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6 night Great Ocean Road/Kangaroo Island itinerary help

New Orleans...
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6 night Great Ocean Road/Kangaroo Island itinerary help

Hi,

My Wife and I will be visiting Australia (and New Zealand) this coming Feb./March. After spending 4 nights in Melbourne, we will rent a car and drive the great ocean road to Kangaroo Island and then fly out of Adelaide. Here is what I have planned:

Day/night 1 - leave MEL early and drive the GOR to Warrnambool.

Day/night 2 - Drive to Coonawarra, maybe stopping at Mt. Gambier to see the blue lake. Time permitting, do some wine tastings in Coonawarra.

Day/Night 3 - Drive to Kangaroo Island (in a rental car approved to go on the ferry). Stop along the way in the Adelaide Hills for a wine tasting or two...Probably arrive to KI pretty late.

Days/ Nights 4 and 5 - KI.

Day/night 6 - Catch the ferry back to the mainland and spend most of the day tasting at wineries in the McLaren Vale region. Also, plan on spending the night in McLaren Vale.

Day 7 - Flight leaves ADL at 9:45.

What do you think? Good plan? We obviously enjoy wine tastings. Also, I wanted to get two full days on KI to allow us to experience the island (although still briefer than the ideal trip length).

My concerns - not enough time for the GOR portion. Originally, I planned on stopping in Apollo Bay and Mt. Gambier. Is that a better plan?

Also, I wanted to visit Barossa, but it just did not seem practical to work in for as time strapped as we are. Plus, we like big reds, and the more I read the more it seems like the regions we'd visit in the above plan would suit us better.

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. Thanks,

Justin

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: 6 night Great Ocean Road/Kangaroo Island itinerary help

Hi, I think it would be worth it to stay the night on GOR eg Apollo Bay as otherwise you will be driving past and just glimpsing rather than really enjoying some lovely places. But as always you have to work with the time you have so it's prob better to pick a few spots and see them well instead of rushing to cram in lots. As for the wines, while it's fun to visit some wineries, you can also enjoy a range of Aus wines purchased from the larger liquor shops, where you can find a variety of SA WA and VIC wines often cheaper than at the wineries. But the barossa valley is also nice to see.

Adelaide, Australia
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2. Re: 6 night Great Ocean Road/Kangaroo Island itinerary help

Hi Jason,

Why not take a more leisurely trip from Melbourne to Adelaide, stopping overnight at three places instead of two? For example, stay somewhere like Port Campbell the first night (near the Twelve Apostles); Coonawarra region the second night; then Strathalbyn the third night.

Then you could visit McLaren Vale the next day before you head off to Kangaroo Island. (It's a long drive from Coonawarra to Kangaroo Island even without stopping in the hills for wine-tasting.)

This would mean taking a night off Melbourne though.

Is your flight from Adelaide international? If it is, you need to be at the airport at least two hours before departure (one hour if it's within Australia) so if your flight is 9.45 am it would be a very early start from McLaren Vale to get to the airport on time. I recommend you spend your last night in Adelaide to ensure that you don't miss your flight.

Suzanne :)

Edited: 19 September 2012, 14:05
Adelaide, Australia
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3. Re: 6 night Great Ocean Road/Kangaroo Island itinerary help

Sorry, I meant Justin! It's getting too late - time for bed. :)

Arlington, Virginia
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4. Re: 6 night Great Ocean Road/Kangaroo Island itinerary help

We did this trip (in the reverse order as you) a number of years ago. We started out on KI (taking ferry with our car) and overnighted in Naracoorte (Coonawarra region), Apollo Bay and Warnambool before going to Melbourne. These stops worked out very well for us and I felt it gave us a opportunity to experience the GOR without rushing. (We also included a short stop at Mt. Gambier to see the lake.) I would recommend you add a stop in Apollo Bay even though it will mean you have to cut a day from Melbourne.

Although your trip sounds like it is mainly geared towards wine tasting, I would recommend that you reserve some time in Naracoorte to visit the Naracoorte Caves National Park. It's a World Heritage Site and a fascinating place.

New Orleans...
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5. Re: 6 night Great Ocean Road/Kangaroo Island itinerary help

Great comments...So it looks like 3 votes for taking a slower path on the GOR - 2 of which suggest cutting a day off of Melbourne.

I like the idea of a more leisurely pace, as I realize that we will need to cover a lot of ground. But will 3 nights (really 2 full days) be enough for Melbourne. Our other AU stops include 4 nights in Sydney and 4 nights in Port Douglas if that helps any.

Also, we're coming from the States, so it will be a while before we get back to Australia in most likelihood,

Arlington, Virginia
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6. Re: 6 night Great Ocean Road/Kangaroo Island itinerary help

Personally, I think 2 full days in Melbourne is enough. I think you'll appreciate that extra day on the GOR a lot more than an extra day in Melbourne.

Adelaide, Australia
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7. Re: 6 night Great Ocean Road/Kangaroo Island itinerary help

I agree that two full days in Melbourne will be enough. :)

Adelaide, Australia
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8. Re: 6 night Great Ocean Road/Kangaroo Island itinerary help

to be honest there is not that much in Melbourne to see (IMO) i have travelled to melb as it is cheap to get there for a weekend away but often find im very bored..

the shopping is ok and the food is good but i def agree that the extra time on GOR would be better

New Orleans...
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9. Re: 6 night Great Ocean Road/Kangaroo Island itinerary help

An update...Thanks to all the suggestions, I have cut a day from Melbourne and added it to the travelling portion of trip as suggested - I think yall definitely steered me in the right direction there.

So I think I am going to split my stays up as:

Night 1 - Apollo Bay

Night 2 - Mt. Gambier (or would Warrnambool be a much better spot?)

Night 3 - Coonawarra

Adelaide, Australia
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10. Re: 6 night Great Ocean Road/Kangaroo Island itinerary help

Hi Justin,

I think Apollo Bay to Mount Gambier is too far for one day's travel, especially if you want to stop to look at the Twelve Apostles, etc - why not stay somewhere like Port Fairy, just west of Warrnambool? You'll still have time to stop at the Blue Lake on your way to the Coonawarra region, as it's less than a three hour drive.

Suzanne :)

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