Well the title pretty much sums it up. My three mates and I wanted to use a tour for the routes, but they day we needed to depart (Sunday), no tour operate that day, so our next option was to self drive in 3 days.
Does this seem feasible to everyone?
Day 1 - Drive Adelaide to the Grampians (Halls Gap)
Day 2 - Explore Grampians in AM, then drive to Warrnambool
Day 3 - Great Ocean Road, Otway NP, then Melbourne
My concern is traffic in and around Melbourne and we are all 23, so if a rental car was even an option
Thanks for the input!
Yes, it's a beautiful route. I would personally recommend that you just stick to doing the Great Ocean Road, rather than also trying to tack on the Grampians. Plus, the drive to Halls Gap isn't nearly as nice as the alternative drive along the coast from Adelaide. For one, you would miss the amazing blue lake at Mount Gambier. Best time to see it is in March, so if you are talking about a trip in the upcoming weeks, then you would really be advised to go there!
Another thing you would miss by driving via Halls Gap is the Coorong National Park, a popular spot for migrating birds.
It's also well worth your time to spend a night along the Great Ocean Road somewhere. It's simply too long to really appreciate in a single day of driving. I'd drive the first day all the way to Warrnambool and then the second night drive up to Lorne, taking in all the sites along the way at a more leisurely pace. The first day would be a long one, but it really is worth spending more time on the Great Ocean Road if you ask me.
All that said, the Grampians is itself also a great destination, so I'm sure you would enjoy the route you had in mind as well. It does seem to be a standard for the bus tours from Melb-Adelaide to stop off there, rather than continue down the coast.
I don't think the traffic in Melbourne is too bad, but I live here, so am rather used to it I suppose. I think 23 is the bare minimum for car rental, but think it is possible. Just ring around and find out!
Its really too much to do in only 3 days. Even stopping in warnambool is still a big days travel, and doesn't really allow much time to see things. Mt gambier is a great place, there is caves u can explore, and the lake is a cool sight.
Apollo bay on the great ocean rd is one of my favorite areas in oz, close to the otway national park, there is loads to do in this area.
Some nice beaches the rest of the way around to geelong. Being realistic, it would take 3 days to get to melbourne if you want to stop and look at stuff. If you just wanna fly through to say you've been there tho, then its possible.
I drove Adelaide to Melbourne last year. I didn't do the Grampians so can't comment, I travelled along the coastal road. The first day was a really long drive, we drove until it was nearly dusk as we wanted to pitch our tent in daylight. We got to Robe that night, which on the map doesn't really look that far. That stretch of the drive was quite dull and seemed never ending, it was mostly through bush-land. But after that it got really interesting. The next day we drove the whole day again with just a beach stop and a few photo ops. That night we made it to Nelson. There was a beautiful beach there. We camped at a place slightly into the woods, and when we woke up in the morning there were wallabies all sat grazing around our tent, that was an amazing sight.
On the third day we arrived in Warnambool at lunch time and decided to stay there the night so we could start a-fresh in the morning.
My advice for the Great Ocean Road would just be bear in mind you'll want to stop for photos and to look at beaches etc a lot and that takes up a lot of the time you might have thought you would be driving. We set off really early to try and beat the coaches to the tourist spots on the GOR and by sunset we were just arrivinig in Appollo Bay. The next day it took pretty much the whole day again before we reached Torquay, where we camped for the night. On the 6th day we drove to Melbourne and arrived early afternoon.
So basically it took us 6 days. One of them we took the afternoon off, so it could probably have been done in 5 if you arrive in Melbourne in the evening. But it still took 2 days of pretty much non stop driving to reach the Great Ocean Road.
I hope this helps you with your planning. I would really say its not to be missed, the journey is absolutely amazing. I know there were plenty of trips advertised starting and ending in Melbourne that do the route in 3 days, so maybe if you're short on time that would be an option?
Have a great time whatever you decide.
Thank you for all your help everyone! So the consensus seems to be that my original plans seems too long to make in 3 days. I know some of the tours do it in 3 days, but we wanted to rent a car and do it independently.
Would an Adelaide - Mount Gambier- Warrnambool - Melbourne trip work out better than the Grampians?
Again, thanks for all the help!
Actually I just found an alternative method that would work quite nice...
That day we will be flying from Alice Spring to Adelaide, arriving at 14:40. REX - Regional Express has a 15:45 flight to Mount Gambier for only AUD $120. We would miss Adelaide, but I have heard there is not much to the city.
I could pick up a car in Mount Gambier airport on arrival on Day 0. Day 1 would be Mount Gambier and vicinity. Then drive to Warrnambool. Day 2 would be Great Ocean Road to Apollo Bay, and Day 3 Apollo Bay to Melbourne.
Also keep in Mind this is for mid-June so the weather certainly will not be pleasant...