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Family to Victoria in Oct/Nov, how to optimise ? 1st timer.

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Family to Victoria in Oct/Nov, how to optimise ? 1st timer.

Hi

We are a family (2A2C) planning a 2-week DIY trip to Victoria state, by driving where required. It's our first trip to down under. Arriving Melbourne (Melb) by air on Monday morning (28/Oct) and leaving Melb on Friday night (8/Nov). We're in the middle of our planning, so, we have some info, but not much yet. Only air-ticket have been booked.

We hope to :

a. see and feel the nature (greenery, flower, river, ocean, rock)

b. eat fresh food (vegetables, fruits, seafood, meat)

c. visit unique OZ markets

d. pluck and eat fruits in the orchard (wine/winery can skip)

e. stay in the farm

f. have close encounter with animal (koala bear, sheep, kangaroo, penguin)

To achieve the above, our shortlisted places are :

West of Melb

i. GOR

ii. Ballarat (mine)

Within & around Melb :

iii. city

iv. Geelong

v. Mornington Peninsula

vi. Phillip Island (penguin)

East of Melb :

vii. Healesville (zoo)

viii. Dandenongs

ix. Belgrave-Gembrook

x. Yarra Valley

So, our questions are :

1. how to arrange the sequence ? E.g. East->city->west of Melb ?

2. is it possible to avoid the crowd, congestion, surcharges of Melbourne Cup Carnival (2, 5, 7 & 9 Nov races) while we spend 3-4 days/nights over the weekend (1-4/Nov) in city ?

3. any of our planned itinerary has berries orchard and flower (e.g. lavendar) field/farm along the way ?

4. cut 3 days/nights to visit Tasmania instead ?

Thank you in advance.

Melbourne, Australia
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for Melbourne, Victoria, Road Trips
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1. Re: Family to Victoria in Oct/Nov, how to optimise ? 1st timer.

With the Melbourne Cup carnival, apart from Cup Day on the Tuesday, the action is all happening at Flemington Race Course so it won't be more congested in the city while the races are on. You will see lots of girls in dresses with great hats & guys in suits, & the bars are busier in the evenings, but it shouldn't impact you.

There are berry farms on the Mornington Peninsula, on the way to the GOR & in the Yarra Valley. You will be here at the very start of the season, so there may not be enough fruit for U-Pick, but you will be able to visit the cafes & try fresh fruit, so will still be a good experience. I've been posting this link lately as we visited Rayners Stone Fruit Orchard in the Yarra Valley a couple of weeks ago during peak blossom season. They do cater for tourists & the café is excellent. http://www.farmsoftheyarravalley.com.au/ There's also berries & lavender nearby.

On the Mornington Peninsula, for berry picking & a yummy cafe you have Sunny Ridge http://www.sunnyridge.com.au/

A slight detour on the way to the GOR will take you to Summer Sensations http://www.summersensations.com.au/ It you are taking 2 or 3 days to drive the GOR, this would be a great morning tea stop on the first day.

You might also enjoy this Farmer's Market on the Saturday morning as they should have lots of freshly picked, locally grown fruit http://www.vegout.asn.au/farmersmarket.html

I can't really help with farms to stay at, but I'm sure there's on along the GOR which has been mentioned a few time.

For your sequence, it depend on whether you want a full road trip or to do some places as day trips from a city base. Geelong is on the way to the GOR, I wouldn't do a separate visit.

You will want 2 to 4 days for the GOR if you include a farm stay, depending on what you want to do & see along the way. I'd visit Ballarat on my way back from the GOR toward Melbourne, staying overnight.

For a full road trip, I'd then drive north of the city (using the Ring Road) to the Yarra Valley. Healesville is fine to stay at while visiting the Dandenong Ranges as well, then you can drive down to Phillip Island via Koo-Wee-Rup. After Phillip Island, head across to the Mornington Peninsula, then back to Melbourne.

You do need to do some more research about what you want to do & see at these locations so you can work out how much time to allow. You do have a lot you want to see & will be doing a bit of driving, so you need to plan carefully. Do post back with an itinerary so we can make sure it's workable time & distance wise.

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Family to Victoria in Oct/Nov, how to optimise ? 1st timer.

Re: FARMS

You could opt for an overnight farm stay whilst on Phillip Island or visit the Caldermeade farm and cafe on the way to Phillip Island. There is also the Churchill Farm on Phillip Island itself but I think Caldermeade is better for tourists. http://caldermeadefarmandcafe.com.au/farm

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: Family to Victoria in Oct/Nov, how to optimise ? 1st timer.

Link re farm stays in Victoria are here: http://www.visitvictoria.com/SiteSearch.aspx?q=Farm+stays

Singapore, Singapore
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4. Re: Family to Victoria in Oct/Nov, how to optimise ? 1st timer.

Dear ellenwillow, thank you for your prompt replies on Melbourne Cup, berries and cafes. Yes, we’ll stay outside city most of the nights, avoiding the hustle of driving in and out daily. After all, this is a relaxing holiday.

For GOR, the route is currently planned according to textbook :

Melb

Geelong

Bells Beach

Anglesea

Aireys Inlet

Fairhaven

Lorne (overnight 1)

Apollo Bay

Cape Otway (may be also Otway Fly)

Twelve Apostles

Port Campbell (overnight 2)

Warrnambool

Port Fairy (may be also Portland & Cape Bridgewater) (overnight 3)

Ballarat via ??? (depends where we end along the coast) (overnight 4 as you suggested)

Melb

Yes, we’ll continue to read up and digest your info provided on the other side of Melb.

Singapore, Singapore
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5. Re: Family to Victoria in Oct/Nov, how to optimise ? 1st timer.

Dear PeterWellington, thank you for your info on farm stays. All in a glance.

Edited: 12 September 2013, 16:29
6. Re: Family to Victoria in Oct/Nov, how to optimise ? 1st timer.

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