December 13, 2018

Melbourne to Adelaide: Where to stop on your big road trip

We’ve all seen the pictures of the twelve apostles and quite fancied the idea of a giant jaunt on the Great Ocean Road.

The Great Ocean Road technically starts in Torquay and ends in Port Campbell. Some people choose to do that route and then come back to Melbourne.

However¬†I would thoroughly recommend doing the entire trip from Melbourne to Adelaide as there are so many things to see! Plus you get to visit a great city at both the beginning and end of the trip (I’m a big Adelaide fan as you may know).

It’s a bit daunting looking at a map of the route and figuring out where to stop so I thought i’d share my route which turned out quite well. I guess the only thing I would say, as always, is I wish I had more time! There were too many stunning beaches to explore.

I absolutely loved my Great Ocean Road trip and being by the sea is so theraputic.

Part of the journey heading into Lorne. The views on the Great Ocean Road are amazing.

This was a good spot where we stopped to eat our packed lunch heading into Lorne

Melbourne to Lorne

Lorne is a sweet little tourist town that loves to surf. Close by to Lorne is Bells Beach, frequently called one of the best beaches in Australia.

We stayed in the Mantra Hotel in Lorne which backed onto the beach and had a great restaurant serving fresh food.

In the morning we had a wander around the town and grabbed a great coffee from the Lorne Bakery.

Lorne is also the start of Great Otway National Park which will follow you for a while.

We stopped at Erskine Falls in Great Otway National Park during a stop in Lorne

One of the many beaches we went past along the route from Melbourne to Lorne

Where I stayed: Mantra Lorne

Lorne – Apollo Bay

We ended up spending most of the day exploring Erskine Falls before setting off for Apollo Bay to

The town is fairly quiet and had a beautiful beach but there wasn’t too much to do there. Of course that’s all to be expected along the Great Ocean Road!

There ended up being a thunderstorm so we stayed inside with a load of food before setting off early in the morning.

The following morning we headed to Otway Fly to do the canopy walk and also the zipline through the rainforest. It was so much fun, I would definitely recommend it. We got to learn about the rainforest while flying through it too!

After that we headed down to the lighthouse which had the most amazing road that was home to a lot of docile koala bears. It was nice to watch people keep their distance and take photos as the koala bears sat there without a care in the world.

The roads down to the lighthouse were incredible too. There had obviously been a bush fire and so the contrast of colours made the trees look spooky!

Apollo Bay – Port Campbell

Now this was an epic drive.

Added in with a lot of seafog, it made for some hairy clifftop driving but we pulled into Port Campbell fairly late and ended up having fish and chips while watching the Australian Open matches.

The next day we set off early, and headed out to the big landmarks of the trip. The ones you’ve all probably been sent postcards of or seen on TV.

The twelve apostles!

It’s not just the Twelve Apostles though, there’s also Gibson’s Steps and London Bridge.

Port Campbell – Mount Gambier

This was one hell of a long drive. Why were we in the Mount?

Well we wanted to see the Sinkhole of course. I kept seeing pictures of it on Instagram and wanted to see it for myself. And the big blue lake.

Mount Gambier did not disappoint.

The next day we were up early as we had to get on the road fairly quickly but we made sure to stop for breakfast on the main street of Mount Gambier where I had the most delicious stack of chocolate pancakes that even had cocoa in the mixture with then chocolate on top. Next time i’m in the mount, i’m heading there.

Mount Gambier – Adelaide via caves!

Again after reading up about Naracoorte caves we decided to take a detour. The roads from Mount Gambier to Adelaide are fairly boring – lots and lots of trees so it was nice to stop and see something different.

We ended up doing a self-guided tour of one of the caves and it was awesome! Definitely would recommend.

Once we’d had a wander around, it was time to head back to Adelaide. It was a fair long drive (everything in Australia is so far away even though it looks close on the map!).

The scenery around was awesome though and we passed a great wind farm on the way.

It must have taken us around four hours or so to reach Adelaide which wasn’t so bad really given all of the driving throughout the past couple of days.

Where I stayed: Best Western Southgate Motel, Mount Gambier

Driving the Great Ocean Road is definitely a must do and I would thoroughly recommend extending the drive from Melbourne to Adelaide. There are so many things to do I think you could spend weeks on the trail!

Everything I booked on the trip was with Booking.com which allowed me to cancel rooms if my plans change – would definitely recommend. These locations were picked based on the time I had on the road and you can definitely take longer and have a more relaxed journey along the road.

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