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  1. The Great Ocean Road on a budget

    posted by Guest blogger - Elizabeth Holbrook | 0 Comments

    The Great Ocean Road on a budget


    In her latest guest post, winner of our 'Hostelworld Connects' video competition Elizabeth Holbrook tells us how to do the Great Ocean Road in Australia on a budget. If you're planning on visiting this famous coastal drive, check out our feature about hostels on the Great Ocean Road.

    Winding coastal roads twisting alongside the ocean; banks of sand stretching on as far as the eye can see; huge rock formations protruding from the ocean majestically and withstanding the test of time – the Great Ocean Road is one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world.

    Located a short distance (in Australian terms) south of Melbourne, it’s a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. If you’re planning on visiting Melbourne you simply can’t miss this natural wonder. But you may be worried that a tour won’t allow you the leisure to fully enjoy your trip and also hesitant that you don’t have enough bills in your wallet to do it on your own. If so, here are some tips on how you can take your time and enjoy the sights but still experience the Great Ocean Road on the cheap.

    Split a rental car
    Did someone say road trip?! Pass on the bus and round up some new friends who will be game to rent a car. It’s a guarantee that there will be other backpackers wanting to travel the same route as you. Ask around at your hostel or even put up a notice on the bulletin board. Splitting the rental fee and petrol costs two, three or even four ways will make your daily budget a lot cheaper. Plus, what better way to form new friendships than on one of the most epic coastal roads you’ll probably ever experience.

    Pitch a tent
    Sleeping by a peaceful river and waking up to a morning sky blazing orange and pink isn’t a shabby way to start off your day. Take your pick from tourist parks or more remote bush campgrounds scattered along the Great Ocean Road. Haven’t got a tent? Hopefully your new road trip buddies will have one but if not, no problem. Again, ask around before you set off on your journey and there’s bound to be a backpacker on a working holiday that would be happy to lend you his or her tent. Otherwise, it might not be such a bad idea to invest in one, especially with all the festivals that can be found in Australia during the summer.

    Have a picnic
    Instead of dining in, have your dinner outside. Stock up on groceries at the local supermarket or grab some take-away fish and chips. Skip the local bar scene, swoop up some goons (boxes) of wine and enjoy a cold one on the grassy lawn.

    There are also lots of free activities to enjoy along the way...

    Scout for wildlife
    Keep a lookout for sleeping koalas hanging high in treetops as you weave your way along the coast. Usually if there’s a line of cars pulled over on the side of road, you can bet there’s been a koala sighting. You can also turn off country roads leading to a field and wait for kangaroos to appear. Dusk and dawn are the best times to spot them. Then as evening falls, take a walk through the bush and let the sound of laughing kookaburras fill your ears.

    Take a hike
    The Great Ocean Walk starts at Apollo Bay and ends at the 12 Apostles. Walk as much of the 104 kilometers as you please or take your pick from other hikes along the way leading to old lighthouses, beautiful bays and rippling waterfalls.

    Enjoy the coast
    Soak up the sun, read a book or take a dip in the ocean. Stroll along the coast at the bottom of the high cliffs near the 12 Apostles and bask in the powerful display of Mother Nature.

    The best part of doing the Great Ocean Road on your own is the ability to stop and go as you please. Slow down, take in the sights and relax in the majestic beauty of this grand, coastal road.

    More information about sites and activities along the Great Ocean Road can be found at Greatoceanrd.org.au.

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