This is a great site! Before I updated the proposed itinerary, I wanted to put out a few items:
1. We will leave Melbourne on Friday, 1/30 - open to time; prefer after breakfast. Perhaps plan to hit to road around 10am (we have to pick-up the car or van)
2. We need to arrive into Adelaide on Monday, 2/2.
3. We are flying home to Seattle on Friday, 2/5 (early morning flight).
So, based on these dates, I was thinking of the following for our Great Ocean Road Journey:
Day 1 - 1/30: Melbourne to Apollo Bay. Perhaps stop along the way for lunch. If we feel really adventurous, there is the Otlay National Park that is supposed to be amazing. perhaps a zip line? Approx. 2 hours of driving plus time to the forest.
Day 2 - 1/31: Apollo Bay to Naracoorte, Australia. Along the way we take in the Twelve Apostles via a Helicopter ride (no more than 30 minutes); Driving time estimated at 5 hours.
Day 3 - 2/1: Naracoorte, Australia to Kangaroo Island. Take a nocturnal tour to see all the animals! Driving time (including 45 minute ferry ride) approx. 6 hours
Day 4 - 2/2: Kangaroo Island to Adelaide....lazy morning breakfast and perhaps visit a lighthouse. Driving time (including ferry) is approx. 4 hours.....arrive Adelaide for dinner.
Chris and Matt
This seems pretty good in terms of timing. Although maybe you could spend an extra day around the Great Ocean Road. There's quite a lot to see.
For example, around the Twelve Apostles worthwhile other stops are the Loch Ard Gorge, Bay of Islands, The Grotto, London Arch for example. Stopping for all of these takes time.
Further back, around Apollo Bay, I always recommend a trip down to Cape Otway Lighthouse not so much for the lighthouse, but for the excellent koala spotting The lighthouse is nice too. I also always recommend a stop at Mait's Rest which is a free rainforest walk and particularly on a hot day this is a great little stop. The treetop walk is ok as well, but is expensive. I kind of prefer the Mait's Rest environment anyway.
Back up the coast near Lorne there are some very nice waterfalls which are worth a visit. I would recommend stopping at at least one of these.
Past Warrnambool, the interest drops of significantly and you can cover a lot of ground in a day. The two sights I can think of though are the Blue Lake in Mt Gambier (which should be a nice colour in Feb) and the Coorong National Park which is pretty attractive and warrants a nice walk around.
Point being that most of the really good stuff is between Lorne and Warrnambool and consequently you should allocate decent time to that.
I haven't been to Kangaroo Island, but the area around Victor Harbor is very nice as well. Particularly if you like sampling all the vineyards have to offer
We have been looking at your suggested itinerary and think that it's probably a bit too much driving each day. As you want to be able to stop on the way and see things, and also see things where you are staying each night, we would advise only a driving time of 3 hours each day. Deb will tell you that we recently did about that in France and some days we still felt like we didn’t have time to do all that we wanted.
I've never been to Kangaroo Island, despite the fact of living in Adelaide for a year! I would really like to go but it’s the sort of place that you need a least a weekend to experience. If you haven't already, check out this website http://www.tourkangarooisland.com.au/, there is lots and lots to do, and the island is bigger than you might think.
I guess it depends on what you want to see and do? If some wine tasting I would suggest some time in Penola, because you have to drive through anyway, and then maybe one other region around Adelaide (or not). Stopping and seeing the 12 Apostles with joy flight sounds good, guess it will depend on the weather - should be good that time of year.
I guess what we are trying to say is that I know you probably won't be back this way again, but if you do so much driving every day I'm not sure that you will really end up enjoying the time you are here.
Why don't you guys chat to Gary while cruising in Galapagos
Margaret & Gary