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Top 16 Things To Do in Port Campbell, VIC Australia (with local Hidden Gems)

25/07/2023
11 mins read
Port Campbell
Source: Visit Victoria

Port Campbell, a picturesque coastal village in Victoria, Australia, is nestled along the famous Great Ocean Road, about 230 km southwest of Melbourne. This enchanting destination boasts a stunning coastline adorned with iconic natural wonders, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Join us as we uncover the hidden gems and reveal the top things to do in Port Campbell, VIC, a captivating coastal paradise. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the region, explore its awe-inspiring attractions, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the mesmerizing world of Port Campbell.

Things To Do In Port Campbell, VIC

1. Twelve Apostles

The Twelve Apostles are a must-see attraction along the Great Ocean Road. These iconic limestone stacks have been sculpted by the relentless waves and wind over millions of years. As you stand at the viewing platform, you’ll be captivated by the dramatic coastline and the ever-changing colors of the stacks as the sun moves across the sky. Make sure to visit at sunrise or sunset for the most breathtaking views, and don’t forget your camera to capture the stunning scenery. The Twelve Apostles Visitor Centre offers informative displays and a gift shop, making it a perfect starting point for your adventure.

Twelve Apostles
Source: Visit Victoria
  • Best time of the year: Sunrise or sunset for the most breathtaking views.
  • Address: Great Ocean Road, Port Campbell, VIC 3269
  • Distance from town: Approximately 10 minutes or 7 km from Port Campbell

2. Port Campbell National Park

Port Campbell National Park is a treasure trove of natural wonders, boasting famous coastal formations like London Bridge, The Grotto, and Loch Ard Gorge. The park’s rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and lush vegetation provide a diverse landscape for visitors to explore. Take a leisurely stroll along the well-maintained walking tracks, or embark on a more challenging hike to discover hidden coves and breathtaking lookouts. Keep an eye out for native wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies, and a variety of bird species. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn about the park’s rich history, including tales of shipwrecks and early European settlement.

  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder weather.
  • Opening Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Address: Great Ocean Road, Port Campbell, VIC 3269
  • Distance from town: The park surrounds Port Campbell and stretches along the coast.

3. Loch Ard Gorge

Loch Ard Gorge is a site of both natural beauty and historical significance. Named after the shipwreck of the Loch Ard in 1878, the gorge offers stunning coastal views and a fascinating glimpse into Victoria’s maritime past. Wander along the walking trails and take in the dramatic cliffs, turquoise waters, and golden sands. Be sure to visit the nearby shipwreck cemetery and the informative displays at the Loch Ard Gorge Visitor Centre. The gorge is also home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, so keep your eyes peeled for sightings of native animals and plants.

Loch
Source: Darren Donlen
  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder weather.
  • Address: Great Ocean Road, Port Campbell, VIC 3269
  • Distance from town: Approximately 10 minutes or 7 km from Port Campbell

4. Gibsons Steps

Gibsons Steps provide a unique opportunity to experience the majestic Twelve Apostles from a different perspective. Descend the 86 steps carved into the cliff face and find yourself on a pristine beach, dwarfed by the towering limestone stacks. Feel the sand between your toes and the cool ocean spray on your face as you marvel at the power of nature. The beach is accessible during low tide, so be sure to check tide times before you visit. Gibsons Steps are a short drive from the Twelve Apostles Visitor Centre, making them an ideal addition to your Great Ocean Road itinerary.

  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but check tide times before visiting.
  • Address: Great Ocean Road, Port Campbell, VIC 3269
  • Distance from town: Approximately 10 minutes or 7 km from Port Campbell

5. The Grotto

The Grotto is a picturesque rock formation and sinkhole located along the Great Ocean Road. This enchanting geological wonder is the result of centuries of erosion, creating a natural window that frames the stunning coastal views. A series of wooden steps lead you down to the viewing platform, where you can admire the crystal-clear pool and the waves crashing against the rocks. The Grotto is easily accessible from the car park, and the short walk is suitable for all fitness levels. Don’t forget your camera, as the captivating beauty of The Grotto is sure to leave a lasting impression.

  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder weather.
  • Address: Great Ocean Road, Port Campbell, VIC 3269
  • Distance from town: Approximately 15 minutes or 12 km from Port Campbell

6. Great Ocean Walk

The Great Ocean Walk is a 110km long-distance walking trail that stretches from Apollo Bay to the iconic Twelve Apostles. This unforgettable journey takes you through diverse landscapes, including rugged cliffs, lush rainforests, and pristine beaches. Along the way, you’ll encounter an abundance of native wildlife, such as kangaroos, wallabies, and various bird species. The walk can be completed in sections or as a multi-day adventure, with designated campsites and accommodation options available. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a casual walker, the Great Ocean Walk offers a unique and immersive way to experience the beauty of the Great Ocean Road.

  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn for milder weather and fewer crowds.
  • Address: The walk stretches from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles
  • Distance from town: The walk passes through Port Campbell and its surroundings.

7. Newtons Ridge Estate Vineyard & Winery

Newtons Ridge Estate Vineyard & Winery is a boutique winery located near Port Campbell, offering a delightful selection of red and white wines. Set amidst rolling hills and picturesque vineyards, the winery provides a serene setting for wine enthusiasts to sample their range. Visitors highly recommend the Chardonnay and the 2 barrel 2015 Pinot Noir, praising their complex flavors and smooth finishes. The friendly and knowledgeable staff are more than happy to guide you through a tasting, sharing their passion for winemaking and the unique characteristics of each wine. Don’t forget to pick up a bottle or two to enjoy at home and relive your Port Campbell experience.

  • Opening Hours: By appointment only
  • Address: 1170 Cooriemungle Rd, Cooriemungle, VIC 3268
  • Distance from town: Approximately 20 minutes or 18 km from Port Campbell

8. Sow and Piglets Brewery

Sow and Piglets Brewery is a charming microbrewery near Port Campbell, offering a range of craft beers that cater to all tastes. With 8 beers on tap, you can enjoy a $10 paddle board to sample their selection, from refreshing pale ales to rich stouts. The brewery’s cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make it a perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploring the Great Ocean Road. Pair your beer with one of their delicious pizzas, made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Sow and Piglets Brewery is a must-visit for beer lovers and those looking to experience the local flavors of Port Campbell.

  • Opening Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 12 pm – 8 pm
  • Address: 62 Lord St, Port Campbell, VIC 3269
  • Distance from town: Located in Port Campbell

9. Great Ocean Road Explorer – Private Tours

Great Ocean Road Explorer – Private Tours offers customized private tours along the Great Ocean Road, perfect for couples seeking a romantic and personalized experience. Your knowledgeable guide will tailor the tour to your interests, ensuring you visit the most captivating sights and hidden gems along the way. Enjoy the luxury of traveling at your own pace, with plenty of time to soak in the breathtaking views and capture unforgettable memories. Whether you’re interested in exploring the region’s natural wonders, learning about its rich history, or indulging in local food and wine, a private tour with Great Ocean Road Explorer is sure to create lasting memories.

  • Opening Hours: By appointment only
  • Address: Tours depart from various locations along the Great Ocean Road
  • Distance from town: Tours can be arranged to depart from Port Campbell

10. Port Campbell Beach

Port Campbell Beach is a family-friendly beach located in the heart of Port Campbell, offering a safe and enjoyable spot for swimming and relaxation. The calm waters and golden sands make it an ideal destination for families with kids, while the nearby grassy foreshore area provides a perfect setting for picnics and outdoor games. The beach is within walking distance of local shops and cafes, making it a convenient and enjoyable day out for the whole family. Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen and beach towels, and enjoy a fun-filled day at Port Campbell Beach.

Campbell beach
Source: Visit Victoria
  • Best time of the year: Summer for swimming and beach activities
  • Address: Foreshore, Port Campbell, VIC 3269
  • Distance from town: Located in Port Campbell

11. Twelve Apostles to Princetown via Great Ocean Walk

The Twelve Apostles to Princetown via Great Ocean Walk is an 8.8-mile out-and-back trail that offers hikers a moderately challenging route with stunning coastal views. The trail takes you through a variety of landscapes, from sandy beaches to rugged cliffs, providing ample opportunities for photography and wildlife spotting. The well-maintained path and clear signage make it easy to navigate, while the breathtaking scenery ensures a rewarding experience for hikers of all levels.

Walk
Source: Visit Victoria
  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn for milder weather and fewer crowds
  • Address: The trail starts near the Twelve Apostles Visitor Centre
  • Distance from town: Approximately 10 minutes or 7 km from Port Campbell

12. Princetown to Twelve Apostles – Great Ocean Walk

The Princetown to Twelve Apostles – Great Ocean Walk is a 12.7km trail running route that features 250 meters of elevation gain and showcases deep forested gullies and jaw-dropping coastal sections. This challenging trail is perfect for experienced hikers and trail runners looking for a more demanding adventure. The diverse terrain and stunning views make this route a memorable experience for those seeking to explore the beauty of the Great Ocean Road on foot.

  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn for milder weather and fewer crowds
  • Address: The trail starts in Princetown
  • Distance from town: Approximately 15 minutes or 12 km from Port Campbell

13. Great Otway National Park

Great Otway National Park is a diverse park with a range of landscapes, waterfalls, and wildlife, offering various outdoor activities. Explore the park’s lush rainforests, rugged coastline, and cascading waterfalls on one of the many walking trails or take a scenic drive through the park to discover its hidden gems. Keep an eye out for native wildlife, including koalas, echidnas, and a variety of bird species.

  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn for milder weather and fewer crowds
  • Address: Great Otway National Park, VIC 3233
  • Distance from town: Approximately 1 hour or 60 km from Port Campbell

14. Hopetoun Falls

Hopetoun Falls is a picturesque waterfall located in the Otways, accessible via a 500-meter walk. The well-maintained path leads you through lush fern gullies to a viewing platform, where you can admire the cascading waters and the surrounding rainforest. The tranquil setting and soothing sounds of the falls make it a perfect spot for relaxation and reflection.

  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder weather
  • Address: Aire Valley Rd, Beech Forest, VIC 3237
  • Distance from town: Approximately 1 hour or 70 km from Port Campbell

15. Bells Beach

Bells Beach is a famous surf beach near Torquay, along the Great Ocean Road. Known for its powerful swells and consistent surf, Bells Beach attracts surfers from around the world. Even if you’re not a surfer, the beach offers stunning coastal views and a chance to watch skilled surfers ride the waves. The nearby cliffs provide a great vantage point for photography and whale watching during migration season.

@declanwilliamss

?Bells beach, Victoria Australia

? original sound – Declan Williams
  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but summer offers warmer weather for beach activities
  • Address: Bells Beach, VIC 3228
  • Distance from town: Approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes or 190 km from Port Campbell

16. Split Point Lighthouse

Split Point Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse in Aireys Inlet, offering guided tours and panoramic views. Climb the spiral staircase to the top of the lighthouse and learn about its fascinating history from your knowledgeable guide. The lighthouse’s picturesque location and stunning coastal views make it a must-visit attraction along the Great Ocean Road.

  • Opening Hours: Guided tours available daily, 11 am – 2 pm
  • Address: Federal St, Aireys Inlet, VIC 3231
  • Distance from town: Approximately 2 hours or 170 km from Port Campbell

Towns Nearby Port Campbell, VIC

1. Apollo Bay, VIC

  • Distance from Port Campbell: Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes or 100 km
  • Highlights: Apollo Bay is a picturesque coastal town known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant cafes, and the starting point for the Great Ocean Walk. It is also a gateway to the lush rainforests of the Great Otway National Park.

2. Lorne, VIC

  • Distance from Port Campbell: Approximately 2 hours or 140 km
  • Highlights: Lorne is a popular seaside town with a stunning beach, boutique shops, and a thriving arts scene. The town is also home to the beautiful Erskine Falls and the Lorne Sculpture Biennale, a major arts event held every two years.

3. Torquay, VIC

  • Distance from Port Campbell: Approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes or 190 km
  • Highlights: Torquay is a surfers’ paradise, with famous surf beaches like Bells Beach and Jan Juc. The town is also the starting point of the Great Ocean Road and home to the Australian National Surfing Museum.

4. Warrnambool, VIC

  • Distance from Port Campbell: Approximately 45 minutes or 60 km
  • Highlights: Warrnambool is a regional city with a rich maritime history, beautiful beaches, and the popular Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village. The city is also a prime location for whale watching during the migration season.

5. Princetown, VIC

  • Distance from Port Campbell: Approximately 15 minutes or 12 km
  • Highlights: Princetown is a small town located near the Twelve Apostles and the Great Ocean Walk. The town offers a peaceful setting for those looking to explore the surrounding natural attractions.

These nearby towns and suburbs offer a variety of attractions and highlights for visitors to explore while staying in Port Campbell, VIC, Australia. Each town has its unique charm and provides a glimpse into the diverse landscapes and experiences that the region has to offer.

Getting To Port Campbell, VIC

To get to Port Campbell, VIC from common destinations or origins as a local tourist, you have several options for both public transport and driving.

From Melbourne CBD:

  • By public transport: Take the V/Line train from Southern Cross Station to Warrnambool. From Warrnambool, take the V/Line bus service towards Apollo Bay via the Great Ocean Road, stopping at Port Campbell. Visit the Public Transport Victoria (PTV) website (https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au) for detailed information on train and bus routes, schedules, and ticketing.
  • By car: Drive southwest on the M1 (Princes Freeway) and take the C151 exit towards Colac. Continue on the C155 (Colac-Lavers Hill Road) and then turn onto the C166 (Great Ocean Road) towards Port Campbell. The drive takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes, depending on traffic.

From Apollo Bay, VIC:

  • By public transport: Take the V/Line bus service towards Warrnambool via the Great Ocean Road, stopping at Port Campbell. Visit the Public Transport Victoria (PTV) website (https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au) for detailed information on bus routes, schedules, and ticketing.
  • By car: Drive west on the Great Ocean Road (B100) towards Port Campbell. The drive takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

From Warrnambool, VIC:

  • By public transport: Take the V/Line bus service towards Apollo Bay via the Great Ocean Road, stopping at Port Campbell. Visit the Public Transport Victoria (PTV) website (https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au) for detailed information on bus routes, schedules, and ticketing.
  • By car: Drive east on the Great Ocean Road (B100) towards Port Campbell. The drive takes approximately 45 minutes.

For public transport options from other nearby towns, use the Public Transport Victoria (PTV) website (https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au) or app to plan your journey, as it provides detailed information on train and bus routes, schedules, and ticketing.

Hafiz Kashif

Kashif, our associate writer at HumbleTrail, brings stories from across the globe to our readers. Originating from Pakistan, his journey has taken him through the vibrant cityscape of Dubai and now to the diverse and cultural melting pot of Melbourne, Australia.

His writing is a reflection of his own journey - rich in diverse experiences and filled with the excitement of discovering new places. Melbourne, with its unique blend of cultures and bustling energy, has captured Kashif's heart, a sentiment that deeply resonates in his work.

Kashif's articles for HumbleTrail are more than just travel logs; they are narratives that weave together the beauty of diverse cultures and the thrill of exploration, inviting readers to see the world through his eyes.

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