Experience one of the world's most scenic drives, the Great Ocean Road. This 8 day return journey starts in Melbourne, driving past iconic surf beaches, clifftops, and the towering 12 Apostles rock formation. A real highlight of this trip is seeing native wildlife in their natural habitats, with koalas resting in the trees, emus, kangaroos and wallabies in the bush, and seals relaxing in the sand.
Head inland to the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park to explore walking trails, waterfalls and ancient Aboriginal rock art. Explore the gold rush history of Ballarat and spoil yourself in the indulgent town of Daylesford on your journey back to Melbourne.
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 Australian and indigenous art. As the 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!
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.
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 is the cool, artsy capital of the state of Victoria. Renowned for its laneway art, cafes, bars, restaurants and museums, there is no shortage of things to do, see, eat and drink. Grab a coffee in Degraves Street, see the murals on Hosier Lane or Blender Lane, pop over to St Kilda and stroll along the promenade or visit one of the many museums. For a spot of retail therapy, catch the 86 or 96 tram from the CBD to the bohemian Brunswick Street shopping district for an eclectic mix of second hand vintage and high-end boutique stores. On the opposite side of the city, the Docklands open-air entertainment precinct boasts a myriad of public artwork, family fun activities such as glow in the dark mini golf, and a variety of dining options lining the marina. Get there easily on the free City Circle tram, or wander over the Bourke Street footbridge. To make the most of your time in Melbourne, we recommend taking a city tour to get true local insight into this vibrant city.
Within moments of Melbourne’s cultural Arts precinct, you are cruising through Melbourne’s picturesque gardens, parkland’s and some of the city's famous sporting arenas.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 havan 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
This route to Melbourne is not the most direct, but adds less than an hour to your driving time to visit a true Victorian gem, Daylesford. This town is famous for its mineral waters and spas, art, culture and incredible food. Make sure you make time to indulge in the fresh, seasonal produce at one of the town's cafes or restaurants and to visit the Convent Gallery, housed in a historic 19th century mansion. Browse arty collectables, historic buildings and boutiques before continuing to Melbourne.
At Melbourne Skydeck, the Southern Hemisphere’s highest viewing attraction, the city of Melbourne comes alive in front of your eyes when you take it all in from nearly 300 metres high. It’s Melbourne on another level. The Skydeck experience features Bar 88, in association with Bollinger, operated by the Eureka 89 team. With 360° panoramic views all day and night, you can relax and enjoy all of Melbourne’s legendary views with a delicious snack and cool drink.
Your tour will commence with a visit to Moonlit Sanctuary Conservation Park where you are guaranteed plenty of close encounters with an array of Australian native animals like kangaroos, wombats and echidnas. Next, you will head to Phillip Island where time/season permitting, you will take to Woolamai Surf Beach to catch a glimpse of the awesome waves and die-hard surfers. Following this, you then travel over to the dramatic west coast of the island. At the Nobbies, you will stroll along the boardwalk to experience the waves crashing along this dramatic coastline and perhaps spot a few seals and some penguin nests. Finally, your Phillip Island Day Tour is not complete without its black tie gala event: the Penguin Parade. You will firstly head to the Visitor Centre to shop and have a coffee. Included is the penguin plus viewing which allows you to view the penguins on a separate platform to one side of the beach, it’s more intimate viewing as allows a limit of 300 people thus enabling you a better view of little penguins waddling ashore, decked out in their tuxedos as they hurry off to find their burrows.
Explore more of Melbourne before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.