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Switsmyle Jul 16th, 2016 10:05 PM

Overnight Great Ocean Road
We have 2 days allotted for the GOR. Assuming we overnight at Apollo Bay and continue onward to Port Fairy, visit Ballerat/Sovereign Hill on our way back to Melbourne, do you think this is doable? What should we visit along the way aside from 12 Apostles, the Arch, and the Grotto, Otway Lighthouse, Gibson Steps.

On the way back, we plan to return the car and overnight in an aiport hotel as we have a 9am flight back home. So the itinerary looks like this:

Day 1 arrive Melbourne
Day 2 Melbourne City (any recommendation must visit)
Day 3 Pick up car and start GOR drive, overnight at Apollo Bay
Day 4 Drive to Port Fairy, Ballerat back to Melbourne Airport, drop car, overnight at airport hotel
Day 5 depart Melbourne

To complicate matters, I will be traveling with an infant of about 2 years old and the trip is scheduled for 1st week of September (winter). Any suggestion highly appreciated!

Diamantina Jul 17th, 2016 12:38 AM

I'd also recommend Loch Ard Gorge. It's beautiful, but also historic as it was the site of a famous shipwreck. You can read about it here:

Keep an eye for koalas in the trees on the way to Cape Otway Lightstation. According to its own website, "You’re guaranteed to see koalas on Lighthouse Road en route to the Lightstation."

Roadmaster Jul 21st, 2016 03:29 AM

No chance to drive your itinerary in your time frame.

shandy Jul 21st, 2016 08:05 PM

I think you are being overly ambitious in thinking that you are going to get from Apollo Bay to Port Fairy, then up to Ballarat and back to the airport in one day. Yes, it is drivable in terms of the distance but you are not allowing yourself any real time to spend in any of those places. And this is without factoring in taking along a 2 year old.

Are you going to Ballarat to see Sovereign Hill? It is somewhere you normally spend several hours and, for the cost of entry, you need to be able to allocate a fair part of the day to it to gets your money worth.

I would seriously consider dropping Ballarat unlesss it is a priority and then drive from Port Fairy back to the Melbourne. Use the inland route, much quicker than coming back along the GOR again.

If Ballarat is a priority, then I think you need to push through to Port Fairy on the first day's drive. You will still manage to see all the GOR sights and can spend early morning wandering around Port Fairy before heading off to Ballarat.

Another possibility would be not to go all the way through to Port Fairy but spend the night at Port Campbell and then head north up to Ballarat. This would be a big time saving and you will have seen all the important GOR sites, just missed out on the rather charming Port Fairy.

Switsmyle Aug 1st, 2016 05:28 AM

@shandy, your comment is very helpful, thank you. I'll drop Ballarat/Sovereign hill plan then. So what is a good side trip from the Great Ocean Road? Which path do we take on our way back to Melbourne? Not being overly ambitious, just want to make the most of the trip.

northie Aug 4th, 2016 03:04 PM

You can comeback along the Princes highway - you'll go thru lots of cms ll towns, farm lands and see lots of old volcanic areas .

northie Aug 4th, 2016 03:05 PM

Small towns

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