Great Ocean Road - how much time?

Old Apr 12th, 2005, 07:04 PM
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Great Ocean Road - how much time?

My boyfriend and I are traveling to Australia for two weeks in August. Melbourne is our point of return to the U.S. I am very interested in the Great Ocean Road drive, but he is skeptical. I am interested in hearing thoughts on how worth doing the drive is. Also, approximately how long does it take to drive from Melbourne to the Apostles, assuming we pull over a little but are under time constraints? Thanks.
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 09:45 PM
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I have a holiday house overlooking the Great Ocean Road near Apollo Bay, so this response will be somewhat biassed! It takes about three hours from Melbourne to Apollo Bay via the GOR, but you will certainly want to stop often along the way. You drive from Melbourne to Geelong, then to Anglesea where the best part of the GOR starts. On through Aireys Inlet and Lorne to Apollo Bay, overlooking and/or driving next to the Southern Ocean all the way. At Apollo Bay the road goes inland through the Otway Ranges, emerging at the sea near the Twelve Apostles, Gibsons Steps, Loch Ard Gorge et al. Your drive could finish at Port Campbell, a quite scenic spot. You could then drive directly back to Melbourne by travelling inland to the Princes Highway, but it would still be about a three hour trip. So, the journey could be done in a day, but it would be pretty full-on. The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia's famed attractions, and compares very favourably to similar drives on the west coast of the USA. The fact that, after Geelong, you do not pass through a town with a population of more than 6000 adds to the attractiveness of the drive. Remember, the road is twisty and narrow, and, as far as you are concerned, the traffic is on the wrong side of the road!
Give me a wave as you pass Skenes Creek, just near Apollo Bay.
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 11:59 PM
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adeben -

I've been wondering the same thing as the original poster, so I really appreciate your helpful response.

At the risk of hijacking amjugo's thread, does the GOR pretty much end at Port Campbell? If not, where does it end, and how long would it take to do the whole thing?

If a person were to take their time and make an overnight stop or two, where would recommend doing so?
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 02:10 AM
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Melnq8:The Great Ocean Road does go on to Warrnambool, but in my opinion ceases to be 'an ocean road' after Port Campbell. I think the ideal routine would be to go as far as Apollo Bay the first day, giving yourself time to visit Aireys lighthouse, and Lorne on the way. This section is all on the edge of the ocean: near Apollo Bay the beach actually ends at the very edge of the road. The second day could be spent driving through the Otways, perhaps visiting Cape Otway Lighthouse, which is always worth a glance, and then doing the usual sights along the Shipwreck coast until you get to Port Campbell. If you are there at the right ime of the year (winter-spring), it is worth driving further towards Warrnambool to see the Southern Right whales close inshore with their new-born calves. If you have time, it's probably worth returning to Melbourne the way you came for a different perspective on the same wonderful views. I've driven it hundreds of times, and as yet still don't take it for granted.
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 05:03 AM
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Thanks very much. Your response was exactly what I was looking for.
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 07:23 AM
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I gotta ask this - what is your boyfriend skeptical about ??

The Great Ocean Road, is arguably the best coastal drive on this planet...and he is "skeptical"? Give me a break. I can think of a lot more things to be skeptical about than the Great Ocean Road.

Tell him to get a life or something.

G
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 09:13 AM
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He's not skeptical of the drive itself, just whether we can make it work in our amount of time and if our time would be better spent exploring Melbourne.
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 09:35 AM
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Adeben, what is the name of your place. I assumed it was a "holiday house" for paying guests, but as I write this I am thinking maybe I made a mistake. If your place isn't a B&B, do you have a recommendation for one in or near Apollo Bay? Also, would you recommend staying an extra day or more to explore the hiking trails in the Otway range? We don't like to rush through beautiful territory and would rather experience it first hand not just from a car window. If so, where would be a good base town? Is it convenient to stay in Apollo Bay for it? We are thinking of driving from Adelaide to Melbourne in November 2006. Would the whales still be around and would it be too hot in the Otways for hot-weather wimps from Seattle Washington? Sorry for all the questions, but they kept pouring out of my fingers!
Thanks,
Sally
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 12:43 PM
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I took a one day trip along to Great Ocean Road in 2001. There are tons of bus companies down there that will pick you right up from your hostel and take you on a wonderful tour. My friends took a rental car, but I was the odd one out as there were 6 of us (and only 5 could fit in the car). So they went along on their own and I decided to go on the bus tour. I found that I ended up having a much better experience than them, because I actually learned so much about the different places we stopped on the way and they missed quite a bit of the cool stops. I believe the bus tour was between 20 and 25 Australian dollars. Definitely worth it!!!
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 01:47 PM
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We did the drive, departing MEL as soon as we picked up the car - about 8am or 8:30am; stopped twice until we arrived at the Twelve Apostles. It was one of the loveliest drives ever, outdoing even PCH (coast highway in California). We spent a good 2-hrs here when we saw the tourist buses arriving about 2pm. That's when we headed out. We were back in MEL about 6:30pm (with 1-stop for gas and munchies) taking the Princess Highway on the return. As is obvious, we were hauling in both directions. And waiting for us when we returned to the States was a speeding (camera) ticket, which we dutifully paid.

What I don't understand about "skeptical" is, what is he skeptical about? Are you by chance departing for home the evening you plan to make this drive? Then I might reconsider, but if it's any other day during the time you're in MEL, go for it.
 
Old Apr 13th, 2005, 02:42 PM
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We get into Melbourne around 2:45pm (or 14:45) on Thursday and leave for the U.S. Saturday morning. We would be doing the drive on Friday, and thus not spending much time in Melbourne. I am beginning to think "skeptical" was the wrong word for me to use from the start. More accurately, I think that he thought Friday might be better spent exploring Melbourne and I wanted to do the drive. After reading these posts I think he better understands where I was coming from.
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 04:27 PM
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Sally: My house is not a B&B, but used privately by us, our family and friends. Apollo Bay is a great base for walks in the Otways, though you will need to drive to the start/finish spots of most walks. A place worth visiting very near Apollo Bay is Paradise!True! It's an area of small streams and large treeferns. The Otways are generally cooler and wetter than the rest of the state of Victoria, and walking should be pleasurable in November. I doubt any whales will still be on the coast at that time. There is a boat tour from the AB harbour that goes out to a nearby seal colony. The harbour itself is quite picturesque. (One of the boats moored therein is mine! No. I don't take tourists out!) There is a lot of hotel/motel/B&B accommodation available in the town, and a brand new Youth Hostel should also be open by then. I'd be surprised if walk-up accommodation was not available in November..December/January might be a different matter.
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 06:08 PM
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Thanks adeben - you've been a huge help!
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Old Apr 14th, 2005, 02:43 PM
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My husband and I were planning on taking the Wayward Bus for 3 and 1/2 days from Melbourne to Adelaide. From this thread, however, it seems that 3 1/2 days may be unnecessary because the best of the Great Ocean Road can be done in only one day. In that case, we can fly to Adelaide for a few days from Melbourne, and apply the extra days to Tasmania. Any thoughts anyone?
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Old Jun 30th, 2005, 05:28 PM
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Adeben - Can you recommend accomodations in Apollo Bay, Port Fairy or Padthaway? I am planning on driving from Melbourne to Adelaide on the GOR in December. Thanks,

Hilary
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Old Jun 30th, 2005, 07:24 PM
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I am enjoying this post since I will be doing the GOR drive in October. We plan to spend the night in Apollo Bay. Adeben, or anyone else who knows the area, could you please recommend a good restaurant there?
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Old Jul 2nd, 2005, 02:29 AM
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Have a look at this site:

www.visitvictoria.com

There are some interesting leads to restaurants, accommodation etc.

I remember Chris' restaurant in Apollo Bay was excellent.

Happy travelling.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2005, 03:27 PM
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we drove the great ocean road from melbourne to the twelve apostles in september 2004. how beautiful and well worth the trip. although we did have a few additional days in melbourne. but the GOR was one of my must do's, and i wasn't disappointed. we hired a car, which we picked up around 8:00-8:30, the car hire place didn't open til then. i really wanted to leave earlier, like 7a.m., but oh well. we went on a friday as well, and we seemed to always be a step ahead of the tour buses. we stopped for lunch in lorne, i think and booked it on to the twelve apostles, our final destination. on the return trip, we headed inland on the princes hwy and were back at melbourne airport by 6:30- 7:00p.m. since we only needed the car for the day, we had to drop off our car at the airport, since the car hire place in the city had closed at 5p.m. we took a shuttle back to the city and all was right with the world. if you have a car straight away on thursday, you could pick up some snacks/pastries the night before, since most shops will not be open very early, for a lovely breakfast enroute. it was a LONG day, but i would do it again. take the time to stop and enjoy some of the quaint little villages on the way, that's the only thing we didn't get to do fully.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2005, 12:07 AM
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You'd better be quick. One of the Apostles fell down this morning. Copy and paste this link from the Sydney Morning Herald website.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/...329317510.html

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Old Jul 3rd, 2005, 10:54 PM
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Just picking up on adeben's comment that the GOR ceases to be an ocean road after Port Campbell. I have to agree but I would put the change point at Peterborough rather than Port capmbell as there are several points of interest right on the road between Port Campbell & Peterborough, I would go on to Peterborough and then return to the Princes Hwy via Timboon. You could visit the Timboon cheese factory on the way through and pick up some delicious feshly made Brie.
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