Melbourne to Adelaide via the Murray River, Barossa Valley and returning through the Grampians National Park and the Great Ocean Road.
Duration: 10 days & 2,700km/1,670mi
This self-guided tour is simply a must for discovering everything good about central and coastal Victoria, the mighty Murray River district and the motorcycling friendly mountainous regions of South Australia. Enjoy the goldfields and historic central Victorian ranges, the picturesque Murray River and the meandering valleys and rolling hills of the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale wine regions in South Australia. The return trip to Melbourne follows the coast and visits the Grampians National Park then finishes with one of the best coastal rides in the world, the Great Ocean Road, where the 12 Apostles, London Bridge and Loch Ard Gorge tourist attractions play second fiddle to 200km of great motorcycling. This tour is packed full of breathtaking scenery and hundreds of miles of the best motorcycling roads on offer.
Day 1 Melbourne to Swan Hill (350km/215mi)
We like to make sure things get off on the right foot, so after an easy motorway exit from Melbourne the morning ride takes you through the Macedon Ranges and Lerderderg State Park. You will have lots of opportunity to test the handling of your bike as you’re introduced to the Victorian countryside through the ageless rolling hills of Macedon, Kyneton, Maldon and Bridgewater. Stop for Lunch in the Bendigo district before heading north to eat up the miles enroute to the picturesque riverside town of Swan Hill.
Day 2 Swan Hill to Renmark (360km/220mi)
Day 2 is an exciting day of two halves. The morning ride follows the mighty Murray River with many an opportunity to stop and collect some great pictures of this majestic waterway that separates the states of Victoria and New South Wales. Casting aside the sweeping bends and great scenery the further north you venture it feels like a ‘ride to the sun’ as the Mildura district has an average temperature of 35C (95F) in summer. After stopping for lunch in the fruit growing Mildura district the afternoon ride will leave you with a wonderful sense of just how big Australia’s vast outback really is. A 135klm run into Renmark across the open plains and saltbush of the northern Murray Sunset National Park, the days riding concludes as you arrive at the oasis town of Renmark. Sitting on the grass banks along the Murray River and enjoying a cold drink whilst reflecting upon the first two days of the tour.
Day 3 Renmark to Tanunda – The Barossa Valley (320km/200mi)
Its only a short distance as the crow flies, but you take the interesting route to ensure you get to sample all that the world famous Barossa Valley wine region has to offer, affording you time to take in the sights and sample the local hospitality and produce. While we pride ourselves on handpicking the best roads around the country, today is simply about experiencing the Barossa Valley and surrounding districts. Great accommodation, world-class cellar doors and delicious local food are what define this region. However, let’s not forget about the scenic motorcycling as the Barossa Valley is encircled by mountain ranges to the north, south, east and west making for exciting rides and scenic country landscapes.
Day 4 Tanunda to Glenelg (215km/130mi)
At Scenic Wheels, we like to mix thing up every now and then. If yesterday was all about the local food and drink, then today is all about motorcycling. Leaving the Barossa Valley, you wind your way through the best roads in the Adelaide hills. North, south, east and west, there are lots to enjoy and many scenic views to enjoy as you go over Mount Lofty, around The Gorge and through the historic towns of Handorf and Stirling. Make your way down to the beautiful coastal resort of Glenelg where you will arrive in time to take in a picturesque sunset over the water, before enjoying a well-deserved rest day in Adelaide.
Day 5 Rest Day – Adelaide, Glenelg
Day 6 Glenelg to Victor Harbor (230km/143mi)
After two nights and a relaxing day in Adelaide, you bid farewell to the South Australian capital city, heading south into McLaren Vale and the coastal area of the Fleurieu Peninsula. Cape Jervis awaits with views across to Kangaroo Island and an exciting ride through the Deep Creek Conservation Park before weaving your way through Newland Head then Encounter Bay to arrive at the popular coastal holiday destination of Victor Harbor.
Day 7 Victor Harbor to Mount Gambier (466km/290mi)
Goolwa and surrounding districts provide you with elevated views and plenty of photo opportunities over Lake Alexandrina, which is at the mouth of the Murray River. You are now riding down to Wellington East to cross the river then onto the Coorong National Park where unlike the rest of South Australia the roads turn uncharacteristically straight for an hour or two. You arrive at the fishing town of Kingston where seafood is on the menu for lunch followed by stops along the Limestone Coast at Beachport and Millicent before arriving in the city of Mount Gambier, famous for its blue lake which changes colour dramatically each year. Borne from volcanic activity, the area is famous for beautiful and colourful limestone lakes, sinkholes and caves.
Day 8 Mount Gambier to Dunkeld (330km/205mi)
Heading north for a short distance, you leave the coast behind for a day as you move into the farming and grazing districts of Casterton and Coleraine. Heading further north you travel around Rocklands Reservoir before entering one of the most stunning mountain landscapes of this tour, the Grampians National Park. 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 the aptly named Mt Difficult stand out as main drawcards, but let’s not forget this is motorcycle country, and great roads await as you ride to the base of Mount Sturgeon, the southern entrance to the Grampians National Park and the town of Dunkeld where you can rest & recharge at the award winning Royal Mail Hotel.
Day 9 Dunkeld to Apollo Bay (300km/186mi)
Today is the first half of your Great Ocean Road experience, tracking from Port Campbell towards Melbourne. 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 will 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 great motorcycling, so we won’t mind if you cut short the lunch break or coffee stop to double back and do a few extra runs!
Day 10 Apollo Bay to Melbourne (200km/125mi)
Homeward bound all good things must come to an end, although this is no ordinary last day of touring! The last leg of the Great Ocean Road experience awaits with a trip over the Otway Ranges to the Otway Fly Tree Top Walk (the tallest tree top walk in the southern hemisphere – it also includes a zip line for the adventurous) then back down to the coastal road for more exhilarating motorcycling. Depending on time, while at Lorne you can visit Erskine Falls, take in a seaside coffee or a long lunch before your headed back to Melbourne for the last leg of this amazing journey. The final afternoon sees you make your way past the world famous Bells Beach and Torquay surf beaches, a visit to Victoria’s second largest city of Geelong, then a short one-hour motorway trip back into Melbourne.
Arriving back in Melbourne it’s now time to put your feet up and reflect on what has been a great holiday combining memorable destinations, fantastic motorcycling and some of the best scenery in Australia.