Australia: Great Ocean Road in Depth
Meander along 150 miles of craggy cliffs, thundering waves and wild coastline as you head off on one of the world’s most scenic road trips: the Great Ocean Road. Explore the finer details of this stunning region as you traverse the towering forests of the Otways, hug the Shipwreck Coast and marvel at the grandeur of the Twelve Apostles on your way to Port Fairy. Take the inland route back to Melbourne via the Grampians and the gold-mining city of Ballarat.
Your holiday includes:
- International flights.
- 11 nights in 4-5* hotels & hand-picked local gems.
- 8 days car hire.
- Colonial Tramcar Dinner in Melbourne.
- Phillip Island 3-Parks Pass.
- Queenscliff Wharf-Sorrento Pier fery with car.
- Otway Fly Treetop Walk.
- Sovereign Hill Entry.
- Airport transfers.
Days 1–2:Fly from Dublin to Melbourne.
Days 3–5: MelbourneSpend a few days exploring the sights and sounds of down-to-earth Melbourne. This vibrant, multicultural and exciting state capital manages to retain a laid-back feel, making it one of Australia’s most liveable cities. Check out the narrow streets of colourful Chinatown, and of course be sure to try the tasty cuisine, with influences from Thailand, Vietnam and beyond. Tour the city’s streets on board a historical tram and feast on seasonal produce for a dinner experience with a difference.
3 nights at the 5* Crown Metropol
Colonial Tramcar Dinner
Days 6–7: Phillip IslandCross the bridge to rugged Phillip Island, where your 3-Parks Pass includes the delightful Penguin Parade, where the world’s smallest penguins waddle up the beach every evening at sunset as they return from a long day’s fishing. A visit to the Koala Conservation Centre is also included, so you can get up close to these amazing creatures in their natural habitat. Keep a look out for wallabies and echidnas, too. Last but not least, the Churchill Island Conservation Centre lets you explore the region’s farming heritage, with cow milking and sheep shearing demonstrations.
2 nights at the 5* Holmwood Guest House
Phillip Island 3-Parks Pass
Day 8: Mornington PeninsulaSoak up the Mediterranean atmosphere among the vineyards and olive groves of the Mornington Peninsula, and feel the wind in your hair on a sunshiny beach. With a number of country houses and cellar doors dotted around, you’re never too far from fine gourmet food in these parts, and the restaurants are of an excellent standard. Mornington Peninsula National Park’s walking trails take you through the pretty scenery, and you can feast your eyes on some fine ocean views. Further inland, the landscape turns more pastoral as you near the rolling hills and orchards of Arthurs Seat.
1 night at the 4* Lindenderry at Red Hill
Day 9: Apollo BayTake the ferry from Queenscliff Wharf to Sorrento Pier and join the winding Great Ocean Road and admire the picturesque coastal scenery, soft golden sands and blue seas of Apollo Bay, where the magnificent Otway ranges form a picturesque backdrop. Apollo Bay is a water sports hub, and gateway to Cape Otway, the southernmost point in the region. Climb to the rainforest canopy and get a bird’s-eye view of the ancient beech myrtle trees on the exciting Otway Fly Treetop Walk.
1 night at the 4.5* Captains at the Bay
Queenscliff Wharf to Sorrento Pier ferry
Otway Fly Treetop Walk
Day 10: Port FairyContinuing on the Great Ocean Road, pass by the spectacular rock stacks that make up the Twelve Apostles, the iconic symbol of Victoria. Arrive in quaint Port Fairy and tuck into fresh crayfish or perhaps just good old fish and chips. Here, the streets are lined with 19th-century whitewashed cottages, and churches peek out from behind the pine trees. The town has a fascinating maritime history which can be explored on the Shipwreck Heritage Walk, or perhaps just take a relaxing stroll along the water’s edge and watch the yachts sailing around the harbour.
1 night at the 4* Oscars Waterfront Boutique Hotel
Day 11: The GrampiansSay goodbye to the coast as you head inland to Halls Gap in the heart of the magnificent Grampians National Park. This scenic area of sandstone ridges and jagged rock formations is also home to a wealth of plants, including the blooming wildflowers which are best seen in spring and summer. Take a bushwalk past the waterfalls and lakes and explore the area’s rich Aboriginal heritage at the Aboriginal Cultural Centre or by taking a look at the various Aboriginal rock art sites.
1 night at the 4* Comfort Inn Country Plaza Halls Gap
Day 12: BallaratWalk among the grand Victorian architecture and discover Ballarat’s intriguing past as a gold-mining town. The main attraction is the reconstructed 1850s’ mining community of Sovereign Hill, where characters in period dress will show you round and you can learn how to pan for gold. Once you’ve had your fill of history, head down to the Botanical Gardens and admire the immense redwoods, or take a wander around Lake Wendouree.
1 night at the 4* RACV Goldfields Resort
Sovereign Hill Entry
Day 13: St KildaFinish your trip in funky St Kilda, a seaside suburb of Melbourne. St Kilda is a great place to watch the world go by over a frothy cappuccino and treat yourself to a homemade frosted cupcake in one of the fabulous cake shops and bakeries. Stroll along the tree-lined promenade to Luna Park, a hundred-year-old retro funfair, browse for quirky souvenirs in the Sunday arts and crafts market, or spend your last night out on the town in bustling Acland and Fitzroy streets.
1 night at the 4* Novotel Melbourne St Kilda
Days 14–15:Depart Melbourne and return to Dublin.
- Melbourne- 5* Crown Metropol.
- Phillip Island - 5* Holmwood Guest House.
- Mornington Peninsula - 4* Lindenderry at Red Hill.
- Apollo Bay - 4,5* Captain's at the Bay.
- Port Fairy - 4* Oscars Waterfront Boutique Hotel.
- The Grampians - 4* Comfort Inn Country Plaza Halls Gap.
- Ballarat - 4* RACV Goldfields Resort.
- St. Kilda (Melbourne) - 4* Novotel Melbourne St. Kilda.
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