Touring through Victoria, the southern most mainland state of Australia, this guided tour travels along the Great Ocean Road, through the Mornington Peninsula and onto the Grampians National Park and Central Goldfields.
Duration: 7 nights & 1,730km/1,075mi
2017 Dates: 22nd January to 29th January 14th May to 21st May 24 September to 1st October
This tour covers the Great Ocean Road, one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives from end to end, including all of its magnificent coastal landmarks, rainforest and Otway National Park attractions. Moving into the Grampians National Park you see rugged mountains in all directions as they rise out of the western plains, before returning to Melbourne through the Central Victorian Highlands and Goldfields region. This is a picturesque and relaxing holiday encompassing great sights, unique tourist attractions, luxury accommodation and great motorcycling.
Day 0 Arrive in Melbourne and Hotel Check In
A Scenic Wheels team member is available the afternoon prior to commencement and looks forward to personally collecting you at the airport (as per prior arrangement) or meeting you at the hotel. We will use this time to answer any questions you have and arrange handover of your bike. The evening is set aside for a Welcome Dinner where you can meet the Scenic Wheels team and receive updates on touring data, riding in Australia and other general information. It is also a great opportunity to meet and mingle with other tour members.
Day 1 Melbourne to Torquay (275km/170mi)
After a short motorway exit of suburban Melbourne, you find yourself in the local bayside holiday playground of the Mornington Peninsula. While you only pass though this area, it has some amazing sights and scenery for you to absorb as you introduce your senses to Australia’s coastline. Nothing quite says ‘Scenic Wheels’ like our first stop at the top of Arthur’s Seat. Multiple switchbacks form the tight and scenic roadway leading to the summit where on a clear day you can see all the way back into Melbourne and across to the entrance of Port Phillip Bay. You enjoy a quiet lunch in the seaside town of Sorrento, before boarding the ferry for a 45-minute journey across the calm waters of Port Phillip Bay. Arriving at Queenscliff, you’re guided on a relatively short circumnavigation of the Bellarine Peninsula to visit Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove surf beaches and the seaside towns of Portarlington and St Leonards. Punctuated with several short stops to some of the region’s best wineries, you have many opportunities to sample the fantastic local food and produce and to breathe the fresh coastal air as we arrive in the fantastic Surf coast town of Torquay.
Day 2 Torquay to Apollo Bay (210km/130mi)
Today’s tour is a relaxed pace, allowing time for you to take in all that the Great Ocean Road has to offer and a visit to the Otway Fly Treetop Adventure, the tallest tree top walk in the southern hemisphere – it also includes a zip line attraction for the more adventurous. Today is also the first half of your Great Ocean Road experience. Enjoy the natural beauty of this undulating and twisting scenic roadway, which makes it one of the most photographed coastal journeys in the world. From the incredible waves at Bells Beach to the Erskine Falls in Lorne, short stops will once again ensure each spectacular part experienced firsthand, providing you with lasting holiday memories. Lunch at the renowned seaside township of Lorne with several short diversions up and over the Otway Ranges enhance your motorcycling appreciation for this region, as the beautiful scenery that is the Otway National Park and Great Ocean Road inundates your senses.
Day 3 Apollo Bay to Port Campbell (250km/155mi)
Today is again a relaxed pace allowing you plenty of time to soak in all that the Great Ocean Road has to offer. Leaving Apollo Bay, you head north to the Otway Ranges township of Forrest, popular with mountain bikers from across Victoria. You journey towards Colac, before cresting the ranges once again into Gellibrand, then down into Lavers Hill and a ride through the heart of the Great Otway National Park. As you head back towards the coast at Princetown and Port Campbell, you see why the remarkable coastal landmarks make this one of the most photographed scenic landscapes in Australia. The 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, London Bridge and Gibsons Steps leave you in awe of the amazing coastline. However, let’s not forget it’s as much about the great motorcycling, as it is the tourist destinations and luxury accommodation! The Great Ocean Road is motorcycling Nirvana, so we won’t mind if you cut short the lunch break or coffee stop to double back and do a few extra runs! Today also includes a visit down to Cape Otway and the historic Cape Otway Lighthouse, the oldest working lighthouse in Australia (but we don’t mind admitting the road to the lighthouse is every bit as good as the coastal attraction!).
Day 4 Port Campbell to Dunkeld (330km/205mi)
Travelling further along the coast, you move along the Shipwreck Coast into Warrnambool, before heading north for a short distance and leaving the coast behind for the farming and grazing districts of Hamilton and a trip to the Wannon and Nigretta Falls. Your destination is the southern edge of the Grampians National Park, where you enter one of the most stunning mountain landscapes of this tour. Covering 168,000ha, the Grampians rise abruptly from the surrounding plains to stand tall as a primary tourist attraction in the state of Victoria. Reeds Lookout and Mt Sturgeon stand out as main draw cards but let’s not forget this is “motorcycle country” and great roads await as you ride through the national park to the base of the aptly named Mt Difficult.
Day 5 Dunkeld to Creswick (372km/230mi)
As you leave the stunning location that is Dunkeld, you make the short but very motorcycle friendly journey to Halls Gap for a morning of exploration, featuring three numerous lookouts and magnificent photo opportunities. We exit the Grampians National Park via the road to Wartook and then via Roses Gap, with impressive landscapes at every turn. The second half of the day sees you travelling through the picturesque Landsborough Nature Conservation Reserve and onto Avoca, Clunes and into the historic gold mining town of Creswick, nestled between ancient volcanic hilltops bordering the Macedon Ranges.
Day 6 Creswick to Melbourne (295km/185mi)
Leaving Creswick we head through historic Daylesford, an area renowned for its water springs, spas and many natural health and wellbeing service treatments. Having set the bar very high with your journey along the Great Ocean Road and into the Grampians National Park, we want to leave you with some lasting memories that measure up to the Scenic Wheels standard. The final leg of this great escape includes more great motorcycling roads and beautiful scenery along Fryers Ridge, a journey through the Lerderderg State Park and a ride over the Macedon Ranges.
Arriving back in Melbourne, it’s now time to put your feet up, relax and reflect on what has been a great holiday combining memorable destinations, fantastic motorcycling and some of the best scenery in Australia.
The final evening of the tour includes a sumptuous three course Farewell Dinner where we share stories present an award or two.
Day 7 Hotel Check Out and Departure
We sincerely hope you have enjoyed your Scenic Wheels holiday and return home with lasting memories of scenic destinations, great motorcycling and professional service.