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“Excellent Tour” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Go West Tours

Go West Tours
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Great Ocean Road Small-Group Eco-Tour from Melbourne
Ranked #2 of 75 Food & Drink in Melbourne
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Go West Tours provides great value small group tours from Melbourne to the Great Ocean Road & to Phillip Island for the famous Penguin Parade. Free WiFi access is included throughout our tours to offer our guests the greatest possible convenience & connectivity. Our tours focus not only on a series of great destinations, but also on providing the best possible customer service and value for money.We're so confident you'll love your day with us that we proudly offer a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. We look forward to meeting you on tour and to providing you with a genuinely memorable Melbourne experience.
Level Contributor
34 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Excellent Tour”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 March 2012

We took the Great Ocean Road one-day tour with GoWest. Our guide, Rhys, was knowledgeable and friendly, and gave very good advice on which parts of any stop to do first (and why). In addition to the sights, he explained some of the history of the road, and gave us stories behind some of the locations. The tour includes many sights along the road, a few beaches, a short rainforest walk, and a national park with koalas in the trees and wild parrots and lorikeets. Rhys was very helpful in pointing out where to find the animals, and handing out birdseed for people who wanted it.

I found the tour very well organized, with an appropriate amount of time for each stop. It was a much better way to see the road than trying to drive it ourselves would have been, and I preferred the small (20 seat) bus to being on one of the bigger ones we saw.

It's a long day, but with enough stops that the bus didn't get uncomfortable. I do recommend bringing some snacks and water - there are dinner and lunch stops, but the dinner selection was pretty lame. And maybe an mp3 player for the drive between Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road, and some handwash if you don't like using toilets without soap.

Visited March 2012
1 Thank eek_19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Arcadia, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Very entertaining tour”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 March 2012

My parents and I took the Great Ocean Road day tour. The coach picked us up from our hotel, which was the first plus. The second plus was the tour guide's (John) commentary, which was paired perfectly with his iPod soundtrack. We were definitely blessed with excellent weather. Although it was extremely hot so be ready to apply some sunscreen because you'll definitely tan within 15 minutes and this tour will be for the entire day. There were no side trips to any souvenir stores or places where the tour guide would get a kickback, which is another plus.

Visited March 2012
Thank theoriginalbigc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Limerick, Ireland
Level Contributor
93 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 200 helpful votes
“Great day & friendly guide”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 March 2012

I did the Philip Island one day tour last week with my Mum.
Our guide was Tim and he was a really nice friendly guy who knew a lot about the area and the sights we were going to.

We had a bit of a problem with the pick up as the girl in the tourist office made a mistake with where we were staying but it wasn't a problem for the woman who picked us up, she was very accommodating and understanding. She also told us about everything we were passing on the way too which was nice!

Our first stop was the chocolate factory and as I love chocolate I was quite excited by this. Unfortunately though everything was a bit tacky and run down in there, most of the games didn't work properly and it looked in dire need of a revamp. Also they were so mean with the samples and the chocolate wasn't even that good. We bought a few treats anyway but they were of poor quality and an absolute rip off! I would not recommend this place. It was definitely the low point of the day.

The Koala conservation centre was next which let you get right up close to the little things! This was really lovely and it is a well maintained centre with lots of guides about to answer any questions you have about the koalas and the many different birds and other animals there.

Next we stopped at a beautiful little winery, where out waitress Pip looked after us all so well. There was a lovely spread of fresh bread, fruit and the most gorgeous cheeses and pinot noir jelly. We tried about 5 different wines here and it was a really nice lunch.

Then we moved on to the Nobbies which was a beautiful wild spot where you could go for walks along the boardwalks looking out over the sea. If you are lucky you can also spot some penguins here as it is one of their nesting spots.

Then it was on over to the Penguin Parade. We paid for the upgrade (we were a bit annoyed that it wasn't included in the original price) and while it was worth it for the few minutes that the masses came over the beach, we actually had more fun walking up around when they were all going into their nests and meeting up with their families. It was really cute as they were greeting each other like people do with their wings spread out wide in a welcoming hug :) there were also guides about here to answer any of your questions too which was nice.
My advice for this is to wrap up warm! Bring blankets as it is very cold once the sun goes down, even in summer, and don't bother with the upgrade, you can see just as much with the regular price and it smacks as a bit mean that they segregate it like that. If 80% of the penguins cross at that beach then put the main viewing area there!

Overall it was a really nice day, the highlights being the winery and the penguins! Our guide Tim was lovely too and really easy to get on with, he looked after us all really well throughout the day.

Visited March 2012
2 Thank deeedeee17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gig Harbor, Washington
Level Contributor
308 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 437 helpful votes
“Great day trip to Phillip Island!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2012

I'm very glad we selected Go West to take us to Phillip Island for the famous Penguin Parade.

We were picked up at 11:25 a.m. (midway through the number of guest pick-ups) and quickly made friends with our guide/driver, Lee -- a Brit with a penchant for theatre and cheekily customizing music for our scenery or our group's topic of discussion. There were 16 of us on the day's tour and the first stop was for a 30-minute break and a chance to grab lunch or snacks in the town of Koo Wee Rup. (Your best bet is to head straight to the bakery where you can pick up a meat pie or a custom-made sandwich, rather than the suggested grocery store, which didn't have anything ready-to-eat.) While I would've appreciated a bit more time to eat, most everyone seemed to meet back at the bus in time.

The next stop, our first official destination, was the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory. There was nothing special about the chocolate, but it was a fun and interactive experience to go through Panny's Amazing World of Chocolate. I especially enjoyed the carnival games in which the player could win a piece of chocolate!

The next destination was the Koala Conservation Centre where we strolled along as a group or were free to wander on our own. We chose to go off by ourselves and we headed straight to the elevated boardwalk to view the koalas chillin' in their eucalyptus trees. Adorable! Along the gravel pathway we saw a lot of wallabies and some colorful birds before it was time to head back to the bus and head to a Phillip Island winery for tasting.

It was a pleasant day, so we gathered in the filtered shade of the patio to taste a variety of wines and pair them with three kinds of cheeses, a small variety of breads, and/or some fruit. My favorite wine, and the favorite of the few others around me, was the Merlot Rose. It was a lovely and relaxing time.

The schedule then called for a stop in Cowes, Phillip Island's main town, for an early dinner. It was an unsually quiet summer day in Cowes, so many restaurants were not open. We ate at an Italian restaurant with a view of the bay. The two of us shared a small pizza and garden salad; it was the right size considering all of the eating we'd been doing throughout the day.

The next stop was a short visit at The Nobbies where we learned this was one place visitors could photograph the little penguins -- those that remained at the nest while the others went to sea for the day. We were lucky to see some of the juveniles who had not yet lost all of their downy baby fuzz!

Finally, at the Penguin Parade, we separated from the tour to join the Private Penguin Parade Experience. Each of us outfitted with a headset, a private guide led our group of 10 to a sectioned-off portion of the beach just in front of one set of stands. For this particular night, it was not worth the extra cost for this seating location. Very few penguins made their way near us, so the guide gathered us up and we headed down to the boardwalk to watch the masses of little penguins come in for the night. What a delightful sight!

At approximately 9:50 p.m. our group met back at the bus and departed straight for Melbourne -- no stops, lots of snoozing. It was a long, but great day full of surprises and fun!

Visited February 2012
3 Thank Kris_K_D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
terrygowest, Owner at Go West Tours, responded to this review, 13 March 2012
Hi Kris,
Thanks for your detailed review! We're delighted you enjoyed your experience with us so much and will be sure to pass your feedback on to your guide, Lee. We hope we might see you again on your next visit to Melbourne!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Excellent Guide But Bus Very Uncomfortable”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2012

We booked with Go West Tours to travel the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne up to the 12 Apostles. The bus arrived right on time and drove us to downtown Melbourne where we transferred onto another bus. In both instances the guides were excellent! They were obliging, courteous and friendly. Our main guide, Len was very knowledgeable and cheerful and we really appreciated his descriptions of the sites we went to see.
On the negative side, our tour bus was very uncomfortable with hard, vinyl covered seats that, after 12+ hours of travelling were a pain in the butt. Also, there was not very much leg room, there was nowhere to stow bags or other personal items and there was no individual lighting for reading in the dark on the way back to Melbourne. We would not travel with this company again unless we could get confirmation of being on a more comfortable bus.
One other thing, the web site indicated that the $125 cost of the tour included admissions to all sites en route. In fact, everywhere we stopped there was no evidence of admission fees having to be paid, so we thought that was a bit misleading.
If you plan to take this tour, be sure to take lots of snacks, drinks etc. as the places en route are not up to much.
Having said all this, at the end of the day, it was a fantastic experience seeing the Great Coast Road and, especially, seeing the 12 Apostles, London Bridge etc. something we will always remember.
Bottom line...great guide, unforgettable experience, very uncomfortable ride.

Visited March 2012
Thank Steve Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
terrygowest, Owner at Go West Tours, responded to this review, 13 March 2012
Hi Steve,
Thanks very much for your review. I'm really pleased that our guides provided such a good service, but sorry to hear that our vehicle's comfort let us down. Ironically, the vehilce you travelled in was brand new and had only been delivered to us in the last week. We are aware of the seating issue and are awaiting delivery of our new seats, as we will very soon be fitting this bus with larger, more comfortable seats at signifcant extra expense (around $25,000). Ideally, we would not have had to use this vehicle until the new seats were fitted, but a mechanical issue that developed with one of our other buses meant this one had to venture out on tour before it has been re-fitted. Regarding admission fees, we as tour operators do ahve to pay fees for our guests to enter the National Parks, but these are not paid at a toll booth or similar. Some operators opt to pass these fees on to their customers, which is something we're keen to ensure our guests are aware we do not do. I regret if this could be interpreted as misleading. Steve, thanks again for your feedback. Our new bus seats will be in place soon and all guests will travel in greater comfort!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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