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Need help with Great Ocean Road planning

Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 06:25 PM
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Need help with Great Ocean Road planning

As part of ouur 2-week trip in January, we currently have 3 days/2 nights to drive from Adelaide to Melbourne. While I'd prefer to have some flexibility in where we stop, I'm aware that accommodations will be at a premium due to the high-season.
So... with that said, can anyone post their ideal drive, with potential overnight stops along the way?
We plan on leaving Adelaide around 9am on Day 1, and would like to arrive in Melbourne in the afternoon of Day 3. If it matters, this will all be done Wednesday-Friday.

Thanks!
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Old Dec 5th, 2005, 01:13 AM
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Sugggestion 1.
Take the M1 from Adelaide through Murray Bridge to Keith. Turn off at Keith for Mount Gambier. This will take you through Naracoorte, Penola and the Coonawarra wine area. Stay overnight in Mount Gambier. (about 440 km from Adelaide). Check out the Blue Lake in Mount Gambier, also the sink holes turned into gardens in the town.
Next day, drive through Portland, Port Fairy and Warrnambool to Port Campbell. Make sure you have a look around Port Fairy (old little fishing port - good fish and chips at wharf). Tower Hill (old volcano, now nature reserve) on your left between Port Fairy and Warrnambool. If you are into museums, there is a small maritime museum in Warrnambool.
From Port Campbell, take the Great Ocean Road to Melbourne (about 250 km). Lots to see along the way, including the Twelve Apostles (not really 12), Loch Ard, Mariners' lookout at Apollo Bay, Lorne.
Suggestion 2 - take the M1 from Adelaide to Horsham. Overnight there, and next day take the back road through the Grampians to Halls Gap. Then head south through Dunkeld to Warrnambool and onto to Port Campbell from there.
Neither Mount Gambier or Horsham are 'tourist towns' so you should be able to get into motels. However, all the towns along the Great Ocean Road will be busy. The motel chains (Best Western, Country Comfort, Budget etc) will book ahead for you.
Hope this helps you.
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Old Dec 5th, 2005, 05:58 AM
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Thanks for the info.

I'm beginning to wonder if, in our limited time in Oz, it might be best to fly from Adelaide to Melbourne, and spend 1 day driving the GOR from Melbourne (down and back in 1 day).

Any thoughts?
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Old Dec 5th, 2005, 06:17 PM
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1 day to do the great ocean rd from melb. is not enough time. you will be sitting in the car all day and there are some really nice places to stop and enjoy scenery, towns etc. You'll be pushing it
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Old Dec 5th, 2005, 07:15 PM
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I'd drive. By the time you sit around the airport waiting for your flight, you could be heading down the highway. Apart from that, doing a return trip to the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne in one day would be a big rush and not very enjoyable, particularly with school holiday traffic.
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Old Dec 6th, 2005, 06:05 AM
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Thanks again for the responses.

How's this sound as a solution??

Our itinerary is essentially Adelaide to Melbourne to Cairns.

So, we could fly from Adelaide to Melbourne, and spend a couple days in the city. We could then spend a day driving the GOR, stopping along the way. We would spend the night somewhere in the Warnambool area. The next day we'd return to Melbourne Airport (either via the GOR or the the Princes Hwy) to catch a 4pm flight to Cairns.
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Old Dec 6th, 2005, 09:55 PM
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That's not a bad suggestion. I'd definitely suggest driving about 25 km further and stay at Port Fairy rather than Warrnambool. Port Fairy is really a pretty little place with motels and good range of B&B accommodation, whereas Warrnambool is just a big town. Depending on your finances, you could stay at one of the B&Bs on the river - there are several along there. We've stayed at Seacombe House, which is a block away from the river - it's partly early colonial cottages and partly modern motel and (I think) now part of the Comfort chain.
You could drive back through Colac which would be much quicker.
If you are looking for things to do on the way back to Melbourne, the waterfront in Geelong has been done up recently and is quite pleasant. If you are looking for other things to fill in your day, Werribee Mansion is worth a look and is just off the freeway between Geelong and Melbourne. The freeway to Tullamarine turns off the Geelong Freeway before you get into Melbourne CBD and is well signposted.
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Old Dec 7th, 2005, 09:45 AM
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Marg- funny you mention, because I had already contacted Gobles Mill House in Port Fairy about overnighting there. I think we'll do that, and then leave in the morning to head back to Melbourne and the airport.
Thanks!
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Old Dec 7th, 2005, 07:55 PM
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Haven't stayed at Gobles Mill House but have driven past many times. It's in a great location and looks really nice.
Hope you have a great holiday.
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 10:35 PM
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We did the GOR from Melbourne to Warrnambool last December and nearly froze! We'd been in Qld and silly us, didn't pack anything warmer than long-sleeved tees. We had to buy a hooded fleece in Port Campbell. When we arrived in Melbourne on Xmas Day midnight, it was still over 90 degrees and the next day it didn't get to 60. They say Melbourne can do that, so be prepared (esp on the GOR). Great trip, by the way and not a bad drive back through Colac and Geelong. Beware the "sleepy" road signs!
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Old Dec 9th, 2005, 01:09 AM
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Hi Dave,
Goble's Mill House is gorgeous, right on the water. www.goblesmill.myportfairy.com

If you can't get in there, a couple of others to try:
Oscars Waterfront Boutique Hotel
www.oscarswaterfront.com

Shearwater House
www.myportfairy.com/shearwaterhouse/

All on the water and charming. I've stayed at Goble's & Oscars & thought they were great.

And: The Victoria - Hearn's cottages
www.vichotel.com (includes 1 Hat restaurant)
Hearn's Sackville Apartments - www.hearns.com.au

Port Fairy is a beautiful little town, where time seems to have stopped back in the 1800's. I'm sure you will fall in love with it.

You might be there when the mutton birds fly in. It's quite an experience to sit on the beach at night as they fly in and literally flop onto the sand & burrow in for the night.

The marine museum in Warnambool is well worth the stop - some amazing things rescued from shipwrecks. You'll know why there were so many when you see the seas & shoreline along the GOR.

From memory, I think it's about 3 - 3 1/2 hrs back to Melbourne from PFairy.
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