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Great Ocean Road & the Grampians
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Get ready for one of the world’s greatest road trips: The Great Ocean Road. Starting in Melbourne, you’ll travel west through gorgeous coastal scenery, quaint towns and beautiful national parks home to an abundance of wildlife. Look out for the iconic Twelve Apostles and taste the delicious food and wine along the way, before returning to Melbourne via the Grampians and the goldmining town of Ballarat.
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Your Example Itinerary
Fly from the UK to Melbourne
Start your road trip in the multicultural metropolis of Melbourne, one of Australia’s most loved cities. Blessed with boutique shops, quirky cafes and an attractive cityscape, Melbourne is popular with both international and domestic visitors, who flock to its vibrant arts and food scene and chill out on its beaches. While you’re here you’ll head out into the surrounding countryside of the Yarra Valley, and sample some of Australia’s finest wines.
Set off on your Great Ocean Road adventure. Your first stop is Lorne, a pretty coastal town filled with cosy coffee shops and restaurants. You could choose to stop off at surfing obsessed Torquay along the way, or pop in to one of the breweries or fruit farms of the Otway Harvest Trail. Once in Lorne, a great place to try some freshly caught seafood, grab your hiking boots and explore the waterfalls, forests and caves of the Great Otway National Park.
Leaving Lorne behind, stop off at the Great Ocean Road’s most iconic sight, the Twelve Apostles, a cluster of eight limestone stacks protruding from the lapping waves below. Follow the rugged coastline to Port Fairy, filled with 19th century whitewashed cottages, pine trees and appealing stone churches. Perhaps take a stroll along the Shipwreck Heritage Walk, covering the town’s maritime history and the fortifications on Battery Hill, or look out to sea to spot whales, dolphins and seals.
Turn inland and head for Dunkeld, at the southern tip of the Grampians National Park. Here you’ll be staying at the Royal Mail Hotel, whose acclaimed restaurant offers decadent meals made with fresh local produce, plus fabulous mountain views. Spend two days exploring the Grampians: hike the walking trails, canoe or kayak the lakes, watch for kangaroos, emus and echidnas, and admire the sweeping views of the Great Dividing Range.
Heading back east, continue to Ballarat, a former goldmining town with some rather grand Victorian architecture at its heart. Try your luck panning for gold at Sovereign Hill, a no-expense-spared recreation of an 1850s mining village. Ride the mine tram underground to explore the mine itself, learn about the history of gold at the Gold Museum and, once you’ve had your fill of goldmining, call in at the Ballarat Wildlife Park, home to wombats, echidnas and crocs.
Return to Melbourne and depart for the UK.
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