Alpine High Country, Gippsland Lakes, Mornington Peninsula, Great Ocean Road, Grampians National Park and Central Goldfields.
Duration: 12 days & 3,440km/2,137mi
Whether it’s the sweeping bends and vistas over the Victorian Alps or the rugged beauty of the Victorian coastline – including the Great Ocean Road, we cover it all in this adventure-packed tour of Australia’s southern most mainland state. Visiting the Yarra Valley, the rugged Grampians National Park and the alpine high country where you can capture the sunset from your accommodation atop Mt Buller Ski Resort, everywhere you look this tour will leave you with breathtaking and lasting memories. It is a genuine collaboration of truly spectacular scenery and some of the best motorcycling roads Australia has to offer.
Day 1 Melbourne to Healesville (285km/177mi)
This fabulously scenic tour commences with a journey north out of Melbourne, beyond the Dandenong Ranges and into the Victorian wine region of Yarra Valley. Today’s journey gets the tour started in the best possible fashion, taking in some of the most popular motorcycling roads in Victoria as you weave your way through the ranges and high country towns of Warburton, Kinglake, Marysville and Healesville. You cover some of the most picturesque and best-known motorcycling routes in outer Melbourne region including Heidelberg-Kinglake Road, the Black Spur, Lake Mountain Alpine Road and Reefton Spur, before you settle down for a night of great local food and luxury accommodation at the fabulous Healesville Resort.
Day 2 Healesville to Mt Buller (240km/150mi)
Leaving Healesville you make your way through the rolling Dandenong Ranges to the beautiful Lake Eildon town of Alexandra. Find photo opportunities everywhere as you go around the bottom of the lake for what is one of the best long stretches of winding road in the Victorian high country. After experiencing some great motorcycling for a few hours we come out near the towns Howqua and Jamieson where you can pay a visit to the Jamieson Brewery and the picturesque Howqua Inlet. Head into the gorgeous alpine town of Mansfield and finish off the day with a climb up to the alpine village of Mount Buller (1805m) – just in time for a grand sunset view over the Alpine National Park.
Day 3 Mt Buller to Bright (425km/265mi)
This day has many beautiful sights and great roads all rolled into the one. It will leave you questioning what else is to come…and its only Day 3! After waking to a mountain top sunrise and a relaxing breakfast you descend the clear air on Mt Buller (one of Australia’s premier alpine resorts) to travel the winding road through the remote towns of Tolmie and Whitfield. We have a photo stop at Powers Lookout before we drop down into the King and Ovens Valleys. This exceptional day of touring continues with a run to the mighty Murray River and lakeside township of Mulwala then Corowa, before heading back into the Victorian Alps (from the north this time) for sweeping bends and alpine scenery through Beechworth, Mt Beauty and Tawonga Gap. Put your feet up and recharge the batteries while enjoying a great local meal and quality accommodation in the historic town of Bright.
Day 4 Bright to Lakes Entrance (345km/215mi)
Running along the northern edge of the Mount Buffalo National Park you travel southeast along the Great Alpine Road towards the high alpine town of Mount Hotham (1,861m), experiencing views across the Great Dividing Range in all directions. Today you complete the trek along the 230-kilometre Bogong Alpine Way (part of the Great Alpine Road), which loops through Bright, Mount Beauty, Falls Creek and over Dinner Plain and Mount Hotham ski resorts. Stop for lunch in the historic town of Omeo before heading further southeast towards Tambo Crossing and Bruthen. Here you turn left and head back towards the southern highlands for a loop through more mountainous scenery and quiet motorcycle-friendly roads before rolling into the quiet seaside town of Lakes Entrance.
Day 5 Lakes Entrance to Mornington Peninsula (485km/300mi)
Travelling from Lakes Entrance along the rugged Gippsland Coast, you voyage around the Gippsland Lakes and waterside villages of Paynesville and Metung, taking in the Ninety Mile Beach before heading towards Wilsons Promontory National Park. On this leg of the journey you get close to iconic Australian wildlife and natural wonders, all the things that make Australia appealing to local and international visitors alike. The Gippsland Region of Victoria enjoys diverse landscapes where the southern edge of the Great Dividing Range meets the Latrobe Valley and the rugged Bass Coast.
Onto Westernport Bay and over the bridge to Phillip Island where you will stop for lunch in Cowes before undertaking what must surely be one of the highlights of the tour for an avid motorcycle-racing fan, a visit to the Phillip Island GP circuit.
The final leg of today’s journey is to the seaside playground of the Mornington Peninsula, where the wine growing region of Red Hill is flanked by the awesome ocean fury of Bass Straight on one side and the relatively sedate Port Phillip Bay on the other. The last stop for the day is the summit of Arthurs Seat where you will enjoy the ride to the summit as much as the sweeping views over Port Phillip Bay. On a clear day, you can see all the way back to the skyline of Melbourne’s central business district.
Day 6 Rest day on the Mornington Peninsula
Enjoy a rest day in Melbourne’s seaside playground of the Mornington Peninsula. Whether you are looking to put your feet up indoors or enjoy a day at one of the many beautiful local beaches soaking in the sun, there is something for everybody on the Mornington Peninsula. If you are after something slightly more adventurous then maybe one of the many local attractions or day trips is more to your liking:
• A guided Winery Tour
• Dolphin Sea Swim
• Scuba Diving in Port Phillip Bay
• Fishing Charters
• Mountain Bike Hire
• Numerous outdoor activities including golf, tennis, bushwalks, beach walks, a chairlift ride, horse riding or visiting one of the many local adventure gardens
• Restaurants, cafes, gourmet specialty food retailers
Day 7 Mornington Peninsula to Torquay – via ferry (205k/130mi)
Your ride today commences with a morning circumnavigation of the Mornington Peninsula – visiting the seaside towns of Mornington, Safety Beach and Dromana – before heading over Main Ridge towards Flinders with views back over Westernport Bay and Phillip Island. Stop for photos in Flinders before heading via the coast towards the playground of the rich and famous in Portsea and Sorrento. Take a coffee break at the iconic Portsea Pub before boarding the ferry for a short 45-minute crossing of the entrance of Port Phillip Bay from Sorrento to Queenscliff. Arriving at Queenscliff you are now on the Bellarine Peninsula and ready to enjoy the Surf Coast and incredibly popular Great Ocean Road.
Day 8 Torquay to Apollo Bay (210km/130mi)
Todays 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. Take in the natural beauty of this fantastic 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 Erskine Falls in Lorne, short stops will once again ensure each spectacular moment is fully experienced, providing you with lasting holiday memories. Lunch at the renowned seaside township of Lorne with several short diversions up and over the Otway Ranges enhances your motorcycling appreciation for this region and the beautiful scenery that is the Otway National Park.
Day 9 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 travel to 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 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! 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 10 Port Campbell to Dunkeld (330km/205mi)
You travel 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 lets 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 11 Dunkeld to Creswick (372km/230mi)
As you leave the stunning location that is Dunkeld, you will make the short but very motorcycle friendly journey to Halls Gap for a morning of exploration featuring three lookouts and magnificent photo opportunities. 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 12 Creswick to Melbourne (295km/185mi)
Leaving Creswick today en route to 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 journey 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 its 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.