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Suggested 2 day itinerary for Great Ocean Rd ex. Tullamarine

Sydney, New South...
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426 posts
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Suggested 2 day itinerary for Great Ocean Rd ex. Tullamarine

Hi,

I am a Sydney sider who is very familiar with Melbourne but I have not been along the GOR since I was 17 years old (32 years ago).

My teen son and I fly into Tullamarine on Wed 11 July evening so we will hire car and overnight it at nearby motel and then head out on Thursday morning. We need to be back to airport or CBD to return the car on Friday early evening (5:30-6pm).

Can you please suggest a stop-over point for the Thursday night and given we have limited time which stop point to focus on?

We love natural landscapes and are keen walkers. We like adventure tourism too. Any suggestions for activities most welcome.

Thanks,

Kim

8 replies to this topic
Ballarat, Australia
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4,079 posts
90 reviews
1. Re: Suggested 2 day itinerary for Great Ocean Rd ex. Tullamarine

One and a half days is really short for the GOR. Suggest you spend your first night in Geelong, either driving there or taking the shuttle bus and pivking up a hire car in the early morning.

I'd use Apollo Bay as your stopover point. Decide whether you want to focus on the first part (Torquay to AB) or the second half, which includes the 12A. If the first, drive east to west. Overnight at AB, head for Port Campbell. You'll need to allow 3.5 to 4 hours to get back to the airport from here.

If you'd rather spend more time at the far end, I'd drive the inland route on Thursday and slowly work your way to Apollo Bay, stay overnight, then you have the afternoon to drive to Torquay and then back to the airport. From Torquay it's about 90 minutes to the airport.

You really don't have time for long walks or adventure tourism unless you only do one half of the GOR.

Geelong...
Destination Expert
for Geelong, Great Ocean Road
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2. Re: Suggested 2 day itinerary for Great Ocean Rd ex. Tullamarine

I agree with #1's comments also be aware that sunset will be around 5pm at that time of the year and you can expect road works at various locations along the GOR and between Colac and Winchelsea due to the highway up grade taking place making for slow travel times in some parts of the route.

While the trip is doable its going to be really rushed and you are really going to have to prioritise what you want to see.

Loki's suggestion of getting the Gull bus to Geelong and spending a night there is a good one.

www.gull.com.au and www.visitgreatoceanroad.org.au

Edited: 16 January 2018, 07:49
London, United...
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354 reviews
3. Re: Suggested 2 day itinerary for Great Ocean Rd ex. Tullamarine

I agree too, it's only an hour from the airport to Geelong via the freeways, so don't waste precious time on Thursday morning driving that route, do it after you arrive. Choose from one of the many hotels in Geelong and then you can set of bright and fresh Thursday morning on the road to Torquay for your first stop.

In Torquay you can browse through the surf shops if you want, or just bypass the town and head straight to Bells Beach which is a particularly beautiful stretch of the coast.

You probably have limited interest in kangaroos and koalas, so maybe a stop at the Anglesea golf course isn't of interest (kangaroos live on the course), but you may want to indulge in some chocolate at the Great Ocean Road chocolate factory:

https://www.gorci.com.au

Continue on to Airey's Inlet for an early lunch or morning tea perhaps. Have a look at the lighthouse there.

Keep driving along the coast and stop to get the obligatory photo at the Great Ocean Road arch just before you reach Lorne, where you could stop for a late lunch.

From Lorne you should aim to continue to Apollo Bay and make that your stopping point for the night. If you've arrived early, you could head into the Otways and check out the Otway fly:

http://www.otwayfly.com

There's some nice walks in the area to. Loads of information at the excellent tourist office by the beach in Apollo Bay, so take their advice there.

The following day, if you've already done enough in the Otways, head straight for the Apostles, Gibsons Steps, Loch Ard Gorge, etc. and from there you can head north and then east on the inland highway/freeway via Colac to get back to Melbourne for your flight.

melbourne
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3,376 posts
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4. Re: Suggested 2 day itinerary for Great Ocean Rd ex. Tullamarine

I agree with all of the above. Go straight to Geelong and spend the night there. That way you will avoid the morning peak hour traffic

Ballarat, Australia
Level Contributor
4,079 posts
90 reviews
5. Re: Suggested 2 day itinerary for Great Ocean Rd ex. Tullamarine

Famrick, I hadn't picked up that this is in July. That makes it near impossible.

OP, consider sticking to half of the GOR as with minimum daylight hours you just don't have time to drive the whole GOR and still see and do things.

Sydney, New South...
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426 posts
70 reviews
6. Re: Suggested 2 day itinerary for Great Ocean Rd ex. Tullamarine

Hi everyone - thanks for your feedback. Good idea to drive to Geelong from Tullamarine on the Wed night.

It seems it will be too rushed to get back to Melbourne airport or CBD on Friday night esp. with less daylight hours in July. If I can change my plans so that we are back into Melbourne CBD by mid-afternoon Saturday (so that means return rental car and be at Spencer St by say 3pm) do you think that would give us a better experience?

Thanks for re-considering.

Kim travelling w 16 yo son

Sydney Australia

Sydney, New South...
Level Contributor
426 posts
70 reviews
7. Re: Suggested 2 day itinerary for Great Ocean Rd ex. Tullamarine

Also where would you suggest for the two nights as stop-overs: Apollo Bay and Warrnabool if we get back to Melb CBD mid-afternoon Sat?

Geelong...
Destination Expert
for Geelong, Great Ocean Road
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8. Re: Suggested 2 day itinerary for Great Ocean Rd ex. Tullamarine

I would head to Geelong when you arrive on the Wednesday night and then Thursday night at Apollo Bay and depending how you are travelling for time either Port Campbell or if you can make it Warrnambool for Friday night.

To drive back to the Melbourne CBD on Saturday from either Port Campbell or Warrnambool will take close to 4 hours with Colac an ideal spot for a 15 - 20 min pit stop before the final run to Melbourne.

I was down the western end of the GOR last week and encountered a fair bit of road works between the PC NP and Lavers Hill.

As you get closer to the trip keep an eye on this link as it will have up to date info on road conditions and what road works are being undertaken.

https://traffic.vicroads.vic.gov.au/

I don't mind getting down the GOR in winter as the seascape becomes more dramatic and you get plenty of water going over the falls.

https:/…

There is a lot to see along the route which is why we suggest doing the trip with a minimum of two overnight stops.

Safe Travels.

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