Travel one of the world's most spectacular driving routes
- Explore cosmopolitan Melbourne, a flawlessly welcoming city famed for its myriad cultural attractions and eclectic beachside suburbs
- Take in the spectacular beauty of the Great Ocean Road, pausing at vineyards, golden beaches and the iconic Twelve Apostles
- Turn inland to learn about ancient Aboriginal culture and customs amid the dusky ridges of the Grampian Mountains
- 1 Night Melbourne
- 2 Nights Mornington Peninsula
- 2 Nights Apollo Bay
- 1 Night Port Fairy
- 2 Nights Dunkeld
City | History & culture | January holidays | Self-drive
Australia's Great Southern Touring Route in the southern state of Victoria turns the romance of the road trip into a grand love affair. Starting in fashionable Melbourne, follow the Great Ocean Road past miles upon miles of spectacular coastal scenery. Here, roads are carved right into imposing escarpments, their stern cliff faces a stunning contrast to the glittering waters and soft white sands below. Along the way, you’ll make stops at ancient rainforests, cragged mountain ranges that hide Aboriginal rock art and vineyards that are making an international name for themselves. This tailor-made self-drive then finishes back in Melbourne. However, if you have time, why not extend your stay and head to South Australia's capital Adelaide? Its wide streets, verdant surrounds and pulsating arts scene are a gateway to some of Australia's finest wine regions.
Day by day itinerary
Depart the UK to fly to Australia and begin your tailor-made self-drive, arriving in Melbourne on day three.
Whether a culture buff, sports nut, foodie or fashion lover, you'll find your niche in Melbourne; Australia's second city impresses with everything from great sporting events to a charming café culture. And, founded by free-settlers in 1835, it's got the past to back it up. The gold rush of the 1850s brought about a historic boom, best evidenced today in Melbourne's laneways. Lose yourself among these twisting streets, discovering world-class art galleries, hip bars and award-winning restaurants around every corner. On your arrival, you'll collect your hire car and make your way to your hotel.
Stay: The Lindrum, Melbourne (Superior)
Meals: B (Superior)
Strike out of Melbourne to the Mornington Peninsula. Long popular with Australian visitors, its fertile hills and lavender farms spill down to a series of sheltered beaches. Back inland, you'll find green contours shared by superb golf courses and vineyards.
Stay: Flinders Hotel – Quarters (Superior)
Today, after a scenic ferry over the Port Phillip Bay, you'll embark on one of the world's most scenic drives – the 283km Great Ocean Road. Watch as giant cliffs frame golden sweeps of sands as you choose between a range of intriguing stops. Visit the koalas at Kennett River or get a taste of Aussie surf culture at Torquay, home to the world's largest beach and surf culture museum. You'll then arrive at Apollo Bay where you'll have a day to spend exploring the Great Otway National Park. This is one of Australia's most evocative rainforest parks, filled with giant tree ferns, ancient plant life, narrow valleys and spectacular waterfalls.
Stay: Captains at the Bay, Apollo Bay (Superior)
Continuing along the Great Ocean Road, you'll soon reach Port Campbell for the best views of the iconic Twelve Apostles. These giant rock stacks rise majestically from the ocean, as emblematic of Australia as Uluru or the Sydney Opera House. Consider taking a short scenic flight to get fully appreciate the sheer scale of this natural wonder. Continuing west, you'll arrive at Warrnambool for the chance to spot southern right whales right from the beach. These mighty, migratory cetaceans can be spotted between June and October. You'll then overnight in Port Fairy. One of the state's oldest harbours, it features more than 50 National Trust buildings and a historic wharf where early risers can watch fishermen unloading the daily catch.
Stay: Merrijig Inn (Superior)
Dunkeld or Halls Gap
Turning away from the coast, you'll today head inland to the Grampian Mountains. These sandstone giants offer superb bushwalking opportunities, bringing hikers among a world of Aboriginal rock art, kangaroos, koalas and wedge-tailed eagles. However, they're at their most enchanting from August to October when wild flowers speckle their slopes in vibrant swathes of colour. You'll spend two nights here staying either at the Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld – a historic property whose award-winning rooms host spectacular views over the ranges – or at DULC Cabins, a stylish collection of designer wooden cabins in the pretty village of Halls Gap.
Stay: The Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld or DULC Cabins, Halls Gap (Superior)
Melbourne to UK
Wind your way back to Melbourne via the undulating Ararat Hills, Beaufort's gold-rush-era architecture and the gourmet delights of Ballarat. You'll then board your overnight flight home, arriving on day 12.
Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.
12-day tailor-made self-drive from £2,555 pp incl. flights
from £2,555 pp. incl. flights
from £2,935 pp. incl. flights
- Complimentary UK airport lounge access
- Return flights from London to Melbourne
- 9 days medium car hire with maximum cover
- 8 nights accommodation staying in 4* (Superior) boutique hotels on a B&B basis
Terms & Conditions
Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.
Meet our experts
Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0634Meet the team
Adjust your itinerary with our recommended extensions
Spend a day in the saddle and sample the wines of the Mornington Penisula – a region regarded for its pinot noir and pinot gris – on this interesting and unusual excursion, which takes in numerous local vineyards.
Join this indulgent three-hour morning walk through Melbourne’s beautiful back streets and get orientated in the city that locals love to love.
As each ride is personalised, this tour aims to help you understand the parts of Melbourne that interest you most.