im currently in perth and will fly to adelaide ard mid jun to look ard. ill be there a few days and was thinking of driving frm adelaide to melbourne or maybe hitch a ride.
is it common to drive frm adelaide to melb? anybody else doing it?
thx in advance for your opinion!
the Great Ocean Road is on that route so I'd say it's pretty common. I travelled from Alice Springs to Brisbane via Adelaide and Melbourne in 2007 with my daughter (and my brother, as my car was having probs so he flew into Adelaide. This made it a very short trip as he doesn't stop to look at anything or sometimes even to eat!)
Adelaide (stayed in hostel in Glenelg - think it's just called Glenelg hostel? It was nice old heritage building with (conveniently) a bar underneath. the owner and staff were really helpful. kitchen was pretty small but there were lots of places around for eating, plus not far from cafes on the pier/waterfront and a maritime musuem).
Drove out via Murray Bridge (there's an old paddle steamer moored down the pier that is a freakish part-museum, part-shop with an old lady living on it. like a car boot sale on a steamer - but interesting for all the stuff she had and part of heritage as it's the only steamer left selling goods and in the old days that's how people upstream used to buy their supplies). Lots of mindboggling sized vineyards etc round the place.
We were heading for Mt Gambier, but ended up Naracoorte...we'd phoned ahead to the hostel and got there after dark. It was hideous. A filthy kitchen - I have never, ever seen a kitchen that bad - there were layers of dirt and food everywhere - the benches and shelves were overflowing, there was a heater on - blazing heat but the doors and windows were open and the place was deserted. We switched it off but in hindsight perhaps should have let the place burn!! The hostel was sort of made out of someone's house with a structure in the backyard that had more rooms, lounge etc. The patio in front of it had rotten floorboards, COVERED BY A RUG so that when we walked on it, we sank into the ground. Nice and safe for my toddler!
Our room was a sort of cubby hold under the house with half a dozen roughly made beds, no heating and concrete floor. It smelled of feet. Considering it was 8 at night and we were tired we were trying to make the best of it when we discovered the bathroom. In the middle of winter, it was outside in the space between the house and other building and was made out of...an old corrugated water tank!!!
We couldn't use the kitchen so walked back into town to find food. There was a lovely old pub on the corner (reminded me of pubs in Scotland) and we had an awesome, cheap meal there in a lovely restaurant - an unexpected treat as restaurant in rural Queensland (where I'm from) usually involves orange plastic chairs, washable floral tablecloths and lattice screening the loos...I think we paid about $10 for a 3 course meal. We stayed in their CLEAN surroundings for a VERY long time and then discovered as we were leaving that they had reasonably priced accommodation!!! By this time we were too tired to be bothered shifting & a little bit chicken about taking on the staff at the hostel.
Mt Gambier was lovely - there's the lake, the sink holes (literally big holes in the ground in the middle of town) and heritage buildings. We took a few backroads around the border and some nice areas there. We had half a ton of brochures etc - there's a new version in every place you stop! We had a brief trip on the Portland tram and the visitor info centre (think it's also the maritime museum?). I'm a history teacher so the maritime history (ie the "shipwreck coast" marketing concept) was really interesting.
In Port Fairy we decided to splurge on accommodation to recover from the horrors of the night before - plus my brother (who has never stayed in hostels before and has vowed to never stay in one again had us up and away before 6am). We drove round aimlessly and eventually found the Comfort Inn. I think we paid about $150 for 3 of us in a 2br heritage cottage and it was awesome. Real fire as well as proper heating, normal bathroom intead of galvinised tank...after the room tarriff we couldn't afford to eat in the hotel so headed out but nothing seemed to be open (it was winter) except a supermarket - but the cottage had a mini kitchen so all good.
From there was the Great Ocean Road - I thought it was a little overrated considering the amount of hype it gets, but oh well. Even though it was off peak there were about 6 million people at the 12 Apostles look out. We drove out to Cape Bridgewater and the Petrified Forest and that was more interesting (nr Portland).
Apollo Bay and around there was lovely but we didn't stop til Queenscliff. Reaching town again at dark (courtesy of my brother's determination to make it back to Qld in 3 days...haha!), and not allowed to try out any more hostels (thanks Naracoorte), we found the Royal hotel, on the way into town (not in town itself). It was fantastic - the owner had just purchased it and was in the process of renovating and modernising the whole place. There was a cosy public bar, a la carte restaurant and rooms upstairs. The owner and staff went out of their way to make us comfortable - rustling up extra blankets and heaters and giving us a deal for eating in house etc. Only cost about $50 for the room, which considering the prices put up by the YHAs down there is pretty good.
We hit the main street for breakfast - lots of interesting shops and the bakery was great.
You may find advising hostel staff of your plans and puttng a note up in the hostel in Adelaide might garner a "crew"? Otherwise I thought I noticed some guided tours in amongst the piles of tourist literature? Enjoy the trip, and if you must stay in naracoorte - stay at the pub!!!
The drive from Adelaide to Melbourne along the great ocean road is fantastic, especially towards the Melbourne end. You may want to take a tour rather than driving as that way you can enjoy the scenery more. I did 2 day tour with Greyhound which was really good but there are plenty of companies offering similar tours.