Great Ocean Road Photography Locations
The Great Ocean Road is on the door step of Melbourne and is one of Australia’s iconic must do drives (if you happen to be in Victoria). The drive offers many photography locations that landscape photographers crave! Waterfalls, beaches, mountains, bays and even the wonders of the 12 apostles. Whilst this post is aimed at landscape photographers, it’s also a handy little travel guide of some amazing locations. I am going to lay down just a few amazing locations for landscape photography along the Great Ocean Road and no doubt will need several more posts in order to get more coverage over all the locations on offer.
Stopping in Apollo Bay is a must, not only because you will be hungry and need coffee, but Apollo Bay has some pretty amazing sights. The beach is awesome and along the shore line there are several walking tracks that will lead you into the rock formations along the beach. I happened to stumbled across some sea weed along the rock formations at Shelly’s Beach giving me a unique interest from the foreground, mid ground and background.
I found the visit Apollo Bay website quite helpful https://www.visitapollobay.com/ and even though I live quite close to Apollo Bay, I never knew whale watching was a thing in Apollo Bay! Among other things, Apollo Bay is a place to stop in for a while.
If you are a waterfall lover, then Hopetoun falls is for you. The waterfall is deep within Otway’s National Park, yet has a well-made walking track and good access. There are a few stairs, so take your time unless you have decent fitness. When you reach the bottom, there is a deck that overlooks the waterfall and amazing rocks. The forest has an obvious cooling sensation and it is common to have newly fallen trees which in the past has given difference in composition if you are a returning photographer. Depending on the time of day and light, you may need to use a neutral density filter to get that silky water look of long exposures, however sometimes the light can be so low it is not needed. My recommendation is to come here outside of golden hour as the light peaking through the forest can be a good addition to a waterfall shot and it also frees up golden hour for another location. More information for Hopetoun falls as well as a bunch of others can be found on this useful website https://www.visitgreatoceanroad.org.au/lets-go-chasing-waterfalls/
Around the corner from Hopetoun falls is the Californian redwoods, also known as the giant trees. A must to see and probably the most idea place to stop in for lunch. These giant trees are huge and are amazing to be around. The redwoods are actually a 85 year old plantation of Californian redwood trees
Cape Otway’s Light Station
Built in 1848 and likely the first sight of land for European migrants Cape Otway Light station is an important piece of Australian history. More importantly it makes for a great photo! However don’t do what I did and show up 10 minutes prior closing time, I nearly was not aloud in. That’s right, there is an entrance and entrance fee. You should check out the opening hours when you plan to attend, there website provides a lot of helpful information https://www.lightstation.com/explore/lighthouse/ and the entry fee is well worth the tour and sights. However, they do open and close outside of golden hour, I was lucky enough to make golden hour for the below photograph as in winter the sunset is around 5:15pm, very lucky.
The 12 Apostles, the storm carved coastline is the highlight of the Great Ocean Road. Be prepared for a lot of tourists and photographers and happy snappers. I have been a few times, still waiting for that perfect light. The location is beautiful for either sunset or sunrise however I recommend sunset if you are after that iconic 12 Apostles shot. I recommend arriving early to allow for sufficient scoping, as the area is quite large if you wanted to also check Gibson’s steps. However if you wanted the iconic shot, it is only a small walk from the car park. The following website has a bunch of useful information https://visit12apostles.com.au/
Although technically not on the Great Ocean Road (just moments from the Great Ocean Road entrance), the following locations are in between Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road entrance and are definitely worth checking out if you wanted to do a closer range trip.
A landscape photographers dream if you love mood, this old pier in Clifton Springs brings a depth like no other. Approximately 100km from Melbourne CBD and a stone throw from Geelong, its also a nice beach if you wanted to get fish and chips while you waited for the sun to set. However the location is often swarming with other landscape photographers, so make sure you are okay with sharing! Haha. Also you may want to bring a second pair of pants or some type of water proof clothing, I walked in knee deep for this shot in winter. Otherwise you could always stay on the shore line.
A fair bit to see in Point Lonsdale and again, not too far away from Geelong, have a browse of this informative website https://www.visitgeelongbellarine.com.au/destinations/point-lonsdale/. I was mostly interested in the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse and pier. I was pleasantly pleased wit the light on this particular sunset. The pier is better suited for sunrise and the lighthouse for sunset, however I was shocked with 360 degree pink sky this evening, I was able to get two shots from either end of the pier! What a winner!