Adelaide to Melbourne and all the wildlife and coastlines in between

In four jam-packed days, take to the road – and an island – as you explore some of southern Australia’s outstanding highlights. From Adelaide, explore the natural wonder and wildlife-rich Kangaroo Island, visiting an animal rescue and sea lion conservation park, sand board down the Little Sahara dunes, stroll among fields of lavender and watch a birds of prey show. You’ll also gain an insight into First Nations cultures in the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park and traverse the Great Ocean Road – one of the world’s best drives. Make tracks for Melbourne with some pretty epic pitstops along the way.


Start
Adelaide, Australia
Finish
Melbourne, Australia
Destination
Australia
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer
Code
PSAAC-B
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 6, Max 24

Why you'll love this trip

  • Visit the Seal Bay Conservation to see rare sea lions up close, and head to a local wildlife park to hand feed kangaroos and wallabies, some that have been recently rescued from bushfires.

  • Kangaroo Island is known for its pristine stretches of sand, and you’ll soon know why. Take in the impressive coastal views from Remarkable Rock, check out Vivonne Bay and stroll down Hog Bay Beach.

  • To get the heart racing, give sand boarding a crack down the white sand dunes of Little Sahara and climb to the island’s highest point – Prospect Hill – for some seriously panoramic views.

  • Be treated to some seriously epic views of the Twelve Apostles and Great Ocean Road along the way, stopping to spot native Australian wildlife like koalas, kangaroos and wallabies.

  • Learn about local First Nations histories and cultures in the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park and how important a connection to the land is to Indigenous communities.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip involves plenty of walking and is best suited to travellers with a good level of mobility and fitness. An overview of physical activities can be found in the itinerary.

  • This trip covers some serious distances in a minivan. Please read the itinerary for details on estimated drive times.

  • For more details on specific logistical information for this trip, see the Important Notes and Essential Trip Information sections located below the trip itinerary.

Itinerary

Set off early from the Adelaide Central Bus Station along the picture-perfect Fleurieu Peninsula to Cape Jervis. Your bus departs at 6.45 am. Once arrived at Cape Jervis, take a 45-minute ferry to Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island – on your way, it's not uncommon to spot dolphins from the deck! Once you're off the boat, stop in at Rob's Shearing and Sheepdogs to check out how sheep are shorn, and then head to Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery – the only commercial eucalyptus distillery in South Australia. Continue to the Seal Bay Conservation Park, where you'll have the opportunity to see rare sea lions up close in a wild breeding colony. Then, visit the white sand dunes of the Little Sahara, where you’ll be able to give sand boarding a whirl! After a jam-packed day, return to Penneshaw for the night. You'll have plenty of free time to swim or stroll along Hog Bay Beach, walk through native bushland along the Kangaroo Island Sculpture Trail, visit the penguin centre or grab a drink at the hotel. Enjoy an included dinner at a local pizzeria with your group.
Included Activities
  • Rob's shearing and sheepdogs
  • Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery
  • Seal Bay Conservation Park
  • Sandboarding at Little Sahara
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
The coach transfer from Adelaide to the ferry terminal is approximately 1.5 hours. Your Sealink sail will take approximately 45 minutes. On Kangaroo Island, you will spend approximately 2 hours in the vehicle with frequent sightseeing. Walking and active time will depend on which optional activities you choose in the afternoon.
After breakfast, head to the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park where you’ll have the opportunity to see kangaroos and wallabies up close. Many of the animals here are in the park's care after being rescued from the bushfires. Afterwards, visit Raptor Domain for in-flight display of Australian Birds of Prey. The interactive experience will demonstrate the natural skills, adaptions and hunting techniques of wedge-tailed eagles, kookaburras, sea eagles and Australian kestrels. Take a stroll through the Emu Bay Lavender farm and enjoy lunch overlooking the terraced fields. You might even like to pick up some essential oils and scented candles at the onsite gift shop! Onwards to Prospect Hill – the highest point on Kangaroo Island – where, depending on the conditions, you'll get epic views all the way to the Adelaide Hills and south coast. Continue back to Penneshaw, and after your own dinner, jump back on the ferry and transfer to a coach as you make your way back to Adelaide, arriving late at night.
Included Activities
  • Mackenzie Falls - Grampians
  • Reeds Lookout (The Balconies) & Boroka Lookout
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today's driving times on Kangaroo Island are no longer than 30 minutes, with constant stops for sightseeing. The ferry back to the mainland takes approximately 45 minutes, and the coach transfer to Adelaide is approximately 1.5 hours. Walking distances are no more than 1 kilometre at each location.

Subject to any delays, you will make it back to Adelaide at approximately 10.40 pm.
Leaving Adelaide early this morning, drive across the state border into Victoria and enter the Grampians National Park. Head out on a hike to view the Jaws of Death, down to McKenzie Falls and to the incredible views from Reeds Lookout. Gain an insight into the customs of the land's traditional owners during a stop-in at the Brambuck Cultural Centre, then head into the heart of the Grampians (Gariwerd), stopping en route for lunch. Afterwards, head to a spot in the national park where native Australian wildlife, such as kangaroos, wallabies and koalas, are often spotted. Spend the night in Halls Gap, with an included group dinner.
Included Activities
  • 12 Apostles & London Bridge
  • Koala spotting - Great Ocean Road
  • Loch Ard Gorge
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Tonight's accommodation is at either Brambuk Backpackers or the Grampians YHA.

Total driving time: around 7.5 hours (approximately 550 km)
Total walking time: around 2.5 hours (approximately 3.5 km)
After an early morning start, get back on the road driving towards the acclaimed Great Ocean Road. Explore Port Campbell National Park, checking out London Bridge, Loch Ard Gorge and the iconic Twelve Apostles rock formation, then sit back and soak in all the coastal views. Take a guided walk through an ancient and rare temperate rainforest, and stop at Kennett River for the chance to spot koalas before passing through the charming beach towns of Apollo Bay and Lorne. Make the most of photo opportunities at some of Australia's best-known surf locations before stopping for a beach walk. In the late afternoon, hit the highway to Melbourne, where your trip finishes on arrival.
Included Activities
  • Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Flinders Chase National Park
  • Remarkable Rocks
  • Admirals Arch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Total driving time: around 7.5 hours (approximately 550 km)
Total walking time: around 2 hours (approximately 2 km)

Meals

2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Minibus, Transfer coach, Ferry

Accommodation

Dormitory (3 nights)

Included activities

  • Rob's shearing and sheepdogs
  • Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery
  • Seal Bay Conservation Park
  • Sandboarding at Little Sahara
  • Mackenzie Falls - Grampians
  • Reeds Lookout (The Balconies) & Boroka Lookout
  • 12 Apostles & London Bridge
  • Koala spotting - Great Ocean Road
  • Loch Ard Gorge
  • Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Flinders Chase National Park
  • Remarkable Rocks
  • Admirals Arch

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. This trip departs from Adelaide to meet the Kangaroo Island ferry on Day 1 from the Adelaide Central Bus Station (85 Franklin Street). Please meet at the the SeaLink desk at 6.15 am for a 6.45 am departure. Hotel pick ups from central Adelaide to the bus station are available on request.
2. Accommodation in Adelaide on Day 2 is at the Adelaide Central YHA. You will be picked up on Day 3 at 7 am for the next stage of your trip.
3. This trip also runs in reverse as a five-day trip. See trip code PASMC-B.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

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