The Great Ocean Road: Road Trip
THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD & GRAMPIANS - ROAD TRIP
THE BEST WAY TO KEEP THE TRAVEL FAM TOGETHER
Want to carry on the travel experience with your new fam? There is no better way to do this than on the Great Ocean Road. The best thing is, this is an exclusive offer for Welcome to Travellers only.
90% of people who travel on the 8-Day tour also book onto this epic road trip where you’ll take in the majestic Grampians National Park, so much Australian wildlife, world famous surf beaches and of course the iconic 12 Apostles!
TUESDAY - MELBOURNE TO THE GRAMPIANS
This is a road trip of a lifetime but first you need to do the boring stuff and that include picking up the vehicle and ensuring you have some essentials for the trip.
You’ll be picking up the Jucy 8 Seater from: 87 Inkerman Street, St Kilda at around 9am.
Anyone wanting to drive on the road trip should head to the depot as they’ll need to see your license. Once you have the vehicle drive back to the hostel to pick up the rest of the travel fam.
Before going we’d recommend:
- Packing a small bag, you’re only away for 4 nights and there’s a lot of you.
- A big team shop of essentials for breakfasts and the first couple of dinners.
- Footwear appropriate for hikes. You don’t need footwear to climb Everest, just some form of trainer/sneaker.
- Team suncream, probably a big one per vehicle.
- Your WTT Water bottle
Once the game of luggage tetris is over you can buckle up, windows down, crank the tunes and head to your first stop of the ROAD TRIP, The Grampians National Park.
It’s around a three hour drive to Halls Gap which is the town at the heart of the Grampians. There are loads of little cafes, restaurants and supermarkets here. It’s easy if you want to grab yourself something to eat before heading out for the day.
We would recommend you start by going to the Brambuk Cultural Centre. This is a great place to find out more about the area and it’s local Jardwadjali and Djab Warrung Indigenous groups. This will also allow you to find out if our recommended itinerary for the Grampians is accessible; because remember you’re in Australia and the weather dictates everything.
After Halls Gap, you start to head more into the Gariwerd (the aboriginal name for Grampians) and we would suggest driving to Wonderland car park to hike through Australia’s Grand Canyon up to The Pinnacle Lookout. This takes around 1.5 hours so make sure you have plenty of water, snacks and appropriate shoes. There are some great views so prepare for some unreal opportunities for the Gram.
For sunset you have to go to The Balconies, possibly the most iconic spot of The Grampians. When you park the car, your jaw will simply drop as you look out over the National Park. However keep walking as the best is yet to come. Head down the track, look to your left and is that Pride Rock from The Lion King?! If you keep going along the track you’ll make your way to The Balconies (it is around a 15 minute walk). Before doing the automatic phone grab, just stop, breathe it in and realise this spot for all it’s beauty. It’s a ripper! Now you can breathe out and spam the gram until your heart’s content.
Once the sun has set, jump back in the car and head down to your hostel for the night. You’ll be staying at Halls Gap – Eco Lodge YHA voted the best hostel in Australia in 2019. Their address is 14-16 Grampians Rd, Halls Gap.
Check in, make yourself a team dinner,, and relax with a beer while you do a bit of kangaroo spotting. NOW YOU DEFINITELY KNOW YOU’RE IN AUSTRALIA!
The Grampians – At Sunset
Halls Gap Eco Lodge Grampians
Where you are heading to
WEDNESDAY - THE GRAMPIANS TO PORT FAIRY
In the words of Kylie Jenner ‘Rise and Shine’ because you’re waking up for sunrise! Jump in the car and go to the Boroka Lookout , definitely the most Instagrammable spot to see the day break.
Once you have ducked back into the hostel for some breakfast you are ready for your first stop, McKenzie Falls. Hopefully you didn’t do leg day at the gym recently because you have a 192 step journey to the waterfall, before heading back up. Don’t worry though, you’ll have a chance to refresh halfway as the mist coming off the fall gives you a soaking! It’s worth it once there too!
After you have conquered the stairs back up, you’ll probably be hungry, so we recommend that you head back to Halls Gap to grab yourself a feed before the big drive ahead to your next stop – Port Fairy.
With a 2 hour drive ahead, this is a great chance to get that Spotify playlist updated. We don’t want to delay your date with the coastline but we recommend a little detour to the UNESCO World Heritage listed site of Budj Bim which is a dormant volcano and has cultural significance, there is evidence of communities living there over 32,000 years.
We know wildlife is high on your priority list and Tower Hill National Park is a great place to see koalas, emus and kangaroos.
That is one big day, so you’ll be glad to check in to your hostel Port Fairy YHA – 8 Cox Street, Port Fairy. There are restaurants as well as supermarkets nearby so it’s totally up to you guys on what you do tonight. . Whatever you decide, set an alarm as you have an early start tomorrow.
McKenzie Falls – The Grampians
Port Fairy YHA
Where you are heading to
THURSDAY - PORT FAIRY TO APOLLO BAY
Don’t you dare hit snooze in a dorm, that is a backpacker crime! Today even more so as you need to wake up and beat the crowds to some of the most iconic spots on the Great Ocean Road.
After a breezy 1 hour drive you will start to see the landscape change as you’re now on the Great Ocean Road. The route splits into three sections, The Surf Coast, The Green Coast and finally The Shipwreck Coast which is what you will be exploring this morning. Below are some key hot spots to visit.
- The Grotto
- London Bridge
- Loch Ard Gorge – A beautiful hidden beach.
- The 12 Apostles
- Gibsons Steps and Beach
There is no real time limit for these places but if you leave Port Fairy at 8am you’ll be able to experience all of these places (without the crowds) by lunch time! You’ll notice towns are pretty small and there are not many lunch options so we’d recommend going back on yourself to Port Campbell, they have plenty of options to choose from.
Re-energised and ready to go, it’s time to drive down the most famous road in Australia and take in those views. You will actually be pulled away from the ocean for around 70km as you go into The Green Coast (officially known as the Otway National Park.) It’s here that your vehicle will be dwarfed by these giant eucalyptus trees, the second largest in the world. Fun Fact!
We definitely recommend you jump out at Maits Rest and take a 30 minute walk which loops back to the car park, here you’ll feel like you’re in a scene from Jurassic Park!
Next stop is Apollo Bay, which is where you will be spending the night. Before you go to the place where you’re crashing you need to go to one special place, Dooley’s Ice Cream. Their Vegemite Ice Cream makes them a legendary stop on the Great Ocean Road! Don’t fancy that? Don’t worry, they have other/normal flavours too!
Now the accommodation here can change depending on how many people are joining for the road trip, however you will be told this on Saturday where you will be staying it will either be at:
Apollo Bay YHA – 5 Pascoe Street, Apollo Bay, which is a beautiful hostel.
Alternatively, if there is a larger group you will be staying at a unique farm stay in Apollo Bay – 80 Barham River Road, Apollo Bay. This isn’t a normal stopover and this is an exclusive for WTT groups. In fact you’ll have these giant teepees to yourselves as you’ll be the only people there, how cool is that! Crank up the campfire and take in the starry sky.*Arrival/Entry Instructions will be sent on the day.
12 Apostles – It is a requirement to wear a WTT top there
Apollo Bay Accommodation
Where you are heading to
FRIDAY - APOLLO BAY TO TORQUAY
How is it Day 4 already?! If you stayed in the Teepees then be sure to follow the instructions and ensure you leave the place looking lovely.
With epic cliff faces on your left and the bluest ocean on your right, this is definitely the best part of the drive on the Great Ocean Road.
Have you spotted a koala in the wild yet? You must have! Don’t worry if you haven’t because the Koala Kafe in Kennett River is probably one of the easiest places ever to see them! Little tip if you can’t find any at first, just wait until you see a group of tourists below a tree pointing upwards 🙂
You are now on The Surf Coast so dropping into the surfer town of Lorne is a must. This is one of the most famous towns on the Great Ocean Road and with it’s ocean views (perfect to watch the surfers) it’s a great lunch stop!
Unlike TLC, we’re all about you chasing waterfalls on this road trip which is great because 15 minutes inland from Lorne you have the amazing Erskine Falls, another great spot for the Gram! We love to see your pics at these places so feel free to throw us a cheeky #welcometotravel so we see your adventure!
As you drive west you’ll cruise under the iconic Great Ocean Road memorial arch. Jump out here not only for the photo but to read all about the history of the road and why this road is is actually known to be known as the world’s biggest war memorial.
If you’re old like the founders of Welcome to Travel, (Adam and Darryl) then you may remember a kids TV show called Round The Twist. It was a crazy show about a family who lived in a lighthouse and strange things happened to them, why? Because they were going round the twist! Anyone that does remember it is singing the theme tune right now, it was TV gold. Whether you’ve seen it or not you can see the very lighthouse at Split Point. It’s worth a stop anyway as there’s a couple of great viewpoints nearby!
Any keen golfers on the road trip? Ok, anyone keen to see hundreds of kangaroos?! That’s better! Head to Angelsea Golf Club, and you will not believe your eyes!
It’s one thing after another today, you deserve a break. Just a five minute drive away is the Great Ocean Road Chocolate Factory. There’s a whole load of stuff you can try here, we recommend the hot chocolate. Don’t forget to get a handful of the freebies near the door as you leave, for the road!
As mentioned before this is the Surf Coast, so what better way to finish the drive than to go and see one of the best surf beaches in the world. Bells Beach Is where the RipCurl Surf Pro is held every Easter. The best surfers in the world descend to this tiny beach to drop in, shred and spend some time in the green room, just like you did on Phillip Island!
It is a long day so you will be ready to go to sleep by this point. Drive to Bells Beach Backpackers – 51-53 Surf Coast Hwy, Torquay. Here you’ll hopefully get to meet the best hostel dog in the world Bella.
Squad Goals at Erskine Falls
Bells Beach Backpackers – Torquay
Where you are heading to
SATURDAY - TORQUAY TO MELBOURNE
All great things must come to an end, but you still have time to explore and if you want, maybe even head out on your own surf sesh?
At Torquay Surf Academy we have arranged for you to get free wetsuit hire with every board, just pick up your vouchers from reception at Bells Beach hostel. If you want a lesson then let us know and we can organise that too!
After your cheeky surf, you can check out the surf museum in town and grab some lunch before the hour and a half drive back to Melbourne. Did you know this little Victorian town is the birthplace of Quicksilver and Rip Curl? Head to their stores while here!
What a road trip! How good was that? We hope you loved it as much as we do!
You need to drop the vehicle back off at the Jucy depot: 87 Inkerman Street, St Kilda at no later than 3.30pm. It’s probably best to aim to be back in Melbourne by around 2.30pm.
Do you want one last blow out as a fam? Meet this week’s Welcome to Travel group in the hostel reception at 7.45pm and join the bar crawl. Tell the guide you’ve done the tour and you’ll get in for a discounted rate of $15AUD cash on the door.