I think 3 days and 2 nights is realistic. I'd recommend another night if you were planning on fitting in a few swims at the beaches (depends on the time of year though as you wouldn't want to swim in winter with a wetsuit)!
I'd recommend one night around the Portland/Port Fairy area (although this could change depending on whether you plan to take the coastal route from Adelaide to the beginning of the Great Ocean Road or the quicker inland route) and one night in Lorne.
The man sites are:
Lochard Gorge, the Twelve Apostles, Appolo Bay, Lorne, Anglesea, Aireys Inlet (lighthouse).
Jan Juc and Point Addis are also 2 great beaches not many tourists or Melbournians go to (which is great in summer!!)
Also not directly on the road are Erskine Falls and the Otway Fly.
Thank you!! Your advice and tips are greatly appreciated. Mahalo, Wendy
Hubby and I did Adelaide to Melbourne many years ago and I won't go into detail about Adelaide to Port Campbell as we allowed more time for that section and even if I were to doublecheck details it probably wouldn't be of that much use to you. We did Port Campbell to Melbourne in one day and said never again. We were there again a couple of years ago (just the Great Ocean Road this time) and allowed much more time.
Port Campbell is the town closest to the Apostles and the other formations. Helicopter flights are available from there.
You can't normally climb up the Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet but you can climb up the Cape Otway Lighthouse, which is off the highway.
What time of year are you coming? Bear in mind that the risk of animals on the road increases around dusk.
Yup, 3 days 2 nights is about right. I've done it in 2 days but it wasn't nearly as much fun.
Lots of interesting stuff to see along the way - you'll have to miss something, but they can still be very full days.
A lot of extinct volcanoes & craters which can be interesting - oh, wait - maybe you've already seen some...
Yes, have seen some lava rock in my day. Good one! We'll be on the GOR in October. Looking forward to it. Thanks for all the good tips!
My husband and I did this drive last March - it was fantastic, one of the highlights of our month-long trip to Oz.
We stayed in Port Fairy at Oscar's Waterfront hotel - beautiful room, great service, would definitely stay there again for the hotel. However, Port Fairy isn't on the ocean. Next time we do this trip (we're already planning a next time!) we're planning to stay in Port Campbell closer to the 12 Apostles as I would like to see it at sunset.
We stayed in Apollo Bay the second night at a great place called Castaways. We're looking forward to a return trip to Apollo Bay so that we can explore more of the beaches.
Even with three stops, it still felt a little rushed - especially around the highlights of the 12 Apostles, London Bridge, etc. etc. I think next time we'll probably stay in Port Campbell for a second night to really appreciate the scenery.
Good luck - have fun!
Depending on how the weather has been leading up to your time, I would also suggest a rainforest / waterfall experience. Check out the glow worms too if you've not experienced them before.
Can someone please tell me how many hours it takes to drive from Adelaide CBD to Port Campbell. Then how many hours from Port Campbell to Melbourne? I had underestimated how long this drive would take and have only allowed one night on the road, which we anticipate staying at Port Campbell. Your advice would be appreciated. Thanks,
However, I think that you will be very disappointed if you try to do the drive in only 2 days. For most of the route between Adelaide and Port Campbell, the ocean (and the best scenery) requires a detour from the main road out to the little towns situated along the ocean. You'll miss all of this incredible scenery if you just fly by! Plus, 9 hours is a long drive - and you'll probably arrive after dark and when it's too late to see the highlights of the Great Ocean Drive. And, you'd skip Cape Otway, which is really beautiful.
Also, the route along the ocean between Cape Otway and Melbourne is actually for the most part along the water. So, you do get great views while you drive. But, the road has many many turns so the speed limit is about 25 KPH for most of it. It takes a while!
Good luck - I know from experience that it's hard to see everything you'd like in a visit to Oz, but I think that this drive was one of the highlights of our visit and where I'd spend a little more time.
Thank you for your prompt reply. I did a routing on "www.nowwhereroute.com" which shows 13 1/2 hours from Adelaide, via Warnamboolam (sorry, don't have my notes in front of me), Pt. Campbell, Apollo Bay, Lorne, Geelong to Melbourne. Them I read, however, that it was muchhhhhhhh longer than 13 hours. I was wondering if, due to the very low speed limit in some places, that the website had based their time for the length of the trip on standard speed limits and not taken into consideration the 25-50 MPH limit that exists in some sections. That was why I was asking--hoping to find someone who had done it recently who could give me a reliable answer.
Yes, I know that I've miscalculated and should have allowed more time, but this is what we've got, so we plan to leave early from Adelaide on Mar 31, and arrive late at the Melbourne airport area on April 1. We will stop however, short of the 12 Apostles, probably at Port Campbell, so that I can be certain to see them in the morning (and perhaps at dusk, too!). Gotta get back to packing, but I'll keep watching this site. Thanks,