Are you dreaming of driving along the beautiful Great Ocean Road? If so, you’ve got to take the helicopter tour once you get to the 12 Apostles, it’s completely worth it!
Great Ocean Road was an absolute must-see for me, so Melbourne was the first place I landed in Australia, and I was on that incredible road by day three of the trip. I took a two-day bus tour that drove the length of Great Ocean Road, stopped at multiple scenic lookouts, and then stayed overnight in the Grampians National Park. It was through a tour company called Wildlife Tours that the YHA Melbourne recommended. Although the package has changed a little since I went (pub stop instead of winery), it still sounds like an incredible experience. Every stop was on time and our peppy guide was super friendly and knowledgeable. He kept calling us his “peeps”, fed us Tim Tams (tasty chocolate cookies), and offered up some vegemite for those who were brave enough (not me!).
The bus picked me up at about 7:00 a.m. from the YHA Melbourne on a slightly overcast, warm day. We drove along the Great Ocean Road with our energetic tour guide who kept the drive interesting with his Aussie playlist. After making a few stops to take in the breathtaking scenery, we arrived at the 12 Apostles. As we were pulling up, the driver asked if anyone was doing the helicopter tour, and I made a split-second decision to go for it with two other people from the bus. With a tour discount of $40 off of the regular price, it was a deal I couldn’t resist!
I had never been in a helicopter before and I’m pretty much deathly afraid of heights, but I was 100% in. We waited in line for about 15 minutes, and eventually our turn came up. One of the crew members motioned for me to go in first, which was perfect because I got to sit in the front row right beside the pilot! As we ascended, it felt like we were in a bubble gently floating above the hilly terrain. Since I was wearing a headset, the loud motor noise was cancelled out and it felt so serene to sail over the land toward the brilliant blue ocean. We could see the waves crashing against the rock formations from above, but the apostles continued to stand fierce and hold their ground. There used to be 12, but now there are only 8 due to corrosion over the years. These formations have been there for 10 – 20 million years. To see them in person felt surreal. The helicopter ride lasted about 20 minutes, but it seemed to fly by in an instant. Once we got back on solid ground, we ran out to the lookout spot to shoot a couple of photos before hoping back on the bus.
The entire length of the Great Ocean Road is absolutely breathtaking, so if you drive on your own be sure to stop often and take in as much of that view as possible. This tour stopped at all of the key points along the road, and we also got to do some short hikes at Grampians National Park the next day, which was icing on the cake. If you’re looking for a tour that leaves from Melbourne and drives the entire length of Great Ocean Road with some wildlife viewing and landscape lookouts, this is the one. I’m not affiliated with Wildlife Tours at all, I just wanted to share my experience.
Have you taken a tour along Great Ocean Road? If so, which one do you recommend?
Quick clip from the ride:
A helicopter ride over the 12 Apostles is an absolute must. If you venture out to there, be sure to take the ride, it’s completely worth it!