Departing Melbourne at around 8.00am, we enjoy panoramic views of the city and Port Phillip Bay as we cross the Westgate Bridge, Australia’s longest 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 beach side towns and powerful swells.
Just outside the town of 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 an 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 truly amazing 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 Kennet River we make a brief side trip into the sweetly-scented eucalyptus forest to locate some of the local koalas in the native habitat. The koala population here is particularly strong and numerous sightings are guaranteed! We also have an opportunity here to feed the colourful local bird life, with Crimson Rosellas and King Parrots always keen for a handful of sunflower seeds.
We then continue on towards our lunch stop in Apollo Bay with another photo stop at Cape Patten on the way. After lunch we follow the Great Ocean Road away from the ocean and into the mountains. The tour proceeds through the spectacular Otway Ranges, where we stop to enjoy a stroll in the cool temperate rainforest at Maits Rest. Here our guide accompanies the group through the forest, where we stop to learn a little about the world’s tallest flowering trees and the 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. 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.
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 on the way home. With drop-off right back to your inner city accommodation, you’ll remember this day as a true highlight of your Australian holiday.
*Please be advised that itinerary shown is subject to change without prior notice from the tour operator
Hotel pickup timing will differ according to your accommodation
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There will be return transfers from your accommodation, or a nearby hotel