Melbourne, the coffee capital of Australia. I lived here for a year and fell in love with the cafe culture (click here for my 10 favourite cafes in Melbourne). Besides the hustle and bustle of the city, Melbourne is easily accessible to one of the World’s famous scenic coastal drive – the Great Ocean Road and untouched nature parks – The Grampians, Wilsons Promontory. I’ve complied all my road trip itineraries that I’ve done in the past into a six days road trip and hope that you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!
Melbourne – Geelong – Lorne – Apollo Bay (Total distance ~ 204km)
Depart Melbourne for Geelong (~75km). Geelong, Victoria’s second largest city and the gateway to the start of the Great Ocean Road. For those who are not interested in Museums, there is nothing much to see and do there except taking a walk along the water front or discovering hippie cafes along Pakington Street.
You can stop by Three Little Figs for a good brunch before hitting the road.
Three Little Figs
240 Pakington Street
Drive from Geelong to Lorne and visit Erskine Falls (~77km). You can stop at Torquay before hitting Lorne. It is another seaside town with nice beaches and good waves for surfing. It is easy locating Erskine Falls as there are signs in Lorne directing you to it. It takes about 10-15min to walk from the car park to the bottom of the falls.
Erskine Falls Road
Lorne, Victoria 3232
Drive from Erskine Falls towards Apollo Bay (~52km). The road is very winding from Lorne to Apollo Bay and there are many lookout points to stop along the way. It’s a really beautiful drive but can be dangerous so keep to the speed limit and lookout for sharp corners!
Stay one night at Apollo Bay. I love the B&Bs there. There are quite a few restaurants and cafes that you can check out at Apollo Bay. In my recent trip, we had dinner at the Apollo Bay hotel and the food was good.
Apollo Bay Seafood Cafe
119 Great Ocean Road
Apollo Bay Vic 3233
Pretty good fish and chips at a reasonable price.
125 Great Ocean Road
Apollo Bay Vic 3233
Nice restaurant overlooking the ocean. The food was good but very pricey.
Apollo Bay – Otway National Park – 12 Apostles – Port Fairy (Total distance ~ 202km)
Otway National Park
Drive from Apollo Bay to Otway National Park (~38km). I really enjoyed the drive through the National Park – like driving through an enchanted forest. We wanted to visit Hopetoun Falls and Triplet Falls but I missed the turn for the Triplet Falls so we only managed to see the Hopetoun Falls. The walk to the bottom of the falls is about 15-20min from the carpark. Easy walk with proper foot path.
Aire Valley Road
Beech Forest , Victoria 3237
Drive from Otway National Park to 12 Apostles (~60km). Warning: This place gets very crowded with tourists especially during summer and it is swarmped with flies!
There are many sights that are worth visiting after the 12 Apostles so don’t just turn your car around after seeing the main attraction.
On route to Port Fairy, we stopped at Warrnambool (~74km) to do some grocery shopping at Coles (note that there is no Coles or Woolies along the Great Ocean Road). After that we drove down to Port Fairy (~30km). Port Fairy is a really quiet town. There is nothing much to do there other than visit Griffith’s Island which was interesting. Griffith’s Island makes me think of the Galapagos Islands and Darwin’s theory of evolution. It is a little secluded island with bushland, sheer waters, nesting birds and resident wallabies.
We stayed one night at a cosy B&B – Merrijig Inn. The rooms are very small but I loved the breakfast. There were even homemade cookies and pies in the kitchen for guests to enjoy.
Port Fairy 3284
Port Fairy – The Grampians (Total distance ~ 156km)
This place was definitely the highlight of the trip. The national park is huge and the drive was so scenic. We even had to slow down for Kangeroos to cross the road so remember to drive with caution. If you have the time, I would recommend at least two nights stay in the Grampians because there is just so much to do and so much to see. You can consider staying a few nights in Halls Gap, if not you can spend a night in Ballarat or head back to Melbourne. Unfortunately, we only had a few hours in the Grampians and could only cover a small part of it – Boroka lookout, Reeds lookout and the Balconies, Mackenzie Falls. There is a visitor centre at Halls Gap where you can get very good information about the different sights in The Grampians.
Halls Gap visitor centre
117-119 Grampians Rd
Halls Gap VIC 3381, Australia
Reed lookout and the Balconies
The Reed lookout is situated right at the carpark. The Balconies is a 1km walk from the carpark. To be honest, I didn’t think the walk to the balconies was worth it; The view looks the same to me.
This is a must see! There is proper foot path and steps down to the falls but it is very steep and climbing back up is a real good cardio workout.
The Grampians – Melbourne – Cape Schanck – Mornington (Total distance ~ 399km)
We drove down from The Grampians to Melbourne (~253km) and had lunch in the city. After that we drove to Cape Schanck (~110km). Alternatively, you can drive down to visit Philip Island for the Penguin Parade. But remember to check the timing for the penguins as it differs from day to day.
I never knew that Cape Schanck was that beautiful until I was there to see it for myself. I love the rugged nature of the coast line and the untouched beaches. After exploring Cape Schanck, we spent a night at Mornington (~36km).
420 Cape Schanck Road
Cape Schanck, VIC 3939
Mornington – Wilsons Promontory (Total distance ~ 164km)
This National Park is huge and I would recommend spending a night in Wilsons Prom itself. The drive from the entrance of the Prom to the visitor centre takes at least a 30min drive and it felt never ending. We saw many wild wallabies along the road and a porcupine so do drive with caution. I wasn’t impressed with this place – felt that the beaches in NSW were much nicer. Nevertheless, I guess this is a nice place for family and friends to come as a weekend getaway.
Tidal River Visitor Centre
Wilsons Promontory VIC 3960
Wilsons Promontory – Melbourne (Total distance ~ 195km)
Back to the coffee capital for a quick fix. If you are a shopaholic like me, consider shopping at DFO at South Wharf and Chadstone Shopping Centre. Hope that you found this road trip itinerary useful. Here is an overview of the trip.
|Day 1||Melbourne – Geelong – Lorne – Apollo Bay||~ 204km|
|Day 2||Apollo Bay – Otway National Park – 12 Apostles – Port Fairy||~ 202km|
|Day 3||Port Fairy – The Grampians||~ 156km|
|Day 4||The Grampians – Melbourne – Cape Schanck – Mornington||~ 399km|
|Day 5||Mornington – Wilsons Promontory||~ 164km|
|Day 6||Wilsons Promontory – Melbourne||~ 195km|
*Please note that the distance calculated was based on a rough estimation.