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The Great Ocean Road, an iconic Australian National Heritage listed 243-kilometre stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia, is one of the most popular road trips for travellers to embark upon.

Beginning at Torquay and ending near Warrnambool, the road trip can take as long as you’d like it to. There is so much to explore along the coast as well as a just little bit inland. From the rugged coastline and wild national parks to spectacular waterfalls and amazing hiking trails, the Great Ocean Road and the surrounding area really is a sight to behold.

We did it in about a week, and we carefully selected our Great Ocean Road trip accommodation to be affordable and close to the major sights along the route.

There was the option of sleeping in our car, but having just completed a ten-day Tasmania road trip where we slept in the car in minus temperatures, we were after a bit of comfort, warmth, and WiFi to get some work done. We stayed in a mix of hotels, motels, and holiday parks. And because we did our Great Ocean Road trip in June, we had very few other tourists to contend with.

The Best Affordable Great Ocean Road Trip Accommodation | So Today We Found | Travel Blog | We've rounded up the best Great Ocean Road Trip Accommodation for all budgets, from backpacker to luxury. Take a look and get exploring!

Something we didn’t realise until shortly before our adventure is that The Great Ocean Road is actually a war memorial. Construction on it started in 1919 by some 3000 Australian soldiers who had returned from the war. The first section of the road opened three years later, and the building of all sections was completed thirteen years later.

We carried on beyond the official end of the Great Ocean Road and up into South Australia. Our guide here also includes accommodation options for a couple of places outside of the official route, but which are still a logical or worthwhile place for a stopover.

Great Ocean Road Trip Accommodation 

Where to stay in Torquay

The official start of the Great Ocean Road, Torquay is a small surfer town west of Melbourne and Geelong. It’s the birthplace of many surf brands and is home to Bells Beach which is famous for its waves. Every year, it hosts the Rip Curl Pro surf competition. Do you get the hint that it’s totally surfing mad yet?

Being complete non-surfers, and also remarkably scared of sharks and deep water, neither of us had any plans to take a surf lesson during our time in Australia. We’ve been told that Torquay is a great place to learn, but we gave it a hard pass and spent the morning here strolling around eating pastries instead. Foodies for life.

Check out these best places to stay in Torquay:

Backpacker Budget

Bush to Beach Studio 1

Bells Beach Backpackers

Mid Range Budget

Torquay Tropicana Motel

Surf City Motel

What Budget?

Peppers The Sands Resort Torquay

RACV Torquay Resort

Where to stay in Lorne

After our morning in Torquay, we drove out to the start of the Great Ocean Road and the famous Memorial Arch. We spent the first night of our Great Ocean Road itinerary in the town of Lorne. We loved the town, which reminded us of seaside towns back home in England, but we were thankful that we visited in low season.

The landscape around Lorne is very green, and there are a number of hinterland trails and waterfalls to discover. If you go right up into the hills, to a place called Teddy’s Lookout, you might just spot a whale if you’re lucky!

We stayed at the Mantra Lorne and were lucky enough to be one of only a handful of guests there at the time. It was lovely to have a hot shower and a real bed for a change. 

Take a look at our selection of the best places to stay in Lorne:

Backpacker Budget

Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park

Mid Range Budget

Lorne Bush House Cottages & Eco Retreats

Cumberland River Holiday Park

What Budget?

Mantra Lorne

Cumberland Lorne Resort

The Best Affordable Great Ocean Road Trip Accommodation | So Today We Found | Travel Blog | We've rounded up the best Great Ocean Road Trip Accommodation for all budgets, from backpacker to luxury. Take a look and get exploring!

Where to stay in Apollo Bay

Almost everyone stops at Apollo Bay during their road trip along the Great Ocean Road. It marks the midway point of the journey, and the scenery around it is breathtaking. It was surprisingly busy when we were there, and we ended up staying a short drive outside of Apollo Bay, in a place called Marengo, to save some money.

The Otway Ranges begin here, and there are rainforests, waterfalls, rugged coastal walks, and views for days around Apollo Bay.

It is understandably geared for tourism here and there is an array of hotels, shops, bars and restaurants to enjoy, although we found that some of the food options were limited outside of peak season. It’s worth noting that the only big supermarket we found was back in Geelong.

If you’re planning on cooking for yourself whilst you’re travelling the Great Ocean Road, stock up at the start as you will pay higher prices to shop in the more independent grocers and liquor stores we found in the towns en route.

Hotels in Apollo Bay:

Backpacker Budget

Great Ocean Road Brewhouse

Motel Marengo

Mid Range Budget

The Apollo

Seaview Motel & Apartments

What Budget?

Achilles’ Holiday Home

Manta Ray One Holiday Home

A Great Ocean Road Resort Whitecrest 

The Best Affordable Great Ocean Road Trip Accommodation | So Today We Found | Travel Blog | We've rounded up the best Great Ocean Road Trip Accommodation for all budgets, from backpacker to luxury. Take a look and get exploring!

Where to stay in Port Campbell

This was our absolute favourite place to stop along the Great Ocean Road. Port Campbell is close to pretty much all of the big-ticket attractions along the route, like the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, and London Bridge.

It is a TINY town, with one main street and not much else. It is a truly beautiful place though, and we felt so welcomed by everyone we spoke to. The beachfront is spectacular, with cliff edges and crashing waves so typical of the area, and the sunset and sunrise were both highlights for us.

We stayed in a caravan park at the start of the main street, in a cabin instead of in our car. It was clean and quiet and came with the very necessary electric blankets. These were a godsend after getting up at sunrise to see the sights! 

Accommodation in Port Campbell:

Backpacker Budget

NRMA Port Campbell Holiday Park

Port Campbell Guesthouse & Flash Packers

Mid Range Budget

Portside Motel

Sea Foam Villas

What Budget?

Anchors Port Campbell

Anchors Beach House

The Best Affordable Great Ocean Road Trip Accommodation | So Today We Found | Travel Blog | We've rounded up the best Great Ocean Road Trip Accommodation for all budgets, from backpacker to luxury. Take a look and get exploring!

Where to stay in Warrnambool

The Great Ocean Road ends in a place called Allansford, which is just outside of a big town called Warrnambool. Don’t ask us to pronounce that for you, we’ve tried and we can’t!

It’s worthwhile to drive into this town though, as it actually has quite a lot of things to do. It’s especially useful to stop here if you are carrying on after driving the Great Ocean Road as it has a mall with all the usual supermarkets and things. We topped up on snacks, food, and alcohol here as we would be sleeping in the car from here on in.

With decent beaches and a number of good hikes to undertake, Warrnambool holds a lot of affordable accommodation options on the Great Ocean Road.

Check out these best places to stay in Warrnambool:

Backpacker Budget

Mid City Motel Warrnambool

Turn-in Motel

Mid Range Budget

Apartments 521

BIG4 Warrnambool Figtree Holiday Park

What Budget?

Lady Bay Resort

Deep Blue Hotel & Hot Springs

The Best Affordable Great Ocean Road Trip Accommodation | So Today We Found | Travel Blog | We've rounded up the best Great Ocean Road Trip Accommodation for all budgets, from backpacker to luxury. Take a look and get exploring!

Bonus Stop: Where to stay in Port Fairy

Port Fairy is about 30km west of Warrnambool, and it is a beautiful little place. It’s chock full of heritage buildings and maritime history, and the coastline is characteristically stunning. 

We, unfortunately, didn’t have time to stop there, which we really regret as the photos we’ve seen of Port Fairy look amazing!

Hotels in Port Fairy:

Backpacker Budget

Port Fairy BIG4 Holiday Park

Port Fairy YHA

Mid Range Budget

Comfort Inn Port Fairy & Seacombe House

Ashmont Motel and Apartments

What Budget?

The Victoria Apartments

Edge17 Port Fairy Wharf

The Best Affordable Great Ocean Road Trip Accommodation | So Today We Found | Travel Blog | We've rounded up the best Great Ocean Road Trip Accommodation for all budgets, from backpacker to luxury. Take a look and get exploring!

Alternative places to stay on the Great Ocean Road

If you want to extend your Great Ocean Road trip, there are so many other places along the route that we haven’t mentioned yet. We honestly could have spent weeks exploring the area. 

Why not check out these other places to stop on the Great Ocean Road?

Hotels in Aireys Inlet

Places to stay in Anglesea

Accommodation in Portland

Where to stay in Winchelsea

Best places to stay in Cape Otway

Best places to stay on the Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is honestly a road trip to suit all budgets. From affordable to luxury, all travellers are catered for.

We advise travelling along the Great Ocean Road in low or shoulder season where possible. It is an extremely popular route and accommodation prices spike during the summer months.

We’ve shared our one week Great Ocean Road trip itinerary with you, but as we’ve said we could easily have spent a number of weeks slow travelling around the surrounding area. There are loads of towns that would make great overnight stops on a road trip, especially if you were on a camping trip.

Have you done any other road trips? Let us know! We love a good road trip story.

Psst! Why not take a look at our Tropical North Queensland Road Trip Itinerary?

Cheers, all the best.

Sam & Kez x

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The Best Affordable Great Ocean Road Trip Accommodation | So Today We Found | Travel Blog | We've rounded up the best Great Ocean Road Trip Accommodation for all budgets, from backpacker to luxury. Take a look and get exploring! #GreatOceanRoad #Australia #RoadTripItinerary #GreatOceanRoadTripItinerary #GreatOceanRoadItinerary #WhereToStayGreatOceanRoad
The Best Affordable Great Ocean Road Trip Accommodation | So Today We Found | Travel Blog | We've rounded up the best Great Ocean Road Trip Accommodation for all budgets, from backpacker to luxury. Take a look and get exploring! #GreatOceanRoad #Australia #RoadTripItinerary #GreatOceanRoadTripItinerary #GreatOceanRoadItinerary #WhereToStayGreatOceanRoad
The Best Affordable Great Ocean Road Trip Accommodation | So Today We Found | Travel Blog | We've rounded up the best Great Ocean Road Trip Accommodation for all budgets, from backpacker to luxury. Take a look and get exploring! #GreatOceanRoad #Australia #RoadTripItinerary #GreatOceanRoadTripItinerary #GreatOceanRoadItinerary #WhereToStayGreatOceanRoad

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