4 Night Melbourne to Adelaide Great Ocean Road – Self Drive
One of the most fabulous ways to get to Adelaide and South Australia from Melbourne is to drive along the Great Ocean Road. Allow at least five days to ensure you don’t miss a thing! You’ll pass through the Limestone Coast region, famed for its wine, caves and lovely beaches, before arriving on the Fleurieu Peninsula, home to rolling vineyards, fantastic surfing and abundant local produce.
To order your free holiday brochures and map of the route, click here and select the Limestone Coast and Fleurieu Peninsula brochures. Order them by hard copy if you wish to receive the free Melbourne to Adelaide self-drive map.
Depart Melbourne for the township of Geelong. The waterfront has plenty of restaurants for a lovely breakfast with views over the marina, before you head west onto the Great Ocean Road. Visit the surfing towns of Torquay and Bells Beach before enjoying lunch in the beach town of Lorne. End the day in Apollo Bay, a quiet fishing village and gateway to Otway National Park. Overnight at Apollo Bay.
This morning you’ll briefly leave the coast to drive through the grand forests of the Otway Ranges. Stop and walk through the rainforests at Maits Rest. Back on the coast road, stop to view the magnificent Twelve Apostles, the world famous rock towers that thrust up out of the ocean. For a truly amazing perspective, take a helicopter flight over the Apostles. This afternoon, step back in time in Port Fairy with its old whitewashed cottages, quaint shops and a pub on nearly every corner. Overnight at Port Fairy.
Follow the coastline to Mount Gambier, home of the mysterious blue lake and on to Penola to explore this charming, historic town. Walk along Petticoat Lane and learn about Mary MacKillop, Australia’s first saint. Just north of Penola is the famous Coonawarra wine region. Sample some of Australia’s best reds at one of the many cellar doors. Travel to Robe via Naracoorte to explore the labyrinth of caverns and amazing fossil beds that make up the Naracoorte World Heritage-listed fossil site. Enjoy a heritage walk through the pretty seaside village of Robe or stroll along stunning 17 Mile Beach. Overnight on the Limestone Coast.
Continue along the coast road which skirts the Coorong, a 142km tapestry of lagoons, wetlands and sand dunes that ends at the mouth of the Murray River. Once you cross the river at Wellington, you’re on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Follow your nose to the wineries at Langhorne Creek. Further on is the beautiful town of Strathalbyn, with its many antique, craft and gift stores. In Goolwa, join a half day Spirit of the Coorong cruise to discover more of the area’s natural wonders. At Victor Harbor, ride the horse drawn tram to Granite Island before ending the day in the McLaren Vale wine region. Overnight on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
You’re only 45 minutes’ drive south of Adelaide, so why not spend some more time exploring McLaren Vale? Best known for its great vineyard restaurants and relaxed coastal lifestyle, it's also a region of outstanding fresh produce. You can taste it all at Saturday's popular Willunga Farmers Market. Wander the main street of McLaren Vale exploring art studios, galleries and shops along the way before making your way back to Adelaide.
Our SA Expert’s Top Tip
“If you’ve got time, why not add a couple of days in Kangaroo Island to your itinerary? From Victor Harbor, it’s just a 45 minute drive to Cape Jervis where the vehicle and passenger ferries depart. Leave your vehicle in Cape Jervis and catch the ferry to Penneshaw where you can pick up a day tour of the Island. At the end of the day catch the evening ferry back to Cape Jervis to retrieve your car and return to Adelaide. The island is bigger than you’d expect so if you’re self driving, we recommend allowing at least two or three days to take it all in.”
“Interested in catching the train from Melbourne to Adelaide? While it doesn’t follow the coast, the daylight service running between Adelaide and Melbourne in both directions is a relaxing, comfortable journey between these two great cities. You’ll take in a diverse range of landscapes from rugged mallee scrubland, to fields of green and gold. For more information click here.”