View iconic wildlife in the wild on this journey around Victoria. See wombats in Wilsons Promontory, penguins and seals at Phillip Island, dolphins off the Mornington Peninsula, and of course kangaroos, emus and koalas as you travel along the Great Ocean Road. Keep your eyes open for other cuties, such as the echidna, platypus and tiger quolls as you go. This touring route is about 1300 km/800 miles and 20 hours drive time. Allow 7 to 8 days.
Melbourne to Wilsons Promontory
About 225 km/140 miles, 3 hours
Make your way to Wilsons Promontory via tiny towns Meeniyan and Fish Creek. Pick up picnic and BBQ supplies here, then head to Tidal River for your Wilderness Retreat accommodation. Stop at the old airfield to see kangaroos and emus, then walk from Tidal River to Squeaky Beach and back (1 hour each direction), via Pillar Point, for stunning coastal views. Take a wander around the campground to see the resident wombats, and to the beach to see the rock formations lining Tidal River's path to the ocean. Longer walks abound; ask at the Visitor Centre for advice on the best walks for your fitness level.Beaches & coastlinesSqueaky BeachTake a wander along the famous white sand of Squeaky Beach and have a dip in the turquoise waters of one of Wilsons Promontory's most iconic beaches.Retreats & lodgesWilderness Retreats at Wilsons Promontory National ParkParks Victoria's Wilderness Retreats at Wilsons Promontory National Park expose you to more natural beauty than you could ever imagine. Promising a unique...National parks & reservesWilsons PromontoryWilsons Promontory National Park sits at the southernmost tip of the Australian mainland, offering visitors stunning scenery and wildlife.
Wilsons Promontory to Phillip Island
About 150 km/95 miles, 2 hours
In the morning, head for Phillip Island and take a walk at Pyramid Rock or Cape Woolamai for spectacular ocean views to Bass Strait. Head out on the water and get up close to the thousands of Australian fur seals at Seal Rocks and take a drive around the Summerland Peninsula, spotting Cape Baron geese and wallabies alongside stunning clifftop views. Take in the Ultimate Adventure Tour at the Penguin Parade at sunset.Beaches & coastlinesCape WoolamaiCatch a wave against the backdrop of ancient pink granite at Cape Woolamai, one of Victoria's most popular surfing beaches and bird-spotting mecca.Victoria's regionsPhillip IslandJoin families and fans of water sports travelling just 90 minutes from Melbourne to see penguins, international motor sports and waterfront living.Wildlife, zoos & farmsPhillip Island Nature Parks Penguin ParadeSee Phillip Island's little penguins emerge from the sea, peek at life inside a burrow, and spot other Australian animals at this wildlife wonderland.Beaches & coastlinesPyramid RockCheck out the striking silhouette of Pyramid Rock, set against the waters of Bass Strait in the early morning or at sundown.WildlifeSealsLet Phillip Island's resident fur seals entertain you with their playful behaviour as they frolic, frisk and feed on their Seal Rocks home.
Phillip Island to Mornington Peninsula
About 150 km/95 miles; 2 hours
After an early morning walk (those first footprints in the sand are yours), depart for the Mornington Peninsula and arrive at Sorrento Pier for a swim with the dolphins with Polperro Dolphin Swims (October – April). Alternatively, hire a snorkel and mask from Bayplay and view the weedy sea-dragons under Flinders Pier. Or, stick to the land and take a walk along the clifftops as part of the Mornington Peninsula Walk, more than 100 kilometres of beach and coastal walking trails.Tour operatorBayplay Adventure ToursPlay on Port Phillip Bay: set sail, kayak, snorkel or scuba dive with sea dragons and dolphins. Or stay on land and cycle Port Nepean National Park.Victoria's regionsMornington PeninsulaA beachy kind of place where the real drawcards may be the hot springs, wineries, local produce or markets, just an hour from Melbourne.Great trailsMornington Peninsula WalkGet a new view of the peninsula on the 100-kilometre Mornington Peninsula Walk, or embark on the shorter Two Bays, Fort Nepean or Coastal walks.Tour operatorPolperro Dolphin and Seal SwimsSwimming with dolphins is a rare and magical experience, so who better to help you connect with these magnificent creatures than the people who have been...
Mornington Peninsula to Bellarine Peninsula and the Great Ocean Road
About 175 km/110 miles, 3.5 hours
In the morning, take the Searoad Ferry to Queenscliff, watching for dolphins and seals during your 40-minute crossing, then meander through the villages of the Bellarine Peninsula en route to the Great Ocean Road. Be sure to arrive at the Great Ocean Ecolodge at Cape Otway in time for the afternoon walk with owners Shayne and Lizzie to see the resident kangaroo mob, koalas and tiger quolls, and hear about their amazing conservation efforts. In the evening, take the opportunity to feed the sugar gliders and potoroos.Beaches & coastlinesCape OtwayVenture through the Otway National Park to the southernmost point of the region to some of Victoria's most remote rainforest and coastal scenery.Victoria's regionsGeelong and the BellarineDiscover food and wine, historic seaside villages and breathtaking natural beauty in Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula, one hour from Melbourne.Bed & breakfastsGreat Ocean EcolodgeThe Great Ocean Ecolodge is an essential part of the Centre's conservation efforts, providing an opportunity to re-engage people with nature. The Ecolodge...Victoria's regionsGreat Ocean RoadTravel the Great Ocean Road, one of the world's most scenic coastal drives. Witness the magical 12 Apostles, iconic surf breaks, waterfalls and more.FerrySearoad Ferries SorrentoSearoad Ferries, Australia's favourite car and passenger ferry service, crosses the southern tip of Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay and connects the Great...
Beaches & coastlinesCape OtwayVenture through the Otway National Park to the southernmost point of the region to some of Victoria's most remote rainforest and coastal scenery.DestinationsForrestDiscover the bustling village of Forrest, one of Australia’s premier mountain biking destinations and the gateway to the Great Otway National Park.Great trailsGreat Ocean WalkJourney from Apollo Bay to the 12 Apostles along the Great Ocean Walk, weaving through national parks, deserted beaches and rugged coastal scenery.Lakes & waterwaysLake ElizabethHead to Lake Elizabeth hidden deep in the Otways and discover its inspiring beauty with heavily timbered flanks and calm waters punctuated by the trunks...
Great Ocean Road
About 170 km/95 miles, 2.5 hours
No trip to the Great Ocean Road would be complete without seeing the 12 Apostles, but be sure to get there before the crowds, and head down to beach level – Gibson Steps and Loch Ard Gorge provide the opportunity to get your feet wet and view this stunning coastline from a different perspective. Then, as you continue along the Great Ocean Road, stop in at the Bay of Martyrs and Bay of Islands for more amazing coastal stacks.
Visit Tower Hill, an extinct volcano crater filled with free-roaming wildlife, from emus to koalas to wallabies and kangaroos, as well as the occasional echidna. Take a walk with Worn Gundidj, the local Aboriginal cooperative, or follow the signs for a self-guided tour of the lava flows. Overnight in Port Fairy and check out the muttonbird migration through summer.Beaches & coastlines12 ApostlesWitness the rugged splendour of the famous 12 Apostles, magnificent rock stacks that rise up from the Southern Ocean on Victoria's dramatic coastline.Beaches & coastlinesBay of IslandsChoose from two different viewing areas and get that perfect sunset picture of the Southern Ocean and the limestone stacks of the Bay of Islands.Beaches & coastlinesGibson StepsTake 86 steps down to the beach below to be dwarfed by the 70-metre high cliff line. Walk along the beach to the enormous offshore rock stacks.Beaches & coastlinesLoch Ard GorgeStand on top of the cliff and you'll be amazed at the sheer size of the cliffs and the narrow opening out to sea at the Loch Ard Gorge.DestinationsPort FairyUncover history in every corner of this charming fishing village at the end of the Great Ocean Road with tree-lined streets and heritage buildings.National parks & reservesTower Hill Wildlife ReserveMeet koalas, emus, kangaroos and many species of waterbirds roaming freely in Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve, which sits inside an extinct volcano.Tour operatorWorn Gundidj at Tower Hill Wildlife ReserveA 90-minute interactive walk conducted by experienced guides, provides for an account on the unique re-vegetation program of the Park. Tower Hill Wildlife...
Great Ocean Road to Grampians
About 150 km/95 miles, 2 hours
Head north to the Grampians in the morning. Check in at the Brambuk Centre for tips on which walks to do in the National Park. MacKenzie Falls is always spectacular, as are the walks around the Pinnacle and Reed Lookout. Kangaroos and emus are in abundance in the Grampians, along with sulphur-crested cockatoos, long-billed corellas, crimson lorikeets and honeyeaters. It's a birdlover's paradise. Stay overnight and take one last look at the glorious night skies before heading back to Melbourne.Arts & cultureBrambuk: The National Park and Cultural CentreLearn about the flora and fauna of the region and explore Aboriginal culture in the natural oasis of the Grampians/Gariwerd National Park.Victoria's regionsGrampiansInhale the air up there in the Grampians and be dazzled by the diverse natural attractions and their Aboriginal stories, plus stunning sparkling wine.National parks & reservesGrampians National ParkDiscover grand and rugged mountain ranges, spectacular wildflowers and a wealth of Aboriginal rock art sites in the Grampians National Park.Lakes & waterwaysMacKenzie FallsSee the iconic MacKenzie Falls, one of the largest and most spectacular waterfalls in Victoria, flowing year-round in the Grampians National Park.Nature & wildlifeScenic lookoutsSet off down striking sandstone ridges and between unusual rock formations to behold the awe-inspiring Grampians region stretching out before you.Walking & hikingThe PinnacleChoose from two different routes up to The Pinnacle lookout and keep an eye out for native wildlife including koalas, kangaroos and echidnas.
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