6. From Melbourne: 3-Day Great Ocean Road Tour with Lodging
Our first stop along the coast is at a famous surfing beach before travelling the very scenic Great Ocean Road. While winding our way along we stop to view the ‘Arch’ and tell you of the intriguing story of this incredible memorial road. Lorne is the largest of the seaside resorts and is a perfect place for a lunch break. After lunch we cruise along the spectacular road, stopping at many scenic spots including Kennett River where we try to spot koalas in the wild. Your private self contained villa is set high on a hill overlooking the Southern Ocean. This amazing setting is a great place to relax and unwind for a couple of hours (accommodation based on availability). Dinner tonight is at the most renowned restaurant along the coast, Chris’s at Beacon Point. Our journey starts after breakfast with us travelling through the Otway ranges where we take you on a 1km guided walk through a cool temperate rainforest gully to see the world’s tallest flowering plants, prehistoric trees and ferns. Our first stop along the Shipwreck coast is at Castle Cove overlooking the Aire River valley. In this area millions of years ago when Australia was part of the great southern land, Gondwana, dinosaurs were roaming the land. A unique find along the coast in 1987 uncovered important clues into the world’s prehistoric past. The 12 Apostles are Icons of Australia’s natural beauty. We arrive as the stacks are lit with the morning sun making them perfect for photos and crowd free. After hearing of the creation of the stacks and holding some of the limestone rock you can explore the beautiful sights. We then visit ‘Loch Ard Gorge’, the site of the most famous 19th century Australian shipwreck. We retell the story from the calm voyage, the tragic wreck, the courageous survivors and their ultimate fate. While hearing the tale you will be able to see and hold some original artefacts, photos and documents from the ‘Loch Ard’ contained in our treasure chests. Port Campbell is our lunch stop for today. After lunch we travel to a lesser known but highly impressive area of the Great Ocean Road west of Port Campbell. Our journey then continues through Warrnambool and onto Tower Hill Game Reserve where we may have the chance to see Koalas, Kangaroos and Emus. Our journey then continues through picturesque Port Fairy towards Mount Gambier, home of the ‘Blue’ crater lake and numerous ‘sinkholes’. We check into our overnight accommodation at ‘The Barn’, or similar, in Mount Gambier and start enjoying friendly country hospitality in complete comfort. Our third day starts with a visit to the Naracoorte Caves National Park for a cave tour with a local guide. These limestone caves are World Heritage listed area due to the fossils of the ‘Mega Fauna’ found buried in the Caves. We stop in Keith for lunch before joining the highway towards Adelaide. On our approach to the city we visit the very popular tourist village of Hahndorf and Mount Lofty summit.