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Iconic Victoria & The Great Ocean Road
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Meander along 150 miles of craggy cliffs, thundering waves and wild coastline as you head off on one of the world’s most scenic road trips: the Great Ocean Road. Explore the finer details of this stunning region as you traverse the towering forests of the Otways, hug the Shipwreck Coast and marvel at the grandeur of the Twelve Apostles on your way to Warrnambool. Take the inland route back to Melbourne via the Grampians and the gold-mining city of Ballarat.
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Your Example Itinerary
Fly from the UK to Melbourne
Spend a few days exploring the sights and sounds of down-to-earth Melbourne. This vibrant, multicultural and exciting state capital manages to retain a laid-back feel, making it one of Australia’s most liveable cities. While in town, you’ll explore the cafés and treasures of the hidden laneways, and of course be sure to try the tasty cuisine, with influences from Thailand, Vietnam and beyond.
4* Causeway 353 Hotel
Cross the bridge to rugged Phillip Island, where your 3-Parks Pass includes the delightful Penguin Parade, where the world’s smallest penguins waddle up the beach every evening at sunset as they return from a long day’s fishing. A visit to the Koala Conservation Centre is also included, so you can get up close to these amazing creatures in their natural habitat. Keep a look out for wallabies and echidnas, too. Last but not least, the Churchill Island Conservation Centre lets you explore the region’s farming heritage, with whip cracking and sheep shearing demonstrations.
Soak up the Mediterranean atmosphere among the vineyards and olive groves of the Mornington Peninsula, and feel the wind in your hair on a sunshiny beach. With a number of country houses and cellar doors dotted around, you’re never too far from fine gourmet food in these parts, and the restaurants are of an excellent standard. Mornington Peninsula National Park’s walking trails take you through the pretty scenery, and you can feast your eyes on some fine ocean views. Further inland, the landscape turns more pastoral as you near the rolling hills and orchards of Arthurs Seat.
4* Lindenderry at Red Hill
Take the ferry from Queenscliff Wharf to Sorrento Pier and join the winding Great Ocean Road and admire the picturesque coastal scenery, soft golden sands and blue seas of Apollo Bay, where the magnificent Otway ranges form a picturesque backdrop. Apollo Bay is a water sports hub, and gateway to Cape Otway, the southernmost point in the region. Climb to the rainforest canopy and get a bird’s-eye view of the ancient beech myrtle trees on the exciting Otway Fly Treetop Walk.
4.5* Captains at the Bay
Continuing on the Great Ocean Road, pass by the spectacular rock stacks that make up the Twelve Apostles, the iconic symbol of Victoria. Arrive in quaint Warrnambool and tuck into fresh crayfish or perhaps just good old fish and chips. Wander down the promenade and gaze up at the lighthouses, perhaps popping in to the heritage museums, cute cafes and bustling bars along the way. Come July to October it’s all about the whales, and you don’t even have to take a boat to have a chance of spotting them, as there’s a viewing platform at Logans Beach.
Say goodbye to the coast as you head inland to Halls Gap in the heart of the magnificent Grampians National Park. This scenic area of sandstone ridges and jagged rock formations is also home to a wealth of plants, including the blooming wildflowers which are best seen in spring and summer. Take a bushwalk past the waterfalls and lakes and explore the area’s rich Aboriginal heritage at the Aboriginal Cultural Centre or by taking a look at the various Aboriginal rock art sites.
4* DULC Cabins
Walk among the grand Victorian architecture and discover Ballarat’s intriguing past as a gold-mining town. The main attraction is the reconstructed 1850s’ mining community of Sovereign Hill, where characters in period dress will show you round and you can learn how to pan for gold. Once you’ve had your fill of history, head down to the Botanical Gardens and admire the immense redwoods, or take a wander around Lake Wendouree.
4* Mercure Ballarat Hotel & Convention Centre
Depart Melbourne and return to the UK
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