Departing from Melbourne, your Great Ocean Road tour begins with panoramic views of the city and Port Phillip Bay as you cross the Westgate Bridge, Australia’s longest at just under 2.6 kilometers in length.
Pass by and learn a little about Victoria’s second largest city, Geelong, as you make our way down towards the Surf Coast, with its enchanting beach side towns and powerful swells. Just outside the town of Torquay, you'll stop for your first opportunity to visit the beach and to enjoy a complimentary morning tea. Departing Torquay, you'll set out along the Great Ocean Road itself, as your experienced driver-guide provides an informative commentary about the road’s history and its place in Australian folklore.
The scenic journey along the Great Ocean Road is a highlight in itself. You'll see some truly amazing coastal scenery, with new views being revealed around every bend. There will be plenty of scenic stops, including of course a photo opportunity at the Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch at Eastern View.
At the township of Kennet River, you will make a brief side trip into the sweetly-scented eucalyptus forest to locate some of the local koalas in the native habitat. The koala population here is particularly strong and numerous sightings are almost guaranteed! You will also have an opportunity here to feed the colorful local bird life, with Crimson Rosellas and King Parrots always keen for a handful of sunflower seeds. Then continue on towards a lunch stop in Apollo Bay, with another photo stop at Cape Patten on the way.
After lunch, follow the Great Ocean Road away from the ocean and into the mountains. The tour proceeds through the spectacular Otway Ranges, where you will stop to enjoy a stroll in the cool temperate rainforest at Maits Rest. Here your guide will accompany you through the forest, where you will stop to learn a little about the world’s tallest flowering trees and the ancient rainforest species.
And then it’s onwards to the world famous Port Campbell National Park and its iconic array of rock formations. You’ll be awestruck by the majestic monoliths of the Twelve Apostles, a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the park. These limestone stacks are a very popular attraction because of their proximity to each other.
Just down the road is the heart of the Shipwreck Coast, the Loch Ard Gorge where 52 lives were lost and only 2 souls survived the wreck of the Loch Ard in 1878. Your guide will recount the legend of the Loch Ard, bringing the gorge to life in a way you never imagined. Nearly 700 ships are believed to have been wrecked along the Victorian coast, but fewer than a third of them have been discovered. The Loch Ard Gorge is named from the Loch Ard, which went down in 1878. There will be time to explore here, with more rock formations to see, including the Razorback, the Dumpling Pots and the delightful Island Archway. A stop is made for dinner on your own on the journey back to Melbourne, before enjoying a stunning view of the illuminated city as you cross the Westgate Bridge again on the way home. For a day full of natural beauty guided by an expert guide, skip the larger tours and join this small group adventure.
Please Note: If you are arriving by cruise ship, please enter the Crown Metropol Hotel, which is the closest pick up location from the cruise pier. A taxi from the cruise pier to the hotel should cost approximately 15 AUD (not included) each way. A tram is also available and should cost approximately 4.10 AUD (not included) each way. This tour does not pick up from the cruise pier.