Great Ocean Road Drive - where to start??
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Aug 12, 2012 2:24 AM Last Post By: cherylchen
Jul 28, 2012 3:50 AM
Great Ocean Road Drive - where to start??Hi
Me and my partner are looking to do the GOR next August, starting in Adelaide. We will have a time scale of about 5weeks (Starting last week in July) Whilst there we would like to visit friends in Sydney for 2 weeks.
Could anyone advise where are the top places to stop along the drive and any other useful info. We have no idea where to start...
Jul 28, 2012 5:05 PM
1you are hiring a car in Adelaide to drive yourself ?
taking 3 weeks from Adelaide to Sydney ?
does that include time looking around Adelaide ?
Coonawarra wine district
Great Ocean Road
into Melbourne or not
follow coast or inland
visit Canberra ?
lots to see and do
what interests you
Jul 28, 2012 7:06 PM
2We have no idea where to start...
Unless you can give us a better idea of your interests I’d suggest you start with buying a Lonely Planet guide, will be good for planning and useful as you travel –
You are implying you want to drive from Adelaide to Sydney via the coast. Just to clarify, the Great Ocean Road is typically seen as the stretch of coast from Peterborough to Torquay (in Victoria) and especially the part around Port Campbell for the 12 Apostles – this is a must see.
Jul 29, 2012 5:11 AM
3Sorry, I know it was a vague question.
We would like to start in Adelaide (where we will hire a car) and do the costal route to Melbourne. (Or wherever the great ocean road starts and finishes between these - Peterborough to Torquay? Including Port Campbell and the 12 Apostles?)
We don't mind flying from Melbourne to Sydney unless you think the drive would be worth doing?
We would like to visit Canberra along the way.
We don't mind either spending a day ot two when stopping along the way, we would start with a few days in Adelaide to see the sights etc
Hope that helps you a little more to help me :s
Jul 29, 2012 5:01 PM
4With 3 weeks you should be able to do a leisurely trip from Adelaide to Sydney. I’d allow 3 days to drive from Adelaide to Melbourne
If you are keen to go to Canberra and you want to see more country side then it’s probably worthwhile to drive the Melbourne to Sydney leg. The quickest (and least interesting – boring?) way is up the Hume Freeway. Alternatively you go out through Gippsland. Here you have a couple of options. The quickest way is up the Cann River Highway through Cooma to Canberra. This is a very pleasant drive with lots of varying scenery. Alternatively go further up the coast to Batemans Bay and experience the NSW south coast and then into Canberra. Lots of pretty spots on the beach but you have to drive off the main highway to get to them (but will too cold for swimming in August). There are some other options to get you into the high plains (Omeo, Jindabyne etc) but in August some roads might be closed due to snow.
Personally I don’t think there is that much to see and do in Adelaide, a day max, Melbourne and Canberra maybe 2 days. From Melbourne an afternoon/evening trip to see the penguin parade at Phillip Island (you could do this as the start of the drive through Gippsland if you go that way).
If you are interested in early white settlement history in Australia the wool museum at Geelong and Sovereign Hill at Ballarat.
If you decide to fly from Melbourne I’d use the car for a couple of day trips from Melbourne such as Yarra Valley, Phillip Island, Mornington Peninsula and Ballarat.
If you are interested in bush walking there will be lots of options along the way for short walks.
In Canberra the war memorial/museum is very good, you could easily spent half a day there if you are interested in that sort of thing.
If you are interested in wine and wineries there are quite a few areas along the way – McClaren Vale and Adelaide Hills, then Coonawarra in SA south east. In Victoria the Mornington Peninsula and the Yarra Valley.
You say you are going to hire a car, have you thought about a campervan and staying in caravan parks. Probably breakeven cost wise – what you save in accommodation & meals you pay extra for the hire of the campervan.
You will find plenty of local tourist information centres along the way (look for the big blue i) who always have lots of information on local things to see and do and accommodation options.
As I’ve already mentioned I suggest getting a Lonely Planet guide.
Jul 29, 2012 9:08 PM
5As mentioned above, the Great Ocean Road refers to the sectin of coastal highway between (roughly) Port Campbell and Torquay. This section is truly spectacular, and worth taking a few days in its own right.
But, on the way here, you have a few choices - either head straight down the coastal road via the Coorong, Robe and on to Mt Gambier, or take the inland road to Narracoorte caves, Bool lagoon, Penola and the Coonawarra Wineries.
From Mt Gambier head straight to Port Fairy, then across to the Great Ocean Road. Mostly, you stick to the coast, but at Lorne head inland briefly to see the waterfalls and rainforest.
At Geelong you could head along the freeway to Melbourne and spend a few days here, seeing the city, the Dandenong Ranges, Yarra Valley wineries, or take the ferry across the heads to the Mornington Peninsula.
At this point you can decide whether to head to Sydney via the Hume Highway, which is a boring, if direct route, with, perhaps, diversions into the snow fields, Wineries and Canberra.
From Canberra, you could then duck back to the coast at Bega, Bateman's Bay or Nowra, or continue on to the Southern Highlands and Sydney.
If you go the coastal route, it's a single lane slower road, but with much better scenery and you can stil duck up to Canberra (and back) at numerous locations.
Along the coast good places to see are Lakes Entrance, Tilba, Pebbly Beach, Jervis Bay, Seven Mile Beach, Minamurra Falls, and then the fabulous final section along Sea Cliff Bridge.
If it were me, I'd probably cut into canberra somewhere along the coast, possibly at Bega, and maybe even divert into the snowfields, and then, after Canberra, come back down via Fitzroy Falls and Kangaroo Valley to Nowra, head a little bit south to Jervis Bay (make sure you head right along the southern shore at least as far as Hyams Beach) and then stick to the coast for the rest of the journey to Sydney.
This would be a nice 2 week drive. In 3 weeks you have plenty of time so stop off along the way.
Jul 30, 2012 5:32 AM
6Agree, 3 weeks is a nice length of time to do a comfortable and enoyable coastal based drive from Adelaide to Sydney via Melbourne. the weather will be the downside, cold, probably wet, far from beach weather. The flip side, storms often produce some wild surf crashing in to the cliffs, which for me is much more exhilirating than gentle waves lapping on the shore. But I'm a bit weird that way.
Plenty of good options, Harry has a good plan. I'd cut up and inland from Port Fairy to see the Grampians NP for a couple of days, then straight back down. It's only about 1.5 hours from Port Fairy each way.
Jul 30, 2012 6:51 PM
Jul 31, 2012 5:38 PM
Jul 31, 2012 7:27 PM
Aug 2, 2012 2:49 AM
10Thanks for the advice guys.
Got ALOT to look into...!!
You have definately given us some great ideas, now to put it all together...!! Lol.
If I get stuck/confused, I will be intouch...
Any more ideas, keep them coming :)
Would suggest booking hotels before we leave or do you think we could just turn up and rooms will be availabe? We will look into a campervan but I think a car suits us better.
Aug 2, 2012 5:05 AM
11You should be right with school holidays in SA & Vic –
In August you should be OK providing you don’t leave too late in the day to book somewhere.
You say you are staying in “hotels”. Where you are going they will be mostly old style country hotels that now focus on bar sales and food rather than accommodation. That said they are an interesting option, often pretty basic (such as shared bathrooms and saggy beds) but can be an interesting experience.
There are a number of motel chains, so you can stay at one and then book ahead for the following night. For example –
Another option often overlooked is cabins or units at caravan parks. They are self contained with a kitchen (including basic cooking facilities, plates, etc.), bathroom and often with 2 bedrooms. You will often need to supply your own sleeping stuff. You can do your own meals and save a bit and are often reasonably priced.
Some caravan parks still have on-site caravans where you need to use the communal bathroom block. But once again have cooking facilities etc. and you will probably need a sleeping bag and pillow.
Aug 2, 2012 6:50 PM
12I can't imagine, that time of year, you have any trouble if you just turn up.
But you might save a lot of money if you book online, in advance, through sites like wotif.com at this time of year, as they will be offering big discounts due to it being off season. If you just turn up at the door, you may get stung with the full rack rate.
Aug 12, 2012 2:24 AM
13When I did the GOR in reverse from Melbourne to Adelaide, we drove to the Grampians, which was beautiful, and stayed a night at the Asses Ears Widlerness Lodge which was cheap and cheerful, but had amazing views of an evening of the kangaroos and the restaurant/bars/games lounge was a great place to spend an evening. It does get very cold there in winter though!
(5 star Hotel)
From US$294.09 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$356.01 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$340.52 per night