Victoria road trip enthusiasts should not miss the opportunity to see the sunset from the Great Ocean Road. This stunning coastal drive offers breathtaking views, beaches, and rock formations that offer dramatic light changes as the sun rises or sets. I have been on numerous trips down this famous road at sunrise and sunset to find the best light. This post will show you the top sunset spots along the Great Ocean Road.
Here are eight of the best spots to see sunset or sunrise along the south-west Victoria surf coast. These iconic spots include the 12 Apostles, but you can also find lesser-known spots like Marriner’s Lookout in Apollo Bay. Grab your camera gear and go to these amazing spots to make a lasting memory.
Location: 7km From Torquay
Access: Sealed Road to Car Park and Multiple Boardwalk Lookout Spots Available
Bells Beach is Australia’s most popular beach. It’s not just for sunsets. This world-class surf beach is most well-known for hosting the Rip Curl Pro, the oldest surfing competition on the planet. There are also a few breaks just outside Torquay.
Although you may go to Bells for surfing, the boardwalks and viewing platforms are some of the most beautiful spots to watch the sunset on the Great Ocean Road. There are plenty of parking options at several surf access points. The main viewing platform is located at Bells Beach. Other boardwalk viewpoints include Southside and Winki Pop.
Sunset is a beautiful time to be in the golden light. Sunrise is another great option. There are fewer people than early morning surfers.
Location:13km From Torquay
Access: Sealed Road to Car Park and Boardwalk to Lookout
Point Addis, a protected marine park located south of Torquay, is one of my favorite sunset spots along the Great Ocean Road. This beautiful spot is famous for its stunning views of both the coast and surf breaks.
The point has a short boardwalk as well as a viewing platform. It is an amazing spot for sunset with stunning views of the ocean and the magnificent colours of the sky. Because it is a little outside of town, it is quieter than some other sunset spots.
Point Addis has a beach that you can walk to. It is quite busy in summer but almost empty at dusk. If you want to take a longer walk late at night, Point Addis can be connected to Bells Beach via the Surf Coast Walk. The 8km trail connects the beaches and features beautiful scenery.
Location in Lorne: George Street
Access: Sealed Road from the Town Centre with a Car Park
Teddy’s Lookout, which is high above Lorne town, is widely considered one of the most beautiful views on the Great Ocean Road. You can easily reach it by driving to George Street’s end, where there is a parking lot. From the parking lot, it’s only a short walk to the viewing platforms.
The views from Teddy’s Lookout are spectacular. The Great Ocean Road runs along the coast, and you can see the mouth of Saint George River. It was my favorite spot for a great view of the road.
Two viewing platforms are actually available. You can walk up to the first platform, which is higher up on the path. However, you can also walk down to the lower platform for a better view over the valley and river. These platforms can be accessed from Lorne or the bottom of the river from the carpark. However, most people drive there to save time.
This is the perfect place to watch sunset and sunrise.
Apollo Bay beach
Location: Apollo Bay
Access: Long sandy beach with numerous car parks and access points to the beach
Although you can watch the sunset from most Great Ocean Road towns beaches, I preferred Apollo Bay. Apollo Bay was the most peaceful and laid-back of the foreshores. There are plenty of parking spots and access points to the beach, which curves around the long sandy bay.
A trail runs along the bay’s shoreline, making it a great place to run or walk. At sunset, however, you should be at the southernmost end of the bay near the coast reserve and boat ramp.
The next bay is Marengo. The sunset over the rocks was breathtaking when I was at the Marengo Caravan Park. It is a great place to swim or walk on the beach.
Location in Apollo Bay: Marriner’s Lookout Road
Access A short drive to the carpark, and a 10-minute walk to the viewpoint.
Although Marriner’s Lookout may be less well-known than Teddy’s Lookout it affords a spectacular view of Apollo Bay at sunset. It can be found by following Marriner’s lookout road as you enter Apollo Bay town. You will need to walk 350m to reach the viewpoint at the top of the hilltop from the car park at the top.
You might also be able to spot hang gliders taking off from this grassy spot.
Location: Red Johanna Road near Glenaire, 44km west Apollo Bay
Access to: A mostly sealed road from the Great Ocean Road but a good dirt road into main car park area and campground area
Johanna Beach is a little obsession of mine. It’s something about this remote surf beach which keeps me coming back to it time and time again. It is located 44km away from Apollo Bay and just off the Great Ocean Road. It can be reached by following Red Johanna Road, which passes through farms.
This popular spot is well-known for its wild waves. It’s best to only go out to surf and try some of the waves. But it’s great fun to look at. To the left of the first parking lot is a campground with unpowered camping. This campground is managed by Parks Victoria.
Camping there is a great idea as you can see both sunrise and sunset. There are two lookout points you can visit. When you arrive at the car park, the first is located in front of your vehicle. It will be on your right as you walk towards the beach. As you continue walking towards the beach, the second one will be down by the campground.
For sunrise and sunset, I prefer the lookout at the campground. But it is up to you. This is my favorite spot to be because of the unique view offered by the light against the wild seas.
Johanna Beach can also be found on the Great Ocean Walk. You can find the hike-in campground high up on the hill overlooking the beach by following the trail to your right from the first parking area. The campground has one of the most spectacular views. Although it is reserved for walkers, you can still go up there to see sunset if desired.
Location: At Port Campbell National Park, on the Great Ocean Road 12km east from Port Campbell town
Access: A small car park with beach access.
Gibson Steps and Gibson Beach, while it is right next to the famous 12 Apostles are well worth a stop along the Great Ocean Road. Gibson Steps offers a stunning view from the parking lot. It also has a boardwalk platform that can be accessed directly from the car park. A couple of limestone stacks can be seen that make up the 12 Apostles.
The best part about this lookout? You can climb down the steps to the beach and view the rock formations and cliffs from below. The beach is stunning and offers a different view of the 12 Apostles.
You can enjoy the light on the freestanding rocks at sunrise and sunset without having to deal with the crowds that gather at the Twelve Apostles lookouts.
Location: At Port Campbell National Park, on the Great Ocean Road 11 km east of Port Campbell Town
Access: Large parking lot and visitor center, with walking trails and boardwalks to different lookouts
Twelve Apostles. These limestone stacks, which are found out to sea just off the coast of Victoria, are widely considered Victoria’s most popular tourist attraction. Although there are only 12 of them, these remarkable rock formations attract thousands of tourists every week.
Sunrise and sunset are the best times to view the Twelve Apostles. A loop boardwalk takes you to several viewpoints with unique perspectives. It offers a variety of angles and heights. It’s great to see the apostles both at sunrise and sunset. However, it can be difficult if you aren’t staying in Port Campbell.
The sun sets behind the 12 Apostles, which are visible from the viewing platform at sunset. Sunrise is usually seen behind the coast, but you won’t be able to see it. The best photos are made by the lighting from the limestone stacks.
The first platform, located on the boardwalk, offers a close-up view of the 12 Apostles, the most iconic image. You can still see the limestone stacks from both directions if you keep going and reach the small point.
If you want to see the best spots and avoid crowds, it’s best to arrive at least 30 minutes before sunset or sunrise. You will find fewer people in April and September than there are during Summer unless you’re on weekends or school holidays.
Staying on the Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is 243km long, and there are many towns along the route. You can choose to stay in bed and breakfast or one of the many campgrounds located along the coast and Otways. Port Campbell, Apollo Bay, Lorne are all convenient towns to stay in while you explore the Great Ocean Road.
At the Great Ocean Road Hotel in Apollo Bay, you can find affordable accommodation. Enjoy a beer tasting and live music in their cosy beer garden before curling up under the sheets.
I have compiled a list of the top pet-friendly accommodation along the Great Ocean Road.
You can also check my article on free camping spots along the Great Ocean Road to help you plan your itinerary.