Top Ten: Victoria: Drive the Great Ocean Road and see the 12 Apostles
Suggested Victorian driving tour duration: 4 nights. Closest International Airport: Melbourne Victoria - travel deals to Australia
Melbourne - 12 Apostles - Ballarat - Melbourne
Great Southern Touring Route, VIC Follow the Great Ocean Road past Torquay, Bells Beach, the holiday haven of Lorne and the magnificent Twelve Apostles. Then head inland past the Grampians and the historic gold rush town of Ballarat
Day 1 Melbourne to Warnambool Depart Melbourne by car: Travel along the West Gate Freeway over the West Gate Bridge and onto the Princes Highway. Werribee is approximately a 30-minute drive from the city of Melbourne. Directions to Werribee Park Mansion are sign posted on the freeway, around 1.5 hours total driving. Werribee Park Mansion - Victoria State Rose Garden: One of Australia's grandest mansions, built in the 1880s, has been restored and furnished with magnificent antiques and illustrates the opulent lifestyle of the squatters at the height of their wealth. Ten hectares on formal gardens with parterre, grotto and lake, original building includes the gate lodge, farm complex and laundry. Next to Werribee Park is the Victoria State Rose Garden. Roses are displayed to perfection in a symbolic Tudor rose-shaped garden. This garden boasts over 4,000 rose bushes with magnificent masses of colour and contrast.
Travel from Werribee Park to Geelong: Continue along the Princes Freeway to Geelong. Details are signposted along the freeway with directions to the National Wool Museum. Drive time is one hour. National Wool Museum: An outstanding heritage attraction which provides visitors with a unique insight into Australia's rich wool heritage. Appropriately located in a beautifully refurbished bluestone woolstore, originally built in 1872, the museum showcases the wool industry from early settlement to present day. The National Wool Museum also prides itself on its five Victorian Tourism Awards for Excellence in Heritage Tourism. Drive from Geelong to Lorne: Details on how to proceed to the Great Ocean Road are signposted through Geelong, Victoria's second largest city.
Travel on through Torquay, known for its surf beaches. Stop at Bells Beach, home of the Bells Beach Easter Classic surfing championship. Other towns of interest include Anglesea, renowned for its 'Kangaroo Golf Course' and the seaside resort of Lorne. Lorne: Stop at Lorne briefly before continuing further along the Great Ocean Road to Apollo Bay. Lorne is an ideal lunch spot, approximately a one-hour drive from Geelong. The Great Ocean Road: Constructed between 1916 and 1932, the road stretches 420 kilometres along one of the world's largest volcanic plateaus. More than 3,000 ex-servicemen toiled the rugged terrain with picks, shovels and crow bars to build the road, and were later joined by the jobless of the Great Depression.
Continue an unforgettable journey along the edge of the world's most inspiring coastal drive, this spectacular cliff-hugging drive takes you through the unique wildlife and fauna in the lush Otway rainforests, to the breathtaking Shipwreck Coast. Two of the most beautiful national parks in Australia are found along the Great Ocean Road. The Port Campbell National Park captures the true spirit of this historic coastline. At Loch Ard Gorge, the poignant story of the shipwreck of the Loch Ard unfolds. Otway National Park is flanked by towering rainforest on one side and steep cliffs and rugged ocean beaches on the other. Savage elements have driven many a ship to destruction, taking with them the lives of hundreds of mariners, convicts and immigrants who were caught up in the battle between the land and the sea. American, English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Scottish vessels were among the 163 ships which are believed to have foundered on the jagged rocks and soaring cliffs. The same rugged elements which have caused the wrecks of hundreds of ships along this coast have left other marks. The Twelve Apostles at Port Campbell, a major coastal landmark, and London Bridge, are a testament to this.
Travel time to attractions: Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles - one hour, 15 minutes; the Twelve Apostles to Loch Ard Gorge - five minutes; Loch Ard Gorge to London Bridge - 10 minutes; London Bridge to Warrnambool - 45 minutes. Overnight accommodation: Upon arrival at Warrnambool or Port Fairy, check in to your accommodation.
Day 2 Warnambool to Halls Gap Breakfast: Suggest a reasonably early morning and breakfast prior to take advantage of the day to be spent in the Grampians. Drive to the Grampians: The Grampians is approximately a two-hour drive from Warrnambool. Take the Hopkins Highway from Warrnambool to Mortlake. Travel from Mortlake to Ararat and from Ararat to Halls Gap. The Grampians: Over 400 million years ago, in the place we now know as western Victoria, the earth rose up to form a vast island of mountains the local Aboriginal (Koori) people called Gariwerd. It is an island oasis which for millions of years was pounded by the advancing Southern Ocean. Over the years wind, rain and water have carved fantastic shapes in The Grampians' ancient stone, creating the steep craggy, slopes and rock formations which thrust majestically upwards from the Earth's crust. A Grampians experience is like no other - a place of Aboriginal Dreamtime legends and rock art, which is rare in Australia. You'll find records of ceremonies painted in red and white on the walls of many rock shelters. More than 100 rock art sites have been documented. And the wildflowers are a spectacle. Many bloom all year round, and some occur nowhere else on Earth. Lunch; Take a break on the way through to Brambuk Living Cultural Centre as the Grampians is explored. Brambuk Living Cultural Centre: The centre is a unique place where you can learn about the culture of the Koori communities of south-western Victoria. It is situated two kilometres from Halls Gap on the Dunkeld Road. You can reflect on the past, consider the present and look to the future as you take in exhibitions, displays, cultural talks and activities and art site tours. Overnight accommodation: Check into accommodation at Halls Gap
Day 3 Halls Gap to Ballarat Drive Halls Gap to Ballarat, via Ararat: Rise early and drive from Halls Gap to Ararat and take the Western Highway to Ballarat. Ballarat is approximately two hours drive from Halls Gap. Ballarat Wildlife Park: The park is set in 116 hectares of beautiful peppermint gum woodland. Experience close contact with koalas, kangaroos, emus, wombats and much more. The park's commitment to the conservation of Australian wildlife and the environment is immediately apparent as you stroll through the grounds and amongst the native animals in an atmosphere of contentment and tranquillity. Eureka Stockade Centre: Experience the tensions and drama of the Eureka Stockade as you move through a series of galleries which employ state-of-the-art multi-media technology to vividly bring the Eureka story to life. Sovereign Hill gold mining township: Enjoy lunch amongst the faithfully reproduced architecture of a gold mining town of the 1850s. Sovereign Hill is Australia's most foremost living museum, where you can experience the life of the 1850s gold rush recreated in fascinating detail. Pan for gold, ride a stagecoach, dress up in the costumes of the old days, watch a gold bar being poured and explore the authentic shops along Main Street. 'Blood on the Southern Cross': A spectacular sound and light show which runs for 1 hour, 20 minutes, re-enacting the Eureka Stockade. While there enjoy the show and dinner. Alternatively enjoy dinner at one of the many restaurants in Ballarat town centre. . Overnight accommodation: Check in to your accommodation and take a stroll down the main street of Ballarat, taking in the truly wonderful architecture of the town.
Day 4 Ballarat to Daylesford Drive to Daylesford: After breakfast drive down to Daylesford via Creswick. It is approximately 45 minutes drive from Ballarat. Convent Gallery: The gallery is a magnificent restored building retaining many of its Victorian architectural features. It was originally built as the private residence of a gold commissioner during the 1860s goldrush. The building was later dedicated as the Holy Cross Convent, a private presentation school for girls. The convent closed in 1982 and the building has been restored as a superb art gallery which houses seven galleries displaying glassware, pottery, fashion jewellery, sculpture and print making, as well as the work of local potters, painters and artists. Lunch: After exploring the Convent Gallery, take time for lunch. Return to Melbourne: Return to the city, which is approximately two hours drive. Overnight: Melbourne
Day 5: Melbourne This morning return the car to either a city or airport depot or continue with an extension to Phillip Island.
Includes a car and accommodation.
Melbourne Victoria Day Tours
Want to design your own Australia vacation?All these tours have DAILY departures to make your planning easy! -Melbourne City -Great Ocean Road -Healesville/ Dandenongs -Yarra Valley -Phillip Island -Ballarat
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