Day 1: Melbourne -- Lorne or Apollo Bay
Your Great Ocean Road 2-day tour begins with pickup from your Melbourne hotel or the city center. Sit back and relax on the scenic trip to Victoria's Surf Coast, traveling in the comfort of an air-conditioned minivan. Once you reach the Great Ocean Road, stop for morning tea at a surf beach and watch the big waves roll onto the shore. Continue along the Great Ocean Road to Aireys Inlet, where you can take a picture of the memorial arch commemorating the scenic road's construction in 1922. Along your coastal route of beaches and seaside villages, you’ll get out to stroll along the water and feel the sand between your toes. From there, continue to the seaside towns of Lorne and Apollo Bay. Depending on your choice of accommodation, you'll be dropped at a historic beachfront resort in Lorne for luxury accommodation in a private heritage room, or in Apollo Bay for a shared dorm room at the YHA. Enjoy the entire afternoon and evening at your leisure: explore the shops, enjoy walks along the beach, rent a kayak or even learn to surf.
Overnight: a private room at Mantra Resort in Lorne or shared dorm room at YHA Apollo Bay
Day 2: Lorne or Apollo Bay -- Twelve Apostles -- Melbourne (L)
Your Great Ocean Road trip continues to the small settlement of Kennett River. Keep an eye out for koalas resting in the gum trees, and feed the local parrots, lorikeets, laughing kookaburras, among other native birds. Stop in Apollo Bay to choose from a range of options for lunch, from cafes and pubs to fish and chips on the beach. In the afternoon, take a guided bushwalk through ancient temperate rainforest in the Great Otways National Park. Some of the world's tallest trees dwarf you on a walk in the shaded forest en route to the Maits Rest boardwalk. Enjoy another coastal drive as you head to the Great Ocean Road's most famous sight – the limestone stacks known as the Twelve Apostles. If weather and time permit, spoil yourself with an optional helicopter flight for the best views of the Twelve Apostles and Great Ocean Road. Continue to Loch Ard Gorge to learn the tragic history behind this region, known as the Shipwreck Coast for the number of ships that crashed here during the 19th century. Take a walk along the beach to admire the soaring sandstone cliffs and rock formations including the Archway, Razorback, Dumpling Pots and the now-broken arch that is still called London Bridge. In the late afternoon, relax on the return drive to Melbourne, where you'll be dropped at your hotel or in the city center.