Road trip to the best of southern Australia

Leave Melbourne in your dust as you head on a five-day road trip and island adventure through Victoria and South Australia. Hug the coast on Australia's acclaimed Great Ocean Road passing the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge, head into the Grampians National Park to learn some First Nations history and their connection to the land, and continue to Adelaide, crossing south to Kangaroo Island. Explore this natural wildlife haven, spotting sea lions, koalas, wallabies and kangaroos, and check out the entire peninsula on top of Prospect Hill. With so many natural highlights and active options to consider, you'll be discovering the best of this corner of Australia in less than a week with local guides to lead the way and a group of avid adventurers strapped in for the ride.


Start
Melbourne, Australia
Finish
Adelaide, Australia
Destination
Australia
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer
Code
PASMC-B
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 1, Max 24

Why you'll love this trip

  • Battered by the mighty Bass Strait, spend some time checking out the eroded natural wonders of the Great Ocean Road including Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and London Bridge in the Port Campbell National Park.

  • Take a one-night pitstop in Halls Gap to discover the rugged beauty of the Grampians National Park. Go hiking up to the Pinnacles lookout, and marvel at the stunning McKenzie Falls.

  • Gain an insight into the diverse First Nations cultures in Australia with a visit to the Brambuk Cultural Centre, learning of the ancient stories of the Dreaming.

  • Visit the Seal Bay Conservation on Kangaroo Island 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.

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

Let’s get road tripping! Departing Melbourne, hit the road west to Geelong and the chilled-out surf town of Torquay. From there, begin the journey along one of Australia’s most beautiful and famous drives – the Great Ocean Road. This coast road at points is the only barrier between the lush forests of Victoria’s southwest and the cliffs down to the Bass Strait. Along the way, experience a guided walk through an ancient and rare temperate rainforest in the Otways, checking out the enormous trees that are native to the area. Stop for some koala spotting in Kennett River, then break for lunch in seaside Apollo Bay. In the afternoon, continue on to the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge – these rocky landscapes braving the southern oceans are a sight to behold. Continue on your drive for another hour or so, spending the night in Warrnambool.
Included Activities
  • 12 Apostles & London Bridge
  • Koala spotting - Great Ocean Road
  • Melba Gully Walk - Otway Ranges
  • Swim at Lorne (Summer months)
  • Loch Ard Gorge
Meals Included
  • Lunch
Special Information
The total driving time today is about 6.5 hours (approximately 450 km). The total walking time will be about 2 hours (approximately 2 km).
Begin the day checking out more of the Great Ocean Road's natural wonder on the Warrnambool foreshore, then take a drive into the Grampians National Park – an area full of rugged rock landscapes, scenic lookouts and rich in First Nations culture. During the day, you’ll visit the Brambuk Aboriginal Culture Centre to learn about an important period of this ancient culture known as the Dreaming, then hike up to the Pinnacles for impressive views across the Grampians. Keep an eye out for any native flora or wildlife that may pass you by as you walk. Tonight, head to Halls Gap for the evening, enjoying a traditional Aussie-style barbecue with your small group.
Included Activities
  • Brambuk Culture Centre
  • Mackenzie Falls - Grampians
  • Pinnacles Walk - Grampians
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
The total driving time today is about 6 hours (approximately 400 km). The total walking time will be about 4 hours (approximately 5 km).
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
  • Reeds Lookout (The Balconies) & Boroka Lookout
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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.
This morning, hike to the base of McKenzie Falls – the highest and arguably most impressive waterfalls in the Grampians – and check out other sites such as The Balconies and Reeds Lookout. Leaving the Grampians, pass through the town of Horsham and the enchanting Loch Lel – also known as the Pink Lake – before crossing the mighty Murray River and making your last leg of the journey into Adelaide. Most of the afternoon is taken up by the drive, but you’ll arrive in Adelaide around 7.30 pm, in time for an optional celebratory dinner 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 total driving time today is about 7.5 hours (approximately 550 km). The total walking time will be about 2.5 hours (approximately 3.5 km).

The estimated time of arrival into Adelaide is around 7.30 pm.
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
  • Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Flinders Chase National Park
  • Remarkable Rocks
  • Admirals Arch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
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, where on arrival, your trip comes to an end.

Meals

3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Minibus, Transfer coach, Ferry

Accommodation

Dormitory (4 nights)

Included activities

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

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Accommodation on Day 3 is at the Adelaide Central YHA.
2. The Kangaroo Island portion of this trip departs from the Adelaide Central Bus Station (85 Franklin Street) on the morning of Day 4. Please meet at the Sealink desk at 6.15 am for a 6.45 am departure.
3. This trip also runs in reverse as a four-day trip. See trip code PSAAC-B.
4. This trip ends on arrival in Adelaide on Day 5 at around 10.40 pm. Onward travel should be booked for the day following.

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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