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How Far Along The Great Ocean Road.

Bolton, UK
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How Far Along The Great Ocean Road.


The wife and I are planning our 2.5 months trip around Australia and need a little help with this part.

We arrive into Melbourne (after Alice) and after 2 days sightseeing around town, we are going to hire a car and gradually head to Sydney.

However, first of all we want to go the wrong way and do the GOR. First night we expect to overnight at Apollo Bay and then were looking to possibly break the journey and spend the next night at Port Fairy. The next day is a bit of a slog, as we head to Yanakie/ Wilsons Prom for 2 nights. From there, to overnight at Eden and then 2 nights at Jervis Bay.

My question is, how far down the GOR should we travel after Apollo Bay, before we call it a day and head to Yanakie. I suppose I mean is there much to see between Peterborough and Port Fairy? If not we could give Port Fairy a miss and head back via Scotts Creek and Bungador and then onto Yanakie. We know this will be a very long days travel, but we can gain a day if we miss out Port Fairy.

One other consideration, if it affects anything, is that we will be traveling during the Schoolies invasion.


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1. Re: How Far Along The Great Ocean Road.

Plenty of driving for you and no need really to worry about the schoolies. You may see them in Torquay or Lorne but they don't generally go any further than that. After Apollo Bay, it will take you about an hour to get to the 12 Apostles and 10mins past that is Port Campbell. This will be far enough....London Bridge is 5mins past Port Campbell...but otherwise, you will have plenty to see in the before PC and enjoy some lunch there before heading back.

I don't see the point really in heading past Port Campbell to Port Fairy but that is up to you. I would head back from PC via Timboon and the Colac road. You don't mention if you are going across the bay via the Queenscliff to Sorrento ferry. This is a much better option than going right around the bay via Melbourne.

Bolton, UK
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2. Re: How Far Along The Great Ocean Road.

Thanks for that information, it was exactly the advice we were looking for.

We had considered using the ferry to shorten the distance. But using Google Maps,when we added the times from Port Campbell to Queenscliff, the ferry, and then from Sorrento to Yanakie, it came to 6 hours 40 minutes plus the time for waiting for the ferry, and was 374kms driving distance.

Going around the bay it says is 5 hours 47 minutes and 416kms. But I suppose it doesn't take into consideration traffic volume.

So by using Google maps, it seems that around the bay may be quicker

What is the opinion on which is the nicer more scenic drive?

Also I suppose which is the most cost effective taking into consideration the $63 for the ferry as opposed to slightly further and possible toll charges, going round the bay? (Have you seen what your dollar has done to our pound!!)

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3. Re: How Far Along The Great Ocean Road.

For the questions about how far to go it probably depends on what you want to see. Port Fairy and Warnambool are nice towns, both having quite a nautical feel, however the road beyond port campbell / peterborough isn't somthing that I would be too worried about seeing as it is mostly inland highway.

It probably depends a lot on what time you intend to leave melbourne for that trip too. If you were leaving in the morning I would suggest taking the colac road straight to your intended furthest destination (port campbell or port fairy) then work your way back on the next day.

Keep in mind that the road itself is quite a task as you cannot actually drive at the signposted limit for a decent part of it. It is usually about 4-5 hours with stops from Port Campbell to Geelong. If you find you are running out of time you could drive back to the colac road through one of the otway road links. There are connections around most of the major towns on the great ocean road and these are quite often a good drive in themselves. (If you get motion sickness ensure you take tablets because any of the roads around here are not for those with light stomachs).

As for getting across to the other side of the bay, there is no questions that the ferry is by far the best scenic option. Around the bay is a 3-4 lane major freeway with sound barriers a decent length of the journey. The ferry however is more expensive than the fuel would cost and will take about the same time if you arrive just as the ferry is about to leave. (Its about an hour on the ferry but you can see most of the bay whilst on it and can often have dolphins follow the journey.)

Personally I would miss Port fairy and ensure you had enough time to take in the ocean road and take the ferry across, use the exrta day to stay in Sorrento and explore a little around there in the morning before heading down to them prom.

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4. Re: How Far Along The Great Ocean Road.

Hello infoaddict,

Have you considered flying into Adelaide after Alice Springs, picking up a car there then heading for Melbourne via the GOR? There is already plenty of advice on driving between the two cities this way. Then after you stay in Melbourne carry on to Sydney via Phillip Island, Gippsland and the NSW south coast. If you did it this way you could make your days Adelaide/PF or Warrnambool/Apollo Bay/Melbourne/Phillip Island/Merimbula/Bateman's Bay/Sydney.

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5. Re: How Far Along The Great Ocean Road.

Again thanks for your help.

"Langy22" We have already booked our flight Alice to Melbourne with Tiger, so the Adelaide option is sadly out. We always say that you can't see everything and this then gives you a reason for going back. We thought that 2.5 months would be a good period of time for exploring. But when you sit down and try and plan it out, the days soon go. We have to keep reminding ourselves that this is after all a holiday even though we are planning it with military precision!!

"spiller085" It seems like that would be a good route. We think we will go Melbourne to Apollo Bay, as we won't collect the car until 11.00. Next day Apollo Bay, Cape Otway, Port Campbell,then back and take the ferry. The cost of the ferry will break the budget, but we'll just treat it as a trip adventure.

We know it will be a long day and it goes against what we normally do. Which is to take it slow and don't try to pack in too much. But we really want to see the GOR before heading East. So for one day we will just bite the bullet and whiz round.

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6. Re: How Far Along The Great Ocean Road.

You could save a bit more time by excluding Cape Otway Light Station and just go directly through Lavers Hill to Shipwreck coast and Port Campbell. . Then Through Timboon , Camperdown, Colac. Depending on the time, stay over in Colac, Barongarook or Queenscliffe. Catch the eary morning ferry . I think they begin at 7 am., on the hour every hour.

I mention Camperdown because of this volcanic area, 2 large volcanic lakes and Mt Leura you can drive to the top for a good scenic view of the lava plains.

Good coffee stop and bakery.

If its the 1st Sunday of the month Camperdown has a craft market.

After the early morning ferry its a fairly quick drive to Yanakie. Along the Mooroduc Hwy turn off to Baxter and Pearcedale and pick up the South Gippsland Hwy just west of Tooraddin.

What time of year will you be travelling?

7. Re: How Far Along The Great Ocean Road.

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