Melbourne 8D7N with Kids

Jan 7th, 2019, 09:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 8
Melbourne 8D7N with Kids

Hi All,

I'm planning a trip to Melbourne in September. total of 6 adults and 4 kids. Would love to hear your views, ideas and suggestions.

Day 1: Melbourne City/ Victoria Mkt
Day 2: Brighton Beach Bathboxes/ Philips Island
Day 3: Puffing Billy
Day 4: Mount Buller for 1 N
Day 5: Yarra Valley? Not planned yet.
Day 6: Great Ocean Road, Skydiving, (Stay at Apollo Bay)
Day 7: Great Ocean Road to Ballarat
Day 8: Ballarat to Tullamarine Airport

How does that sound? will it be too rushing? I am not too sure on how to plan Day 5 yet as I thought it would be easier to go GOR from CBD area. oh, we intend to rent a van to accommodate all of us OR would it be better for us to rent 2 MPV instead?
Risha05 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2019, 10:54 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 987

This is a very hectic itinerary,especially with 4 kids in tow. First I would give Mt Buller a miss altogether with your time constraints. It is too far to do as a day trip.

I would be suggesting the following, but in fact I think I would still be dropping something off the list, probably the Yarra Valley, and have more time on the Great Ocean Road.

Day 1 - Melbourne
Day 2 - Melbourne
Day 3 - Dandenong Ranges to do Puffing Billy. There are plenty of other things to do there and you are actually quite close to the Yarra Valley if you really want to fit it in.
Day 4 - Drive to Phillip Island, spend the night on the island after the penguin parade.
Day 5 - Head off early and drive around to the Mornington Peninsula (you will get to see beach boxes in a number of places along there) and take the car ferry from Sorrento to Queenscliff. This will save a very long drive and a much more pleasant way to go, with a fair chance of even spotting dolphins on the way across. Queenscliff is a nice little place, so have a look around there. Then head down to the GOR. Apollo Bay is a nice place to stay but you might find it a little far so possibly stop at Anglesea or Lorne instead. Stop at the golf course in Anglesea to see the kangaroos on the way.
Day 6 - Time on the GOR - skydiving? Stay at Apollo Bay.
Day 7 - Head off to Ballarat - presumably Sovereign Hill for the children. A visit there with children can take several hours - it isn't just let spend an hour or two there, so heading off early again.
Day 8 - Ballarat to airport.

This is still a lot of moving around but you could potentially stay in Melbourne the first 3 nights, have one night on Phillip Island, two nights in Apollo Bay if you have time to drive that far and one night in Ballarat. With your current itineary you are packing and moving on every day which, with 10 people in all sounds a bit of a nightmare to me. Instead of a 3rd night in the city you could spend the night at the Dandenongs before heading down to Phillip Island. It's probably more about whether you can be bothered moving again. The Dandenongs are part way to Phllip Island but you probably wouldn't be saving a huge amount of time if you pick up the motorway from the city (be aware part of it is a toll road).

In terms of whether to get a mini-van or two cars I can't really advise you. I don't know where you are from? Are you used to driving on the left hand side of the road? If not, a big van on the very windy Great Ocean Road is not ideal especially in September when it still gets dark quite early, so 2 cars might well be better. Also I'm not sure if you would have enought luggage room in a mini-van for 10 people.
shandy is offline  
Jan 8th, 2019, 05:04 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 22,196
I agree regarding Mt. Buller. It's the tail end of potential snow season up there but I assume you're not planning to ski. If you're going for views and walks, there are closer mountains with some decent height to them, such as Mt. Donna Buang and some very nice bush walking around Warburton (southern Yarra Valley) and around Sherbrook in the Dandenongs, not far from the Puffing Billy. Also at Sherbrook is an area where you can hand feed semi-wild parrots and cockatoos.

Yarra Valley otherwise, IMO, fairly geared to the adults but a couple of kid friendly things would be Healesville Sanctuary, a native animal zoo set in bushland and the Chocolate Factory in Yarra Glen.

The part I'm having a hard time visualizing in a easy route would be Brighton. Otherwise, it pretty easily flows from the city to Yarra Valley, through the Dandenongs (including Skyhigh outlook, Sherbrook and Puffing Billy), on to Phillip Island. It's easy to get from there to southern Mornington Peninsula (Sorrento, Fort Nepean) and the ferry to Queenscliffe, which is also nice... and then you're connected to the GOR from there.
CounterClifton is offline  
Jan 8th, 2019, 04:02 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 8
Thank you so much! This is why I love travel forums! I'm from Singapore and rarely get the opportunity to travel out of Asia.

Frankly, I didn't know much about Melbourne before I started planning. I guess I was just trying my luck in fitting in all the places which I hoped to visit. Btw, I like the car ferry idea! will go and re-do my itinerary. Thank you for making me realise how crazy my initial draft sounds! hehe.
Risha05 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2019, 11:17 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 8
Dear All,

How does this look?

Day 1 - Melbourne city
Day 2 - Melbourne city
Day 3 - Puffing Billy – Day trip or stay at Dandenong?
Day 4 - Drive to Phillip Island, spend the night on the island after the penguin parade.
Day 5 - Take the car ferry from Sorrento to Queenscliff. GOR. Stay at Anglesea or Lorne or Apollo Bay? Which is a better option for staying over?
Day 6 – GOR. Stay at Port Campbel or warrnambool? Which is a better option for staying over?
Day 7 - Head off to Ballarat
Day 8 - Ballarat to airport.
Risha05 is offline  
Jan 11th, 2019, 12:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,098
Since you have a full day in Ballarat, I'd recommend a visit to Sovereign Hill folk museum - I'm sure the children would enjoy it, and adults too. It's based on Ballarat in the gold rush days and really well worth visiting.

Instead of staying in Dandenong, you could stay in Glen Waverley - several hotels there including Ibis and Novotel, lots of eating places and shops. It's very close to the freeway to Philip Island and a nice area to stay in.

Warrnambool is a big town with lots of accommodation choices; Port Campbell is much much smaller but still a few motels. My personal preference would be to drive a few kms further west and stay in Port Fairy - little old fishing port now very popular with tourists. Really pretty town to visit. Although if you want to make the most of your time in Ballarat, Port Campbell would give you the shortest travel time.
marg is offline  
Jan 11th, 2019, 09:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,974
It just occurred to me that you may not know that Dandenong the THE Dandenongs are two totally different places. Miles apart and nothing like each other. Do a quick search and you should see the difference.

KayF is offline  
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