We have around 2 weeks before we embark on our trip - v excited. We are all booked up except for our second week. We basically plan to leave Adelaide on 6th December and arrive in Melbourne on 11th December. From what i have heard there are so many places to stop en route and i just wanted some suggestions on where not to miss and where to give a miss! We haven't sorted any accommodation or hire car during this period so any suggestions would be much appreciated...
Obviously, our options of stop overs include Mount Gambier, Port Fairy, Port Campbell, Torquay, Warrnambool, Lorne etc..
Is it worth gambling and staying as we go along or booking some places up before we go?
As a first time visitor to Aus any help much appreciated!!
Adelaide to Victoria
Heading for Victoria there are a fair number of quality wineries along the South Coast highway on the way to Victor Harbour (VH). Take your pick and pull in. Be aware of the road rules in regards to drinking and driving (i.e you shouldn't).
If and when you get to VH, it has a quaint horse drawn carriage ride out to a small “island” just off the coast. It’s a nice spot for a wander and an ice cream by the coast. There are often streetvendors/stalls or something going on, on the foreshores of VH. You’ll get a pretty good feed at the Port Elliott bakery just down the road.
The Coorong National Park is just SE of Victor Harbour as the crow flies but you need to head back inland and then out to the coast again along the Princes Hwy. If you like it windy, isolated with lots of birds you’ll enjoy the Coorong strip. At the South end of the 100km Coorong strip (Long Beach) is Kingston SE. The big Lobster at Kingston SE is a fun photo opportunity. Apart from the Big Lobster and plenty of fishing and lobster trawlers, there is a nice lookout at Maria Creek Island and a few sculptures and Historic houses.
Portland to Warnambool has spectacular coastal scenery and continues to Torquay via Cape Otway along the Great Ocean Road. Not sure if Lavers Hill general store still do A1 milkshakes. It’s a nice stop along the way – up in the hills above the coast. Cape Otway NP has some nice rainforest walks.
Melbourne's not short of things to do, but you might want to get a taste of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) with a big crowd (80000+) at the cricket (summer) or AFL (winter).
To the South East of Melbourne you have Phillip Island which has a few interesting things to see, grab a meal and live entertainment at the San Remo Pub, the fairy penguin parade, some big sharks get caught in the waters off PI. Also the GP track is on Phillip Island where you can hire a go kart for a lap or two, a guided walking tour or a HSV hot lap.
Heading further East, there’s Wilson’s Promontory (great walks), 90 Mile Beach - Lakes Entrance, Mallacoota (beaches, Bastion Point, Croajingalong Nat Park).
Fortunately you’re going through just before a pretty busy (relatively) time of year - Oz summer school holidays.
There are quite a few accomodation options - from cabins or "on site" vans at camping grounds to pubs to b&b. We did a bit of simple overnight tent pitching just up any back road off the highway. Or if you have a campervan, even better.
Out of the cities, as a last resort you’ll find solace on the local park, football field or the school oval – you can set up after dark and be out of there pretty early if you get stuck. If you’re looking after the place and leaving it better than you found it, you’ll be fine.
Oh lucky you so close till the start of you trip
We are stopping in Apollo Bay along the Gt Ocean Rd - it was recommended by TPers as having a nice atmosphere and not being as busy as Lorne!
We will be driving the opposite direction to you though - Port Campbell being the furtherest we head too!
Enjoy your trip!