Make Your Holiday Complete With a Great Ocean Road Tour

No coastal drive in the world can compare with the beauty and splendor of Melbourne’s Great Ocean Road. The drive is incredible not only for its spectacular landscape but for its breathtaking diversity. From rocky cliffs to roaring surf to the serenity of the rain forest, there is so much to see and explore. The very best way to take it all in is through the Great Ocean Road Tour. Bus tours along this glorious coast ensure that you get to experience all that this treasure of Victoria provides. From families to backpackers, Great Ocean Road Tours are the perfect way to take in all the splendor and contrast the coast has to offer.

Your holiday excursion with a Great Ocean Road Tour will begin early since there is so much to see and do. Throughout your sightseeing experience you’ll wind alongside some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches. As you work you way along the coast you’ll see fabled surf beaches, limestone towers, and have the chance to visit with koalas and get up close and personal with colorful birds. While there are plenty of stops along the way, the pace is relaxing and you’ll have plenty of time to take it all in.

Your Great Ocean Road Tour will take to famous Bells Beach, a favorite of world class surfers. You’ll visit Port Campbell National Park. Here you’ll see the famous 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, and London Bridge. These natural wonders are not to be missed. You can even choose to break from your Melbourne tour and enjoy a helicopter ride to see Port Campbell from above. As your day moves along you’ll visit Otways rainforest and be able to take a leisurely stroll among the giant hardwood trees and fragrant eucalyptus trees. You’ll be able to spend some time with the locals when you stop for lunch in quaint Apollo Bay.

The best Great Ocean Road Tours use small buses so that you can navigate areas where larger charters used by many day tours just can’t go. The small group size ensures that you get the chance to take advantage of the knowledge of the tour guide. As you work your way along you’ll have plenty of opportunity to take photos for your holiday album. You can capture snapshots of white sandy beaches, mind boggling surf, and breathtaking cliffs. You will certainly want to make sure that you have plenty of documentation of this unique travel experience. But this is much more than just a quick stop here and there for snapshots. You’ll have plenty of time to explore each and every highlight along the way.

Of course as you reflect back on your Great Ocean Road Tour you’ll have your favorite spot. But regardless of whether the Twelve Apostles, the crashing waves, or the adorable koalas made the strongest impression you’ll know that this is a guided tour that you’ll never forget. At the end of your long day you’ll be tired but happy. Your vacation in Melbourne is complete. You’ve gotten the full experience of the Great Ocean Road.

The Great Southern Touring Route – 5 Day Self-Drive Itinerary

Melbourne – Apollo Bay – Port Fairy – Halls Gap – Ballarat – Melbourne

Total Distance 792kms

Highlights

  • Werribee Open Range Zoo
  • Surfworld
  • Otway Fly
  • Twelve Apostles
  • Port Campbell National Park
  • Sovereign Hill
  • Grampians National Park
  • Ballarat Wildlife Park
  • Eureka Centre
  • Victoria Wineries

The Great Southern Touring Route offers the very best of Victoria’s attractions – stunning coastal and inland scenery, history and heritage all in a circular route connecting Melbourne to 3 of Victoria’s regional cities – Geelong, Warrnambool and Ballarat. The flexible, compact touring route is a unique and diverse driving experience, providing links with the internationally acclaimed Great Ocean Road, the natural wonders of the Grampians National Park and the historic Ballarat goldfields.

Pickup car hire Melbourne.

Day 1 – Melbourne to Apollo Bay (184km, 2 hrs 45 mins)

From Melbourne travel towards Geelong along the Princess Highway, stopping at Werribee Park which features an award winning historic mansion and the Werribee Open Range Zoo, an Out of Africa adventure. Geelong’s new waterfront is a popular attraction to take a break.

Then it’s on to Torquay Australia’s surfing capital with beautiful beaches, a surfing museum, and a great shopping centre devoted to surfwear and surfing merchandise. Torquay is the official start of the Great Ocean Road, where it begins to wind its way though Angelsea and onto Lorne. With the ocean on one side and rainforest behind, Lorne is a cosmopolitan beachside destination, popular for swimming and surfing. Restaurants, cafes and boutique shops adorn the street overlooking the bay.

The road hugs the coastline to Apollo Bay, providing spectacular lookout opportunities along the way. Apollo Bay is set in the picturesque green foothills of the Great Otway National Park and boasts long sandy beaches and deep-blue sea. Sample some freshly caught seafood.

Overnight: Apollo Bay

Day 2 – Apollo Bay to Port Fairy (193km, 2 hrs 45 mins)

The Great Ocean Road briefly leaves the coast as you head through the Great Otway National Park where you’ll marvel at mighty fern gullies, huge trees, beautiful waterfalls and native animals in the lush temperate rainforest. For a bird’s eye view, take a walk along the 600 metre long Otway Fly Tree Top canopy walk.

As the Great Ocean Road returns to the coast, the majesty of the Port Campbell National Park quickly begins to unfold. Colossal rock stacks soar from the ocean floor and blowholes roar with spouting water. The massive Twelve Apostles are a highlight of the whole trip. See them from the boardwalk or for truly awe-inspiring scenery and breathtaking photographic opportunities take a helicopter flight with Great Ocean Road Helicopters. More of nature’s beauty is revealed in the Bay of Islands Coastal Park on the drive to Warrnambool. The picturesque city overlooks the deep blue of the Southern Ocean and has a fascinating maritime history. Visit Flagstaff Hill, a recreated 19th century maritime village and in the evening experience ‘Shipwrecked’, a sound and laser spectacular that tells the tragic story of the Loch Ard disaster on a 9-metre aqua screen.

On the way to Port Fairy, visit Tower Hill to intimately observe Australian wildlife in a dormant volcano or experience bush culture with Worn Gundidj, the local Aboriginals. Travel a further 10 minutes along the road to the historic fishing village of Port Fairy. Steeped in history and charm, Port Fairy’s culture and architecture have been beautifully preserved.

Overnight: Port Fairy.

Day 3 – Port Fairy to Halls Gap (158kms, 2 hrs)

The Great Southern Touring Route leaves the coast near Port Fairy and travels north towards the Grampians National Park. Along the way, character packed country towns provide a glimpse of Australian life. Nearing the Grampians, the pristine beauty and enormity of the ranges becomes apparent as they begin to dominate the horizon. In the Grampians National Park, you’ll discover hidden valleys, waterfalls, lakes and wildlife. Explore the region on one of the many walks in the magnificent Halls Gap are and soak up the breathtaking views from the spectacular lookouts. Take a tour to see Koori rock art within the park and learn about the local Aboriginal culture at Brambuck. For the adventurous, Grampians Adventure Services provides rock climbing, abseiling, mountain biking, guided walks, canoeing and kayaking.

Overnight: Halls Gap

Day 4 – Halls Gap to Ballarat (142kms, 1 hr 45 mins)

The touring route continues onto Ballarat and along the way you can take a self-guided tour of the wine regions of the Pyrenees, Grampians and Ballarat and learning the intimate secrets of some of Australia’s best cool-climate wines.

In Ararat you’ll find Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre, which re-lives the journey and story of gold prospectors from Southern China and their discovery of Australia’s largest alluvial goldfield.

The legacy of the boom from the gold rush days is evident in the majestic architecture and wide tree-lined streets of Ballarat. Strike gold at Sovereign Hill, the city’s major attraction recreating the gold fever that gripped Australia in the 1850’s. Sovereign Hill is brought to life in this outdoor living museum, which features a working bakery, blacksmith, lolly shop and main street troopers. At night ‘Blood on the Southern Cross’ depicts the 1854 Eureka Stockade, the only civil uprising when miners took on the authorities. It’s a spectacular sound and light show not to miss!

Overnight: Ballarat

Day 5 – Ballarat to Melbourne (115 kms, 1.5 hrs)

Spend the day looking around Ballarat, as it boasts a number of other great attractions including the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, beautiful botanic gardens, the Eureka Centre and a wildlife park. At Ballarat Wildlife Park enjoy close contact with Australian native animals. Feed the free-roaming kangaroos, watch crocodiles and Tasmanian Devil feedings, and participate in koala and wombat photo opportunities.