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Great Ocean Road and Grampians Tour

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This tour takes you from Victoria's capital to nature and the wilderness. You will drive the majority of the iconic Great Ocean Road that stretches along the south-eastern coast, from famed surf capital Torquay via Lorne to Apollo Bay. Immerse yourself in the wilds of Otway National Park, where you will discover lush tree ferns, eucalyptus trees, and amazing wildlife with a local guide. The next day, continue driving through Otway National Park and admire the must-see sights during your scenic helicopter flight. You will catch the highlights of the Shipwreck Coast, the iconic Twelve Apostles, and London Bridge. Travel from the ocean to the mountains to explore the majestic Grampians. This incredible mountain range is a haven for nature and adventure lovers. There are numerous hikes, aboriginal rock art sights, and incredible wildlife to be seen, including emus, kangaroos, and dingos. See magnificent waterfalls, taste local dishes, and enjoy the spectacular views offered by this National Park. You will then travel back in time while visiting Sovereign Hill. You will experience the magic and adventure of the Gold Rush era at this unique living museum.

Classic driving toursNational parksWildlife & nature
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Tour summary and feature

Self Drive Tour

This suggested tour costs from AUD$1,186 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Melbourne, finishes in Melbourne

5 days/4 nights


 Rental car included

 Viewed 44 times in the last 7 days

Tour full itinerary
Great Ocean Road and Grampians Tour - Day 1
Choose your style of rental vehicle

Our rental car range includes the latest vehicles from the top suppliers. From economy hatchbacks to SUVs, we can help you decide on a car suitable for this leg of your trip. Insurance can often be included with a small excess or deductible.

Collect your rental car from the Melbourne City depot

Head to the Melbourne CBD depot today to collect your chosen rental car, and continue your journey.

Melbourne to Apollo Bay

Begin your journey by heading south to the picturesque town of Torquay, recognised as the surfing capital of Australia, thanks to the famous Bells Beach. Follow the coast from Anglesea to Lorne, here we recommended a short detour to Erskine Falls. You can park close to the 30 metre cascading waterfall, or take a walk through the lush rainforest to stretch your legs.
The final stretch of your journey from Lorne to Apollo Bay has been described as one of the most beautiful and breathtaking drives in the world.
Your destination, Apollo Bay is the starting point for some of Australia’s most famous short and multi-day walks and is the perfect base to explore the Great Ocean Walk and surrounding Otways rainforest. Take a swim in the waters of the southern ocean, wander along the coast and explore rainforests and waterfalls, ferns and crystal clear streams.

Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is an iconic, must-do route that stretches along the south-eastern coast of Victoria, from famed surf capital Torquay, westward across to Allansford, just before the regional city Warrnambool. The Great Ocean Road tourist drive covers 243 kilometres of National Heritage listed area which hosts an abundance of awe-inspiring natural landscapes including the 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and London Bridge just to name a few. The road is also shouldered by the Great Otway National Park where you can explore rainforest walks, treetop walkways, waterfalls towering over fern-fringed pools and dramatic cliffs sheltering secluded beaches. Kennett River also hosts a rare opportunity to see koalas living in large numbers in their natural habitat, and is well worth the stop.

Apollo Bay

Apollo Bay is the starting point for some of Australia’s most famous short and multi-day walks and is the perfect base to explore the Great Ocean Walk and surrounding Otways rainforest. Take a swim in the waters of the southern ocean, wander along the coast and explore rainforests and waterfalls, ferns and crystal clear streams. Sit and watch the whales travel along the coast in migration season or gaze at the glow worms at Melba Gully. Apollo Bay has a reputation for the freshest seafood which you can enjoy in a range of restaurants, or check out the local distillery and brewery for a refreshment.

Walk with Wildlife Tour with Wildlife Wonders

Embark on a thrilling guided walk through the mesmerising landscapes of the Otways. Traverse lush tree fern gullies, and majestic eucalypt woodlands, and take in the breathtaking ocean vistas. Led by a knowledgeable conservationist guide, you'll delve into the secrets of the diverse plants and animals that inhabit this stunning region. Each nature tour offers a unique and unforgettable experience, where you'll encounter Australia's beautiful wildlife living freely in their natural habitat. You're almost certain to see koalas, and with a bit of luck, you might also spot potoroos, bandicoots, and many other incredible Australian animals that call Wildlife Wonders home. This adventure is perfect for nature enthusiasts and anyone seeking to connect with the wonders of the natural world.

Your accommodation: Comfort Inn The International

The Comfort Inn The International is centrally located in the charming seaside town of Apollo Bay. A popular stop along the Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay is home to the historic Cape Otway Lighthouse and a range of natural sights, including the dramatic Great Ocean Road.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 161 kms / 100 miles : 2.4 hours

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Great Ocean Road and Grampians Tour - Day 2
Apollo Bay to Port Fairy

The first part of your drive today will take you to the iconic Twelve Apostles, perhaps the most famous landmark on the Great Ocean Road, and stopping here is a must. You can park at the carpark and follow the paved path to the lookout, or to take some time and stretch your legs take the path down Gibson's steps to the beach. Descending down these 86 stairs carved into the cliff face, reaching the beach you are treated to a closeup view of these incredible rock formations. 3 minutes further along what is known as the Shipwreck Coast, you will find the stop-off point for Loch Ard Gorge, a glistening inlet of striking blue water surrounded by sheer sandstone cliffs. Beyond the town of Port Campbell, stop at the London Bridge and The Grotto for more stunning sights and photo opportunities.
Explore the coastal city of Warrnambool where you might be lucky enough to spot southern right whales calve off Logan Beach if you are travelling between May and October. From here, it's a 30-minute drive to your destination of Port Fairy.

Twelve Apostles Viewpoint - suggested activity

One of the most iconic attractions on the Great Ocean Road is the 12 Apostles. These limestone pillars rise out of the Southern Ocean and were formed millions of years ago when they broke away from the nearby cliffs to become caves. The wind and waves then did their part to carve them into the pillars you see today.

12 Apostles to London Bridge Scenic Helicopter Flight

An energetic, 15 minute flight that packs in the must-see Great Ocean Road sights. Catch the highlights of the Shipwreck Coast from a luxury helicopter. See the 12 Apostles, London Bridge, and more from breathtaking heights. London Bridge is a thrilling addition to any Great Ocean Road tour.

Port Fairy

The last destination on Victoria's famed Shipwreck Coast, Port Fairy is home to wide streets lined with nineteenth-century cottages, old stone churches, and great Norfolk pines. Here, you can have the opportunity to see native animals in the wild - from southern right whales, seals and dolphins to wallabies, kangaroos and emus. Tower Hill, Victoria's first ever National Park, is the ideal place to get up close and personal with some of these native animals. Enjoy a relaxing swim at the local beaches or catch a wave at The Passage point break, before relaxing over dinner and a drink at any of the numerous bars and restaurants in town.

Your accommodation: Ashmont Motor Inn and Apartments

Port Fairy is a historic seaside fishing village set on the Moyne River, located on the Princes Highway at the western end of the Great Ocean Road. On one side you will find what is known as the rugged shipwreck coastline and on the other, the picturesque East Beach which has the added bonus of being patrolled by lifesavers over summer.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 184 kms / 114 miles : 2.5 hours

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Great Ocean Road and Grampians Tour - Day 3
Port Fairy to Halls Gap in the Grampians National Park

From Port Fairy head north towards Penshurst and Dunkeld then onto Halls Gap in the heart of the Grampians. Famous for it's hiking trails, the Grampians is home to a plethora of native flora and fauna.
We recommend stopping in at Brambuk the National Park and Cultural Centre for the most up to date park and track information before venturing off on one of the iconic walks.

Grampians National Park

Grampians National Park is located three hours north-west of Melbourne and is renowned for it's ancient sandstone ridges, formed as a result of shifting landscapes. This incredible mountain range is a haven for gastronomic experiences as well as adventuring tourists with worlds-best hiking trails, rock climbing and opportunities to encounter Australia's native wildlife. Some choose to experience Aboriginal Culture with over 80% of Victoria's rock art sites found here in Grampians National Park, some of which are over 20,000 years old. The Grampians is a picturesque landscape with a rich history and wide range of outdoor recreational activities or relaxing pursuits.

Your accommodation: Country Plaza Halls Gap

The Country Plaza Halls Gap is located in the heart of the Grampians National Park (or Gariwerd as it is known to the traditional owners of the land). The Halls Gap village centre is only a short walk from the Country Plaza and so it makes an ideal base for sightseeing.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 155 kms / 97 miles : 1.8 hours

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Great Ocean Road and Grampians Tour - Day 4
Halls Gap

Nestled in the heart of the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park lies Halls Gap, a delightful small village renowned for being a great base for a wide range of activities. One of Victoria’s most popular and most impressive natural attractions, the Grampians cover 167,000 hectares, consisting of soaring peaks, lush and rugged bushland, several large lakes, waterfalls, and rivers. Nature lovers are enticed by the unique native flora, delicate wildflowers, and inquisitive wildlife, including emus, wallabies, kangaroos, and many different species of birds. Adventure enthusiasts travel to Halls Gap from across the globe for the 4x4 driving, quad bike adventures, canoeing, abseiling, bushwalking, rock climbing, and cycling that the region has to offer. The fascinating Aboriginal history of the region is explored at Brambuk, the National Park and Cultural Centre.

Walking tracks in and around Halls Gap

Venus Baths Loop
2.3km. Allow 1 hour.
An easy stroll starting in the center of Halls Gap follow the 2.3km track and cross over Stony Creek at the small bridge to the Botanic gardens. Take water and snacks and enjoy the peace and quiet. A walking track follows the river up to several deeper rock pools. The track is flat with no obstacles and makes for an enjoyable walk and great scenery for all ages.
During the warmer months the naturally formed rockpools, filled with fresh water, make Venus Baths the perfect place for visitors of all ages to splash around, have some fun and cool off.

Clematis Falls
2.4km. Allow 1 hour.
Best viewed after rain, Clematis Falls is an easy stroll from Halls Gap. Wind your way through tall open forest to find yourself at the foot of the falls. Visit in spring and enjoy the many variety of wildflowers and keep your eyes peeled for native wildlife such as kangaroos and emus. The convenient location and easy walking track make Clematis Falls a great destination for walking with children.

Grand Canyon Loop
Scramble through a magnificent gorge below towering rock walls on this short strenuous walk. Stop awhile and listen to the trickling stream and the echoes of nature. Climb out of the gorge onto the wide expanse of the rocky terraces while viewing spectacular wildflowers under the watchful gaze of curious Wallabies. This is a short walk but stairs are extremely steep at the end of the gorge, like ladders.

The Pinnacle Lookout
4.2km. Allow 2 hours.
The Pinnacle Lookout is one of the most spectacular vantage points in the Grampians National Park. There are multiple walking options to reach The Pinnacle, the easiest of which begins from the Sundial Carpark. If you decide to undertake one of the more challenging walks to reach The Pinnacle then you will be rewarded with numerous beautiful iconic attractions along the way, including Bridal Veil Falls, the Grand Canyon, Silent Street and more.

Bridal Veil Falls
2.7km. Allow 1 hour.
Bridal Veil Falls is a beautiful seasonal waterfall located along the walk to the Pinnacle Lookout from the Wonderland Carpark. The walking track travels right beneath the waterfall, crossing a gorgeous shallow pond. A sloping cavity in the rock allows you to climb in behind the waterfall if you choose. Bridal Veil Falls is a seasonal waterfall and is best viewed after rains for water flow, and in spring for wildflowers.

Ararat Historic Town - suggested activity

Former gold-mining town, Ararat, serves as a rural service community for the surrounding pastoral, wine and fruit growing districts. With the Grampians and Pyrenees Wine Regions on its doorstep, Ararat is the perfect base for wine and food lovers. Jump from cellar door to cellar door and taste gourmet local produce while admiring the changing landscapes as you get closer to Grampians National Park. Travel outside of town to the One Tree Hill Lookout to view panoramic views of Ararat or experience the darker side of Ararat and take a guided tour through J Ward, Ararat's Old Goal and Asylum for the Criminally Insane.

Your accommodation: Country Plaza Halls Gap

The Country Plaza Halls Gap is located in the heart of the Grampians National Park (or Gariwerd as it is known to the traditional owners of the land). The Halls Gap village centre is only a short walk from the Country Plaza and so it makes an ideal base for sightseeing.

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Great Ocean Road and Grampians Tour - Day 5
Halls Gap to Ballarat

Head out of Grampians National Park and into gold rush country as you head east. Just 50km (31 miles) into the journey you can stop in Ararat, once a rich gold mining town, it still has some great architectural examples of days gone by, such as the Court House Hotel, built in 1958 and the Briggs Francis & Associates building from 1864.
Continue through Beaufort, where gold was also found, but their spoils had all but disappeared within 10 short years.

Sovereign Hill Museum - One Day Entry

Sovereign Hill is an open-air museum in Golden Point, a suburb of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. Sovereign Hill depicts Ballarat's first ten years after the discovery of gold there in 1851. It was officially opened on 29 November 1970 and has become a nationally acclaimed tourist attraction. It is one of Victoria's most popular attractions and Ballarat's most famous.
Set in the Australian 1850s, the complex is located on a 25-hectare site that is linked to the richest alluvial gold rush in the world. The site comprises over 60 historically recreated buildings, with costumed staff and volunteers, who are able to answer questions and will pose for photos. The recreation is completed with antiques, artwork, books and papers, machinery, livestock and animals, carriages, and devices all appropriate to the era.

Ballarat to Melbourne

The direct route from Melbourne to Ballarat has a rough drive time of 1 hour and 15 minutes. 45 minutes into the journey with a slight detour taking a left at Flanagan's Drive is 'Our Lady Ta' Pinu Shrine', providing a panoramic view of the cathedral, Bacchus marsh and the motorway. Before hopping back on the road to reach your destination of Melbourne the coastal capital, take your time to explore the iconic graffitied laneways, cuisine and coffee by the historical Yarra river and wander through the international exhibitions at the art galleries.

Return Car to City Depot

Spend some time exploring before returning your rental car to the city depot.

Farewell from Melbourne

Your tour comes to an end today, but if you are itching to explore more amazing sights, we can customise your holiday to include more days or additional destinations. Our trusted travel specialists can book transfers to your onward flight, and even assist in booking these flights for you. Our team can't wait to help you design your ultimate getaway!

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 249 kms / 154 miles : 3.0 hours

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