This 3-day Great Ocean Road tour is perfectly split between beach and mountains. You'll spend the first day and a half on the Great Ocean Road before travelling north into the mountains. It is almost like two separate tours as both regions command your full attention. The Great Ocean Road has different scenery around every corner and is full of life and movement. The Grampians is calmer and more quiet and offers some incredible viewing and walking experiences as well as being very rich in Aboriginal culture and rock art. The aim is to provide our small groups with compelling but relaxed itineraries matched with unique and wonderful accommodation and dining experiences. Your guide will tell tales of shipwrecks and explorers and help you in any way to have a great Australian journey.
Travel to Geelong before starting the journey along the Great Ocean Road at Torquay, stopping at various places along the coast including Bells Beach and a scenic morning tea location. The focus then turns to Australian native wildlife as you stop to observe kangaroos in the wild. The journey then begins traveling the very scenic, cliff-hugging section of the Great Ocean Road. While winding along stops will be made to view sites such as the ‘Memorial Arch’ and your guide will share the story of this incredible road. After your lunch stop in Lorne, you take in the many scenic spots, including Kennett River where you can see koalas and many colorful native birds in the wild. In the Great Otway National Park, take on a 1-kilometer guided walk through a cool temperate rain forest to see the world’s tallest flowering plants. Your private self contained villa at Beacon Point Ocean View Villas is set high on a hill overlooking the Southern Ocean. Dinner tonight is at the famous ‘Chris’ at Beacon Point’.After breakfast in Apollo Bay your journey starts with traveling through the Otway ranges to Castle Cove overlooking the Aire River valley. The 12 Apostles are Icons of Australia’s natural beauty. You'll arrive as the stacks are lit with the morning sun making them perfect for photos and crowd free. After hearing of the creation of the stacks and holding some of the limestone rock you can explore this magical place. You'll then visit ‘Loch Ard Gorge’, the site of the most famous 19th century Australian shipwreck. While hearing the tale you will be able to see and hold some original artifacts, photos and documents from the ‘Loch Ard’. Port Campbell is your lunch stop. After lunch, travel to a lesser known but highly impressive area of the coastline west of Port Campbell including London Bridge, Bay of Islands and Bay of Martyrs. The journey then continues through to Tower Hill Game Reserve for the chance to see koalas, kangaroos and emus living wild within this extinct volcanic crater. After visiting the most livable town in the world, Port Fairy, leave the coast and drive north towards the Grampians National Park. Your accommodation is at the foot of Mt Sturgeon staying and eating at the multi award winning Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld.
Day 3 starts with an incredibly scenic drive along the Wonderland and Mt William Ranges through to Halls Gap in the heart of the Grampians National Park. Included are a few short walks at Baroka Lookout, Reid’s Lookout and McKenzie Falls as well as visits to ‘Brambuk’ Aboriginal cultural center and a rock art site ‘Bunjil’s Shelter’. The journey back to Melbourne takes you through the gold mining township of Ballarat, once one of the richest towns in the world. Your tour then concludes in Melbourne at approximately 6pm.