the most famous of Great Ocean Road attractions, the 12 Apostles in Port Campbell National Park

Great Ocean Road Weather and The Best Time to Visit

It’s hard to comprehend the vastness of Australia, and the latitude longitude slide means that the forecast across the country can change dramatically. The Great Ocean Road weather also changes with each destination, and those lucky enough to travel the 243 kilometre stretch from Torquay to Allansford can often find it a daunting task to decide which season will suit their trip.

The Great Ocean Road Weather

Deciding on the best time to visit the Great Ocean Road in Australia can be a tough challenge, as there is so much on offer throughout the year. For many travellers, the summer months of December – February are enticing due to the forecast of hot weather and warmer than usual ocean. However, there are advantages when choosing other seasons.

Bay of Islands, the Great Ocean Road

Read on to see our comparison of each season, which activities are best suited and how the weather for Great Ocean road might impact your trip.

Spring

The spring months of September – November are a fantastic time to visit, as the Great Ocean Road weather hasn’t reached its peak but is starting to warm up. Flowers begin to bloom, the tourism season in Australia is just getting started and the days are becoming longer. Although the Great Ocean Road is a memorable trip to take any time of the year, spring can arguably be one of the best times to visit.

Great Ocean Road spring wildflowers

Less crowds, more choice of (cheaper) accommodation, and a huge plethora of things to do, those want to experience a calmer trip and enjoy the experience without the forecast of intense weather, Great Ocean road during springtime is an attractive choice.

Here are some of the spring options for visiting the Great Ocean road:

  • Hiking and mountain biking – with numerous hiking trails available through the Otway National Park, and plenty of bike trails like the popular Old Beechy Rail Trail (suitable for runners as well), there’s plenty of options available.
  • Admire the wildflowers – whether you’re a plant enthusiast or not, we can all appreciate beautiful blooms and colorful flowers. Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve is a great starting point, or you can take a stroll through the Bay of Islands Coastal Park to view the gorgeous landscape.
  • Festivals – numerous festivals take place during these months, such as the Lorne Festival of Performing Arts, Port Fairy Spring Music Festival and Otway OktoberFest.
  • Enjoy the waterfalls – rainfall throughout the winter means that waterfalls are at their most full state.

Although spring suits those who want to be active without the heat and humidity, the temperature isn’t warm enough for lying on the beach, enjoying the Apollo Bay weather and working on a tan. Those who wish to bathe in the waterfalls or swim in the sea might find the weather in Great Ocean road during these months a bit too cool.

Summer

Summer in Australia takes place from December-February, and the weather temperatures for Great Ocean Road during the peak season can range from 25-30 degrees. With endless beaches available and the sun glittering on the ocean, it’s no surprise that this is the busiest season.

Great Ocean Road weather in summer

Here are some of the popular activities that can be done during the summer:

  • Visit the rain forests – with thick, leafy vegetation, enjoying a walk through the rain forest may offer some respite from the intensity of the sun. Those in search of a long walk should try the Phantom Falls and Henderson Falls circuit near Lorne.
  • Bush and beach camping – enjoy the warm evenings and socialize with other travellers as you camp in one of the many sites available along the Great Ocean road. Some sites, like Blanket Bay, are extremely popular especially during school holidays, so make sure to book in advance online.
  • Observe the wildlife – coming across animals in their natural habitat is something that can be done all year round, but is particularly enjoyable on warm summers afternoon. Try booking a tour at the Anglesea golf course and enjoy watching the resident kangaroos.
  • Relax on the beach – this may seem obvious, but with all the rain forest and bush trekking, time out on the gorgeous beaches and ocean that fill the coastline is a must. No trip to Australia would be complete without it! Due to the vastness of the Great Ocean Road there are variations in weather, Apollo Bay weather for example has a forecast of around 22 degrees in February.

Whilst there is an abundance of activities to do during the summer months, keep in mind that hotel bookings will have increased and millions of holidaymakers from within Australia and internationally will be flocking to popular sights!

There are many fantastic reasons to visit during the summer, however for those in search of some peace, quiet and time to reflect in nature, this may not be the season for you.

Fall

The Great Ocean road weather in the fall months of March-May is one of the best times to visit, as the peak season of summer is slowly winding down and the forecast tends to show milder weather than the heat experienced during the summer. There are still plenty to see and do, and with the tourist crowds beginning to thin, travellers can enjoy the Great Ocean Road at their own pace and with more options to take their pick from.

Great Ocean Road weather in the Fall

Enjoy the following during the fall season:

  • Attend a festival – many exciting events occur from April right through to the end of May such as Rip Curl Pro, Otways Film fest, and the Warrnambool May Race Carnival.
  • Visit The 12 Apostles – although this is magnificent to view all year round, enjoy the jaw-dropping rock formations without having to share with crowds of other tourists.
  • Travel the Otway Trail – littered with wineries, breweries, restaurants and cafes, this route offers a great taste of culture. Finding a table is much easier during this season, so be prepared to spend a lot of time invigorating your taste buds!
  • Enjoy the colours – during fall, the landscape changes, becoming beautiful shades of warm golden brown, making it the perfect time to visit the Great Ocean road.
  • Watch the whales return – Logan’s Beach viewing platform (Warrnambool) is a great place to watch as the whales return back to the Victorian coast.

The disadvantage of travelling through the fall season is the ocean temperatures will start to become cooler and there’s a higher chance of the forecast of rainfall, however, this doesn’t deter surfers and swimming enthusiasts! The Great Ocean road weather forecasts may change significantly along the route, and often unpredictably, with the weather ranging from heavy rainfall to partly cloudy and sunny.

Winter

Travelling the Great Ocean Road through the winter months can be a great option for those who wish to escape the hot weather and vast crowds of people. The roads are much emptier during the low season, and there are more choices on hotel accommodation, in addition to great off-peak discounts.

Gret Ocean Road winter weather

Some of the activities which can be done throughout the winter months include:

  • Photography – enjoy soft lighting and dramatic sunsets without hoards of people blocking the view.
  • Hiking trails – without the heat and humidity, the weather during the winter months can be refreshing and exhilarating for hiking.
  • Waterfalls – although there is an increase in rainfall, waterfalls will be full and can be viewed in at their full peak.
  • Whale watching – these magnificent creatures can still sometimes be seen as they migrate along the coast of the Great Ocean road.

The downside of travelling during Winter is that the Great Ocean road weather forecast may not allow for swimming in the ocean, and there is always the chance of heavy rainfall, especially if visiting the forests of the Great Otway National Park. Although it can be enjoyable to experience, it’s handy to pack a raincoat and some waterproof shoes!

The Best Time to Visit the Great Ocean Road

If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, take pictures that don’t involve other people’s selfies and you want the road relatively to yourself, the best time to visit is October – November or February-March. With warm weather, and plenty of off-peak discounts on accommodation, flights and vehicle rentals, it’s a wonderful time to explore the many beautiful sights of the Great Ocean Road in peace.

great ocean road

During those months, you can enjoy the refreshing sea breeze, pleasant temperatures and mild weather conditions. Although the chance of precipitation is slightly higher than during the peak summer months weather, this contributes to lush greenery and full waterfalls.

In conclusion, the Great Ocean Road is a must for anyone visiting Australia and is picturesque all year round. Each season bestows the Great Ocean road weather forecast with conditions that only enhance its beauty, so there is always a season to suit every type of traveller.

What is your favourite season along the Great Ocean Road in Australia?