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Picking a Great Ocean Road Tour

By Viator, October 2013

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The Great Ocean Road is one of Melbourne’s quintessential tourist experiences, so it’s no surprise that there are dozens of options when it comes to touring the area. How’s a visitor to know which one to pick? Private tours, multi day tours, day trips with any number of combinations of side trips – it can all get a little overwhelming, which is why we’ve put together this handy guide to help you pick a Great Ocean Road tour that’s right for you.

Let’s start with timing. Tours of the Great Ocean Road can be as short as one day, or as long as 7! The easiest way to start narrowing down tours is to decide just how much time you want to dedicate to this part of the world. Day trips are the most common choice, leaving and returning to Melbourne after hitting up the most popular sights along the way. 2 day tours are the next most popular, giving you plenty of time to explore the sights, and are typically the longest time spent on the Great Ocean Road itself. We’ll discuss combo tours below, which tend to be 3-4 days long. If you have a little more time to spend and you feel adventurous, 4-7 day hiking tours of the Great Ocean Road are a fantastic way to absorb the scenery over time – but if hiking isn’t for you then you can rule this option out straight away!

The next consideration is how many people you want to share your experience with. Whilst group tours are a dime-a-dozen – and not to be overlooked – there’s something a little more special about a small group or private tour. In addition to less people on your trip, small group tours often have specific themes in mind, like a small group eco tour, that you can choose to tailor your trip towards your interests. Private tours are the most flexible options, and you’ll have a say in which attractions you want to see most and how much time you want to spend at them. You will pay for the privilege of privacy, but it will make for a truly unique experience.

Now that you’ve narrowed down how long you want your tour to be and what sized group you’re hoping to share it with, it’s time to talk inclusions. All Great Ocean Road tours will visit the Twelve Apostles. They’re the most popular sight along the route and the reason a lot of people take tours of the road in the first place. Other notable sights include the Kennet River, Ottway Ranges, stops along the Shipwreck Coast, and more, and choosing your tour can be as simple as picking the ones you most want to see and hopping on the tour that ticks the most possible boxes. Tours can also have more abstract inclusions, like ones that ensure you’ll see the Twelve Apostles at sunset.

Combo Tours are your final consideration. These tours cover more than just the Great Ocean Road, taking an extra day or so to show you sights including the Grampians, Yarra River, Phillip Island or even taking you on to Adelaide. Choosing whether or not to pick a combo tour is as simple as deciding if or how you want to visit any of these extra options!

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