Melbourne to Adelaide - via Great Ocean Road

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Take in the breathtaking south-east coastline as you drive from Melbourne to Adelaide. Drive the Great Ocean Road past the iconic surf spots of Torquay and Bells Beach, onto the holiday haven of Lorne and the magnificent Twelve Apostles. Walk through waterfalls and lush forest in Otway National Park and whale watch from historic Warrnambool. Soak up seafaring history in Port Fairy and Portland. Do wine tasting in Coonawarra or see the fossils of giant marsupials in World heritage-listed Naracoorte Caves. Cruise the Coorong and explore inviting beaches and wineries of the Fleurieu Peninsula on your way to Adelaide.

Passing through Melbourne, Adelaide, for 5 days

Day: 1 - Melbourne to Lorne

Stop at Geelong on the Bellarine Peninsula, where you can walk along the waterfront, visit local vineyards or swim at the beaches. Continue to Torquay, where the spectacular, cliff-hugging Great Ocean Road begins. Torquay is also the gateway to Victoria’s Surf Coast. Visit the surfing museum and ride the waves of popular Jan Juc or Bells Beach. Surf at Point Addis and Anglesea, or have a round of golf at the scenic golf course frequented by grazing kangaroos. The great waves continue at Fairhaven and Eastern View, en route to the seaside holiday haven of Lorne. Swim from the golden beach of Loutit Bay or walk to waterfalls tucked into the Otway Ranges. Visit galleries, boutiques and restaurants of the main street and drink coffee at one of Victoria‘s first cafes.

Day: 2 - Lorne to Port Fairy

As you drive to Apollo Bay you'll marvel as the rugged cliffs drop dramatically to ocean on one side and national park on the other. Explore ancient rainforests, heathlands, glow worm caves and waterfalls of Great Otway National Park. Visit the 150-year-old Cape Otway Lighthouse or picnic at Paradise or Shelly Beaches. Curving round the coast, you’ll notice the craggy limestone towers of the Twelve Apostles rising out of the Southern Ocean. Take photos and wander the paths at London Bridge, Bay of Islands and Loch Ard Gorge. Continue along Shipwreck Coast, named after the wild seas that sent at least 700 ships crashing on the rocks. Explore Warrnambool, where Southern Right Whales calve off Logan Beach from May to October. Soak up seafaring history in Port Fairy, and see Australia‘s largest fur seal colony or get up close to dolphins, whales and sharks from a boat.

Day: 3 - Port Fairy to Coonawarra or Robe

Continue on the coastal road to Portland, Victoria’s first European settlement. Check out hundreds of heritage buildings and watch fishing boats unloading their catch on the waterfront. Drive the scenic coastal route to Cape Nelson State Park and the towering sea cliffs of Cape Bridgewater. Look over the deep-blue waters of Bridgewater Bay, explore a sand-petrified forest or walk around the cape to see the large fur seal colony. Back onto the highway, and drive through Nelson and across the South Australian border.  Visit Mount Gambier, sitting on an ancient extinct volcano, circled by crater lakes such as Blue Lake (named after the vivid colour it turns from November to February). Drive north to Penola and to Coonawarra, and sample cabernet sauvignon in some of the 20 cellar doors. Or drive through the fishing towns of the Limestone Coast to picturesque Robe. Dine on local lobster, swim or walk along Long Beach.

Day: 4 - Coonawarra or Robe to Victor Harbor

Heading north from Coonawarra, visit the World heritage-listed Naracoorte Caves National Park, where the 26 limestone caves house the fossilised skeletons of giant marsupials. Cross the Murray River at Tailem Bend and head into the antiques hub of Strathalbyn on Fleurieu Peninsula. From Robe, drive north through Kingston South East, where you can dine on fresh seafood or visit the historic Cape Jaffa lighthouse. Canoe or kayak along the shallow, salty lagoons of The Coorong, past a rich diversity of wetland birds. Learn about the area’s Aboriginal culture with a local Ngarrindjeri guide. Cross the Murray River at Wellington and head through Strathalbyn to Langhorne Creek wine region and the historic river port of Goolwa. Surf, fly kites or spot southern right whales between June and September in Middleton. Swim in Horseshoe Bay or surf from Boomer Beach in Port Elliot, before driving into Victor Harbor.

Day: 5 - Victor Harbor to Adelaide

Discover the attractions of Fleurieu Peninsula on your drive into Adelaide. Take a horse-drawn tram to Granite Island to see penguins or watch for migrating whales between June and October in Encounter Bay. Do the cliff-top walk to Port Elliot, explore the streets on the Encounter Bikeway. Fish from the Cape Jervis jetty or hike part of the Heysen Trail along the coastline of Deep Creek Conservation Park. Drive along the Gulf St Vincent coast, stopping for a swim at Sellicks and Aldinga beaches, travel through the rolling green hills of Mount Compass and Yankalilla to the McLaren Vale wine region. Visit galleries or taste wine in some of the 45 cellar doors. Stock up on olives, oils, cheeses, almonds and berries from roadside stalls and orchards before driving into Adelaide. Wander Adelaide’s cultural boulevard of North Terrace, walk and bike ride through the expansive parklands and enjoy the seaside ambience of Glenelq and Henley.