Specific questions on Great Ocean Road trip

Nov 19th, 2011, 09:58 AM
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Specific questions on Great Ocean Road trip

I have had a lot of help with my itinerary from the forum, and read all the posts...but as I plan our specific itinerary I have some more questions. Our plan is:
Tues 13 Dec: land Tullamarine at 10 am and pick up car. Drive straight via Geelong and Colac to Otway Fly (2:45 hrs according to Google Maps). Probably stop in Colac for quick lunch. Are there any must sees on this stretch? We won't have a lot of time as we have to reach Port Campbell by night.
Then drive to Port Campbell (1:10 hr), hope to see the 12 apostles around dusk. What else could we do on this first day?
Wed 14 Dec: Drive from Port Campbell to Torquay. What stops should we do on the way (apart from Apollo Bay and Lorne, Anglesea golf course - what are the main attractions of this stretch? Have read about Paradise Valley, Erskine and Sheoak falls...would they be doable on this day) We have most of the day but I would like to hit Torquay by 4-5 pm. What time would the surf shops close in Torquay?
Thurs 15 Dec: Torquay (son surfing and surf shopping, I would like to do a surf coast walk - from Port Danger? any other ideas?)
We need to get to St Kilda by 5pm so what time would we have to leave Torquay. It should take 1:30 hrs (Google maps) - is this reasonable at that time of day. In general, I realize I should add extra time to google's estimations...but are they about right?
I would love to do more walks, but the time is so short. Are there any short walks that I could squeeze in somewhere?
thanks in advance
KatPen is offline  
Nov 19th, 2011, 02:27 PM
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If you plan to visit Cape Otway Lighhouse, be sure to look UP - we saw a lot of koalas in the drive in.

In addition to the Otway Fly Tree Top Walk, we really enjoyed the 7 km Cliff Top Walk, which begins at Split Point Lighthouse near Airey's Inlet. Nice views from Teddy's Lookout near Lorne too.

Sorry, can't help with the specifics. It's been a few years since we were there, and I didn't take very detailed notes. We took a different approach, basing ourselves near Apollo Bay and taking day trips from there.

No doubt another Fodorite will pipe in with all the anwsers though.
Melnq8 is offline  
Nov 19th, 2011, 03:26 PM
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Personally, I would stop for lunch at Whittlesea which is a bit before Colac. Try the cafe which is in the group of shops on your left just after you have crossed the bridge. Colac is a lot bigger but I can't think of anywhere that I would like to have lunch.

There are a couple of nice waterfalls close to the Otway Fly but I suspect that trying to see them would be pushing the time too much.

For the trip to Torquay you are probably about right with your stops. You could also include Wye River. There are often koalas in the trees just near the pub, the street heading up the hill. Of course, there are numerous place to stop to just take in the view and take photos, but generally you only spend a few minutes at those. As you will need to cross the road to get in and out of them, just be careful.

Erskine falls near Lorne is close enough that you should be able to fit that in (really quite nice) depending on how long you have spent elsewhere. As Melnq8 mentioned, Teddy's Lookout is also good and would not take as long.

I don't know the walk at Point Danger, but also recommend the walk from the Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys. You could drive back to there from Torquay whilst your son is shopping/surfing.

1.30 hours to get from Torquay to St. Kilda is about right, but would allow an extra half an hour because you will get caught up in peak hour traffic as you enter Melbourne. It gets going well before 5pm.
shandy is offline  
Nov 19th, 2011, 05:44 PM
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I'd second the addition of adding extra time to your estimated driving time from Torquay to St. Kilda. Traffic in Melbourne on any day of the week can be a nightmare - the city is growing so fast and infrastructure is not keeping pace, so congestion on the roads is very common. If I had your deadline I'd probably add at least another hour, you can always chill out in one of St. Kilda's many coffee bars if necessary. Peak hour traffic starts well before 5!
Libretto is offline  
Nov 20th, 2011, 08:29 AM
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We heard that penguins make their way ashore at dusk near the Twelve Apostles and/or Gorge. Perhaps someone on the Forum can enlighten us, or you can inquire about this locally.
Dave_Ohio is online now  
Nov 20th, 2011, 01:30 PM
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Go to http://visit12apostles.com.au/natura...ildlife-shows/ for some info about this.

I wouldn't be expecting any great numbers of penguins coming in as I have never actually heard of it before in all the years I have been down that way. I have come across a couple of isolated penguins but may be there are more than I think. However, it certainly won't be anything like the numbers you would get at Phillip island.
shandy is offline  
Nov 20th, 2011, 05:04 PM
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Apologies if this has posted twice. The website and my computer are not playing nice today.

If you are staying in Port Campbell visit the Melba Gully part of The Otway National Park. You will need to go at night. There are thousands of Glow worms on the track.

Near Colac are lots of volcanic lakes and peaks.
The floating islands are worth a stop if you are passing but don't go out of your way. Red Rock winery is quite nice.

You may see penguins at the 12 Apostles. The catch is there aren't many and they are at the base of the cliff. You will need good binoculars.

Gibson who cut the steps down to the beach next to the 12 Apotles also cut a tunnel through the cliff to the 12 Apostles (formally known as the pig and sow). This tunnel has a locked gate to keep foxes and tourist out. In the 1980s were were lucky enough to find the gate open and so got close to the penguins and the 12 Apostles. A rare treat.
peterSale is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2011, 02:12 PM
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shandy unless there's 2 Whittlesea the only one I know is north of melbourne no where near the GOR
northie is online now  
Nov 26th, 2011, 03:50 AM
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Shandy I hope you see this and reply to Northie...as I had already marked down your cafe stop for lunch. Maybe you mean Winchelsea???
KatPen is offline  
Nov 26th, 2011, 02:53 PM
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I'm wondering where you are flying in from? If it's a longhaul flight you will be tired and have jetlag. Driving a long way, possibly on the 'other' side of the road depending on where you come from, on windy roads with the distraction of gorgeous beaches to your left, is not a great idea.

I could be wrong, you might be flying in from Brisbane or somewhere local.

Just worth mentioning.

KayF is offline  
Nov 27th, 2011, 09:50 AM
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Thanks Kay for your concern but we are flying in from Sydney and I am used to driving on both sides of the road (not at the same time!!!)...although I know I must keep my wits about me. And I have 2 other potential drivers in the car. I would love to take more time to do this trip, but this is what we have this time...so we will just have to make the most of it.
KatPen is offline  
Dec 5th, 2011, 11:21 AM
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Topping to see if Shandy comes back or anyone else has last minute advice...
thanks all
KatPen is offline  
Dec 5th, 2011, 12:17 PM
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Katpen it would be Winchelsea -i didn't think of that!!!
northie is online now  
Dec 6th, 2011, 02:09 AM
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Hello, have just seen this post resurface and, yes, I did mean Winchelsea. I should read more carefully before pressing Submit. I'm glad a couple of others picked me up on the mistake, Whittlesea is a long way from Winchelsea.

By the way, do you know there is a zip line course at the Otway Fly. I haven't tried it yet but it looks a lot of fun.

Have a great trip.
shandy is offline  
Dec 7th, 2011, 01:41 AM
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Thanks Shandy. Yes I read about the zip line and we would love to try it but I am assuming we won't have time. We will play it by ear (too risky to book in advance) and I will let you all know. Leaving today!!! Yey!
KatPen is offline  

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