Head down Australia’s most glorious coastal drive – the Great Ocean Road – on this 13-night itinerary. Get to know the amazing wildlife on Kangaroo Island and take in some of the country’s most dramatic and diverse scenery between two cities famously big on food, Adelaide and Melbourne.
Suggested route & duration
Suggested route 13 nights from Melbourne
• Melbourne: 3 nights
• Apollo Bay: 1 night
• Warrnambool: 1 night
• Halls Gap: 2 nights
• Penola: 1 night
• Victor Harbour: 1 night
• Kangaroo Island: 2 nights
• Adelaide 2 nights
About this independent tour
Why you’ll love this self-drive
• Take in extraordinary coastal scenery on the Great Ocean Road
• Tick off two huge foodie destinations – Melbourne and Adelaide
• Fill your glass with South Australia’s finest wine outside Adelaide
• Get the most out of wildlife-rich Kangaroo Island with stays in two different places on the island
• This itinerary can also be done in a campervan or motorhome.
Suggested self-drive itinerary details
Day 1: Melbourne Get a taste of the city’s coffee culture, quirky laneways and sporting history. Stay 3 nights at Crown Promenade.
Day 4: Apollo Bay Set off on Australia’s best coastal drive – the Great Ocean Road. Stay at Apollo Bay Guest House.
Day 5: Warrnambool Tick off the incredible Twelve Apostles. Stay at Lady Bay Resort.
Day 6: Halls Gap Go inland to the wild Grampians. Stay 2 nights at Royal Mail Hotel.
Day 8: Penola Stop by for wine tastings in Coonawarra. Stay at Georgie’s Cottage.
Day 9: Victor Harbor Head to the Fleurieu Peninsula for steam train rides and little penguin encounters on Granite Island. Stay at Sea Crescent.
Day 10: Kangaroo Island Take the ferry over to KI for a sleepover surrounded by wildlife including sea lions, black swans and kangaroos. Stay at Sea Dragon Lodge.
Day 11: Kangaroo Island Hop over to Flinders Chase National Park where fur seals lie by nature-sculpted rocks like Admirals Arch. Stay at Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat.
Day 12: Adelaide Round off your trip with the 20-minute City’s cultural sights and the area’s world-famous wineries. Stay 2 nights at The Playford Adelaide, Mgallery Collection.
Great Ocean Road
Skim the coastline between Lorne and Apollo Bay on the spectacular Great Ocean Road
Marvel at the magnificent rock formations as they hold their ground against the crashing waves
Meet sea lions, kangaroos and koalas – just some of Kangaroo Island’s residents
Make time for a detour to one of Australia’s most famous wine regions
Tailor your tour
Make it your own
We’ve crafted this itinerary based on our own experiences and our customers’ feedback. It’s fully flexible, so talk to us and we can create your perfect trip.
Where to stay
We’ve included one of our favourite Australian boutique hotels – the Royal Mail Hotel, a historic institute with award-winning food that’s worth a detour alone. Step up the luxury on Kangaroo Island with an upgrade to the super-exclusive Southern Ocean Lodge.
This itinerary ticks off must-sees like the Twelve Apostles (which we recommend seeing first thing in the morning before coaches start arriving). Take a walk with larger-than-life rocks in the Grampians and book a tour on Kangaroo Island – some of the best wildlife spots are on private land.
We think we’ve included just the right amount of time in each place on this itinerary, but if you’d like to make it longer then some extra time in Victoria’s coastal towns like Apollo Bay, Lorne and Port Fairy would make a worthy addition to your holiday.
There are great detours at both ends; drive out to Ballarat to visit the historical living museum Sovereign Hill, visit the little penguins on Phillip Island, shop local at Mornington Peninsula’s farmers markets or make a beeline for the wine in Barossa Valley.
Good to know
When to go
• You can do this route year-round, but Australian summer (November to March) gets hot and dry inland with cooling breezes on the coast
• Spring (September to November) is a great time to catch wildflowers in bloom
• Winter (June to August) can be cold with dramatic conditions on the coast, but you won’t have to share the scenery with as many people