Join a micro-group of just 8 guests for a relaxing, rewarding and stimulating tour full of scenic diversity. Explore the sights and scenery of Victoria's Great Ocean Road in a relaxed and comfortable way on this 2-day tour from Melbourne. You'll discover local wildlife, visit coastal towns, take a rainforest walk, learn about shipwreck history, see the Twelve Apostles, and spend the night in ocean-view accommodation. Dinner at an award-winning restaurant and breakfast are included. This tour is limited to eight people to provide a small-group experience.
Day 1: Melbourne – Beacon Point (D)After departing Melbourne in the morning, begin your 2-day tour with the drive through the vast volcanic plains on the way to Geelong, where you can stroll along the beautifully transformed waterfront. Continue to Torquay, where your journey along the Great Ocean Road starts; you'll stop at various places along the coast including Bells Beach. Travel along a particularly scenic section of the road, and visit sites such as the Memorial Arch, where you'll hear the story of this incredible road.After lunch in Lorne (own expense), continue along the road, stopping at scenic spots including Kennett River, where you can look for koalas and colorful native birds in the wild. Traveling through Apollo Bay, head into Great Otway National Park for a 0.6-mile (1-km) guided walk through a cool temperate rainforest gully to see some of the world’s tallest flowering plants, prehistoric trees and ferns, and interesting features such as ‘yabbie chimneys.’ Your accommodation for the night is a private, self-contained villa at Beacon Point, set high on a hill overlooking the Southern Ocean. Enjoy a couple of hours to relax before your 2-course dinner at Chris's Beacon Point Restaurant, the only local restaurant to be awarded a Chef's Hat; it boasts an extensive menu that utilizes local produce in modern, Greek-Australian cuisine.Overnight: Beacon Point Ocean View VillasDay 2: Beacon Point – Melbourne (B)Your second day starts with breakfast at Bay Leaf Cafe, a local favorite. Then travel through the Otway ranges and on to the Shipwreck Coast, where you'll stop at Castle Cove overlooking the Aire River valley. Next up is the Twelve Apostles, where you'll arrive as the limestome rock formations are lit up by the morning sun, offering less crowds and great photo ops. After hearing about the creation of the stacks and holding some of the limestone rock, you can explore the boardwalks or even take a helicopter flight along the coastline, if you wish (own expense). Then visit Loch Ard Gorge, the site of a famous 19th-century Australian shipwreck. Listen to the entire story, from the calm voyage to the tragic wreck to the survivors and their ultimate fate. While hearing the tale, you can see and hold some original artifacts, photos, and documents from the Loch Ard.Port Campbell is your lunch stop for today (own expense); the fishing village of just 350 is set in a natural port and is home to cafes and restaurants for food and views. After lunch, travel to a lesser-known but highly impressive area of the Great Ocean Road, west of Port Campbell. This section takes in London Bridge, Bay of Islands, Bay of Martyrs, and Boat Bay before you start the return journey to Melbourne, driving inland and traveling through open farmland. Your tour ends when you arrive back in the city for drop-off.