Mornington Peninsula & Great Ocean Road Adventure

Duration: 2 – 3 days
No. of Guests: 1-10
Languages: Available in English, Spanish & French (others by request)

Victorians are spoiled for choice and it’s hard to pick favourites but if we had to, the Mornington Peninsula and Great Ocean Road would be the two regions up the top of our list. The Peninsula is a coastal wine and produce region just an hour from Melbourne with stunning restaurants peaceful bay beaches and a vast stretch of rugged ocean coastline. It’s a playground for adventures from native wildlife experiences to horseback beach riding to thermal hot springs and that’s just on land…

The Great Ocean Road is one of the world’s great driving routes, nestled between temperate rainforests and stunning, remote beaches. Discover secret waterfalls and laid-back surf towns, dramatic coastal views and the star of the show – the Twelve Apostles.

A regular ferry links the two regions making this a fabulous, convenient 2+ day experience that packs a punch and offers something for everyone. We couldn’t think of a better way to spend two days in regional Victoria and that’s our job.

 

Suggested but highly flexible itinerary

DAY ONE

Head off from downtown Melbourne at 9 am for the hour-long drive down to the Peninsula.

Start with a coffee and a pastry in the peaceful coastal village of Dromana before heading up to Red Hill for an electric mountain biking adventure – a fun and accessible way to explore the beautiful Australian bush that’s tailored to your ability, fitness and experience.

Of course, it’s just one option… choose to spend the morning hiking stunning coastal trails or riding horses on the beach, stand-up paddling along sheltered cliffs and secret coves or learning how to surf. The local wildlife sanctuary is an equally wonderful place to spend a morning if you’re keen to experience kangaroos, koalas and other iconic natives up close.

We love to start the day with a little adventure but you could fill a month with visits to local farm-gates, vineyards, roasters, bakers and brewers. If a strictly epicurean approach is more your style, it’s a worthy alternative.

Visit our favourite local vineyard for a delicious gourmet lunch overlooking the vines with a private, tutored tasting in the barrel room after your meal.

Your host will tailor the afternoon to your tastes, selecting cellar doors, local distillers and/or producers to show off where the regions best and your personal favourites intersect.

Finish the afternoon with a relaxing soak in the naturally fed thermal pools at the Peninsula Hot Springs. With dozens of pools, saunas and other treats nestled in the native Moonah trees it’s a wonderful place to finish the day.

Check in to your local accommodation with time to freshen up before dinner on-site at another of the region’s best local restaurants.

We love the glamourous vineyard accommodation at Jackalope and the newly re-opened Continental Hotel in Sorrento with the latter the more convenient option for the trip across the bay in the morning. Sorrento is quite an elegant seaside village with bars, shops, cafes, restaurants and even a cinema so it’s the less isolated of the two options as well. We strongly recommend spending two nights here before heading on to the Great Ocean Road if you have the time.

Continental sorrento

DAY TWO

Meet your host at 8:30 for the short trip to the ferry terminal. Our ferry today departs at 9 am and once aboard, you’re free to roam the decks scanning the water for dolphins or to enjoy a coffee and snack at the café in the main cabin.

From Queenscliff, the Surf Coast of the Great Ocean Road is in easy reach and our first stop is often at world-famous Bell’s Beach – the home of the Rip Curl Pro.

Continue along the coastal road through the charming town of Anglesea and venture into the rainforest behind Lorne to discover secret waterfalls and quiet walking trails.

Every day on the Ocean Road is a little different, varied by the conditions and your specific interests with options to seek out local produce or native wildlife, secret beaches and other local treasures.

Stop for a lovely seaside lunch in Apollo Bay – perhaps some locally caught fish and chips overlooking the fishing boats and glittering waters of the Southern Ocean.

The Ocean Road winds inland here through the Otway Rainforest and we’re treated to beautiful ancient ferns, towering eucalyptus trees and the odd koala high up in the treetops.

Arrive at the Shipwreck Coast in the afternoon with time to stroll along the cliffside boardwalks and admire the crashing waves and towering limestone stacks known as the Apostles.

A short scenic helicopter flight is a wonderful option here but many of our guests choose to spend an extra evening nearby or head back to the city via helicopter. On the highway, the journey home is two and a half to three hours and we typically arrive back between 7 and 8 pm.

For those with the time to spend an evening in the region, we love the Drift House in the lovely, historic whaling town of Port Fairy, or the Royal Mail in Dunkeld. The latter is on the doorsteps of Gariwerd, the Grampians National Park – a spectacular far-flung Victorian treasure teeming with wildlife, loved for its hiking trails, mountain peaks, waterfalls and hundreds of ancient Aboriginal rock art sites.

Whether returning to the city by land or air, we can arrange to conclude your experience in Melbourne or at Melbourne Airport for onward travel. We suggest discussing departure times prior to confirming your arrangements.

Tour Highlights / Inclusions:
– Expert Localing host
– Premium private touring vehicle and in-car wi-fi
– Host accommodation and overnight costs
– Locally bottled spring water and Victorian treats
– Local morning teas daily
– Wine tasting and cellar door experience
– Standard activity and admission expenses
– Ferry tickets
– National park fees
– Farmgate and local maker produce tastings
– Coastal or rainforest walks
– Breathtaking coastal views
– Native wildlife
– Fascinating stories and unique insights

secret waterfalls ocean road

Pricing
$2800A for up to 2 guests excluding meals and guest accommodation
$360A per additional guest (kids under 5 are free)

Add-Ons & Extras
Cafe lunches   +$60A per person/per day
Gourmet lunches   +$100A per person/per day
Behind-the-scenes wildlife encounters   +$160A per person
VIP Hot Springs Bathing Experience   +$160 AUD per person
Private horse riding on the beach   +$460 AUD per person
Private electric mountain bike adventure   +$260 AUD per person (2+)
Private stand-up paddling adventure   +$200 AUD per person (2+)
Private surf lesson   +$200 AUD per person (2+)
Private seal and dolphin charter with gourmet lunch on the water – prices on request
Private sailing adventure on the bay   +$1000 AUD total
Private fishing charter – prices on request
15-minute scenic helicopter flight at the Apostles   +$200 AUD per person
Apollo Bay to the Apostles return scenic fly-over   +$800 AUD per person (2+)
1-way private helicopter flight from the Apostles to Melbourne/Melb. Airport   +$1900 AUD per person (3+)
Additional night and free day in Sorrento – NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE
Additional night and hosted touring day in the Grampians N.P.   +$1400 AUD total

A host of special workshops and masterclasses are also available by arrangement including glassblowing, ceramics, gin distilling and kitchen-garden cooking experiences.

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