Melbourne to Adelaide itinerary, South Australia
The Great Ocean Road in Victoria is one of the world’s most spectacular coastal drives, and a great way to travel from Melbourne to South Australia.
Day 1 and 2 - The Great Ocean Road
Travel from Melbourne on the Great Ocean Road to Lorne, and stay overnight in this attractive resort town. The Great Ocean Road winds its way between the coastal towns of Torquay, Lorne, Apollo Bay, Port Campbell and Warrnambool. It reveals some of the most dramatic coastal scenery in Australia, especially near Port Campbell. Look out for the famous Twelve Apostles – huge limestone pinnacles that rise from the surf near the coastline. Stay the second night at Port Fairy.
Melbourne to Lorne:
141km/88 miles. 2 hours 30 minutes
Lorne to Port Fairy:
230km/143 miles. 3 hours 25 minutes
Day 3 - Mount Gambier
Travel to the Limestone Coast of South Australia today, stopping in the city of Mount Gambier, which is built on the site of an extinct volcano. Mount Gambier is surrounded by ancient crater lakes including the Blue Lake, that mysteriously changes colour to a vivid blue each November for a few months.
After Mount Gambier, continue north towards the historic town of Penola and the world-famous Coonawarra wine district, renowned for its fine wines, particularly red wine varieties. An overnight stay here is highly recommended: there are numerous bed and breakfast properties and more than 20 cellar doors to visit.
Alternatively, from Mount Gambier, travel along the coast to the historic fishing ports. Beachport is a tranquil lobster-fishing town that in the height of summer becomes a bustling holiday spot.
Robe is a picturesque village beside a lovely sheltered harbour and a perfect place for an overnight stay. Indulge in the fresh seafood and explore the stunning surf beaches and rugged coastlines.
Port Fairy to Coonawarra:
275km/171 miles. 3 hours 10 minutes
Port Fairy to Robe:
346km/216 miles. 3 hours 45 minutes
Day 4 - From Coonawarra - Victor Harbor
From Coonawarra, visit the impressive World Heritage-listed Naracoorte Caves, with caves full of delicate calcite formations and a 350 000-year old fossil bed. Two-hours on, cross the Murray River on a car ferry (a short trip that offers a charming introduction to the river landscape) and travel to the historic town of Strathalbyn on the Fleurieu Peninsula, the region immediately south of Adelaide.
For those driving north from Robe, the highway skirts Coorong National Park, a long narrow stretch of shallow lagoons separated from the ocean by a long peninsula: it’s a waterbird habitat of international importance. On the way, stop at Camp Coorong or Coorong Wilderness Lodge to learn about the local Aboriginal culture. Follow the highway through Meningie to Wellington where you cross the Murray River and travel to Strathalbyn, a mecca for those who love antique shopping.
From Strathalbyn, head towards the coast, visiting the heritage river port of Goolwa and the popular seaside town of Victor Harbor. Stay overnight in one of the coastal towns.
Coonawarra to Victor Harbor:
290km/180 miles. 3 hours 30 minutes
Robe to Victor Harbor:
274km/170 miles. 3 hours 20 minutes
Day 5 - Fleurieu Peninsula
Spend time exploring the Fleurieu Peninsula today. Join a river cruise that takes you to the mouth of the Murray River and into The Coorong, and learn about the ecosystem, wildlife and Aboriginal heritage of the area. Alternatively, spend a leisurely morning exploring the coastal towns or McLaren Vale, one of the most picturesque wine regions in Australia.
Victor Harbor to Adelaide:
78km/48.5 miles. 1 hour 30 minutes
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Responsible Travel would like to thank the South Australia tourist board for their sponsorship of this guide