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Join this breathtaking safari tour in Australia that is perfectly split between beach and mountains. You will spend the first day and a half on the Great Ocean Road enjoying the same route as the two-day tour and then you will travel north into the mountains. It is almost like two separate tours. This tour allows you to explore the magnificent Great Otway and Grampians National Park, Tower Hill Game Reserve, as well as the beaches on Great Ocean Road, including the coastal town, Apollo Bay.
You will be accommodated in Beacon Point Ocean View Villas and Royal Mail Hotel.
These wonderful self-contained villas will be used as your accommodation. Australian Natural Treasures Touring has chosen this property because they believe it enhances the experience of traveling the coastline.
Australian Natural Treasures Touring enjoys the reactions of the guests to being perched high above the Great Ocean Road with sweeping views of the coastline and waking to the sounds of the ocean in the morning.
Not only does it provide great ocean views but within the native forest setting are plenty of birds, koalas, wallabies, and other native animals. This is an amazing place to relax and unwind.
The Royal Mail Hotel is an icon of Australian hospitality. The hotel provides a luxurious oasis in a rugged rural environment. It has been instrumental in bringing awareness to the sensational food and wine being produced in regional Victoria.
The menu is inspired by the chefs extensive vegetable and herb garden and the abundance of high-quality local produce. The accommodation is very modern and comfortable. The views of Mount Sturgeon are inspiring enough to take one of the short walking trails in the crisp, clean, mountain air.
The guests on this small group tour are picked up from their city hotel or Federation Square and you quickly depart Melbourne via the West Gate Bridge. You will travel through the vast volcanic plains on route to Geelong where you have time to stroll along the beautifully transformed waterfront. You will start your journey along the Great Ocean Road at Torquay, stopping at various places along the coast including Bells Beach and your scenic morning tea location.
Your focus then turns to Australian native wildlife as you observe eastern grey kangaroos in the wild. This is one of many opportunities to see and hear about the unique and unusual animals in their native habitat. Your journey then begins traveling the very scenic, cliff-hugging section of the Great Ocean Road.
While winding your way along, you will stop to view sites such as the Memorial Arch and tell you of the intriguing story of this incredible road. Lorne is the largest of the seaside resorts, with its abundance of cafes and restaurants it is a perfect place for a lunch break. You may even find time to have a swim or do some shopping.
After lunch, you will cruise along the spectacular road, stopping at many scenic spots including Kennett River where you can see koalas and many colorful native birds in the wild. Travelling through Apollo Bay, you will go into the Great Otway National Park. You will be taken on a one-kilometer guided walk through a cool temperate rainforest gully to see the world’s tallest flowering plants, prehistoric trees and ferns, and unique features such as ‘yabbie chimneys’.
You will visit Apollo Bay before checking in to ‘Beacon Point Ocean View Villas’. Your private self-contained villa is set high on a hill overlooking the Southern Ocean. This amazing setting is a great place to relax and unwind for a couple of hours. You will have dinner tonight at the famous ‘Chris’ at Beacon Point’, this award-winning restaurant with breathtaking views has a modern Greek Australian menu and utilizes great local produce.
Your second day starts with breakfast at the ‘locals' favorite’ Bay Leaf Cafe. Great coffee, tea, and vast breakfast menu make this a perfect way to start another full day. Your journey starts with Australian Natural Treasures Touring, traveling through the Otway ranges and onto the Shipwreck Coast. Your first stop is at Castle Cove overlooking the Aire River valley.
Your guide will introduce you to the strong Aboriginal heritage of the region with many tribes living prosperously around the coastline for thousands of years. In the same area millions of years ago, when Australia was part of the great southern land, Gondwana, dinosaurs were roaming the land. A unique find along the coast in 1987 uncovered important clues into the world’s pre-historic past.
The Twelve Apostles are icons of Australia’s natural beauty. You will arrive as the stacks are lit with the morning sun making them perfect for photos and crowd-free. This is a bonus for taking this trip as the stacks are silhouettes in the afternoon and overcrowded. After hearing of the creation of the stacks and holding some of the Limestone rock, you can explore the boardwalks or brave a helicopter flight along the coastline (own expense).
You will then visit ‘Loch Ard Gorge’, the site of the most famous 19th-century Australian shipwreck. Australian Natural Treasures Touring will retell the entire story from the calm voyage, the tragic wreck, the courageous survivors and their ultimate fate.
While hearing the tale, you will be able to see and hold some original artifacts, photos, and documents from the ‘Loch Ard’ contained in the treasure chests. Port Campbell is your lunch stop for today. The small fishing village of just 350 is set in a beautiful natural port and has some wonderful cafes and restaurants for food and views.
After lunch, you will travel to a lesser known but highly impressive area of the coastline west of Port Campbell. This section includes the limestone formations of London Bridge, Bay of Islands, Bay of Martyrs and Boat Bay and is seen only be a small percentage of the people traveling the Great Ocean Road. Your journey then continues through to Warrnambool and Port Fairy with a visit to Tower Hill Game Reserve for the chance to see koalas, kangaroos, and emus living wild within this extinct volcanic crater.
You will then leave the coast and drive north towards the Grampians National Park. Your accommodation is at the foot of Mount Sturgeon staying and eating at the Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld. This hotel has won many awards for its food and wine including ‘Regional Restaurant of the year 2009’ in Gourmet Traveler Magazine and ‘Country Restaurant of the Year 2009’ by the Age Good Food Guide.
Your third day starts with an incredibly scenic drive along the Wonderland and Mount William Ranges through to Halls Gap in the heart of the Grampians National Park. Your day includes a few short walks at Baroka Lookout, Reid’s Lookout, and McKenzie Falls as well as visits to ‘Brambuk’ Aboriginal cultural center and a rock art site ‘Bunjil’s Shelter’.
Your journey back to Melbourne will take you through the gold mining township of Ballarat, once one of the richest towns in the world. The end of your three-day tour concludes back in Melbourne around 18:00.
Please note that Australian Natural Treasures Touring reserves the right to amend and alter itineraries and accommodation when necessary.
You will have the chance to visit the coastal town, Memorial Arch, Apollo Bay, Castle Cove, and the Loch Ard Gorge.
Australia’s Great Ocean Road with its breathtaking scenery is not only one of the world’s best ocean drives, it is also the world’s largest war memorial having been constructed by soldiers returning from the First World War as a tribute to their mates who did not return.
As it hugs the cliffs you will marvel at the endless beaches and the color of the water. Come with Australian Natural Treasures Touring on your journey and you’ll reveal not just the history of the road but also the natural treasures that are hidden beside it such as koala habitats, spectacular bird life, ancient Gondwana Rainforests and of course the geological masterpiece of The Twelve Apostles coastline.
The Grampians National Park or ‘Gariwerd’ as the original custodians of the area new it, is a remarkable landscape of jagged mountain ranges. Vast cracking, tilting, and lifting has exposed the layers of the earth and features wonderful examples of high-quality sandstone.
The park is a wonderland for native flora and fauna. Given the chance to go off road the chance of some very private encounters with the most favorite native animals increases dramatically. Kangaroos, wallabies, emu, echidna, and many other iconic species can be found off the main roads.
You can enjoy a helicopter flight along the coastline of Shipwreck Coast at an extra cost.
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