Self Drive along the Great Ocean Road
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Self Drive along the Great Ocean Road
Let us organise your car hire or motor home from Melbourne for as long as you like to explore this amazing drive along the Great Ocean Road.
Here are a few self-drive examples for a few day getaways, if you have more time why not take a week to explore the region.
One of Victoria’s most scenic drives, the Great Ocean Road is a magnificent three-day self-drive touring route from surf capital Torquay to the iconic 12 Apostles, ending at historic fishing village Port Fairy.
Starting from Melbourne, it is an easy drive taking you along cliff tops and surf beaches and through lush rainforest.
Along the way, spot koalas, kangaroos and even whales, zip-line your way through a treetop canopy, climb to the peak of a volcanic crater and relax over regional dining atop a cliff or by the beach.
Self Drive from Melbourne – Apollo Bay – Port Fairy – Melbourne
Day 1 – Melbourne to Apollo Bay
187 km/116 miles takes about 3 hours of driving.
Ease into your road trip with the leisurely drive from Melbourne to Torquay, just over an hour’s drive.
Home to some of Australia’s best-known surf beaches, Torquay marks the official beginning of the Great Ocean Road.
Visit the famous Bell’s Beach, the host of the annual Rip Curl Pro.
Magnificent coastal views will dominate the next 30 kilometres as you drive to beach town Lorne, the perfect spot for lunch – fish and chips on the beach is a must.
As you make your way to Apollo Bay, you’ll travel up along cliff-tops offering incredible views and alongside wild beaches – take time to stop at the lookouts for photos, or beachside for a stroll.
From Apollo Bay, follow the Great Ocean Road into the lush Otway National Park, and turn off to the Cape Otway light station (about a 50-minute drive). Take a tour of the oldest surviving lighthouse in mainland Australia. Climb to the top, 90 metres above sea level, to see where the Bass Strait meets the Southern Ocean.
Opening December 2020 just west of Apollo Bay, the Wildlife Wonders ecotourism experience is a conservation area where visitors will be able to see koalas doze in the treetops, potoroos and bandicoots forage on the ferny forest floors and kangaroos hop along the horizon against a spectacular ocean vista.
Make your way back to Apollo Bay for the night.
Dine at Chris’s at Beacon’s Point, where gourmet food is complemented by spectacular cliff-top views, and sleep next to the beach at Whitecrest. Or enjoy dinner with a view at La Bimba in Apollo Bay, and retreat to Great Ocean Eco Lodge, a conservation centre nestled 25 kilometres away in the Otway National Park, for an extraordinary encounter with native wildlife.
We have a few suggested Accommodation options for your stops along the way, we also can tailor your accommodation options depending on your overnight location, requirements and budget.
Seafarers Getaway Apollo Bay
Seafarers Getaway is the outstanding accommodation for visitors to the famous Great Ocean Road and Twelve Apostles. Eight private hectares opposite Seafarer’s pristine beach is the setting for breathtaking beach and coastal views from each and every Studio, Unit and Lodge.
The rolling green hills and forest of the Otway National Park complete the backdrop of this unique accommodation. Perfectly positioned and easy to find with Great Ocean Road address, Seafarers is ideally situated for enjoying a break on the spectacular drive along the Great Ocean Road to the Otway National Park and world famous Twelve Apostles.
Guests can also enjoy a quiet and private Getaway, simply relaxing, or walking Seafarers beach and the waterfall trails of the Otway National Park.
The restaurants and cafes of beautiful Apollo Bay are only a few minutes away, where you can enjoy fresh local produce prepared for your dining pleasure or you may prefer to visit the Farmers Market, or the Fishermens’ Co-op for some fresh Crayfish, Abalone or local seafood and prepare your delicacies in the kitchen and barbeque of your accommodation, whilst enjoying the spectacular beach and ocean views.
At night the fresh clean air brings the Southern Stars alive, and with the 180 degree view from your deck and the telescope in your Top Lodge and Ocean View Studio they are close enough to touch. As a private getaway to relax and unwind or as a base from which to explore the spectacular Great Ocean Road, waterfalls of the Otway National Park, or the world famous Twelve Apostles, Seafarers Getaway has it all.
If time permits why not stay a few nights here and explore the area.
Day 2 – Apollo Bay to Port Fairy
189 km/117 miles, about 3 hours
From Apollo Bay, follow the Great Ocean Road into the lush rainforest of the Otway National Park and turn off to the Otway Fly Tree Top Walk, an easy hour’s drive.
Reach for the sky along the treetop canopy walkway – the longest and tallest of its type in the world – or up the adrenaline with a zip-line tour.
Take time out for the Maits Rest Rainforest Walk in Great Otway National Park (reopens late 2020).
Back on the Great Ocean Road, get your camera ready for the spectacular coastline leading to Port Campbell and its famous 12 Apostles, a group of magnificent rock stacks rising up from the Southern Ocean. Descend all 86 of the Gibson Steps to walk down to the wild beach for a ground-level view of the 12 Apostles.
Take plenty of time to stop at lookouts over the cliffs of the Loch Ard Gorge and, just beyond Port Campbell, the hauntingly beautiful Bay of Islands.
For the best views of this beguiling coastline, take to the skies on a helicopter tour which we can organise for you.
Continue along the Great Ocean Road west, to Warrnambool.
Explore the maritime capital’s history then head to the viewing platforms at Logans Beach to spot its impressive winter visitors: southern right and blue whales.
Catching a glimpse of these giants schooling their calves just offshore is truly awe-inspiring. If time permits visit the Warrnambool Deep Blue Hot Springs. We can even organise overnight accommodation here as they have a hotel as well.
20 kilometres from Port Fairy.
Deep Blue Hot Springs Hotel
The Deep Blue Hotel & Hot Springs is a unique spa resort located at the foreshore in the Seaside city of Warrnambool.
All new Hot Springs Sanctuary with fifteen unique geothermal bathing experiences
Salt Therapy Room
Indoor heated swimming pool
Beautiful walking and cycling tracks
From Warrnambool, drive towards Port Fairy and take the turn-off to Tower Hill State Game Reserve, an easy 15-minute drive. Take to the walking tracks, keeping an eye out for koalas, emus, kangaroos and waterbirds who roam freely among the hills and lake-filled craters of this extinct volcano.
Overnight accommodation at 54 On Banks, Port Fairy
54 On Banks
EXPERIENCE LUXURY & SPACE IN PORT FAIRY
54 on Bank offers a unique boutique “hotel-style” accommodation located in the heart of Port Fairy. With quality furnishings and superior linen and bedding, it is the perfect base to indulge yourself and explore all that the charming seaside village has to offer.
Owners, Jonathan, and Rochelle will ensure you have a delightful stay.
Within our complex, we have seven suites to choose from.
Our four-luxury sun-lit queen rooms offer a kitchenette and private en-suite, split system heating/cooling, LED TV, stereo, and complimentary WiFi.
Our two luxury king suites self-contained apartments offer a fully equipped kitchen, spacious living room, and a generous bedroom with a king bed. The private en-suite has a spa and laundry facilities. Complimentary WiFi and a comfortable sofa bed is available on request.
The superior Cottage suite is in the original building and offers a fully equipped kitchen, spacious living and dining area and laundry facilities. Upstairs you will find a generous bedroom with a king bed and a separate character-filled second bedroom with a single bed.
Also located upstairs is the private en-suite with spa bath.
Our affordable luxury apartments and suites will provide the perfect base to explore this beautiful traditional seaside village. The perfect base for your Great Ocean Road adventure.
Room types range for 2 – 5 people
Day 3 – Port Fairy to Melbourne
Spend the morning exploring the charming fishing village Port Fairy. Wander along the river, visit the beaches, or follow one of the historic walking trails to see old whalers’ cottages and grand public buildings. For more wildlife, take a cruise out to the seal colony just offshore on Lady Julia Percy Island.
From here, choose your own adventure:
Trace your trip back along the Great Ocean Road, stopping to spend more time at your favourite spots
Extend your road trip by a couple of days and take the Great Southern Touring Route north to Dunkeld and Halls Gap to visit the magnificent Grampians mountain range and the historic goldfields on your way back to Melbourne.
Go on a culinary crusade via craft breweries and top regional restaurants on the short inland route back to Melbourne via Colac
Inland route, via Colac
288 km/179 miles, about 3.5 hours
Make your way back through Warrnambool and along the easy inland route towards Colac (approximately 140 kilometres). Along the way (about an hour’s drive) stop at Camperdown for a cup of tea and for 360-degree views from Mt Leura and Mt Sugarloaf, the highest points between the coastal ranges and the rolling western plains.
Continue the road to nearby Colac and prepare your appetite for the gourmet-food and craft-beer detours ahead.
Quench your thirst at craft breweries Otway Estate and the Forrest Brewing Company, nestled in the foothills and hinterland of the stunning Otway’s.
While away your afternoon with a gourmet meal at Brae, awarded three chef’s hats in the Good Food Guide. You will find Brae near Birregurra, just 20 minutes from Colac.
From Birregurra, head towards Winchelsea and make the easy two-hour drive back to Melbourne.
5 day car hire starting from : $115.00