Melbourne Itinery - GOR/Mornington/Philips Island

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Sep 28th, 2014, 12:27 AM
  #1
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Melbourne Itinery - GOR/Mornington/Philips Island

It's our first time in Melbourne. We are travelling with our 2.5yr toddler son next year Mar.
We are spending the first two weekend nights in Melbourne before embarking the next 4D4N out in a rental car in the outskirts before coming back to Melbourne city for the last night before the flight out.

Can anyone recommend the shortest and easiest route for these destinations - GOR/Mornington/Philips Island from Melbourne City? Lots of breaks in between driving so that the driver can take lots of rest and not so boring for the toddler. If we can add on the Puffy Billy that will be great. We will appreciate any kind suggestions please.

PI:
Maru Koala & Animal Park
San Remo
Cowes
Philips Island & Penguin Parade
1N stay

Mornington:
- Moonlit Sanctuary
- Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove
- Ashcome Maze & Lavender Gardens
- Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm
- Sorrento
- Portsea
Stay 1N at mornington

Great Ocean Road:
- Up to 12 Apostles only
Stay 2 nights at Apollo Bay
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Sep 28th, 2014, 03:00 PM
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You could limit your first day to doing Puffing Billy in the morning then driving to Philip Island in the afternoon ready for the penguin parade in the evening. You may not be able to fit in the koala park but if you are in Melbourne over the weekend, you could get the tram to Melbourne zoo which will have Australian animals on display. If you do happen to be in San Remo about noon, watch for the stingray/pelican feeding between the fisherman's co-op and the bridge.

I assume you will take the ferry across to Queenscliff rather than driving through Melbourne to get to Apollo Bay.
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Sep 30th, 2014, 07:01 AM
  #3
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How do I get to the ferry across to Queenscliff?

Thanks!
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Sep 30th, 2014, 09:35 AM
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The ferry terminal is just down the road from Sorrento, you can't miss it.
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Sep 30th, 2014, 10:35 PM
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Enjoy your first time in Melbourne travel with your team member.We will always provide you with a list of required vaccinations needed before your trip. However we recommend you double check with your Doctor to confirm.
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Oct 1st, 2014, 05:19 AM
  #6
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Thanks sartoric, just checked our car company does not allow travel on ferry.

My revised itinery is now 2N in Melbourne city

Then drive to Torquay/Anglesea/Lorne/Apollo Bay/12 Apostles & stay 1N in Apollo bay and drive back inland via Colac to Geelong & stay another night at Geelong.

Then drive to Dandenong for Puffy Billy & Mornington to Sorrento & stay 1N at Sorrento

Then drive to Philips Island and stay 1N at Philips islands.

Is this a gd idea?
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Oct 1st, 2014, 02:39 PM
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Hmm, I wouldn't stay in Geelong, it's a gritty industrial area. Queenscliff is just down the road and on the beach, much nicer.

I can't comment on Phillip Island, but suggest that either that or Mornington Peninsular would have to go. If you want to see or do anything on the peninsular (and the stuff you've identified is worth seeing), then you'd need some daylight hours to do so. Drive up Arthur's Seat for stunning views.
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Oct 1st, 2014, 03:02 PM
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Noted with thanks sartoric.
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Oct 5th, 2014, 04:29 PM
  #9
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I have been improvising my itinery as follows:

- Torquay (1hr drive): Breakfast /Bell’s Beach - kangaroos in the grasslands/ Point Addis
- Anglesea:
- Airey Inlet: Fairhaven/Moggs Creek
- Lorne: Fish & chips for lunch on the beach /Louttit Bay – Teddy’s Lookout/ Sheoak Falls/Ship wreck at Separation Creek
- Kenett River – koalas & parrots (Grey River road)
- Cape Patton Lookout
- Apollo Bay: Otway National Park and Cape Otway light station / Blanket bay / Johanna Beach / Lavers Hill - Melba Gully State Park
- Stay 1N at Apollo Bay


Day 4 (Tue 17 March 2015) Great Ocean Road:
- Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park/12 Apostles & down Gibson steps for ground view/ Loch & Gorge/ Port Campbell/Archway/The Grotto? / Bay of Martyrs?/ Bay of Islands?
- Drive back inland via Colac (break for lunch)
- Dinner at Queenscliff
- Stay 1N at Queenscliff


Day 5 (Wed 18 March 2015)
- Take the ferry from Queenscliff to Sorrento
- Explore Sorrento/Portsea/ Point Nepean/ Portsea
- Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove (lunch)
- Check In Hotel
- Arthur’s Seat/The Enchanted Maze Garden AUD29 per person (2pm – 6pm)
- Stay 1N at Red Hill?


Have I overpacked my itinery especially Day 1 of GOR?
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Oct 5th, 2014, 04:40 PM
  #10
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There is just too many stuff around Philips Island that I cannot make up my mind.

- Moonlit Sanctuary (it will only be in the morning if I decide on this)
- Churchill Island Heritage Farm
- Philips Island Wildlife Park
- Maru Koala & Animal Park
- Koala Conservation Centre

Which is the must visit and which is the can miss destinations?
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Oct 5th, 2014, 05:06 PM
  #11
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Can anyone advise if penguin plus is really recommended over general viewing?

Where is the penguin viewing - is it over at Philips wildlife park near the nobbies? Can anyone advise the actual location.

Another query, if I purchase the 3park pass, it has to be used up in only 1 day and I cannot split it over 2 days?
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Oct 6th, 2014, 01:56 PM
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Moonlit Sanctuary is at Pearcedale - miles away from Phillip Island.
I'd choose one wildlife park and have a leisurely visit rather than dashing from one to another.
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Oct 8th, 2014, 02:09 AM
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The operation with the penguins is pretty touristy but so far, it's by far been the best place to see the little penguins I've seen and they've very worth it. TYes, on it's the Phillip Island Nature Park. They have their own car park with a turn off along Ventnor abiout 3.5 km before you get to the end at the Nobbies Center. Their are short walks from the Nobbies are easy and safe for kids and have some dramatic views, leading out to a blowhole.

The other wildlife operations, IMO, are fairly standard attractions and not particularly must sees on Phillip Island. The farm on Churchill would be fun for a toddler (it was with ours).

I agree that Geelong isn't a place I'd advise staying. It's ok, not a horrible place and I've been down there often... but nothing to appeal to a visitor. Queenscliff is very nice, as are Lorne and Apollo Bay the other way
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Oct 8th, 2014, 02:17 AM
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By the way, Point Nepean and the Sorrento area are nice. Low key. (we have use of a house in Sorrento so are down regularly). The beaches on the Ocean/Bass Strait side are gorgeous. The Sorrento Back Beach is particularly striking. Framed with rocky outcroppings, great tidal pools to explore. But the surf is strong. But if you follow the Nepean Hwy back towards Melbourne just a bit, look for Hughes Rd (there will be a picnic pavilion) and check out the bayside beach right there at the intersection. Calm, shallow for a long way out, fairly clear water... easy wading or swimming with a little one with no worries and tons of shells there. It's been our regular beach since we moved here from the US.

Have a nice trip!
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Oct 12th, 2014, 05:42 PM
  #15
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Thanks marg I have skipped moonlit sanctuary.

Thanks Counterclifton - sure hope we have time to check out the bayside beach at Hughes Road.
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Oct 12th, 2014, 06:11 PM
  #16
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My itinery is pretty packed:

Day 1 City:
- Reach Melbourne Airport at 10.20am
- Take the skybus or taxi
- Check in Hotel 12.30pm

- Degraves Street - lunch
- Go Fed Square Visitor Centre pick up brochures
- ArtPlay (free)at Federation Square
- Walk across the Yarra River to Southbank Promenade, Southgate shopping & Arts precinct (National Gallery of Victoria)
- Take bus/tram from Flinders Street to Fitzroy Street and Acland Street/St Kilda Beach/ St Kilda’s market/ Shopping along Albert Park Lake/See fairy penguins at St. Kilda Pier Breakwater.

Day 2 City:
- Take free 35 tram to Queen Street/La Trobe Street to reach Queen Victoria Market – Breakfast at Bratwurst
- Take free 35 tram (2 stops) to La Trobe Street/Swanston Street to reach State Library of Melbourne
- Walk to Union Lane/La Trobe Street? for graffiti seeing
- Block Arcade for shopping/lunch
- Harbourtown Docklands & Victoria Harbour Promenade

Day 3 Great Ocean Road:
- Pickup car from Europa or Avis
- Torquay (1hr drive): Breakfast /Bell’s Beach/Point Addis
- Anglesea:
- Airey Inlet: Fairhaven & Moggs Creek
- Lorne: Fish & chips lunch /Louttit Bay – Teddy’s Lookout/ Sheoak Falls/Ship wreck at Separation Creek
- Kenett River – koalas & parrots (Grey River road)
- Cape Patton Lookout
- Apollo Bay: Otway National Park and Cape Otway light station / Blanket bay / Johanna Beach / Lavers Hill - Melba Gully State Park – ancient mossy trees & tree ferns and glow worms at night
Stay 1N

Day 4 Great Ocean Road:
- 12 Apostles & down Gibson steps for ground view/ Loch & Gorge/ Port Campbell/Archway/The Grotto
- Drive back inland via Colac (break for lunch)
- Dinner at Queenscliff
- Stay 1N at Queenscliff

Day 5
- Take the ferry from Queenscliff to Sorrento
- Breakfast at Sorrento
- Explore Sorrento/Portsea/ Point Nepean/ Portsea
- Arthur’s Seat/The Enchanted Maze Garden AUD29 per person - Stay 1N

Day 6
- Breakfast at Grazen Cafe
- Drive to Philips Island (1.5hrs)
- Reach San Remo, get fish and chips at the San Remo Fish Co-op and eat them while you watch the pelican feeding.
- Drive onto Philips Island & check out Cape Woolamai
- Churchill Island Heritage Farm, $11.90
- Check out Cowes Township & Esplanade/ Supermarket at Cowes
- The Nobbies - walk on the boardwalk at the nobbles, FOC
- Watch penguin parade, $46 for penguins plus
- Go back hotel

Day 7 City:
- Breakfast at Cowes
- Drive back to Melbourne
- Tram to Carlton Gardens/ Melbourne Museum
- Rest at hotel

Day 8 City:
- Check out
- Walk to Fitzroy Gardens. Cook’s Cottage, the Fairy tree, the miniature Tudor Village and the beautiful flowers in the Conservatory.
- St Patrick's Cathedral
- Parliament House
- Walk to Chinatown for lunch
- Leave for airport

I hope I didn't overpack. I know the GOR seems too much but I am listing down all the possible things to see. Please help me cut down where necessary.

Thanks a lot!
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Oct 12th, 2014, 07:52 PM
  #17
 
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Harbourtown/Docklands is a new development with apartments, shops and factory outlets - nothing spectacular to see. If it's a nice day, a walk through the Botanical Gardens may be more pleasant.
You're going to have a very busy day on Day 3 and you will probably have to cut something out there. Driving will be fairly slow as you will be doing the Melbourne/Torquay leg during peak hour and then the GOR will be slow driving along a two-lane winding road.
When you visit the Melbourne Museum, walk across to the Exhibition Building - beautiful old building and very spectacular inside.
Hope you have a great holiday.
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Oct 12th, 2014, 09:18 PM
  #18
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Hi marg thanks I may skip harbourtown if it is too busy that day. Just thought I may get some cheap shopping there.

Ya I know day 3 definitely needs some cutting but I only know that I can't cut Lorne, Kennett River and Apollo Bay and need to reach Apollo Bay that day (but only exploring Apollo bay the next morning).

Shall I skip torquay, anglesea or airey inlet?
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Oct 12th, 2014, 10:16 PM
  #19
 
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If you're from the states, the one thing I promise you won't find here is cheap shopping.

I second popping into the Royal Exhibition hall. It's the only building in the city on the UNESCO Heritage list.

ps - by the time you get here, all the trams in the CBD and Docklands will be free, not just the city circle tram. It's a recent announcement, starting in January. (won't include St. Kilda)
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Oct 20th, 2014, 04:12 PM
  #20
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Will this Day 3 work?

- Melbourne to Anglesea straight 9am-10.30am
- Anglesea: Point Addis /Anglesea golf club for kangaroos 10.30am – 12.30pm
- Airey Inlet: Split Point Lighthouse/ Fairhaven(expensive beach properties)/Moggs Creek (drive past only*1-2pm)
- Lorne: Louttit Bay (Teddy’s Lookout)/ Ship wreck at Separation Creek 2-4pm
- Kenett River – koalas & parrots (Grey River road)/ Sausage Gully/ Cape Patton Lookout 4-5.30pm
- Apollo Bay: Boat harbour/ Otway National Park and Cape Otway light station/ Lavers Hill 5.30-7pm
- Check in Hotel at Lavers Hill

Thanks!
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