Great Ocean Road Explorer
Hotel Comfort Great Ocean Road Explorer
Why we Love a Great Ocean Road Explorer in comfort!
On this exclusive Great Ocean Road Explorer take in some of the country’s best sights that includes the Grampians National Park, Aboriginal culture and native food and stay in unique 4 star accommodation.
Small group tours mean uncrowded sight seeing and over six days you will make friends forever.
Australia’s Great Ocean Road is a glorious stretch of land capturing the finer points of Victoria’s versatile and diverse ecosystems. The iconic bushland and glistening seascapes fuse together to create something greater than the sum of it’s parts, seen in natural wonders such as the Loch Ard Gorge, the towering 12 Apostles or even the surf beaches of Torquay.
Further inland, the towering sandstone ridges of the Grampians offer a view of the land below – pristine, undisturbed and authentically Australian. Close enough to comfortable, trendy seaside towns like Lorne yet just far enough from the metropolitan Melbourne to feel the call of the wild, the southern coast is everything you could want from Australia and more.
Your exclusive tour will include the following highlights;
- Stay in unique four star accommodation along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road and Grampians
- Enjoy a native food dinner cooked by a local chef
- Walk where few dare to tread on a special section of the Great Ocean Road, travelling down Gibson Steps
- A smaller group size of just 12 people
- Sacred to the Gunditjmara people, explore the soon to be UNESCO-listed Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape – home to ancient aqua traps dating from 6600 years ago
- Get up close and personal with native wildlife including koalas and kangaroos
- See the famous twelve apostles, perhaps from a helicopter above the ocean
- Hike to the Pinnacles, explore Halls Gap and Victoria’s Grampians
- Memorial Arch
- Teddy’s Lookout above Lorne
- Koala spotting – Great Ocean Road
- Loch Ard Gorge
- 12 Apostles & London Bridge
- Great Ocean Walk & Gibson Steps
- Guided rainforest walk through Maits Rest
- Worn Gundidj Cutural tour
- Pinnacles Walk – Grampians
- Mackenzie Falls – Grampians
- Native food bush dinner
- Group Leader: Knowledgable Driver/Guide
- Transport: Air-conditioned Minibus
- Accommodation: 4 Nights Hotel
- Accommodation: 1 Night Motel
- Meals: 4 Breakfast – 1 Lunch – 3 Dinner
Welcome to Melbourne
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 your Great Ocean Road Explorer 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!
- Optional Activity: 11am Melbourne Free Walking Tour (more info)
- Optional Activity: City Sights Kayak Tour (from $82)
- Optional Activity: Vegan Foodie Walking Tour (from $89)
- Meals(): No meals are included today
Apollo Bay to Kennett River
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.
- Activity: Memorial Arch
- Activity: Teddy’s Lookout above Lorne
- Activity: Koala spotting – Great Ocean Road
- Meal(s): Breakfast
The Twelve Apostles and Warrnambool
Tuck in to an early breakfast at a local cafe, 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 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.
- Activity: Loch Ard Gorge
- Activity: 12 Apostles & London Bridge
- Activity: Great Ocean Walk & Gibson Steps
- Activity: Guided rainforest walk through Maits Rest
- Optional Activity: ‘Shipwrecked’ or ‘Harpooned’ show & dinner (from $45)
- Optional Activity: Twelve Apostles helicopter flight (from $145)
- Meal(s): Dinner
Warrnambool and Halls Gap
Today on our Great Ocean Road Explorer it’s all about the Tyrendarra Protected area, taking a tour of the volcanic landscapes created by the eruption of Tower Hill around 32,000 years ago.
Enjoy a guided interactive walk with an experienced local Worn Gundidj guide. This walk provides and exclusive opportunity to explore the wildlife at Tower Hill and discover the natural habitat of some of Australia’s most iconic animals.
Gain an understanding of traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lifestyles as well as learning how to identify native plants for food and medicinal purposes and throw a boomerang.
- Activity: Worn Gundidj Cutural tour
- Meal(s): Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner
Halls Gap and the Grampians
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.
- Activity: Pinnacles Walk – Grampians
- Activity: Mackenzie Falls – Grampians
- Activity: Native food bush dinner
- Meal(s): Breakfast – Dinner
Halls Gap to Melbourne
After breakfast at the hotel, travel back from Halls Gap towards Melbourne. Stop in the small town of Beaufort for morning tea or a coffee. The adventure comes to a close once you arrive in the city.
- Meal(s): Breakfast
- No accommodation is included tonight.
This Great Ocean Road Explorer tour runs November to March on selected dates only and with limited availability.
- Tour Start Dates 2019
- Sunday 17th November
- Sunday 15th December
- Tour Start Dates 2020
- Sunday 5th January
- Sunday 2nd February
- Sunday 16h February
- Sunday 1st March
- Joining Tour:
On Day 1 check-in to your Melbourne Hotel with group meeting in the evening
- Ending Tour (Day 6):
Approx. 12:00pm in Melbourne (Accommodation not included)
Is a Great Ocean Road Explorer right for you?
- This Comfort trip is twin share hotel accommodation. Solo travelers may be paired with another person of the same gender. A single supplement is available for purchase on request.
- This trip has a couple of walks in the Grampians. Whilst hiking boots are not essential, they may make your experience more comfortable.
- There are some block of driving a couple of hours long, so make sure you bring a good book or ipod with music
- Even in summer the southern part of Australia (especially in the mountains) can be cool so please bring warm clothes for the evenings as well as light walking clothes for the daytime
Important Tour Information
- This trip starts in Melbourne with an arrival day and welcome meeting in the evening.
- Arrival time back in Melbourne is around midday. Please check notify us if you plan any onward travel that afternoon
- This trip is twin share hotel. Solo travellers may be paired with a person of the same gender
- We recommend pre-booking any optional activities in advance to avoid disappointment, especially around school and public holidays.
- Minimum age: 8 years
- Itinerary may change due to cultural reasons, seasonal changes, operational logistics and accessibility.
- Due to limited space on the vehicle please restrict luggage to one day pack and one soft overnight bag/backpack weighing no more than 15kg.
- Most additional Dietary Requirements can be catered for – Please ask upon booking.
What to Bring
- Wide brimmed hat, sunscreen, insect repellent
- Sustainable Water bottle/container (at least 1.5 litres)
- Walking shoes/boots,
- Toiletries, swim wear, towel
- Head Torch and Camera
- Comfortable clothing for cooler evenings and walking in hot day time temperatures
- If you cancel at least 30 days in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 25% cancellation fee or deposit will be lost.
- If you cancel between 15-29 days in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50% cancellation fee.
- If you cancel within 14 days of the scheduled departure, there is a 100% cancellation fee.
- Unless otherwise stated all refunds will incur a 10% administration fee
We recommend you purchase Travel Insurance which would cover for such things as road closures, flight, bus or other travel cancellations that would contribute to you missing the departure of your tour.
Travel Insurance Requirements
Travel insurance is compulsory for all Adventure Tours Australia trips. It is required that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation.
When travelling on a trip, you won’t be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company’s 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank’s name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
The following Eco-Accreditation from Eco Tourism Australia had been achieved.
- Climate Action Business
- Respect Our Culture (ROC)
The Respecting Our Culture (ROC) program encourages the tourism industry to operate in ways that respect and reinforce Indigenous cultural heritage and the living cultures of Indigenous communities.
ROC certified tourism operators are committed to protecting cultural authenticity and integrity, developing sound business practices, environmental protection and acknowledging Indigenous peoples spiritual connection to the land and water.
Certified B Corporations
The Intrepid Group (Adventure Tours) has achieved B-Corp accreditation.
Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
Society’s most challenging problems cannot be solved by government and nonprofits alone. The B Corp community works toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more high quality jobs with dignity and purpose. By harnessing the power of business, B Corps use profits and growth as a means to a greater end: positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment.
Learn more about B Corporations here.
The Intrepid Foundation
This tour falls under the Intrepid Travel brand who have set up the Intrepid Foundation, supporting local organisations tackling important community issues all over the world – from conservation and wildlife protection, to education, healthcare and human rights.
To find out more please visit the foundation website: www.theintrepidfoundation.org
Where Booking Tours means Saving Rainforest
Tree Hugger Travel invest in rebuilding biodiversity hotspots around the world by funding land acquisition through the highly respected World Land Trust and their projects.
How Do We Do That ?
We fund it with Your travel bookings and our eco-rewards programme.
- Every dollar earns an eco-reward
- For example: Spend $100 ⇢ Earn 100 eco-rewards
- Reaching 750 eco-rewards will enable us to fund the permanent protection of 1/4 Acre of Real Rainforest in Real Places.
- Continue earning and every 750 eco-rewards Tree Hugger Travel will continue protecting.
☆ Recognising Your Contribution ☆
You made this happen and in recognition, You will receive a colourful and informative gift pack by post.
This includes a personalised certificate, information about the project you supported and a letter from World Land Trust thanking you for Your support.
More information? Head to our Eco Rewards Programme page.
BOOK TOURS HERE ♡ PAY NO MORE ♡ SAVE RAINFOREST & WILDLIFE
Melbourne > Melbourne
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Earn Eco-Rewards that fund the purchase of biologically important threatened rainforests around the world.
We partner with the World Land Trust to make this happen and you, our customers, will receive a personalised certificate in recognition of the land you have helped to save.