We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula

London
Level Contributor
16 posts
2 reviews
Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula

Hi, I am planning a trip to Oz in November which includes a week in Melbourne (1st time for both of us) after Sydney, Port Douglas and Uluru. We arrive late afternoon Fri 16 Nov from Uluru and I've booked the Marriott for 5 nights to Weds 21 Nov. We will relax in Melbourne for 5 nights and then have 2 nights for the Great Ocean Road before we spend the weekend with friends in Red Hill. We plan to hire a car for the GOR and Red Hill and I've booked the first night in Apollo Bay. We will leave early to get to the Twelve Apostles before the crowds but I need advice on where we should stay the second night. Are we better to stay in Port Campbell and see more of the GOR sights or make our way back towards Mornington Peninsula and stay in Queenscliff / Sorrento or somewhere else? We enjoy food / wine / scenery and although I enjoy a good hike my husband can't walk too far. Any advice gratefully received! Thanks

11 replies to this topic
Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane, Queensland
Level Contributor
11,851 posts
54 reviews
1. Re: Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula

To make the most of your GOR journey definitely stay in Oort Campbell on the second night. There is a huge amount to see between AB and PC and it can take all day.

Don’t miss Loch Ard Gorge - that was my favourite.

Cheers

Australia
Destination Expert
for Canberra
Level Contributor
18,453 posts
2 reviews
2. Re: Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula

>>We will relax in Melbourne for 5 nights and then have 2 nights for the Great Ocean Road before we spend the weekend with friends in Red Hill. We plan to hire a car for the GOR and Red Hill and I've booked the first night in Apollo Bay. We will leave early to get to the Twelve Apostles before the crowds but I need advice on where we should stay the second night. Are we better to stay in Port Campbell and see more of the GOR sights or make our way back towards Mornington Peninsula and stay in Queenscliff / Sorrento or somewhere else?<<

IMO second night Port Campbell or Warrnambool or Port Fairy, depending on what you want to see and what sort of accommodation/dining you want.

For example Port Campbell is good for sunset or sunrise viewing while importantly minimising nighttime driving, but it's a small town with limited accommodation and dining choices. Warrnambool is a large town with a maritime museum and an art gallery and a lot more accommodation and dining.

Driving back to Queenscliff, even by the inland route, in effect makes it a one night trip of the GOR, which is rushed. And Sorrento is even further away, over on the opposite side of the bay.

Healesville...
Level Contributor
4 posts
17 reviews
3. Re: Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula

DOn't forget to factor in your trip back to your friends in Red Hill from say Port Campbell the fact it is a long drive back, approximately 4 to 5 hours (delays in traffic can mean longer!).So you would be best to stay locally in Port Campbell for your first night then explore around that area. Warrnambool has some nice things to see, too. Near Colac there is a lovely old grove of Redwood trees. Look that one up, definitely a must see!

Weather in November is highly unpredictable so make sure you bring a windbreaker at least, for your visit to the Twelve Apostles. It is VERY windy and chilly there no matter what time of the year!

As a previous post mentions Loch Ard gorge is a wonderful piece of our history and it is a lovely spot to view at low tide.

Enjoy your stay!

Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
4,942 posts
207 reviews
4. Re: Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula

>> We will leave early to get to the Twelve Apostles before the crowds <<

You mean you’ll leave early from Apollo Bay right? Second night in Port Campbell or Warrnambool then back to Sorrento via the inland route which is at least 5 hours.

All the best.

Ballarat, Australia
Level Contributor
4,199 posts
92 reviews
5. Re: Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula

Second night in Port Campbell or Warrnambool. Then on the third day you can visit other sights on the GOR that you didn't have time for on day 2. Three full days is best for the GOR.

London
Level Contributor
16 posts
2 reviews
6. Re: Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula

Thanks all, much appreciated! We will stay 1 night Apollo Bay and 1 night Warrnambool. I am looking at Quest or Gallery apartments; I think Quest is better for us as more central.

One more question please: how long will it take to drive from Warrnambool to Red Hill and would it save time to take the ferry? Thanks!

Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
4,942 posts
207 reviews
7. Re: Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula

Warrnambool to Red Hill would be at least 4 hours, add an hour if you hit peak hour traffic between about 4pm and 7pm weekdays. No the ferry will be slower plus your rental car may not be insured while using it.

All the best.

Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
13 posts
23 reviews
8. Re: Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula

Above suggestions are good but I would consider first night in Port Campbell or Warrnambool second night in Apollo Bay. You've got limited time and this would give you time to explore the more touristy sections of the GOR and mean you have additional time exploring before heading back to Red Hill.

I'd also recommend driving the GOR the full length back to Torquay and continue onto Queenscliff. The ferry doesn't save time (think the duration is 40mins add a bit either side) but if you're on holidays it's certainly nicer then sitting in traffic passing through Melbourne.. Then you could drop into places like Barwon Heads or a winery on the Bellarine Peninsula and obviously Queenscliff.

London
Level Contributor
16 posts
2 reviews
9. Re: Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula

Thanks all, much appreciated!

Ballarat, Australia
Level Contributor
4,199 posts
92 reviews
10. Re: Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula

I think you'll find Warrnambool to Red Hill will be closer to 5 hours non-stop.

Jacko's idea #8 is not a bad one. The disadvantage is that all the roadside scenic lookouts and car parks are on the ocean side (except for one) which means cutting across traffic to get to them (not so bad) but then trying to turn right again out of the car parks to get back on to the GOR. This can take quite a while - and with well over a dozen lookouts becomes quite frustrating. Worth considering, however. If you do it this way, spend your first night in Port Campbell rather than Warrnambool. Second night Apollo Bay.

The ferry is unlikely to save you any time, but given that your destination is the Mornington Peninsula, it won't be much longer than driving throigh the city. Make sure that your hire car is allowed on the ferry. (This is only a good option if you do the GOR west to east. If you travel east to west, go through Melbourne.)

Reply to: Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted