Melbourne & GOR -- Include Adelaide or not?

Old Jan 12th, 2009, 04:20 PM
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Melbourne & GOR -- Include Adelaide or not?

Trying to finish the itinerary for our first trip to OZ. Right now, I have allotted 4 nights for Melbourne & GOR. Originally, I had thought to fly from Cairns to ADELAIDE, drive the GOR, end in Melbourne (which is perfect for the flight to Tasmania).

I can't seem to get a definitive answer if it's worth it to include Adelaide... Is it best to just focus on Melbourne & part of the GOR? Or is the drive all the way to Adelaide rewarding & scenic?

It seems to be stated in another thread that if you are only allotting one day for KI, then it's not worth it -- so that isn't on the itin at all for now.

Anyway, we can either:

A) Fly Cairns to Melbourne for 2 nights, spend 1 or 2 nites on GOR, then fly Melbourne to Tassie, or

B) Fly Cairns to Adelaide, spread out 4 nights among Adelaide/GOR/Melbourne, then fly Melbourne to Tassie

BTW, this trip is in March. We are fine with doing 'drives', but can't tell if we are adding something good by doing the drive all the way from Adelaide or just making the itin more complicated...

Thanks for any help!
HorizonBound is offline  
Old Jan 12th, 2009, 05:08 PM
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As you only have 4 nights, I'd take the Melbourne & Great Ocean Road option.
Adelaide is charming and the wine valleys (Barossa, Maclaren, Clare) well worth a trip. But Australia's a big country and you can't see it all when you have limited time.(I'm a local, older than god & travel a lot and I've only scratched the surface yet

There's quite a big stretch of plain between Adelaide and the towns on the northern end of the GOR.

I think you'd get more out of taking a couple of days - say to Port Fairy or beyond, and perhaps coming back into Melbourne via the Yarra Valley. Something you need to keep in mind is that the iconic Great Ocean Road sights (12 Apostles etc) cannot be seen from the road as you drive along. Whilst you can often see lovely stretches of ocean, you need to pull into a lay-by and walk a bit to see most of the 'picture post card' sights.

There are some wonderful places to explore along that way, including some little villages like Portarlington, which is not too far from Geelong. http://www.portarlingtontourism.com.au/

If you're looking for a well-priced beautifully located cabin, I can wholly recommend the Barwon Heads Caravan Park. It's right on the river and there's an excellent restaurant a few minutes walk along the beach. It's where the TV show, "SeaChange" was filmed.(I paid about $100 for a 2 BR cabin last October)
http://www.barwoncoast.com.au/


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Old Jan 12th, 2009, 06:08 PM
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March is going to be still relatively warm and the countryside down south will be looking a bit browned off as it does each year with summer drying.

As Bokhara has indicated, Adelaide does have it's attractions with vineyard country in the Hills and down the Fluerieu Peninsula and some interesting smaller villages from there along the coastal route and then there,s The Grampians as well but for all that you'd need a good four days or more to do it justice and again as Bokhara says, Oz like anywhere huge does not allow you to see all, even in a lifetime.

Just to sort out some possible confusion, Bokhara refers to northern end of the GOR whereas it generally runs east/west and I think he is referring to the eastern end and then as for returning to Melbourne via the Yarra Valley, that is over the north eastern side of Melbourne, quite a ways from the GOR and you would have to go around Melbourne to come back into Melbourne via the Yarra Valley - another lovely region though.

Seeing as you have thought of spending a couple of nights on the road, I'd even head out of Melbourne the afternoon/evening of the day before you were planning to be on the road, down the Mornington Peninsula and stay at Sorrento or Portsea, take an early ferry from Sorrento across to Queenscliff and take an hour for a breakfast and quick squiz there and then you can take a marked tourist route - [markers 16 or 17 green on brown from memory] through Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads and out on to the road to GOR.

A day is sufficient to do the drive in one direction and yes, Port Fairy is a lovely village to use as an overnight stop.
You may then want to consider returning inland via Ballarat and stop the night at http://www.sovereignhill.com.au/ and take in the "Blood on the Southern Cross" dinner show.

If you time that part of your Melbourne trip with departure for Tasmania to follow and arrange an airport hire vehicle drop off, from Ballarat it is an easy drive to the airport from the west without having to go through Melbourne City.
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Old Jan 12th, 2009, 08:06 PM
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Either way you're cutting it, you have not enough time - you say "I have allotted 4 nights for Melbourne & GOR" - that alone is too short, so forget Adelaide this time around or it will be a hasty drive-by marathon if that.

The GOR can be done in one day, one way, but it is a shame to do it that way - no meaningful stops, let alone an overnight in lovely Lorne or at the lighthouse or wherever.

Melbourne has more to offer than you can cover in two days (if they are two full days at that...).

Fly from Cairns to Mt. Gambier (www.oconnorairlines.com.au) to save you backtracking, from there you can drive the GOR to Melbourne.
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Old Jan 13th, 2009, 11:09 PM
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Having just done the GOR two months ago I would definitely say you need at least two days or more to do it properly ie stopping and taking in the tourist attractions.
We tried to do it in a day and a half, going from Sorrento on the ferry to Queensliff. We made it as far as Port Campbell didn't have time to get to Port Fariry and then back-tracked and spent the night at Apollo Bay. The next morning went to the Cape Otway Lighthouse and then made our way back to Melbourne via Geelong.

Here is a link to my trip report

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...name=nelsonian

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Old Jan 15th, 2009, 03:31 AM
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Author: nelsonian
Date: 01/14/2009, 02:09 am
Having just done the GOR two months ago I would definitely say you need at least two days or more to do it properly ie stopping and taking in the tourist attractions.
We tried to do it in a day and a half, going from Sorrento on the ferry to Queensliff. We made it as far as Port Campbell didn't have time to get to Port Fariry and then back-tracked and spent the night at Apollo Bay.

Hi Nelsonian [and Hbound]
Was it you that got kinda lost looking for a fly to swat!

But look, just wanted to add that once you've got as far as Port Campbell/London Bridge it would be just as quick to drive on to Port Fairy or even quicker to stop overnight in Warnambool as what it would be to backtrack to Apollo Bay.

You can use a site like www.travelmate.com.au to help out with directions info and travel distances/time.
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