This 3-day journey starts with the discovery of ancient Australian animals, visits to some of our best wineries and continues through to Australia's famous coastal road. Along the way you will enjoy great food, stunning views and memorable experiences with a small group, and experienced local escort.
2023 Departure Dates & Cost
Adelaide to Melbourne: departures every Wednesday
Reverse itinerary Melbourne to Adelaide: departures every Saturday
Tour cost: $ 1,495 CAD / $ 1,225 per person based on twin share
NOTE: Wildlife emphasis for the above tour Mondays and Thursdays
Add $ 100 CAD /$ 80 USD per person
Consider an add-on Sydney to Melbourne
Other add-ons available in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific
Day 1: Adelaide to Mt Gambier (D)
8:30 am you will be picked up at your hotel and start by traveling into the Adelaide Hills. Here we explore Hahndorf, a traditional German town in the Adelaide Hills and Mt Lofty Summit with sweeping views of Adelaide. Our journey then takes us through grain and stock lands towards the town of Keith, where we have lunch and turn south towards wine country.
We travel through a relatively new wine region of Padthaway towards the World Heritage listed Naracoorte Caves to learn of the fossil discoveries of Mega Fauna that make this site so internationally important. We then travel into the scenic Coonawarra wine region recognized as one of the best Cabernet Sauvignon regions of the world. After sampling some local wines from this highly awarded region we continue on to out overnight destination, Mt Gambier. Tonight we are accommodated in luxurious rooms at ‘The Commodore’ which also houses an award winning restaurant for dinner and breakfast.
Day 2: Great Ocean Road (B,D)
After breakfast we travel on toward the Shipwreck coast. We start with a visit to the ‘blue’ crater lake in Mt Gambier then drive on to Port Fairy before visiting Tower Hill Reserve where we are likely to see Emus, Koalas, Kangaroos and Echidnas. Our journey then takes us through Warrnambool and Allansford in the heart of diary country and home of Australia’s oldest diary processing plant.
We then start the Great Ocean Road with the impressive limestone stacks of the Bay of Martyrs and Bay of Islands. We then visit London Bridge and ‘Loch Ard Gorge’, the site of the most famous 19th century Australian shipwreck. We retell the entire story from the calm voyage, the tragic wreck, the courageous survivors and their ultimate fate. While hearing the tale you will be able to see and hold some original artifacts, photos and documents from the ‘Loch Ard’ contained in our treasure chests.
We then discover one of Australia’s icons, the Twelve Apostles. We explain the creation of these limestone stacks and the constant wearing away of this coastline. Load your camera – there will be plenty of photo opportunities! You will also have the opportunity to fly high above the coastline, viewing the apostles from a helicopter (own expense).
Our journey then takes us into the Otway National Park and through to Apollo Bay. Here we have dinner at the Apollo Bay Hotel. This is a very popular restaurant with a very extensive menu. We then arrive at your 4 star accommodation set high on a hill with great views overlooking the Southern Ocean. These private villas set within native forest offer the perfect environment to relax and unwind.
Day 3: Great Ocean Road to Melbourne (B)
The third day sees us leave our tranquil overnight setting to have breakfast at the Bay Leaf café in Apollo Bay. Our first stop is within the Otway National Park at ‘Maits Rest’. This is a 1km walk through a cool temperate rainforest gully discovering trees and ferns that date back millions of years to times when dinosaurs roamed this part of the world. We then turn towards Melbourne and travel along a very scenic section of the Great Ocean Road en-route to Kennett River for a fantastic viewing of wild Koalas in their native setting. We also visit many scenic spots for photos and tell numerous stories behind the making of the road. We stop for lunch at the largest of the seaside villages, Lorne. This popular tourist town is full of restaurants and cafes and boasts great shopping and swimming beaches. After lunch we drive along the surf coast and take in the surf culture of the region with a visit to Torquay and Bells Beach. We also visit Anglesea Golf Club where we will hopefully see Kangaroos in their natural environment. Our journey then takes us through the historic gateway to the Great Ocean Road, Geelong. We have some afternoon tea along the re-designed waterfront before turning to Melbourne. Our journey into Melbourne takes us from the west over the ‘West Gate Bridge’, famous for its grandeur and checkered history. We will then escort you to your hotel and welcome you to Melbourne. Trip ends approximately 5:00 pm.
Hotel in Melbourne not included but can be requested
- 3.5 - 4 star accommodation
- 2 dinners
- 2 breakfasts
- Entrance fees as per itinerary
- Cave tour
- Driver / guide for small group
- Transportation in Tour van