advice on Great Ocean Road & Cairns

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Jan 20th, 2005, 11:32 AM
  #1
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advice on Great Ocean Road & Cairns

We're thinking about driving the Great Ocean Road from Adelaide to Melbourne in two days/one overnight, but I don't see any mention anywhere of anyone who has done that. They usually do a rountrip from Melbourne. I figured we might as well spend the day we'd have to fly to Melbourne and just finish the drive. Is that unreasonable in just two days?
- Is it too far to drive from Adelaide to Port Fairy in one day?
- Would it be better to make two overnight stops, and if so, where should we stop the first night?
- Any hotel recommendations?

Also - we're trying to decide whether it's better to stay in Cairns, Palm Cove, or Port Douglas. Are Palm Cove and Port Douglas isolated? My mother and elderly aunt will be with us and I'm concerned that if the weather is bad they won't have anything to do. I read that Cairns doesn't have beaches, only a man-made lagoon.

We'll be in Australia the last two weeks in February.

Thanks so much for your help.


djhughes is offline  
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Jan 20th, 2005, 01:16 PM
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Hi, Cairns certainly does have beaches, and Palm Cove, a beach suburb of Cairns is one of them. Cairns city is not built on a beach, its on a harbour with deepwater anchorage for ocean liners, hence the man-made, stinger proof large lagoon. Port Douglas is also building such a lagoon as stingers (boxjelly fish) are a problem on northern coast from about November-May. Palm Cove is about 25 minutes north of Cairns city, Port Douglas about an hour. Other Cairns beaches north of city include Holloways, Yorkeys, Kewarra, Clifton and Trinity, all south of Palm Cove. These are mainly residential although there's a lot of tourist infrastructure at Trinity.

There's plenty to keep one occupied in bad weather from any of the above, rainforest trips to Daintree, Skyrail to Kuranda and back by scenic train (more accessible from Cairns and its beaches than Port Douglas), tropical Botanical Gardens near Cairns city, nature reserves, wildlife spotting to name a few. Cairns city is the largest with more restaurant choice, shopping, movies, etc.
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Jan 20th, 2005, 01:36 PM
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The drive along the GOR is beautiful with lots to see. It is winding and not multi-lane. Melb to Adelaide with one stop overnight is do-able but it would be a very long and rushed drive each day. Two overnight stops or even three would give you a more relaxed pace. For the first night's stop I would I stop at Port Campbell. In February the weather should be beautiful.

In relation to Qld, I personally love Port Douglas.
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Jan 20th, 2005, 02:39 PM
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In November we did the GOR drive from Adelaide to Melbourne. We left McLaren Vale near Adelaide the first day at about 9:30 and made it to Port Fairy about 6:00pm. A long day. But from Port Fairy you still have a long drive to Melbourne and it is much more scenic. If I had to do it over again I might add another night in Apollo Bay as well and see a bit of the Otway rainforest and stop a bit longer in other places. By the time we got to Melbourne, I was very tired of the two days driving.
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Jan 20th, 2005, 04:24 PM
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I didn't do the Melbourne to Adelaide drive, but rather drove from Melbourne to Port Fairy and back over 3 days/2 nights this past November. So I can't help you on that part of your question, but I highly recommend the two B&Bs I stayed at - they were both wonderful. Ravenswood B&B in Lorne [I ended up there by accident actually, as the Stanmoor lost my reservation!] and Gobles Mill House in Port Fairy (a restored former flour mill). It is a beautiful drive and I could easily have spent several more days in that area, as I still felt I did more driving than anything else There were a lot of detours I wanted to make but didn't - all the more reason to go back of course. Have a wonderful trip.
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Jan 21st, 2005, 04:18 PM
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Well, so far, it sounds like we should try to drive from Adelaide to Port Fairy in one long day, and take two days to go the rest of the way to Melbourne. Does that sound right?

Thanks for the hotel suggestions. Is it necessary to book ahead?
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Jan 22nd, 2005, 02:20 AM
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Hi

I would try and get to Port Fairy it will be about 660 Kls trip there is not a lot to see on the trip to hold you up .In Mt Gambier go to the Blue Lakes it is just south of the town on the hill and the Cave gardens they are behind the town hall.

When you leave Port Fairy on the high way turn in to Tower Hill there is a road that goes though it and well worth a visit . In Warrnam bool go to the Maritime Village and learn about the ship wreck coast as you will go though it on your way along the coast.

When you get to Lavers Hill go to the man made look out it is very good .

Yes I would do the trip in 3 days if you can not get a bed in Port Fairy it is only a 10 minute drive to Warrnambool lots of motels there and in Apollo Bay there are lots there to the only time it might be a hard to get beds is of a week end.
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Jan 24th, 2005, 06:06 PM
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Definitely get some reservations. If we wouldn't have had them, we would have been out of luck. We reserved ahead and stayed at Ashmont Motor Inn in Port Fairy for A$130. There were lots of good restaurants within walking distance.
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Jan 25th, 2005, 04:04 AM
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Thanks to everyone for the advice! We're getting very excited - only a few more weeks!

Janice
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