Great Ocean Road Trip
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Feb 19, 2013 6:08 PM Last Post By: chaibean
Feb 15, 2013 8:33 PM
Great Ocean Road TripHey there,
A friend and I are planning to drive the great ocean road in a campervan, departing from Sydney for 9 days. I think our first stop might be Torquay and then on for a few hundred Kms before driving back (the camper has to be dropped back in Sydney).
I'm after general advice/tips for this drive...must sees? Also, I'm aware the leg from Sydney will to Torquay will be longest - 11 hrs or so? In terms of our suggested route, do people think it is possible for us to enjoy the trip and sights given the time we have and distances to be covered (without having to spend hours upon hours driving every day)?
Bit clueless as to what we're going to be doing...so any advice will be great. Cheers!
Feb 15, 2013 9:24 PM
1You post is a little confusing so firstly let me clarify a couple of things.
The Great Ocean Road is typically regarded as the coastal drive from about Warrnambool to Torquay with the iconic part of the drive 20 kms either side of Port Campbell (the 12 Apostles – but there aren’t actually 12!!). With your own transport you can do the Melbourne to Warrnambool then back along the GOR to Melbourne comfortably in 2 days, however this doesn’t allow you much time to stop and see and do things in a bit of detail along the wayl. Three days would be good and you might include Ballarat (and Sovereign Hill historical village) and/or the Grampians.
I’m assuming you pick and return the campervan in Sydney and have 9 days.
You could go Sydney to Melbourne along the Hume Freeway. This is 900km, is all freeway and could be done in a long day driving.
Going back from the GOR you can then go through eastern Victoria (known as Gippsland) and then up the south coast of NSW. There are lots of pretty spots along the NSW coast but for most of the way the highway goes a little way inland so you have to drive to the coast. This is 1100 km and you could do it comfortably in 3 days with time to stop and see and do things along the way.
Rather than go from Torquay back to Melbourne I’d suggest going on to Queenscliff and then by car ferry across to Sorrento and up the Mornington Peninsula. Then continue on to Phillip Island and see the penguins come ashore in the evening. Then on through Gippsland to the NSW south coast.
Based on the above this is going to take about 7 or 8 days. You could take things a bit slower along the way or have some time in Melbourne or alternatively go in to Canberra as you come down the Hume Highway.
Campervaning is a great way to travel in Australia. It gives you a lot of flexibility in where you stay. There are lots of caravan parks along the way and outside the school holidays you rarely need to book ahead.
There are also plenty of tourist information centres along the way – look for the big blue “i”. They will have local maps, info on sights to see and advice on local spots to stay overnight.
If you haven’t done so already I’d suggest getting a Lonely Planet guide. It will help with your planning and be very useful along the way.
Feb 16, 2013 12:53 AM
2With 9 days to do the trip you don't really need to drive all the way to Torquay the first day. Alternatively to the above, you could drive down the Princes Highway along the coast, stopping when you get sick of driving, say Narooma, Mallacoota or Lakes Entrance, and head to Torquay and the start of the Great Ocean Road the next day. Then you have 3 or 4 days to meander along the Great Ocean Road before heading back to Sydney via the Grampians and maybe a stop at Canberra. Do get yourself a map, and have a good trip.
Feb 16, 2013 1:58 AM
Feb 16, 2013 3:55 PM
4Torquay is about 1.5 hours beyond Melbourne, and Sydney to Melbourne via the quickest way is generally about 10-11 hours in itself, more if you stop. So, you're looking at potentially a 12.5-13 hour + drive on day one.
If you've got 9 days, take a night's break between Sydney and Melbourne, somewhere like Beechworth is a good option.
The GOR itself you can see comfortably in 2/3 days. You could head up to the Grampians National Park afterwards, then go back to Melbourne and head up the coastal road to Sydney again.
Feb 16, 2013 10:45 PM
5We done a tour from Melbourne to Adelaide via the GOR, and did find the last part of the trip, the final inland run into Adelaide quite boring.
We have also done the Melbourne to Melbourne trip that starts off on the GOR, but as #4 suggests that say after Port Campbell you could head up and see the Grampians, a far better option as the country you will see is far, far more interesting
Feb 17, 2013 2:08 AM
6Recently my wife and I did 9 days from Melbourne to Adelaide, but as it was in the middle of school/Christmas holidays we only did a few days on the (extremely crowded) GOR. Stayed 1 night in Cape Otway and the next at a great camping ground just past Port Fairy (called Yambuk Lake)... then we went into SA for the rest.
Do you own or borrowing the campervan from Sydney? Is that why you must start and finish there? If you are renting one I would fly to Melb, pick it up there and drop it off Melb or Adelaide. Otherwise... it is a long drive to start as you mentioned. But the road Sydney to Melbourne is pretty good these days and you can do it fairly fast and easy.
Feb 19, 2013 6:08 PM
7Thank you everyone for such helpful responses, incredibly informative. Much appreciated.
Yes, the campervan has to be picked and dropped at Sydney (rental). I think we will try and take a couple of days to do the first and longest leg and look into stopping off along the way at the places mentioned here.
The reason my initial post and questions were a little vague is because other than booking the van and knowing that we want to drive the GOR, we had little idea about what would be the best route. Admittedly clueless. We have 9 days in total, start and finish in Sydney...other than that, our plans were open to any suggestions.
Certainly got some terrific ideas from here, habby your suggested route looks especially appealing.
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