Exploring The Great Ocean Road: Sunset Destinations

Sunsets, romance and the sound of the ocean rolling in. The Great Ocean Road offers some of the more memorable experiences as the sun lowers over the horizon. What is already pristine can become awash with watercolour hues, quickly turning the paradise into the surreal.

The limestone structures and rugged cliffs of the Victorian coastline can only be described in this sense. Isolated gorges, aqua to deep blue oceans coupled with a sense of being at the ends of the Earth; surrounded by a picture-book dusk, will take your breath away.  

Locals and those familiar with travelling the Great Ocean Road will often hint about the unsaid yet obligatory sunset visit to the Twelve Apostles. To get the most out of your experience, even in winter, travelling to this destination is about travelling to see the sun setting over these ancient ocean features.

And there’s good reason for the local’s insistence. The craggy coastlines, miles of deep blue ocean crested by white, during a sunset, is the ultimate delicacy for the traveller. The millions of years old limestone structures can radiate every last drop of colour that a sunset will offer.


Just a short drive from Apollo Bay, the Twelve Apostles is one of the easier locations to access, if you are tired from the day’s journey. And equally so, Apollo Bay can also offer impressive sunsets along the shoreline, as you relax for dinner in one of the cafés or restaurants across the road.

But if it’s the Twelve Apostles you have your sights set on, then be sure to consider the also close by Bay of Islands and Loch Ard Gorge. However, given that the life of a sunset is short, try and make the most of these locations over several evenings.

Bay of Islands

Reminiscent of The Twelve Apostles, the Bay of Islands adorns your ocean views with its million-year-old edifices. Coupled with the backdrop of sunset oranges and pinks, this is one world to mesmerize your senses.

Loch Ard Gorge

As beautiful as the Bay of Islands and Twelve Apostles are, Loch Ard Gorge – a ten-minute drive from The Twelve Apostles – will make this sunset worth waiting for.

More like something out of a book, Loch Ard Gorge is both unexpected and full of splendour. During a sunset, it is even more so. Chances are, if you take the steps down to the sand during the cooler months, you’ll experience a sunset-washed Gorge in solitude. Pick one of the large boulders on the sand to sit upon, wait, and enjoy the best show that Mother Nature has to offer.

But be warned, the area is susceptible to high tides. Follow any instructions posted on signs and keep an eye on the ocean.

Alternative Accommodation

If you are looking for an alternative place to Apollo Bay, to enjoy the sunset from a town you can stay in, consider Port Campbell.

Nestled away from the hustle and bustle that can sometimes be the Great Ocean Road, Port Campbell offers stunning sunsets while enjoying a fresh seafood meal. If you want to get closer to the shoreline, to appreciate a panoramic view, stroll down to the port and enjoy the custom of fish and chips by the ocean.

All in all, venturing out along the Great Ocean Road to watch an Australian sunset is akin to visiting the Canadian landscapes for the Northern Lights. Everyone needs to attempt the experience at least once in their lifetime to appreciate the wondrous beauties our world has to offer.

Photo of The Twelve Apostles courtesy: WallPaperUp.com

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