The Great Southern Touring Route links some of Victoria’s most beautiful spots, taking in gold rush settlement history along the way. Plus, food and wine connoisseurs will adore the Great Ocean Road and its many delicious offerings. With your Melbourne car hire from Hertz, you’ll be set for an epic road trip.
Depart from Melbourne on the West Gate Bridge and take the Princes Highway towards Werribee. At Geelong, the state’s second biggest city, explore the waterfront precinct, with many restaurants and yachts. At Port Phillip Bay, you can see dolphins, seals, whales, and penguins. Surf spot Torquay marks the official start of the coastal drive along the Great Ocean Road. Once you reach Lorne, you enter the most beautiful stretch of the road, with steep cliffs falling sharply into the ocean as waves crash below. This continues all the way to Apollo Bay, where there are plenty of award winning restaurants awaiting you.
Head west from Apollo Bay into the wilderness, perhaps stopping to explore Otway National Park or Port Campbell National Park. Along the Great Ocean Road, you’ll pass the Twelve Apostle – fantastic rock formations carved from the headland by the sheer force of the sea. Other amazing natural phenomena around here include the Arch, the Blowhole and London Bridge. Shipwreck Coast is dotted with signs to mark the vessels it’s named after. Warrnambool is the only city on the Shipwreck Coast. Whales can be seen here between May and October.
The Great Southern Touring Route now turns north and heading inland to the mountain rangs of the Grampians. The Grampians National Park caters well to both those seeking thrills and those seeking leisure. Hike through bush to waterfalls and magnificent mountain lookouts, looking out for birds and wildlife. The cliffs and pinnacles lend themselves well to abseiling and rock climbing. The largest collection of Aboriginal rock paintings in the state can be found here.
Halls Gap is the hub of the area. Tourists typically base themselves here as there is everything from basic campgrounds to luxury accommodation. Attractions like McKenzie Falls and Lake Bellfield are easily reachable from Halls Gap.