Planning your next family holiday adventure? Follow our family friendly self-drive itinerary to discover Melbourne & beyond The Great Ocean Road! This itinerary will take you on an adventure full of nature experiences, wildlife encounters with koalas and penguins, historial towns, local food and beautiful orchards where you are able to go fruit picking and more.
Road-tested by Aarika Lee & family and the CheapTickets.sg Aussie Specialist team, you can follow our plan for a great family holiday!
Arrival day in Melbourne, the capital of the state of Victoria, start of the family holiday! First thing to do is to get your rental car for this amazing roadtrip through Melbourne & beyond. If you arrive on an early flight from Singapore you could spend the day in Melbourne, explore the city and see how vibrant it is, and later in the day head to your accommodation. Top of the 'to do' list might be to check out our must do things in Melbourne.
We suggest to spend your first night just outside of Melbourne centre in either in Chadstone, where is a great mall for all your Aussie shopping needs or in Notting Hill, where we recommend Quest Notting Hill. It's the perfect location as it's already half way to your morning destination in Yarra Valley the next day and easily accessible by car, there's parking available, and it has many dining options available.
A 30 minute drive from your suggested accommodation is your first stop, Puffing Billy. Here you can choose from a number of journeys in one of their magnificent trains, where you will go through the forest, rolling hills and open farmland. We suggest to take the morning train to Lakeside and take a picnic by the lake. It's an experience the young ones and the young at heart will love. Prior booking is essential, especially on weekends and during school holidays.
After your fun train ride, head to Rayners Orchard. This is a wonderful family operated orchard that will allow you to come in and pick your own fruit, where they have at least 8 varieties of fruit every day of the year, take a ride on the tractor around the farm and meet the Woori Yallock locals. You can pick up a punnet of whatever is season to take with you to your next location or to enjoy on the drive. There is also a charming cafe on site for a delightful afternoon tea and refreshment.
Next up, start heading to Phillip Island, a 2 hours drive away, where you can find many different accomodations, for you to choose which one is best for you and your family group. If you arrived right on time for sunset, don't miss the opportunity to watch a magnificent sunset at the Nobbies Walk. For dinner, head to San Remo, where you can enjoy delicious fish and chips. There is also a pelican feeding session here you might catch at 12pm on the way off the island later on.
The Koala Conservation Reserve is full of family-friendly activities. Not only can you get the see the beautiful Australian koalas but explore lush native bushland and see ithem in their natural habitat. You can wander the two treetop boardwalks to see the koalas up-close, or explore the Australian bushland with their the easily accessible trails
After a fun morning with the koalas, head to A maze'n Things, right opposite of the koala reserve, for an afternoon full of fun activities for the youngest ones. From the Magic Manor, to the Maxi mini golf, to the SkyTrail, everyone will have fun at Amaze'n Things. And after it, you can go to Rusty Water Brewery, to enjoy a cold beer before continuing with the day.
Our last activity of the day is the Penguin Parade, with Phillip Island being the home to the largest Little Penguin colony in the world. Every night of the year you can watch the penguins waddle home from the ocean to their burrows. And there are many more activities available, like underground viewing, guided ranger tours, and even a family wildlife tour!
The Mornington Peninsula is home to Arthurs Seat Eagle, where you can enjoy an incredble view of Port Phillip Bay and on a clear day, to Melbourne. While visiting the Mornington Peninsula, it's a must to eat at Green Olive for lunch, at Red Hill. This is a family-owned restaurant, who cooks with their own ingredient grown in their farm, where the restaurant is located. Here you will have delicious food with the freshest ingredients.
After lunch, head to Enchanted Adventure Garden for a fun afternoon, where you can find activities for everyone! From mazes, to a viewing platforms, to tube sliding for an adrenaline rush activity! For dinner we suggest to go to Lime Spice Hawker Beach Bar, Asian inspired food, and a great Laksa for those missing a taste of home. To then head to your accomodations to rest for the next day's adventure.
For your first morning in Mornington Peninsula, try out the Blairgowrie Beach Box for breakfast. To then head to the Watermaarq cruise, arrive by 9:30 AM to take the 10 AM ferry. This boat ride will take you to see the dolphins in their natural habitat. But depending on the season you might also see whales and seals durint this boat ride.
After an amazing dolphin cruise adventure, take the ferry to Queenscliff, which leaves on the hour and it's a 45 minute journey. Your first stop from there is Teddy's lookout, which is also your fisrt stop for the Great Ocean Road. Here you will have you have breathtaking coastal views of the waves breaking into the Saint George River.
Now it's time to tak eyour time to drive around the Great Ocean Road at your own speed. Go the Port Campbell and check out the multiple rock formations, like the 12 Apostles, Gibson Steps, London Bridge, between more. For a beautiful sunset, you should go to the 12 Apostles, Childer's Cove or The Grotto, and end the night at Bay of Islands for star gazing!
From Port Campbell go to Halls Gap. During this 2.5h journey you should stopover at Dunkeld, where you can enjoy the Mt Sturgeon in the background, and stop in their Dunkeld Old Bakery for a nice cup of coffee and their baked goods. Continuing the road to Halls Gap, you'll get the scenic lookouts including The Pinnacle, Venus Loop, The Balconies, so don't miss them out!
Waking up in Halls Gap, let's you enjoy the morning to explore the Grampians. Now you get the chance to instead of drive around, walk around and discover the beauty of this national park. The Grampians have many different trails for you to choose the one that fits the best for you and your family.
On your way to Melbourne from Halls Gap, try and stop at Ballarat Town, a town full of life and activities. One of the main activities to do in Sovereign Hill, where you will get to experience Australia during the 1850's. So if you have the time, don't miss out this unique experience and all the other activities that the town has to offer.
Now it's time to head to our final destination, Melbourne. We would recommend to arrive a day before your flight so you get to discover Melbourne a bit more. So relax, enjoy Melbourne's food and wine, as well as the city's dynamic art scene, or do a cafe hopping and some sightseeing before going back home.