Take a classic Aussie road trip adventure! Begin in Marvellous Melbourne and meander along the Great Ocean Road, packed with shipwrecks and beautiful natural wonders. Then cross into South Australia to explore dormant volcanoes, feast on gourmet local produce, stroll the sandy beaches and discover Adelaide, the Festival City. Our expert travel specialists will tailor your itinerary to perfectly match your family's tastes and interests. With 24/7 support while you're on the road, this is the easiest holiday planning experience you will ever have.
Duration: 8 Days
Crowned "The World's Most Liveable City" for seven years in a row, friendly Melbourne is the perfect place to begin your Australian family self-drive adventure
This compact metropolis is begging to be explored once you’ve settled into your comfortable accommodation. There are hidden charms around every corner, beautiful botanic gardens, incredible street art and chic city squares where you can soak up the atmosphere to your heart’s content.
Melbourne’s Hidden Secrets: Guided Lanes & Arcades Tour
Melbourne’s arcades and laneways hide many treasures, and today’s Hidden Secrets Lanes and Arcades walking tour will reveal the inner heart of Melbourne.
Wander Melbourne’s signature lanes and arcades with your guide, visit the quirkiest cafes, see colourful street art and amazing architecture. Your guide will entertain you with historical tales of Melbourne along the way. This is a tour with a few added indulgences: a walk in the city is not complete without a wonderful drink stop at a local chocolate salon.
1 night at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins
Collect your rental car and get ready to embark on one of the world's greatest coastal drives: the Great Ocean Road
Collect your rental car and get ready to embark on one of the world’s greatest coastal drives: the Great Ocean Road.
Your Great Ocean Road Journey Begins
The Great Ocean Road touring route has a number of scenic lookouts all the way from Torquay to the border of Victoria and South Australia. Make your way along the coast to Bells Beach to check out the amazing surf and capture some spectacular views of the coastline and the Southern Ocean.
Be sure to stop at the town of Anglesea and visit the golf course: it’s famous for the kangaroos lounging under trees and hopping across the greens!
Apollo Bay: Paradise By The Sea
Tonight, you will stay in the beautiful village of Apollo Bay. The Bay is referred to as the “Paradise by the Sea” and is a great place for those who love the beaches and water sports.
1 night at Chocolate Gannets Apollo Bay
Approximate Distance: 199 km | 124 miles
Total Driving Time: 2 hours 39 mins
Continue along the Great Ocean Road for a scenic 3-hour drive through the lush Otway National Park, pausing at Port Campbell to view the magnificent 12 Apostles
The 12 Apostles: Giants of the Ocean
The 12 Apostles are giant limestone rock stacks that rise majestically from the Southern Ocean and are considered the most beautiful of all Australia’s natural wonders.
See how many of them you can spot – if you can only see eight, you have actually found them all! Four of the Apostles have now crumbled into the sea after many years of being battered by the salty ocean. The remaining Apostles are no less beautiful when the sunlight paints them in a rainbow of colours throughout the day.
Head to the viewing platform and see if you can spot marine mammals out at sea or in the caves below. You can also enjoy the rugged splendour of these famous rock formations by helicopter to get up close and personal with Victoria’s dramatic coastal beauty.
Onwards to Port Fairy
The coastline is dotted with many plaques and signs marking the places where more than 160 ships sank along the Shipwreck Coast. Wreck Beach, just beyond the Twelve Apostles, marks the start of a trail where the anchors of two ships, the Marie Gabrielle (1869) and Fiji (1891), are embedded in the beach.
Tonight you can discover more about the region’s maritime history by staying at the busy fishing port of Port Fairy.
2 nights at Oscars Waterfront Boutique Hotel
Approximate Distance: 187 km | 117 miles
Total Driving Time: 2 hours 42 mins
Relax and enjoy a leisurely day in Port Fairy, one of Victoria’s earliest settled coastal villages.
Explore Port Fairy
This charming fishing village boasts wide streets lined with nineteenth-century cottages, stone churches and huge Norfolk pine trees.
Here are some great ways to enjoy your day in Port Fairy:
Crossing the state border into South Australia, your journey continues to the volcanic landscapes of Mt Gambier
Mt Gambier: Caves, Volcanoes, and Sinkholes
The geological wonders of Mt Gambier are well worth exploring. This dormant volcano houses the mysterious 70m | 230ft deep Blue Lake: its waters appear steel grey during winter, turning a startling shade of cobalt blue in the summer months.
The Umpherston Sinkhole may not have the prettiest name, but don’t be put off: it’s a spectacular sunken garden filled with flowers and greenery, hidden in a giant crater in the centre of Mt Gambier town. Created from a collapsed limestone cave, it must be seen to be believed.
1 night at Delgattie Estate
Approximate Distance: 154 km | 95 miles
Total Driving Time: 1 hour 44 mins
Meander through the picturesque vineyards of Coonawarra, then return to the coast and discover South Australia's favourite seaside town
South Australia is home to 18 wine regions, and Coonawarra is the country’s top producer of premium red wines: it’s affectionately known as “Australia’s Other Red Centre”. You’ll find tantalizing local produce here, too.
An optional stop at the World Heritage-listed Naracoorte Caves is well worth the admission price. The 800,000-year-old caves feature spectacular stalactites and stalagmites and are a must-see.
Robe and the Limestone Coast
The tiny town of Robe is known for its long white-sand beaches and delicious fresh crayfish. During Australia’s Gold Rush Era, some 16,500 Chinese fortune-seekers arrived here by boat and then trekked 400km | 249mi overland to the Victorian Goldfields. The Chinese Monument on the foreshore marks the spot where they landed.
Enjoy a stroll along the jetty as the waves crash beneath your feet while you soak up the magnificent South Australian sunset.
1 night at Aloha Beachfront Accommodation
Approximate Distance: 125 km | 78 miles
Total Driving Time: 1 hour 20 mins
Cruise along the coast road to South Australia's capital: Adelaide, the "City of Churches"
Cosmopolitan Adelaide is filled to the brim with culture, flavours, events, and entertainment. With spacious boulevards and vibrant inner-city districts, sophisticated architecture and lush gardens, South Australia’s capital has it all.
History buffs will love the staggering variety of exquisite churches around every corner, many dating back to the 19th century. Grab a bite to eat at Adelaide Central Market: this bustling hub has over 80 stalls offering cheese, seafood, patisseries, and artisan produce. It’s a fantastic place to indulge in people-watching.
Adelaide is known as the Festival Capital of Australia – from comedy and cabaret to food and fashion, there’s always something on no matter when you visit.
1 night at Eos by SkyCity
Approximate Distance: 336 km | 209 miles
Total Driving Time: 3 hours 49 mins
Extend Your Stay: Optional 2-Day Kangaroo Island Tour
The family fun doesn’t have to end: our optional 2-Day Kangaroo Island package is the perfect add-on to your Australian Dream Holiday. With native wildlife roaming all over Kangaroo Island, you can practically rub shoulders with the cuddly koalas, furry wallabies and sea lions who reside here. It’s the perfect family getaway for nature lovers and explorers of all ages.
“Adelaide and Melbourne are my favourite cities and both have beautiful beaches and are fun cities to explore! The fact there is so much to see and do on the Great Ocean Road that runs between them, makes this drive all the more exciting!”
Ready to find out more? Talk to one of our friendly travel designers about his tour. We guarantee you it will be the experience of a lifetime!ENQUIRE
Like what you see? Contact us today to find out more about our exclusive itineraries. Each Absolute New Zealand tour is tailored to who you are and what you want to do.
Begin in Marvellous Melbourne and meander along the Great Ocean Road, packed with shipwrecks and beautiful natural wonders. Then cross into South Australia....
Our team has access to New Zealand's most unique accommodation, superb activities, and flight specials. Contact us for a personalised New Zealand experience.
Inspiring travel itineraries and expert advice delivered to your inbox.START PLANNING
Sofitel Melbourne On Collins is at the Paris end of Collins Street, in the heart of the city’s premier shopping, dining and theatre district, just minutes from the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground. This award-winning hotel has 363 luxurious rooms, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows with breathtaking views.
Guests can enjoy modern cuisine in No35 or cosmopolitan cocktails in the Atrium Bar or Sofi’s Lounge. Sofitel Melbourne plays an integral part in Melbourne’s arts community by sponsoring art organisations and events for those dedicated to the arts.
This property is just a 1-minute walk from the beach. Located on the Great Ocean Road in Apollo Bay, directly opposite a beautiful sandy beach, Chocolate Gannets offers 5-star self-contained villas with free Wi-Fi and spectacular views of the Southern Ocean.
Oscars, with its enviable waterfront position overlooking the marina of yachts and local fishing boats, provides the perfect haven for that needed escape or romantic getaway. Oscars’ style is French provincial, with many lounging areas and interesting pieces of furniture within the grand drawing room and breakfast room.
The inviting open fires in winter set the perfect ambience for reading or playing board games. The veranda overlooking the river is a must for breakfast no matter the season. Oscars is centrally located to Port Fairy’s excellent restaurants, walking tracks and historic buildings. A short stroll along the wharf and over the river will find you on one of Australia’s favourite beaches.
Delgattie Estate is a grand country manor situated in the heart of Mount Gambier. Established in 1902, the iconic property has entered a new era of refined living after being luxuriously restored as a boutique hotel. Discover premium accommodation in three individually-designed guest suites, each with its own en suite, sitting room and private access.
Aloha Beachfront was architecturally designed to capture 270-degree views of Robes coastline & township. The open plan living and large connected undercover deck allow guests to entertain friends & family all year round. Located only minutes from Robe’s best attractions, cafes & shops, Aloha Beachfront is perfect for either a romantic or family getaway.
Always personalised, Eos by SkyCity Adelaide encompasses the finest in modern hospitality. From signature restaurants and entertainment to opulent suites and spa experiences, they’re here for the pleasure-seekers. This is a precise alchemy designed with you at the centre. Step in or step out: each distinct delight is delivered with a deft touch.
Don’t waste your time trying to find that cool local café you were told about and join this half-day walking tour of Melbourne’s famous lanes and arcades. Your knowledgeable guide shows you the quirkiest cafes, independent designers, street art and architecture, sprinkled with historical tales of the city along the way.
Morning tea is included, as is a restaurant lunch with a glass of wine. See over 30 stores on this casual stroll and return to those you like best in the afternoon: make a day of it in marvellous Melbourne.
Melbourne is the second biggest and the most cosmopolitan of the Australian cities. Melbourne is Australia’s mecca for all things trendy and tasty. The city offers up exquisite dining, exhilarating sport and abundant opportunities to experience art. Take a river cruise on the Yarra from Southbank and the Docklands and Williamstown and return via St Kilda. Ride the free City Circle Tram and enjoy easy access to many of the city’s attractions and highlights. See the city glide past while you dine in the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant. Discover Australia’s shopping capital’s secrets at Southgate, South Yarra, fashionable Collins Street, Melbourne’s historical grand arcades or Queen Victoria Market.
Located at the foothills of the Otways and in the heart of the Great Ocean Road region, Apollo Bay is nicknamed “Paradise by the Sea”. Discover the town’s wide, crescent-shaped sandy swimming beach, the backdrop of the rolling green Otway hills, the relaxed lifestyle, waterfalls, and national and state parks.
Like many places along the Great Ocean Road, the beach is a focus for activity all year round. Swim in the clear water, sea kayak with local seals, indulge in some deep-sea fishing, learn to surf, or horse ride along the beach at sunset.
Discover history around every corner in this charming old fishing village. Wide streets are lined by 19th-century cottages, great Norfolk pines, old stone churches, boarding houses and inns. Many fine examples of architecture from the 1800s remain intact, and more than 50 buildings are classified as historic by the National Trust.
Follow one of the town’s historic walking trails and discover charming, fully restored whitewashed cottages built by whalers and seamen beside Georgian-style merchants’ homes and grand public buildings. At the local port, one of the busiest fishing ports in Victoria, fishermen unload their catch of crayfish and abalone at the dockside, cruising boats and racing yachts dock and anglers try their luck.
There’s also a range of antique boutiques and arts and crafts shops to peruse as well as local artists to see at work and museums to explore. Or you can relax and enjoy the fine food and wine on offer at one of the many great pubs, cafés, and restaurants in town.
Described as the city of ‘craters, lakes and caves’, Mount Gambier was built on the slopes of an extinct volcano. Visit the remarkable Blue Lake. The largest of three volcanic craters has filled with water over time and puts on a real show from November when the water turns a brilliant turquoise blue.
Walk to the Centenary Tower for a remarkable view, or picnic at the Valley Lake Crater, with its wildlife park and boardwalk. On your journey, stop and explore the many art galleries, studios and markets and sample local wines and cheese. Mount Gambier boasts a wide range of accommodation types, extensive and modern shopping precincts, a variety of restaurants, pubs and cafes, adventure playgrounds, boat and canoe hire and more.
The Coonawarra wine region surrounds the town of Coonawarra in the Limestone Coast zone of South Australia. If you enjoy rich, colourful wines, you’ll love Coonawarra. The region’s Cabernet Sauvignon is internationally renowned and its Shiraz isn’t far behind. The region’s Terra Rossa soil (red soil containing limestone) is perfect for grape growing. Coonawarra is a small region, only 20 km | 12 mi in length and 2 km | 1.2 mi in diameter. Despite this, it is home to more than 24 cellar doors. They’re close together and well-signposted, so you’ll find them easily.
Robe is a town and fishing port located on the Limestone Coast of South Australia. Explore the diverse coast or encounter Robe’s seafaring past and its heritage buildings. A fantastic shopping strip features friendly pubs, groovy cafes, trendy homewares, tasteful galleries and clothing outlets oozing coastal chic, while a range of museums, cottages and historic walking trails bring to life the local maritime culture. Be sure to visit the Obelisk shipping marker on Cape Dombey, the Old Goal and the Chinese Gold Trail monument. Everyone knows Robe for its crayfish and you can purchase the best catch from local outlets or order it at local hotels and restaurants.
Festivals and food, arts and culture, shopping and sports. This is Adelaide – the city where there’s always something going on. Whether you want to party or relax on your next holiday, South Australia’s capital has it all. With spacious boulevards and vibrant inner-city districts, sophisticated architecture and lush gardens, Adelaide is the perfect venue for all sorts of activities – big or small. You might want to immerse yourself in the culture of Adelaide’s North Terrace, with its museums and cafes. Or indulge in retail therapy at Rundle Mall, sample the tastes on offer at the famed Adelaide Central Market and sip award-winning wines at the National Wine Centre. Maybe you prefer to follow in the footsteps of sporting champions at the world-famous Adelaide Oval or enjoy a retreat to the cosmopolitan seaside suburbs of Glenelg and Brighton. In Adelaide, there is a brilliant blend of things to see and do. All you have to do is choose.