Best tour to take of the Great Ocean Road

Jan 27th, 2018, 08:14 PM
  #1  
ajc
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Best tour to take of the Great Ocean Road

I will be in Melbourne at the end of the month and want to take a tour of the 12 Apostles and the Great Ocean Road. Do you recommend the company that does the route in reverse?......small van vs. large double decker bus? I am mainly interested in seeing the scenery, not taking a helicopter ride, swimming etc. Thank you!
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Jan 28th, 2018, 02:13 PM
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Will you not have a car? Easy enough to do on your own.
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Jan 29th, 2018, 12:48 AM
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I doubt if it's the best, but it was a small van tour as opposed to one of those big coach tours. I did the Great Ocean Road sunset tour with Bunyip Tours. Left in the afternoon, returned that evening. No frills, no nice sitdown lunch (I think it was a bologna sandwich, which I didn't eat) and you have to pay for your dinner, but I saw what I wanted to see: Loch Ard Beach, Cape Otway Lightstation (and stopped to look at koalas in the trees along the way), then 12 Apostles at sunset (not actually 12). We had a wonderful driver/guide, who made all the difference. It seems the itinerary is no longer the same, but they have a number of Great Ocean Road tours and the price is low. I also did their afternoon Phillip Island penguin viewing tour, terrible driver/guide, but nonetheless a wonderful tour.
Great Ocean Road Tours | 1-3 Day Tours from Melbourne
Diamantina is offline  
Jan 29th, 2018, 01:02 AM
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Correction: the Great Ocean Road sunset tour I took left at 11 a.m.
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Jan 29th, 2018, 04:20 AM
  #5  
ajc
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No I'm on my own and thinking that driving on the other side of the road would be too hard.
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Jan 29th, 2018, 02:12 PM
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You can read reviews for Bunyip Tours here:
https://www.tripadvisor.co.nz/Attrac..._Victoria.html
Diamantina is offline  
Jan 29th, 2018, 04:34 PM
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Haven't been along the GOR for over 40 years, but just in the last month or so have noticed press reports of 1) road accidents with the increased traffic, and 2) concern that too many selfie-seeking tourists are getting too close to the crumbling cliff tops/ going beyond safety fences, and in many cases tour guides are doing nothing to stop or warn them.
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Jan 30th, 2018, 04:53 AM
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"1) road accidents with the increased traffic"

Someone had a pretty bad accident as they left the 12 Apostles car park and turned out into the wrong side of the road when we went in November. Turning out is when it's easiest to get confused, which I say with a bit of experience as an American living and driving in Melbourne. The first few days of switching sides, you have to stay pretty analytical about pulling out into traffic.

They're still working on stretches of roadway along the GOR... plus if you don't feel comfortable driving on the left, then the tour probably is for the best.

I don't particularly see an advantage in which direction you go. It's mostly one lane each way, you're not much further from the views either way. The big things for me would be where the stops are, how much time you get and maybe comfort. I'm sure they'll all go to the 12 Apostles. It's always packed and the iconic shot. (also a much safer spot with the new pedestrian underpass between the car park and the view point)

IMO, the coolest and least busy stops are further west, such as Bay of Islands and London Bridge and, if time allowed, the waterfalls in Otway Nat'l Park. Not sure if many tours cover those though.
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Jan 30th, 2018, 05:55 PM
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ATWAD - a tour with a difference gets good reviews, here and at the other place:

Day Tour in Melbourne by A Tour With a Difference | ATWAD
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Jan 31st, 2018, 12:32 AM
  #10  
 
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ATWAD looks like a great deal. The itinerary looks much the same as my GOR tour with Bunyip, but with dinner included! I'd go for it. Too bad they don't do day tours to Wilson's Prom (planning on doing this on my next solo trip to Melbourne).
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Jan 31st, 2018, 05:33 AM
  #11  
ajc
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Thank you all for the great information. I think I will go with the ATWAD tour. Sounds good! Can't wait to go.
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Feb 10th, 2018, 10:40 PM
  #12  
 
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You are very wise to take a tour rather than drive yourself. The GOR is becoming a very dangerous place due to tourists trying to multi task the wrong side of the road with a winding road and sightseeing.
We live in the western district and avoid the road wherever possible, especially at the weekends.
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