge.com.au ), an architecturally designed lodge set in over 100 acres of native bushland. The lodge is about 15 minutes drive from the 12 Apostles. Prices start from $297.50 per person per night (based on twin share occupancy and excluding flights).
The Great Ocean Road is located in Victoria and stretches for 243 kms, starting at Torquay and ending near Warrnambool. How to get there depends on which part of the Great Ocean Road you’d like to visit. However, the most famous sights such as the 12 Apostles and Port Campbell National Park are located 275 kms west of Melbourne, approximately a 4 hour drive along the Great Ocean Road.