9. 3-Day Great Ocean Road and Grampians Small-Group Tour
Explore some of Australia's most stunning scenery on a 3-day trip from Melbourne, and enjoy a breathtaking trip along the Great Ocean Road and to Grampians National Park. Travel in a small and intimate group for the ideal touring experience, and stay in top-notch accommodation to ensure a unique and relaxing journey. Day 1: After pick-up from your city hotel in Melbourne’s Central Business District or Federation Square, head out of Melbourne via the West Gate Bridge. Travel through the vast volcanic plains on route to Geelong, where you’ll have time to stroll along the beautiful waterfront. Then start your journey along the Great Ocean Road at Torquay, stopping at various spots along the coast including Bells Beach, the Memorial arch, and the seaside resort of Lorne for lunch and shopping. After lunch, cruise further along the spectacular Great Ocean Road, stopping at more scenic spots including Kennett River on the way to the Great Otway National Park, where you’ll enjoy a guided walk through a cool temperate rainforest to see the world's tallest flowering plants, prehistoric trees and ferns and unique features such as 'Yabbie Chimneys'. Visit Apollo Bay before checking into the Beacon Point Ocean View Villas, where your private self-contained villa is set high on a hill overlooking the Southern Ocean – the perfect place to relax and unwind for a couple of hours before a great dinner. Day 2: Today starts with breakfast at a favorite local spot, the Bay Leaf Cafe. Then, travel through the Otway ranges and onto the Shipwreck Coast, stopping at Castle Cove for views over the Aire river valley. Learn about the region’s rich Aboriginal heritage and the many tribes that have lived prosperously along the coastline for thousands of years. From there, visit the famous limestone stacks known as the 12 Apostles, true icons of Australia's natural beauty. After hearing of the creation of the stacks and holding some of the limestone rock you can explore the boardwalks or even take a helicopter flight along the coastline (not included). Then visit 'Loch Ard Gorge', the site of the most famous 19th-century Australian shipwreck, before heading to the charming fishing village of Port Campbell for a lunch break. After lunch, pass along more impressive limestone formations on the way to the Tower Hill Game Reserve for the chance to see koalas, kangaroos, and emus living in this extinct volcanic crater. From there, head north towards Grampians National Park, where you’ll check into your accommodation at the foot of Mt. Sturgeon, the renowned Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld. 3 Day: The third day starts with an amazingly scenic drive along the Wonderland and Mt. William Ranges, through to Halls Gap in the heart of the Grampians National Park. Enjoy a few short walks at Baroka Lookout, Reid's Lookout, and McKenzie Falls, as well as visits to the Brambuk Aboriginal cultural center and a local rock art site. Your journey back to Melbourne takes you through the gold mining township of Ballarat, once one of the richest towns in the world, before arriving back in the city at around 06:00 PM.