2 days in Melbourne
Replies: 25 - Last Post: Nov 19, 2012 7:29 PM Last Post By: pratee1234
Nov 12, 2012 10:05 AM
2 days in MelbourneI am going to be spending 2 days of my honeymoon in Melbourne in March '13. I will be coming from India and hence will be on India time (-5.5 hours Melbourne time) when I land at 8 AM. Since we just have 2 days here, I was planning to hire a car and do the Great Ocean Rd on day 1 and Phillip Island on day 2. I know both these places are far off from Melbourne and we will be jetlagged and behind time but we still want to do these two trips.
My question is about the Gt. Ocean Road. We will be starting from St. Kilda and I see on gmaps that getting to the 12 Apostles through the Ocean Road takes about 4 hours and is a 300 km journey. I was wondering if it makes sense to go all the way to the 12 Apostles. Or does considering that we are so short of time, does it make sense to turn back half way? In short, are the 12 Apostles really worth the 4 hour drive on the day we land from Delhi after a 15 hour flight?
Nov 12, 2012 3:16 PM
1I wouldn't go and visit the great ocean road and not see the 12 apostles, but I also wouldn't set off and do all that driving on the day I arrived from India, that's a minimum 8 hours driving, and it will be longer because you have to keep stopping to see the sights, and by the time you've got through immigration and customs and collected a car, it's already going to be 10am if not later. As you have 2 days, I would take a full day bus trip from Melbourne the day after you arrive, with a company like APT (there are lots of other companies running tours):
You can rest on the bus between stops and still see the sights. If you really really want to drive, then book a hotel out on the Great Ocean Road for the night, don't try and go all the way to the 12 Apostles and back to St Kilda in a day. To be honest I would rest and have a look around the city the day I arrived, the city has some nice things to see, but there are many companies that run trips out to Phillip Island, which you could do the day you arrive. However the penguins don't come ashore until dusk, so you leave Melbourne in the afternoon but don't get back until 10pm or later.
Nov 12, 2012 3:30 PM
2I would normally say "yes, rent a car, drive the GOR including the 12 Apostles. In your case, I recommend against it. Driving in an unfamiliar land, after arriving off a flight from Delhi, with the resultant jet lag, on a road that is not all that easy to drive on is a recipe for disaster. I say that with all seriousness.
If you only have two days in Melbourne, spend day 1 looking around the city and recovering from the flight, then spend day 2 if you must, on a day trip. I still suggest against renting a car; take a tour instead, let someone else drive. Take a pick between Phillip Island and the Great Ocean Road, both have their pluses and minuses. In March, you'll probably be back in Melbourne around 11pm from the Penguin tour, but it does leave later depending on the tour company you choose. The Ocean Road trips leave between 7am and 8am, arriving back between 8pm and 9pm.
Nov 12, 2012 7:13 PM
3There's not much point going to the Great Ocean Road if you do not go as far as the Apostles.
The START of the road is around Torquay/Anglesea, about 90 minutes from St Kilda. From there to Apollo Bay the road is very nice, but not spectacular. It then goes inland, behind Cape Otway, and it's only from Princetown (about 3-4 hours from St Kilda) to Port Campbell that the really spectacular part can be found, with the Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and London Bridge.
In short, if you can't make it this far, don't bother, but if you can, it's fabulous scenery. However, I would NOT attempt this on the day I arrived, on an overnight flight, from a foreign country. It's a long, difficult road.
If it were me, I would ditch Phillip island, and instead do the Great Ocean Road as a 2 day trip.
Nov 12, 2012 10:58 PM
4Thanks for the help guys. I agree that I shouldn't do the GOR on day 1. I was planning to change to a tour of the MCG followed by a trip to Phillip Island in the evening. Day 2, I could either drive or take a tour to the 12 apostles.
Does it make sense to arrive at Phillip Island by 4 in the evening to catch a glimpse of the Koala Center before it closes at 5? Or would it be more feasible to skip the Koala Center and arrive at 6 which is about 2 hours before the penguins arrive?
Also how is the drive to Phillip Island from Melbourne? I know its shorter that going to the 12 Apostles, but is it something that can be achieved on the day I arrive? How much time would it take from Melbourne city center? 2 hours?
Nov 12, 2012 11:14 PM
5Pick one tour for Day 2. Do that. Don't bother trying anything much on Day 1, you'll be tired and possibly disoriented- not a good combination for driving. Especially not to Phillip Island and back. It is a relatively easy drive, freeway/highway in good condition, it's still 4 hours round trip drive time, plus sightseeing. There's a good chance you'll be really tired and will regret the decision.
That said, by all means do an MCG tour and sightseeing around town on day 1, just don't try to drive anywhere.
Nov 13, 2012 3:03 AM
6agree with the others -
MCG tour is good. I would definitely do a tour to the GOR - might be worth checking out a tour to Phillip Island on Day1 - my thought you can at least sleep on the bus heading to the penguins and sleep on the way back. Same with the bus tour to GOR - you can sleep the first couple of hours without missing anything exciting.
Nov 13, 2012 3:27 AM
7you are in Melbourne for 2 days! Do you really want to spend one of those days driving? Especially when jetlagged?
There is so much to see in Melbourne and it's nearer surroundings. Just take it easy and enjoy the city!
I wouldn't recommend driving to the 12 apostles in one day. Have done it before and it's just too much driving for one day. You will just exhaust yourself.
If you really want to get out of the city and are interested in nature, consider visiting The Dandenongs, which make for a really nice daytrip, and are only about 1 hour drive from Melbourne city center.
You can do bushwalks, see beautiful forests, native birds, and stop for lunch and a poke in some antique shops in some of the quaint little towns on the way.
Nov 13, 2012 4:31 PM
8If you MUST do a tour, then day 2 Phillip island is fine. It's about 2 hours drive each way.
Spend day one seeing Melbourne. It's a lovely city with parks gardens, cafes, shops etc.
Nov 15, 2012 9:22 PM
9Thanks again. How about not doing GOR for the paucity of time, doing MCG and a small city tour on day 1 and Dandenongs and Phillip Island as one day tour on day 2?
Nov 16, 2012 8:31 PM
10Yes, that works. You only need to be at Phillip Island at dusk for the penguins. You could be there earlier to see some of the island, but start early, have a few hours in the Dandenongs, then head south to Phillip Island. It's a big day but makes sense. Sherbrooke is the most beautiful area in the Dandenongs
Nov 17, 2012 2:16 AM
11Will you be doing a tour to the Dandenongs and Philip Island or hiring a car? If you're driving, then may I suggest a visit to Miss Marples Tea Room up in Sassafras. It's on the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road and there is a wonderful tea shop nearby called "Tea Leaves" which sells specialty teas from all around the world. The one thing with Miss Marple's is they don't take bookings so you put your name down when you get there, have a look around then come back. Food and service is excellent.
Nov 18, 2012 7:27 AM
12Thanks for the suggestions. Yes I have relatives there who will be happy to rent me their car. So I can stop wherever I want to. Should I also fit in some time for the Puffing Billy? Will it be worth it? If yes, it will have to be a return trip to the station where the car would be parked. Any recommended routes on the train?
Edited by: pratee1234
Nov 18, 2012 12:12 PM
Which train are you talking about Pratee1234? You speak of a car parked at the station - which station? You catch Puffy Billy from Belgrave Station. Puffy Billy has only one route Information here
Nov 18, 2012 7:07 PM
14I don't think it will make sense. I was thinking of parking the car at Belgrave, taking the train upto Menzies which is the next station and catching a return train back to Belgrave. But the trains that arrive at Menzies from Belgrave and the one that leaves Menzies to go to Belgrave are so far apart in time that it won't make sense. Unless somehow I have read the time table wrong.
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