Welcome to Melbourne! Often referred to as Australia’s music capital, Melbourne is full of arts, culture and plenty of foodie hot-spots for those feeling a bit peckish from the flight over. Start the adventure off with a welcome meeting in the evening at your hotel. Please look out for a flyer in the hotel reception for more details on this meeting – alternatively don’t hesitate to ask the front desk staff for more information. Remember to keep your insurance and next of kin details on hand as your leader will be picking these up before you begin. If you’ve arrived early, one of the best ways to get acquainted with the city is with an Urban Adventures trip – the Total Melbourne tour whisks you to the heights of the city’s best viewpoint down to the laneways full of hidden bars and cafes. Filled with plenty of fun facts about the city’s history and modern culture, you’ll be an honorary Melbournian by the time the trip ends for sure!
Begin with a breakfast at the hotel before departing from Melbourne en route to Torquay – a town made famous for it’s fantastic surfing beaches. After a brief morning tea, continue onwards to Memorial Arch, a timber log archway that stands as a tribute to the World War One servicemen who constructed the Great Ocean Road. Arrive at Lorne for lunch, then take some time to explore this laid-back seaside town or duck into the water for a quick swim. Head to Teddy’s Lookout for views of the rugged hills jutting out of Australia’s south-eastern coastline, try to spot cute and cuddly Koalas near Kennett River and finally arrive at Apollo Bay in the late afternoon. After a big day of driving and exploration, enjoy some free time to relax at your accommodation or perhaps duck out to a local restaurant for a fresh seafood dinner.
Tuck in to an early breakfast at a local café, then head towards Maits Rest for a guided walk through an enchanting patch of lush Australian rainforest located in the Great Otway National Park. Listen out for birds cooing and tweeting through the emerald ferns as you marvel upon towering trees above and trickling waterways below. Afterwards, embark on a truly unique experience with a walk along the Great Ocean Road itself en route to Gibson Steps. Prepare yourself to be dwarfed by the towering cliffs and offshore columns as you walk along the shoreline, feeling the breath of the ocean run across your skin as the morning sun beams warmly above. Continue along the Great Ocean Road for a stop at one of Australia’s best known natural wonders – the 12 Apostles. It’s a humbling experience to look out from the cliff tops at these limestone monoliths as they staunchly protrude from the water, keeping an ear out as waves crash against their feet. An optional helicopter ride offers the chance to take in sweeping views of the landscape – just ask your leader if you’re interested in taking this option. Say farewell to the 12 Apostles and hit the road once more. Stop by the Loch Ard Gorge for a glimpse of a picturesque natural inlet, enjoy a lunch stopover at Port Campbell, then go sightseeing at London Bridge, The Grotto and the Bay of Martyrs before arriving in Warrnambool. Enjoy an evening dinner with the group before hitting the hay for the night.
Spend today exploring the Tyrendarra Indigenous Protected area, taking a tour of the volcanic landscapes created by the eruption of Budj Bim (Mount Eccles) around 27,000 years ago. This traditional meeting place and camping area of the Gunditjmara people is a major part of indigenous Australian Dreaming trails and remains an important ceremonial site – come to understand the cultural importance of this soon to be World Heritage-listed site on a walk with a local guide. Uncover the secrets of the traditional aqua catchments used to trap eels and fish, using techniques that outdate the Pyramids of Giza, and contine to discover unique caves, craters, lava tunnels and glistening lakes on a trek through this authentic plot of Australian bushland.
Riddled with glorious sandstone mountains, dazzling wildflowers and dramatic lookouts, the Grampians region is a hotbed for some of Australia’s finest natural treasures. Begin your adventures through the ranges on a hike to The Pinnacle via Devil’s Gap. Keep an eye out for koalas, kangaroos and even echidnas who might be seen rummaging through the surrounding bushland, then take in astounding views of Halls Gap and the Grampians’ peaks from the top of the lookout. After a brief lunch, continue on a relatively easy walk to The Balconies for panoramic views of Victoria Valley. Press on to Mackenzie Falls to witness stunning cascades as they collapse into a deep pool, firing mist into the surrounding air. After a long day of walking, settle down the way that traditional Australian bushmen would to a bush tucker dinner, cooked up by a local chef using native ingredients.
After breakfast at the hotel, travel back from Halls Gap towards Melbourne. The adventure comes to a close once you arrive in the city. No accommodation is included tonight.