Take this must do day trip from Melbourne for anyone wanting to see the Great Ocean Road the right way. Embark on a thrilling journey along Australia’s most famous coastal drive—the Great Ocean Road. Set out from Melbourne for a full-day tour by air-conditioned minivan, stopping along the way at the coastal town of Apollo Bay and Split Point Lighthouse.
• Spot Koalas in the wild
• Otways Rainforest
• Port Campbell National Park
• Twelve Apostles
• Loch Ard Gorge
• Outcrops of Great Ocean Road
We enjoy panoramic views of the city and Port Phillip Bay from Melbourne at about 8.00am as we cross the Westgate Bridge, the longest in Australia at just under 2.6 kilometres in length. As we make our way down to the Surf Coast, with its enchanting beach side towns and strong swells, we pass by and hear a little about Victoria’s second largest city, Geelong.
We will stop just outside the town of Torquay for our first chance to visit the beach and enjoy a free morning tea. We set off from Torquay along the Great Ocean Road itself as your experienced driver’s guide offers an insightful commentary on the history of the road and its role in Australian folklore. A highlight in itself is the scenic ride along the Great Ocean Road, as we take in some truly stunning coastal scenery, with new views being unveiled around every bend.
We make a number of scenic visits, including a photo opportunity at Eastern View’s Great Ocean Road Memorial Bridge, of course. We take a short side trip to the sweetly-scented eucalyptus forest in the township of Kennet River to find some of the local koalas in the native climate.
The koala population is especially powerful here and frequent sightings are guaranteed! With Crimson Rosellas and King Parrots still ready for a handful of sunflower seeds, we also have an opportunity here to feed the vibrant local bird life. We then proceed to our lunch stop in Apollo Bay with another photo stop along the way at Cape Patten. We will follow the Great Ocean Road away from the ocean and into the mountains after lunch.
The tour continues through the magnificent Otway Ranges, where we pause at Maits Rest for a walk in the calm, temperate rainforest. Our guide guides the group through the forest here where we stop to learn a bit about the tallest flowering trees in the world and the ancient species of rainforest. And then on to the world-famous National Park of Port Campbell and its iconic collection of rock formations.
The magnificent monoliths of the Twelve Apostles will leave you awestruck. Here, we also have the chance to take an optional helicopter ride into the air. A further stop is possible at Gibsons Steps for those guests who do not take to the air. For beach level views of two of the Twelve Apostles, visitors can go down the steps to Gibsons Beach below.
The heart of the Shipwreck Coast, the Loch Ard Gorge, is just down the road, where 52 lives were lost and only 2 souls survived the 1878 Loch Ard wreck. Your guide will say of the Loch Ard legend, bringing the gorge to life in a way you’ve never imagined before. With more rock formations to see, including the Razorback, the Dumpling Pots and the lovely Island Archway, we take the time to explore here.
On the ride back to Melbourne, a dinner stop is made before catching a beautiful view of the illuminated city as we again cross the Westgate Bridge on the way home. You’ll remember this day as a real highlight of your Australian holiday with a drop off straight back to your inner city accommodation.
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More travel info about Melbourne and Australia
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