The towns and villages of the Great Ocean Road play host to an eclectic mix of wonderful annual events. The Rip Curl Pro is the longest running surf contest in the world and takes place at the surfing mecca of Bells Beach. The Lorne Pub to Pier is one of Australia's largest ocean swims and attracts thousands of competitors. Music festivals are also popular, with the Falls Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival and Apollo Bay Music Festival all drawing large numbers of visitors.

The seaside villages of Torquay, Lorne, Wye River, Apollo Bay and Port Fairy are classic summer holiday destinations and offer swimming, surfing, bushwalking, shopping and dining. Holiday accommodation ranges from cottages and cabins through to luxury holiday homes with sweeping views over the ocean. The area is at its best during summer, which is also the peak time for visitor numbers. Holidays planned for summer should be booked well in advance to ensure the best availability and rates.

The Great Ocean Road begins in Geelong and travels over 200 kilometres through to Warrnambool. Melbourne's Tullamarine and Avalon airports are the closest air gateways and are served by all of the major airlines. Coach services travel along the Great Ocean Road between Melbourne and Warrnambool. To drive the Great Ocean Road, head south from Melbourne along the Princes Freeway and then Surf Coast Highway.

Click here to view a full list of Great Ocean Road holiday accommodation options.

Rip Curl Pro

The Rip Curl Pro is Australia's longest running surfing contest. Held over the Easter long weekend, the event attracts the finest professional men and women surfers in the world who compete for the famous Rip Curl Pro Bell trophy. Taking place at Bells Beach, close to the holiday town of Torquay, the contest is a must-visit for surfing enthusiasts or anyone who wants a fantastic day out at the beach.

Rip Curl Pro Accommodation

Falls Music Festival

he Falls Music Festival runs from the 28th of December to the 1st of January. Held just outside Lorne, the festival is a three day festival of live music, arts and crafts and performances. Having attracted big-name acts in the past, such as Powderfinger, Wolfmother and the John Butler Trio, this year's Falls Festival again promises great performances and an eclectic mix of acts. With the beautiful holiday town of Lorne close by and the rest of the Great Ocean Road beckoning afterwards, the Falls Festival makes a great way to start the year.

Falls Music Festival Accommodation

Image above: 

- The Rip Curl Pro (photo courtesy of Ari Bakker)