What You’ll Do
Great Ocean Road tours are a highlight for most on their visit to Melbourne and our high-quality vehicles and excellent guides will make this a day to remember. Departing Melbourne at around 8.00 am, we enjoy panoramic views of the city and Port Phillip Bay as we cross the Westgate Bridge, Australia’s longest bridge at just under 2.6 kilometres in length. We pass by and learn a little about Victoria’s second-largest city, Geelong, as we make our way down towards the Surf Coast, with its enchanting beachside towns and powerful swells.
In Torquay, we stop for our first opportunity to visit the beach and to enjoy a complimentary morning tea. Departing Torquay, we set out along the Great Ocean Road itself, as your experienced driver-guide provides informative commentary about the road’s history and its place in Australian folklore.
The scenic journey along the Great Ocean Road is a highlight in itself, as we absorb some spectacular coastal scenery, with new views being revealed around every bend. We make plenty of scenic stops, including, of course, a photo opportunity at the Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch at Eastern View.
At the township of Kennett River, we make a brief detour into the sweetly-scented eucalyptus forest to locate some of the local koalas in their native habitat. There is a large koala population here and numerous sightings are guaranteed! We also have an opportunity to see colourful local birdlife, including crimson rosellas and king parrots.
We then continue towards our lunch stop in Apollo Bay with another photo stop at Cape Patton on the way. After lunch, we follow the Great Ocean Road away from the ocean and into the mountains. The tour proceeds through the impressive Otway Ranges, where we stop to enjoy a stroll in the cool temperate rainforest. Here our guide accompanies the group through the forest, where we stop to learn a little about the world’s tallest flowering trees and other ancient rainforest species.
And then it’s onwards to the world-famous Port Campbell National Park and its iconic array of rock formations. You’ll be awestruck by the majestic monoliths of the Twelve Apostles. Here we also have the opportunity to take to the air with an optional helicopter flight ($145 per person).
For those guests who don’t take to the air, a further stop is possible at Gibsons Steps. Here, guests can descend the steps to Gibsons Beach below for beach level views of two of the Twelve Apostles.
Just down the road is the heart of the Shipwreck Coast, the Loch Ard Gorge where 52 lives were lost and only 2 souls survived the wreck of the Loch Ard in 1878. Your guide will recount the legend of the Loch Ard, bringing the gorge to life in a way you never imagined. We take time to explore here, with more rock formations to see, including the Razorback, the Dumpling Pots and the delightful Island Archway.
We have been advised by Parks Victoria that access to the gorge at Loch Ard Gorge will be closed until some time in Spring 2023 (i.e. September-November) due to dangerous cliff movement near the Upper Lookout, which could cause a collapse.
We will still be visiting this location, as there are many other interesting & spectacular viewpoints around the area above the gorge.
A dinner stop is made on the journey back to Melbourne before enjoying a stunning view of the illuminated city as we cross the Westgate Bridge again. With drop off right back to your inner city accommodation, you’ll remember this day as a true highlight of your Australian holiday.