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South East Coastal Getaway

12 days 11 nights
Melbourne to Adelaide
from AUD$3,720pp
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Begin your holiday exploring the cultural hub of Melbourne and spend a day on the stunning Mornington Peninsula. Your classic roadtrip journey west takes you to the world renowned Great Ocean Road, starting with a guided walk through The Otways to spot wildlife and experience the bushland environment. Continuing on you will stop to see the famous rock features such as the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge as you travel the Shipwreck Coast before crossing the border into South Australia. Explore the natural wonders of Mt Gambier and cross the Backstairs Passage to experience the relaxed pace of island life on Kangaroo Island, nature's wilderness playground. Continue on to the vibrant city of Adelaide, the perfect base for exploring the best food and wine country that Australia has to offer.

BeachesClassic driving toursWildlife & nature
Tour full itinerary
South East Coastal Getaway - Day 1
Private transfer Melbourne Airport to your accommodation

On arrival, you will be met by a private driver outside customs exit and delivered to your Melbourne accommodation.


Melbourne is the coastal capital of the state of Victoria. At the city's centre is the modern Federation Square development, with shopping, bars, and restaurants by the Yarra River. In the Southbank area, the Melbourne Arts Precinct is the site of Arts Centre Melbourne and the National Gallery of Victoria, with modern and Indigenous Australian art. As a cultural capital of Australia, Melbourne has a hidden gem around every corner - Rich history, bustling laneways, rooftop bars and world-class restaurants are just the beginning!

Your accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne

In the heart of Melbourne with its chic boutiques, cool laneways and trendy bars sits the Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne. Located on Queen Street, minutes from Bourke Street Mall, the Old Melbourne Gaol and the National Gallery of Victoria, this location is unbeatable.

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South East Coastal Getaway - Day 2
Mornington Peninsula Sightseeing & Bay Cruise

Spend the day admiring the Mornington Penisula on a spectacular sightseeing cruise with Explore Australia Tours. Depart from Melbourne and head south to the London Bridge, an impressive amphitheatre-like rock formation nestled on the Portsea Beach. Board the Searoad Ferry to embark on a 2-hour cruise with a lunch made up of a shared grazing table with local produce and wine. After enjoying the sea breeze and spectacular coastal views of Port Phillip and the Bass Strait, you will be taken to St Andrews Beach Brewery, a converted horse training facility, where you will be invited to a tasting paddle. Then visit Murray's Lookout, the highest point of the Mornington Peninsula where you can admire the stunning views stretching from across the bay to the city. We'll stop for a while at the Peninsula Bathing Boxes, an icon of the Port Phillip Bay. These vibrant boxes nestled on the sand make a fantastic photo opportunity and is the perfect location to end your time on the peninsula.

Melbourne City Circle Tram - suggested activity

The City Circle Tram service provides a free and convenient way to get around central Melbourne. Tourists, shoppers, office workers and families can use the City Circle Tram to travel to major attractions, shops and city events. An audio commentary provides details of city landmarks and major attractions such as the City Museum, Parliament House, Docklands, Federation Square, Melbourne Aquarium and the Princess Theatre. You can spend all day, or stay one hour - this is a perfect free version of a hop on-hop off service so that you can enjoy each of Melbournes sites with the added bonus of traditional Melbourne transportation. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Hidden Bars of Melbourne Walking Tour with Depot Adventures

The Melbourne hidden bar culture is a unique part of Australia’s cultural capital. The difficult thing is just that – they’re hidden! This city makes you work to find its best bits, which is why you’ll find some of the best bars behind other venues, underneath laneways, or tucked into repurposed spaces.
Join an experienced guide and uncover four of these fascinating venues in one afternoon, and learn what makes each one special over a drink, or four (at your own expense). Speak with talented bartenders during this small-group experience, making sure to chat with them about what kinds of drinks you like to personalise your Melbourne Hidden Bars Tour even more.

Your accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne

In the heart of Melbourne with its chic boutiques, cool laneways and trendy bars sits the Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne. Located on Queen Street, minutes from Bourke Street Mall, the Old Melbourne Gaol and the National Gallery of Victoria, this location is unbeatable.

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South East Coastal Getaway - Day 3
Collect your rental car

Our rental car range includes the latest vehicles from the top suppliers. We have a fantastic range, from economy hatchbacks to prestige sedans and SUVs. Insurance can often be included with a small excess or deductible.

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.

Walk with Wildlife Tour with Wildlife Wonders

Immerse yourself in the wilds of the Otways at Wildlife Wonders, just 5km outside of Apollo Bay. Enjoy a 75-minute guided walk through the magical Otways bushland, where you'll discover lush tree-fern gullies, eucalypt woodlands and spectacular ocean vistas. Your conservationist guide will share with you the secrets of the bush and the plants and animals who call the Otways home.
All the profits from Wildlife Wonders go directly to the Conservation Ecology Centre, working to conserve the unique Australian plants and animals across the Otways.

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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South East Coastal Getaway - Day 4
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.

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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South East Coastal Getaway - Day 5
Port Fairy to Robe

Today, head along the coast to Portland. If you see a yellow flag outside the Visitor Information Centre, then it means that a whale has been spotted! Try your luck from one of the local vantage spots - in winter this can be either out on the breakwater or from the clifftop overlooking the bay, and in summer the best place is the Cape Nelson Lighthouse.
A popular side trip from Portland is to the Cape Bridgewater Blowholes and the Petrified Forest.
Continue through the town of Nelson, before crossing state lines into South Australia. Mount Gambier is the second-largest city in South Australia and has been built onto the slopes of a long-extinct volcano. Stop at the city's famous Blue Lake and the Umpherston Sinkhole to marvel its sunken terrace gardens.
From here it is another 1 hour 30 minutes to your final destination for the day, Robe.

Your accommodation: Robetown Motor Inn & Apartments

Stylish, modern motel and apartment accommodation located close to the centre of Robe, and within walking distance of shops, restaurants, cafes, and Robe's main attractions.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 293 kms / 182 miles : 3.2 hours

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South East Coastal Getaway - Day 6
Robe to Victor Harbor

Your first stop out of Robe should be at the Cape Jaffa Lighthouse in Kingston SE. Built in 1872, it was originally located out at sea and it housed two families with enough storage to keep several weeks of supplies. The lighthouse was decommissioned, brought to land and converted into a museum in 1976.
Cross the Murray River and your next stop should be in Strathalbyn. The town has beautiful heritage buildings in the historic main streets and if you like historic vehicles, you can stop in at Gilbert's Motor Museum.
Next stop is Goolwa, a small town that was once a thriving river port for paddle steamers bringing cargo from upriver. There's lots of history here including the famous Cockle Train, which runs to Port Elliot from Goolwa’s wharf precinct alongside the River Murray, on the oldest steel railway in Australia dating back to 1887. It takes in spectacular coastal scenery with perfect views of the Southern Ocean.
From here it's just a short drive to your destination, Victor Harbor. This historic coastal town has been a favourite with holiday makers and local fishermen for generations. No visit to Victor Harbor is complete without hopping on the iconic horse-drawn tram to journey across the causeway and explore Granite Island.

Southern Ocean Adventure with The Big Duck Boat Tours

Depart on a 90 minute boat adventure around Victor Harbor and encounter seabirds, dolphins, seals, sea lions and even Southern Right Whales. Cruise between Victor Harbor and northern side of Granite Island, an island connected to the mainland by a 630 metre causeway and characterised by large, orange lichen tinged boulders. Past the breakwater, pick up the speed and visit Seal Rock, where Long Nosed Fur Seals and Australian Sea Lions bask in the sun. Then you will listen to your guide talk about the whaling history of the area as you go past Shark Alley, a popular surf break for experienced surfers located between Wright Island and the Bluff. You'll be treated to another colony of seals and sea lions at the back of West Island, and will frequently be visited by Sea Birds and Common and Bottlenose Dolphins. Gaze upon the spectacular cliffs of Kings Beach and Waitpinga before cruising through Encounter Marina Park, where you may spot Southern Right Whales between June and September, when they migrate from Antarctica to warmer waters.

Your accommodation: Victor Harbor City Inn

Victor Harbor City Inn is conveniently located on the main street of Victor Harbor, just a short walking distance to all must-see destinations, Victor Harbor beach, and cafes & restaurants. The rooms are comfortable and offer quiet surroundings.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 347 kms / 216 miles : 3.8 hours

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South East Coastal Getaway - Day 7
Victor Harbor to Cape Jervis

Embarking on a short 45 minute journey out of Victor Harbor you will travel through Encounter Bay and past the edges of the Fraser national trust before reaching Willow Creek, a winery haven. Passing through Parawa, allows time to perhaps take a short 10 minute detour to the Ingalalla falls, a short walk along an upstream creek will provide you with dotted picnic areas along the trail, before journeying on.
Up next is Delamere a tiny hamlet, the town was originally named 'Glenburn', make sure to stop for lunch or grab a photo at the authentic colourful mural art wall painted by the locals, located just by the general store. A short drive more and you will reach your destination of the day Cape Jervis, the main departure point for ferries crossing over to Kangaroo Island.

Cape Jarvis to Penneshaw (Kangaroo Island) on the Sealink Ferry

SeaLink Kangaroo Island’s ferry service operates between Cape Jervis (two hours south of Adelaide) and Penneshaw, Kangaroo Island. The journey takes just 45 minutes for the 16km crossing.

Penneshaw to American River

Heading west from Penneshaw you will follow the coastline passing through Baudin Beach, Brown Beach and Pelican Lagoon. The route then leads you to Prospect Hill, we recommend you stop here and take on the 500 steps up to the Mt Thisby lookout, the highest point on the Island, and a breathe taking view. Just down the road is Independence point, stretch the legs by wandering along the trail to the monument where you can learn about the history of the Schooner ship. Before making your way to your final destination American River, a history rich town.

American River

Known by locals as ‘The River’, Kangaroo Island’s American River is situated on the western shore of Eastern Cove, is surrounded by bushland, and boasts spectacular coastal views all the way to mainland Australia. Just a thirty-minute drive from Kingscote, American River is named for the American sealers that mistook the ocean inlet for a river back in 1803. The town overlooks the protected wetlands of Pelican Lagoon Conservation Park, a 397-hectare nature reserve quite popular with birdwatchers, kayakers, and boaters. Keen surfers might hop over to nearby Pennington Bay Beach for its natural beauty and famously powerful surf swell. There are several walking trails within the town; be sure to keep a keen eye for native fauna and birdlife, such as endangered red-tailed glossy black cockatoos, as well as kangaroos and wallabies.
Known as Kangaroo Island’s seafood capital, American River is home to fresh oysters, marron, green lip abalone, and King George whiting, among other sustainable local fish prepared fresh on site. A trip to the Oyster Farm Shop is highly recommended for seafood lovers for a taste of the freshest oysters on the island.

Your accommodation: Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge

Stay in four-star accommodation with an award-winning restaurant and surrounded by trees, birdlife, animals and fronting the tranquil ocean waters of the American River…Quite simply, there is no better haven to base yourself on your visit or revisit to KI.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 98 kms / 61 miles : 1.3 hours

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South East Coastal Getaway - Day 8
American River to Emu Bay

Head south-west out of the American River township along American River Road, where you may wish to stop at Independence Point and see if you can catch a glimpse of the swans and pelicans in the lagoon, and read about the sanctuary zone. Back on the road, turn right when you reach Hog Bay Road and follow the road around Western Cove. Reaching the Playford Highway, you may wish to take a quick detour to experience the local wineries and distillery. Continue north on Ten-Tree Lagoon Road, then North Coast Road past the dreamy pink Salt Lagoon, a great place for a photo stop. Turn right onto Emu Bay Road and follow it right through to the tranquil township of Emu Bay.

Island Explorer Tour & Dolphin Swim with Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures

With over 30 years of local marine experience, KI Marine Adventures are passionate about Kangaroo Island and its untouched natural environment. This 3-hour tour is the only true wild dolphin swim experience on Kangaroo Island and is the perfect way to see some of the amazing wildlife that call the island home in the calm waters of the North Coast of Kangaroo Island. On board the custom-built vessel, the Energizer, this unforgettable marine adventure will provide the opportunity to swim with wild dolphins, listen to them communicate underwater with a hydrophone, and spot other wildlife including fur seals, eagles and osprey.

Kingscote to Emu Bay

Heading south-east out of Emu Bay, you may wish to stop off at the Emu Bay Lavender Farm to explore the purple fields and try some of their hand-crafted products. On the North Coast Road you will pass the Salt Lagoon, its dreamy pink tinge making for a great photo opportunity before arriving at Kingscote.

Kingscote, SA

The largest town on Kangaroo Island, Kingscote is situated on the coast of Nepean Bay, on the northeast corner of the island, and boasts an extensive collection of restaurants, cafes, shopping, heritage sites, and wildlife. On the north end of town is the historical Hope Cottage Folk Museum; built in the 1850s, it is now one of the oldest homes on the island. Other notable heritage sites in Kingscote include The Bluff Cottage, Barrett’s Store, and the Old Government Quarry.
Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene of local sculpture, jewellery, paintings, glasswork, and woodcraft art at the Kangaroo Island Art Gallery in the centre of Kingscote as well as the many smaller galleries. There’s no shortage of great restaurant options, and local brews and spirits can be found at the Kangaroo Island Brewery and Kangaroo Island Spirits.
For wildlife and nature enthusiasts, head to the Busby Islet Conservation Park, a 17-hectare nature reserve just north of Kingscote at the mouth of Nepean Bay. The park is home to numerous bird species, such as Australian Pelicans, and Sooty Oystercatchers, and is also home to a colony of the smallest penguins in the world, the little penguin. Avid beachgoers should be sure to pay a visit to Emu Bay to indulge in the white sand and crystal-clear waters.

Your accommodation: Aurora Ozone Kingscote Hotel - Pier Apartments

The hotel is located in Kingscote on Kangaroo Island, it offers a choice of rooms, suites and apartments, overlooking the Ocean. Perfect for families, couples and groups.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 63 kms / 39 miles : 0.9 hours

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South East Coastal Getaway - Day 9
Kingscote to Penneshaw

Leaving Kingscote you will embark on a 60km drive to your destination Penneshaw. Following the Playford Highway then turning left onto Hog Bay, will take you to Mt Thisby lookout, we recommend you take the short 500 step hike up to the top of Prospect Hill where you will be rewarded with amazing views of Kangaroo Island. After a little longer you will reach your destination of Penneshaw.

Penneshaw (Kangaroo Island) to Cape Jarvis on the Sealink Ferry

SeaLink Kangaroo Island’s ferry service operates between Penneshaw, Kangaroo Island and Cape Jervis (two hours south of Adelaide). The journey takes just 45 minutes for the 16km crossing.

Cape Jervis to Adelaide

Travel along the coastline of the St Vincent Gulf to the iconic McLaren Vale wine region. Here, you can visit galleries and taste wine at some of the 45 cellar doors, including Yangarra, d’Arenberg, and Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard. McLaren Vale is also a haven for foodies.
From here, it’s an easy 45-minute drive to central Adelaide. Wander the cultural boulevard of North Terrace – home to the South Australian Museum and Adelaide Botanic Garden.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - McLaren Vale The Blending Bench & Degustation with D'Arenberg Winery - Lunch and Wine Included

Become a winemaker and savor culinary delights at D'Arenberg. Craft your own personalized Shiraz! Blend three distinctive barrel samples, guided by experts, to create a unique bottle (750ml) you can take home. Later, tantalize your taste buds with an eight-course food and wine degustation at d'Arry's Verandah Restaurant, all while enjoying breathtaking McLaren Vale views.

Your accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury

Timelessly elegant, the Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury, is conveniently located in the heart of Adelaide’s vibrant CBD. Overlooking Victoria Square, the beautifully restored UNESCO recognised renovation is reflective of Adelaide’s architectural beauty. Opposite the Town hall and GPO, the former treasury building is minutes away from Adelaide’s Central Market and Rundle Mall.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 163 kms / 101 miles : 2.2 hours

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South East Coastal Getaway - Day 10
Explore Adelaide

Adelaide is South Australia’s cosmopolitan coastal capital. Its ring of parkland on the River Torrens is home to acclaimed museums such as the Art Gallery of South Australia, displaying expansive collections of Indigenous art, and the South Australian Museum, devoted to natural history. The world renowned Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale wine regions are within driving distance, along with stunning beaches, national parks and riverland, making Adelaide an ideal base to experience South Australia's beauty.

Uncork McLaren Vale, Including Lunch with Small Batch Wine Tours

Venture off the beaten path with Small Batch to discover hidden-gem wineries on a premium share-group McLaren Vale wine tour like no other.
See, taste, smell and learn the difference between wine varieties like Grenache and Graciano, or Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Learn what effect the climate has on the taste of a wine. Ever wondered what happens between the grape and the glass? Why does Shiraz taste different depending on where it comes from? What makes a wine organic or vegan, and what difference does it make? Hear the answers to all your questions and more during an engaging day uncorking scenic McLaren Vale. Enjoy a flexible itinerary and a stellar lunch at The Salopian during the most personalised share-group McLaren Vale wine tour around!

Your accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury

Timelessly elegant, the Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury, is conveniently located in the heart of Adelaide’s vibrant CBD. Overlooking Victoria Square, the beautifully restored UNESCO recognised renovation is reflective of Adelaide’s architectural beauty. Opposite the Town hall and GPO, the former treasury building is minutes away from Adelaide’s Central Market and Rundle Mall.

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South East Coastal Getaway - Day 11
Explore Adelaide

With a growing small-bar scene, world-class art and music, and a festival calendar to rival that of any other Australian city, Adelaide is a destination worth discovering. Take time to explore its vibrant laneways, visit the iconic Adelaide Central Market, and go shopping in Rundle Mall. Slow things down and relax at the Botanic Gardens, jump on the iconic Popeye Cruise along the River Torrens, or take the tram out to Glenelg to explore the popular metropolitan beach, dine in one of the many foreshore restaurants, or even enjoy the beach cabanas in summer months.
Adelaide is also lucky enough to be surrounded by some of Australia's most famous wine regions, and a stop into one of the wineries or the National Wine Centre is highly recommended. A 30-minute drive east into the hills will take you to Hahndorf, the oldest surviving German settlement in Australia, home to incredible food, strawberry fields and streets lined with artisan stores. On the way to Hahndorf, stop in at the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens and the Mt Lofty Summit for a coffee with a view. You may wish to return via Belair and stop at the iconic Windy Point Lookout on your way for even more phenomenal views over the city and beyond, especially at sunset.

Adelaide Central Market Classic Discovery Tour

This small group tour is guided by a local Adelaide foodie and includes a 90min stroll around the Adelaide Central Market, followed by a coffee. On the tour learn some history, meet the stallholders, hear their stories, and taste the premium foods grown and produced in the state. Tastings can include artisan cheeses, bush tucker, seasonal produce, and samples that showcase Australia's multicultural heritage.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Hosted Tour & Tasting at the National Wine Centre of Australia

Take a guided tour of the National Wine Centre’s Wine Discovery Journey. Uncover the diversity of Australia’s 65 wine regions and meet some of the wonderful characters of the industry. Discover the key characteristics of wine varieties grown throughout the country before enjoying a guided tasting of three Australian wines from a range of producers. You will be taken on a sensory journey, learning the differences between aroma, texture and flavour, providing you with a greater appreciation and understanding of wine tasting.

Your accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury

Timelessly elegant, the Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury, is conveniently located in the heart of Adelaide’s vibrant CBD. Overlooking Victoria Square, the beautifully restored UNESCO recognised renovation is reflective of Adelaide’s architectural beauty. Opposite the Town hall and GPO, the former treasury building is minutes away from Adelaide’s Central Market and Rundle Mall.

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Return your vehicle to Adelaide Airport

Drop your vehicle at the Adelaide Airport as stipulated in your itinerary.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 8 kms / 5 miles : 0.3 hours

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South East Coastal Getaway

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