Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive [ST-RV24C]
15 Days: Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive [ST-RV24C]
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Highlights & Inclusions
  • Accommodation - Sydney (2 Nights), Batemans Bay (1), Merimbula (1), Lakes Entrance (1), Foster (1), Melbourne (1), Apollo Bay (1), Warrnambool (2), Halls Gap (1), Ballarat (1), Melbourne (1)
  • Flights are not included but can be included on request - see detailed pricing below.
  • Car Hires - 14 Day Rental Car, Pick up at Sydney Airport and Drop off at Melbourne Airport
  • Rental Car Hires are base rate only and do not include taxes, insurance, fuel levies, drop off fees, or environmental fees.
  • Day Tours Included - Sydney: Sydney Opera House Tour, Hop On Hop Off Sydney Harbour Cruise
  • All other Day Tours listed are Optional (Not Included)
  • Visa Issuance for entry into Australia (additional US$15.00 per person)
  • F.I.T. (Free & Independent Travel, i.e. this is not an Organized Group Tour)
  • All Taxes and Fuel Levies (Except where noted)
  • Itinerary is flexible and can be tailored to suit your needs.
Itinerary Details
Day 1 - Hometown to Los Angeles (Check quote for inclusion)

Travel by domestic air to your destination.

If you request US domestic air pricing, this inclusion will be reflected in your quote.

Day 1 - International Flight to Sydney, (check quote for inclusion)

Travel by international air to your destination.

International air to your destination is not included in the starting price. If you requested international air, this inclusion will be reflected in your quote.

Days 2 to 15 - 14 Day Rental, Pick Up in Sydney and Drop Off in Melbourne

Discover Australia as you travel by rental car for 14 days.

As part of your vacation self-drive Australia and explore our stunning landscapes, coastlines, regional towns and wildlife. Stop and meet the locals, maybe enjoy a counter meal at a local Aussie pub, or relax on the beach while sampling some takeaway fish & chips from the local deli or servo. During one of your rest stops try to spot a kangaroo, emu or even a Koala in the wild.

Please bring a valid American drivers license with you and be aware that the Australians drives on the left hand side of the road.

Base rate only paid by About Australia. GPS, Insurance, Premium Location Surcharge, Fuel and Fees to driver’s credit card.

Days 2 to 4 - 2 Nights Accommodation in Sydney

Travel to your accommodation where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.

Day 3 - Day Tour, Sydney Opera House Tour (1 Hour)

On your vacation, participate in an inspiring tour of the Sydney Opera House.


This one hour tour outlines the intricate and controversial history of the Sydney Opera House along with details of the unique design of this architectural masterpiece. You will visit a number of the six performance venues, including the magnificent wood paneled Concert Hall and the Opera Theatre as well as the new Utzon room. You will also visit the glass enclosed northern foyer areas which boast spectacular views of Sydney Harbour – a perfect photo opportunity.


Upgrade to Opera House Tour & Tasting Plate Available

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Rocks Aboriginal Dreaming Tour

Be touched by the most ancient human culture on earth on a 90-minute leisurely walkabout with an Aboriginal guide in The Rocks, and Journey into Dreamtime, the culture of Aboriginal People.

The Rocks Dreaming Aboriginal Heritage Tour is 100% Aboriginal owned and was developed by Aboriginal Elder, Margret Campbell, a Dunghutti-Jerrinjah woman. It is led by Aboriginal guides who have Margret’s permission to share her cultural knowledge and interpretation of Sydney’s Dreamtime Symbology – all within Sydney’s natural billion year old saltwater harbour and marine environment, sandstone strata, fresh waterways, flora and fauna that continue to influence Aboriginal people’s thinking and lifestyle today in cosmopolitan Sydney.

The tour content is grounded in Aboriginal Culture with Aboriginal guides who are experts in culture, horticulture and storytelling. The journey will begin with a traditional OCHRE acknowledgement of Earth Mother’s EORA Cadigal heritage. This is further showcased in an interactive leisurely ‘walking on county experience’ that will connect you to the living wisdoms inherent in Sydney’s natural waterways, skies, and landscape.

This 90 minute walkabout tour in The Rocks is a perfect introduction of Aboriginal Culture. It highlights the perspective of Sydney’s Dreamtime heritage that is intimate, enlightening and very informative.

Insider's Tip: Australian Opals

View the world famous black opal, the ‘Aurora Australis’, valued at 1 Million Dollars; with the opportunity to bring home the colors of Australia with a beautiful piece of opal jewelry.

Australia is known as the country of origin for this splendid stone with 95% of the world’s precious gem opal found exclusively in Australia. Australian opal displays all the colors of the rainbow and holds a spectrum of colors found in nature, fire, the ocean and more. It is these contrasts that make opals a truly fascinating and unique gemstone with no two opals appearing exactly the same. In the Middle Ages the Romans considered opal a stone that could provide great luck, as it was believed to possess all the virtues of Emeralds, Sapphires and Rubies.

Share this unique experience and be educated about Australian Opal at Altmann & Cherny. Established in 1948 with hopes of sharing this unique gemstone with the world, they have built a reputation of excellence with 3 generations actively involved the families are considered leading opal experts. Please visit them at:

18 Pitt Street
Sydney, NSW
Telephone: 61 2 9251 9477

Day 3 - Day Tour, Hop On Hop Off Sydney Harbour Cruise - All Day Pass

On your vacation explore Darling Harbour in Sydney, Australia with this unlimited full day pass, or take the 1 1/2 hour round trip cruise and see all the main harbour sights with commentary.

Hop On and Hop Off at up to seven famous harbour attractions with this unlimited full day pass, or simply take the 1 1/2 hour round trip cruise and see all the main harbour sights with commentary.

The Harbour Express stops at the following tourist attractions:

Fort Denison: The historic island and cafe in the middle of Sydney Harbour.

Taronga Zoo: Discover Australia’s amazing wildlife including koalas, platypus and kangaroos.

Shark Island: This island national park is the perfect destination for a BYO picnic lunch, complete with a small beach area for swimming.

Watson’s Bay: Home of Doyle’s famous seafood restaurant and only a short walk to beautiful harbour swimming beaches, HMAS Watson and headland parks.

Luna Park: Sydney’s famous fun park with rides and games, or walk across the Harbour Bridge from Milsons Point station.

Darling Harbour: Aquarium & Wildlife World, Australian Maritime Museum, shops, restaurants and only a short stroll or Monorail to Sydney Tower, Star City Casino, Powerhouse Museum and China Town.

Circular Quay: The Rocks historic precinct, weekend markets, Opera House, Royal Botanic Gardens and Harbour Bridge pylon. (Additional Fees apply for Park Entry to Fort Denison, Shark Island & Taronga Zoo).

Days 4 to 8 - Coastal Self Drive from Sydney to Melbourne 5 Days / 4 Nights

Coastal Self Drive Tour: Sydney (New South Wales) through to Melbourne (Victoria).

DAY 1: SYDNEY / KIAMA / JERVIS BAY / BATEMANS BAY (approx 4.5 hrs)

Depart Sydney and begin your self-drive adventure with your first stop being the city of Kiama, meaning “where the sea makes a noise” in the local indigenous language. Stop and see the famous blowhole or Kiama’s local rock pool a popular location for spotting dolphins or whales. If you continue your self drive through Gerroa you can stop at the Coolangatta Estate Winery for lunch and possibly some wine tasting. But don’t stop for too long, you will follow the scenic route via Huskisson to Jervis Bay Marine Park where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the beach, the world’s whitest sands and crystal clear waters provide a picturesque setting for the diverse range of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems of Jervis Bay. Pass through the district of Shoalhaven and spend the night in Batemans Bay, a pretty coastal town on the east coast of New South Wales.

DAY 2: BATEMANS BAY / NAROOMA / MERIMBULA (approx 3.5 hrs)

Grab some breakfast in Batemans Bay before heading out on the scenic coastal self-drive. Just before reaching Moruya, maybe take some time to stop in Bega, a town popular for its cheese and dairy products. Continuing south, enjoy the coastal views on your drive on your way to Merimbula. Stop off in Narooma, a town known for its winding river and oceans rich with marine life. Montague Island, about 6 miles off the coast of Narooma, is well-known as for its great wildlife and whale watching. It is home to New South Wales’ only known colony of fur seals, as well as sea eagles, little penguins and peregrine falcons. End this leg of your journey in Merimbula, a resort town deep in the heart of the famed ‘Sapphire Coast’ region of New South Wales. Stop at one of Merimbula’s numerous beaches and see how this town is a mecca for water sports and activities whether you’re in to surfing, body surfing or simply catching some sun surrounded by pristine shoreline.

Fishing is a major activity in Merimbula no matter what style you prefer. Hire a boat for some on the water action, or check out the wharf, which allows a deep sea fishing experience without setting foot on a boat.

DAY 3: MERIMBULA / EDEN / GIPSY POINT / LAKES ENTRANCE (approx 4.5 hrs)

Head out from Merimbula and head south on your way to Lakes Entrance. Along the way make a stop over in Eden, also known as the “humpback highway”. Each year between September and November, humpback whales begin their migration to Antarctica and pass by Eden, making this part of the coast the easiest city to whale-watch. Eden’s history is steeped in sea traditions and there is no better place to learn about them all than at the Eden Killer Whale Museum. As you continue south along the coast take a break in Gipsy Point, a largely untouched land of forests, rivers, lakes and coastline. Make the time to explore a bit of Croajingolong National Park. At a size of 87,500 hectares, it would be easy to spend an entire trip here without even seeing everything, but a quick nature hike through the park still allows for incredible views of some of Australia’s most incredible natural landscape.

DAY 4: LAKES ENTRANCE / FOSTER (approx 4 hrs)

Depart Lakes Entrance and head southwest towards Wilsons Promontory National Park. Wilsons Promontory is Australia’s most southerly point on the mainland and one of Victoria’s most beautiful National Parks. It protects over 50,000 hectares which include some of Victoria’s best beaches, cool shaded rainforest gullies, cloud soaked mountain peaks, rugged offshore islands and remote light stations illuminating the seas surrounding the southern tip. Take time to enjoy the view from Picknick Point Lookout and take a stroll to Squeaky Beach. From here you will continue your self-drive west to Phillip Island. From here you will head to the quaint town of Foster. We recommend stopping in and treating yourself to a delicious dinner. You can pick up a meat pie, fish and chips or some tasty sandwiches before turning in for the night.

DAY 5: FOSTER / MELBOURNE (approx 3.5 hrs)

End this scenic coastal self drive in Melbourne, Victoria.

Image Credit: Tourism Australia / Andrew Smith

Days 4 to 5 - 1 Night Accommodation in Batemans Bay

Spend 1 night in your vacation accommodation along this coastal self-drive in Batemans Bay, New South Wales.

Batemans Bay is a divine place to visit where pelicans and seagulls flock to the shores. Relax on the dozens of clean beaches located in the surrounding area or take a river cruise. Enjoy your stay at a spacious rural homestead. Fully hosted service with generous homestyle breakfast. Salt pool, spa, sauna, lounge areas and open fire evoke a resort atmosphere. Minutes from Batemans Bay township, pristine beaches, restaurants and cafes.

Days 5 to 6 - 1 Night Accommodation in Merimbula

Travel to your accommodation in Merimbula, Australia, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.

A 3 star Merimbula hotel beautifully located just minutes from some of the city’s best surfing and snorkeling beaches. Your accommodation is also convenient to surrounding bars and restaurants.
Recreational activities nearby also include fishing, scuba diving, golfing and boating.

On-site restaurant The Balcony offers breakfast and lunch daily.

Days 6 to 7 - 1 Night Accommodation in Lakes Entrance

Next stop along your coastal self-drive is Lakes Entrance, Victoria, where you will spend 1 night.

Your vacation accommodation is a lakefront property in the heart of Lakes Entrance, near Lake Wellington, Lake Reeve, Lake Victoria and Lake King. This accommodation is close to the Lakes Entrance Museum and is located within walking distance from several shops, clubs and restaurants.

Days 7 to 8 - 1 Night Accommodation in Foster

Travel to your vacation accommodation where you will stay for one night whilst in Foster.

The township of Foster is located within an easy drive to Wilsons Promontory National Park, the major natural attraction of this unspoilt coastal region. The history of Foster is in the Gold Rush era in the 1870’s. Other nearby attractions include the Great Southern Rail Trail, nature walks, horse riding & cycling trails.

The Foster North Lookout, on the South Gippsland Highway 6 kilometres north-west of town, provides good views over Corner Inlet with the mountain ranges of Wilsons Promontory providing an attractive backdrop.

Days 8 to 9 - 1 Night Accommodation in Melbourne

Travel to your accommodation where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.

Optional Evening Event (Not Included) - Colonial Tram Car Early Dinner

As you cruise the scenic streets of Melbourne, you will enjoy fine cuisine and drink the very best of Australian wines. The atmosphere is cosy, the service friendly and the decor as inviting as the colonial period these trams reflect.



The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant officially commenced operation in August 1983. These glossy, burgundy restaurants on wheels are the first travelling tramcar restaurants in the world and ensure a delightful innovative approach to dining. Dining aboard the Tramcar is not only a culinary delight, but also a trip into a little piece of Victoria’s history.



The tram is air-conditioned for total comfort and piped music helps to create a unique mood on wheels. Smart casual, suit or similar dress is appropriate when dining.

Early Dinner 5:45-7:15pm (Daily)

Also available: Lunch 1:00-3:00pm (On Request); Late Dinner 8:35-11:30pm (Daily)

(Please note that a surcharge will apply for Christmas Day Luncheon and New Years Eve Late dinner.)

Insiders Tip: Flinders Lane Art Galleries

Flinders Lane is home to some of Melbourne’s finest Aboriginal and contemporary Art.

Flinders Lane is home to aboriginal and contemporary art styles that any art enthusiast would enjoy. Take a stroll down Flinders Lane and you will see that it boasts many dynamic art galleries, including several that focus solely on Aboriginal paintings, ceramics, sculptures and other artifacts.

Insider's Tip: Bunjilaka Melbourne Museum

Bunjilaka is a word derived from two local Aboriginal languages meaning “creation place” and is the name of the Melbourne Museum’s Aboriginal Centre. Developed after a lengthy consultation process, the Centre’s aim is to enable Victoria’s indigenous communities to express their history themselves.

Bunjilaka’s significant collection of Aboriginal cultural heritage items is complemented by a series of performance, exhibition and meeting spaces including a native garden area. Even the Welcome (Wominjeka) Desk serves an important function as part of the customary greeting ritual when welcoming visitors to country.

The museum is open daily from 10:00am till 5:00pm (except Christmas Day and Good Friday); Admission is $10AUD for Adults and Children 16 and Under are Free

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Aboriginal Heritage Walk (1.5 hours)

Journey into the ancestral lands of the Kulin nation and explore their rich and thriving culture on this award winning walk in the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. Experience a traditional smoking ceremony with our Indigenous Guides and learn about traditional uses of plants for food and medicine.

In the heart of Melbourne, the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens occupy what was once a traditional camping and meeting place for the Boonwurrung and Woiwurrung people. Today, you can participate in one of the most interesting walking tours in the city. Local Aboriginal guides take you on a journey which incorporates the themes of spirit, connection and land. Stories and culture of the original inhabitants are introduced, along with the plant lore of traditional foods and medicine, tools and ceremony on this award-winning tour.

Tours every Sunday to Friday, from 11:00am to 12:30pm
No walks: December 24th to 25th, 27th to 28th, and 31st, also January 1st and 26th.

Days 9 to 10 - 1 Night Accommodation in Apollo Bay

Travel to your vacation accommodation where you will stay for 1 night whilst in Apollo Bay.

Stay in the picturesque green foothills of the Otway Ranges, Apollo Bay. Visit gorgeous valleys just a few kilometres out of town full of rainforests, waterfalls, streams and fireflies or take a spectacular bush walk. Participate in every water sport imaginable from surfing to fishing to diving or just lounging on the beach. Nearby Cape Otway has nature walks through petrified forests and walks to mighty water falls or you can visit some of the highest ocean cliffs in Victoria on your way to the Cape Otway lighthouse, one of the most significant lighthouses in Australia (Open daily).

Your four star accommodation is centrally located in Apollo Bay. During your stay you will have access to laundry facilities, free coffee, hi-speed web access, in-room air conditioning, an outdoor pool and 100 percent non-smoking facilities.

Photo Credit: Tourism Victoria

Day 9 - Self Drive from Melbourne to Apollo Bay

Begin your self drive in Melbourne. Your journey will take you south through Geelong and Torquay and then turn westward towards Apollo Bay.

Self Drive – Melbourne to Apollo Bay – 186 km, 2 hours & 35 minutes

Pick up your rental car in Melbourne and begin your short and scenic drive to Apollo Bay. Along the way, you will see majestic monoliths standing tall sea, bottomless fern gullies, and eucalyptus trees brimming with life as they meet the coastline that plunges into the breathtaking Southern Ocean. Make your way through Geelong and then continue on to Torquay. Once you have arrived here, your journey will turn westward. Stop along the way for photos, traditional billy tea, and enjoy the awe-inspiring coastal sights. Continue on to Apollo Bay, with its luscious green Otway hills and laidback lifestyle. Apollo Bay is a quiet coastal city, known for its farming and fishing. You will spend one night here.

Click Here to View Map

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Surfing Lessons

Enjoy the Great Ocean Road and take a day to learn to surf the waves!

Learning to surf on The Great Ocean Road is easy. Our 21 yrs experience and large range of beginner equipment make your learn to surf experience amazing! We’ve also got the eastern seaboard covered so you can have lessons all the way down the coast!

There’s only one way to get started and that’s to get in the water! However a few helpful tips, the right equipment and heaps of encouragement from your highly qualified and experienced instructor will go a long way to getting you hooked forever.

Our surfing lessons on The Great Ocean Road all include: 2 hour surf lessons, Surf safety information, All the necessary equipment (soft beginner board, leg-rope, wetsuit or rashie), Surf instruction to suit your skill level

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Great Ocean Road Helicopter Ride

Take time on your Australia self-drive to experience Victoria’s Great Ocean Road and its picturesque coastlines from a helicopter!

Experience panoramic views of Victoria’s amazing coastline.

Choose from any of the 4 spectacular helicopter rides ranging from 10 minutes to 50 minutes of flying time.

1. Fly over the spectacular 12 Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge then see the charming town of Port Campbell from above. (10 min)
2. Extend your journey to also include the London Bridge. Learn this interesting story from your experienced pilot. (15 min)
3. Flying beyond the London Bridge you will continue on to the Bay of Islands. These smaller versions of the 12 Apostles seem to float in the ocean. (25 min)
4. Add on the entire Shipwreck Coast with this ultimate helicopter ride.

Making your way down to Cape Otway, the southern-most point of Western Victoria. You will learn about Castle Cove and Wreck Beach. See the 150 year old lighthouse, built solely to prevent any further shipwrecks along the coast. (50 min)

Open daily: 9am-5pm

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Otway Fly Treetop Walk

Stop by Otway Fly Treetop Adventures to make the most of your Great Ocean Road Self Drive.

The Treetop Walk is a unique attraction which provides visitors with a rainforest interpretive walk experience through beautiful cool temperate rainforest and features the 656 yards (600m) long and 33 yards (30m) high steel structured treetop canopy walkway. It’s the longest and tallest walkway of its type in the world! Self guided maps are available for your treetop walk journey.

As you proceed along the level walkway, the ground progressively drops away, taking you on a journey through the upper reaches of the rainforest vegetation. You emerge through the lush green ferns of the forest floor to the tranquillity and beauty of the forest canopy. Its a fantastic opportunity to see unique Australian Rainforest flora and fauna at eye-level. Informative interpretation panels are located along the walk which explain in detail various flora and fauna to help enrich your the Otway Fly experience. The total walk takes approximately 1hr to complete, but you can spend as much time as you like out there. The Otway Fly provides visitors of all ages and levels of mobility a unique and challenging experience at all times of the year.

The walk:
The walk is a total of 1.2miles (1.9 km) round trip and takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour to complete. Is a gradual 546 yards (500m) walk downhill from the Visitor Centre; The Treetop Walk is 656 yards (600m) long and 33 yards (30m) off the forest floor; At the pinnacle of the walkway, the spiral tower, you will be 52 yards (47m) above the forest floor; Then a 656 yards (600m) walk back up to the Visitor Centre; Features a Prehistoric Path for the kids; Shuttle service is available that operates every half hour on the half hour that can bring you back to the Visitor Centre. Last entry to tree top walk is 3:00pm

Day 10 - Self Drive from Apollo Bay to Warrnambool

Wake up early to catch the sunrise in Apollo and head down the Great Ocean Road to Warrnambool. Your route will take you a bit inland through the dense forest of Great Otway National Park along the winding road.

In about 30 miles, the road will make its way back to the coast and you’ll want to start looking for signs for Twelve Apostles. Get out of the car, stretch your legs and make your way down to the viewing platform for one of the most spectacular sights of your life. For a fresh perspective, descend Gibson Steps to the beach and see how the Twelve Apostles stack up at ground level.

Continue your tour of brilliant landmarks stopping to see Loch Ard Gorge, Sentinel Rock, The Arch and London Bridge.

Maybe grab lunch in Port Campbell, an idyllic seaside village nestled unexpectedly midst the rugged limestone coastline, sheltered by cliffs and Norfolk Pines. Pretty tree-lined Lord Street offers an array of dining and shopping options. The fresh crayfish here is legendary and few experiences rival dining on straight-off-theboat seafood as you gaze across the horseshoe-shaped bay out towards the ocean. Browse for local arts, crafts or souvenirs. Amble lazily from the street to the sandy beach and back again.

Days 10 to 12 - 2 Nights Accommodation in Warrnambool

Travel to your vacation accommodation where you will stay for two nights whilst in Warrnambool.

The township of Warrnambool is located on a platea overlooking Lady Bay along the Great Ocean Road. Activities include horse riding along the beaches, golf, scenic flights, motor boat hire, kayaking, swimming, shooping & more. One of Warrnambool’s claim to fame is that the story in the famous Australian song, Waltzing Matilda, began at the Warrnambool races. This fair dinkum Aussie song was so popular with Australian’s that at one point it was considered for our National Anthem.

Day 11 - Free Day to Explore Warrnambool

Rest, Relax or Explore Warrnambool

Marvel at Warrnambool’s captivating position, nestled into the rising contour of Victoria’s south-west coast amid green dairying country and overlooking the deep blue of the Southern Ocean. Breathe in the sea air with a stroll along the foreshore promenade, then pause for breakfast with a view at the Pavilion Cafe and Bar.

Discover the turbulent history of the Shipwreck Coast on a visit to the award winning Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village. Admire the historic lighthouses and see the infamous Loch Ard shipwreck of 1878 brought to life with a fascinating sound and laser show.

Find a spot at the viewing platform at Logans Beach and be the first to catch a glimpse of a fluking southern right whale. These giants return every June to October to their nursery at the beach to give birth and raise their calves. They can often be seen just 100 metres off the shore, but make time for multiple visits.

Day 12 - Self Drive from Warrnambool to Halls Gap

Today’s drive will take you away from the coast and into Grampians National Park.

Famous for its mountainous and rugged scenery a million years in the making, the Grampians National Park has a number of spectacular scenic lookouts. Some are easily reached by car, some an easy walk, and others will lead you down spectacular sandstone ridges and between unusual rock formations to behold the awe-inspiring vistas.

Keep your eye out for kangaroos, wallabies, emus, echidnas and a myriad of bird species at home in their natural habitats in the Grampians region. Marvel at the sheer number of kangaroos and wallabies, whether wandering the main streets of Halls Gap and Pomonal, or in paddocks and bush land surrounding towns and villages.

If you’re up for a hike, take a detour to Mt. William for the Boronia Peak Walk. This 2-3 hour medium grade walk rewards you with superb views of Fyans Valley from the summit.

You’ll find plenty to do in Halls Gap as well. Rest easy and soak up the Grampians’ natural wonders. The MacKenzie Falls and Beehive Falls are both a short drive away from Halls Gap, and the nearby Bellfield, Lonsdale, Fyans and Wartook Lakes offer opportunities for canoeing, fishing and birdwatching. Alternatively, explore the many walking tracks around town. With a total of over 160 kilometres of routes to choose from, you’re bound to find a walk that appeals.

For incredible views of Western Victoria, take a walk up to The Pinnacle. For an easy climb that will suit the family, follow the track from the Sundial Carpark to the Pinnacle via Devil’s Gap. If you’re keen to test your stamina a little more, walk from the Wonderland Carpark and ascend via the Grand Canyon.

Prefer to focus on your inner life? Book in a treatment at Didjun skin and body to sooth the soul and get rid of the city stress.

Days 12 to 13 - 1 Night Accommodation in Halls Gap

Whilst on your self-drive through Victoria, Australia you will spend 1 night in Halls Gap.

The Grampians National Park in Halls Gap is your playground. You will be surrounded by 400 million year old mountain ranges and the largest collection of Aboriginal rock art in Southern Australia. Marvel at these spectacular sights and natural landmarks in Victoria, Australia. In addition to being surrounded by abundant wildlife and native fauna, the local shopping galleries and attractions are just a short walk away. Indulge yourself in the contemporary cuisine at the onsite restaurant. You can choose from many local wines on the menu, hand selected from numerous wineries in the Victoria region before continuing on your self drive.

Also onsite: Swimming Pool, Breakfast Buffet Lounge and Wireless Internet Access.

Insider's Tip: Top 10, Grampians National Park

Don’t miss these Top 10 Must Do Experiences in the Grampians National Park (Victoria, Australia):

1. Wildlife: Halls Gap is just one of the places you are virtually guaranteed to see kangaroos and emus freely roaming. Best time is early morning and late afternoon. Be sure to have your camera ready!

2. Art Gallery: The Hamilton Art Gallery, located in the quaint town of Hamilton, is home to a diverse collection of Australian and European artworks. Also known for its works in silver, porcelain and glass. If you have the time to stop in, you won’t be disappointed.

3. Great Heights: Get your hiking boots out and get ready for Chataqua Peak or the more challenging Boronia Peak walks. These walks will offer breathtaking views of Grampians National Park.

4. Educational: Your Australia self-drive is not complete without a trip to Brambuk – The National Park and Cultural Centre in Halls Gap. The Jardwadjali and Djab Wurrung Aboriginal communities of South-Western Victoria will truly come to life as you learn of their history and culture.

5. Year Round: Kayaking and Bushwalking are just a few of the things you can enjoy while exploring the lakes, rivers and waterfalls of the park. Wonderful photography opportunity.

6. Geopark: The Kanawinka Global Geopark offers a chance to take in the amazing landscapes and travel back in time over thousands of years. See how the Aboriginal people made use of the land when they lived here. Located near Hamilton.

7. Flaura: If your self-drive in Victoria takes place between August and mid November, you are in for a real treat! Spring is when the wildflowers frame the waterfalls and walking trails. The wildflowers make for an unforgettable sight.

8. Adventurous: If you are a thrill seeker, try your hand at rock climbing, abseiling, quad bike safaris, horse trail rides and bush walking.

9. Wine: See the town of Great Western and visit the underground cellars housing thousands of bottles of sparkling wine. Or choose from the many above ground wineries.

10. History: The Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre is located in Ararat, and details the start of this gold-mining town. Ararat is the only town established by the Chinese.

Insider's Tip: Brambuk, The National Park and Cultural Centre

Your Australia self-drive is not complete without a trip to Brambuk – The National Park and Cultural Centre in Halls Gap. The Jardwadjali and Djab Wurrung Aboriginal communities of South-Western Victoria will truly come to life as you learn of their history and culture.


Be sure to join in on some of the activities and tours offered at the centre. The Bunjil Creation Tour takes you on an educational journey of the local Dreamtime creation story. You will view the ancient rock art at the resting place of the Creator Spirit Bunjil, his two helpers the Bram-Bram-Bult brothers, and learn about the spiritual significance of the area (3hrs).




Take the opportunity to experience Six Seasons Tour, where you will be given the chance to immerse yourself in the Aboriginal culture AND spectacular environment of the Grampians National Park. You will venture out and explore a variety of ancient rock art and view the Park from the most scenic vantage points (5½hrs, pre-booking required). You may also choose from a range of exciting cultural activities offered at the centre. Learn how to throw a Boomerang, discover the Didgeridoo and its hypnotic tones, stroll through the gardens on a Bushfoods Discovery Walk or join the Badeema Djilga Creations activity and create a unique momento of your self drive trip using Aboriginal art as your inspiration (choose from message stones, boomerangs or canvas). All this and more awaits you at The National Park and Cultural Centre in Halls Gap, Victoria, Australia.

Open Daily from 9am-5pm; Free Entry; a 5 minute drive from your accommodation.

Day 13 - Self Drive from Halls Gap to Ballarat

Today you will make your way to Ballarat.

It’s just like stepping back in time to goldrush Ballarat during the 1850s – from the hustle and bustle of Main Street where costumed ladies and gents parade their new-found wealth, to the excitement of the Red Hill Gully Diggings where visitors pan for real gold and it’s ‘finders keepers’! Visitors can see a $150,000 gold pour, ride in a horse-drawn carriage and watch street performers, including the Redcoat Soldiers who march and drill before firing their muskets. For the adventurous, there are underground mine tours with an inclined tramway ride.

Animal lovers will enjoy a stop at the Ballarat Wildlife Park. Set upon 32 acres of woodland is a collection of Australian native animals and reptiles which have been chosen for their educational and conservation potential. The Reptile collection features over 200 snakes, lizards, turtles, crocodiles and frogs. In January 2014, a new $1million Crocodile Billabong Enclosure was opened, featuring the newly aquired 5 metre crocodile ‘Crunch’!

Days 13 to 14 - 1 Night Accommodation in Ballarat

Travel to your vacation accommodation where you will stay for one night whilst in Ballarat.

Located in the heart of the city, on Historic Bakery Hill, your four star accommodation is one of Ballarat’s most contemporary properties.

Only a short drive away are the city’s biggest highlights- Sovereign Hill, the Wildlife Park and Lake Wendouree. Restaurants, hotels, day spas, antique shops, the art gallery and theatre are within walking distance from your hotel.

Insider's Tip: Sovereign Hill & Blood on the Southern Cross

Australia’s foremost outdoor museum, Sovereign Hill re-creates Ballarat’s first ten years after the discovery of gold in 1851 when thousands of international adventurers rushed to the Australian goldfields in search of fortune.

By day, Sovereign Hill is where Australia’s history comes to life! It’s just like stepping back in time – from the hustle and bustle of Main Street where costumed ladies and gents parade their new-found wealth, to the excitement of the Red Hill Gully Diggings where you can pan for real gold and it’s yours to keep!

At Sovereign Hill, you can see a spectacular $100,000 gold pour, venture underground on a fully-guided gold mine tour or catch a horse-drawn coach and tour the town. Go shopping 1850s-style and visit hotels, schools and a theatre with goldfields entertainers. See steam-driven machinery in action and chat with our wheelwrights, candlemakers and confectioners as they ply their trades.On our streets and in our theatre, you will be entertained by costumed goldfields characters who are happy to pose for a great photo.

By night, Sovereign Hill presents its spectacular, multi-million dollar sound- and-light show, ‘Blood on the Southern Cross’, the dramatic story of the 1854 Eureka Uprising. Sovereign Hill’s commitment to authenticity and value-for-money family entertainment saw us judged as Australia’s Best Historic and Cultural Experience 2009 by Travelling in Australia Magazine.

Hours: 10 am to 5 pm every day except Christmas Day.
During daylight saving, Sovereign Hill is open until 5.30 pm.

Insider's Tip: Ballarat Wilflife Park

Come enjoy Victoria’s number 1 interactive wildlife conservation experience, the Ballarat Wildlife Park.

This award winning Park is owned and operated by Greg Parker and his family. Founded in 1985 through a passion for conservation of wildlife and the environment, the Parker family have long realised the value of allowing people and animals to come together in a relaxing, friendly and educational environment. The selection of animals is truly unique and features animals that can only be described as natural wonders of the world!

Enjoy close contact with Australian native animals. Feed the free-roaming kangaroos. Free guided tour daily at 11am. Animal shows on weekends include Snakes, Koalas, Wombats, Crocodiles and Alligators, Tasmanian Devils and Spotted Tail Quolls. This is the perfect place to get a Koala or Wombat photo.

Open 9am – 5:30pm every day except Christmas Day.

Day 14 - Self Drive from Ballarat to Melbourne

Continuing to on your last portion of the Victoria Self Drive, you will be traveling between Ballarat and Melbourne.

Here are some ideas of things to do along your self-drive through Victoria, Australia:

1. Visit Sovereign Hill, an outdoor living museum located in Ballarat, Victoria. Travel back in time and experience life as it was during the 1850’s gold rush! This is a remarkable replica of this historic town. Dress up in the 19th century fashions and visit the old mining village.
2. When you stop in at Sovereign Hill be sure to stay for the Blood on the Southern Cross, a spectacular sound and light show retelling the story of the Eureka Uprising.
3. Experience the history of Australian art at the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Enjoy the extensive permanent collection of colonial, impressionist and contemporary masterpieces. Keep an eye out for the original Eureka Flag and learn about its importance with your free iPod tour guide.
4. Meet native animals and come in close contact free-roaming Kangaroos at the Ballarat Wildlife Park. This is the perfect opportunity for a Koala or Wombat photo.
5. Ballarat Botanical Gardens is one of Australia’s oldest and finest gardens. Stroll through the statuary pavilion, which features Benzoni’s beautiful Flight from Pompeii among other treasures. 6. While you’re at the Boanical Gardens, be sure to explore the Prime Minister’s Avenue – a remarkable collection of bronze portraits of all 25 Australian Prime Ministers.
7. Take a stroll around the town to check out the magnificent buildings and architecture. These are a result of the extreme wealth generated by the gold rush.
8. Ballarat’s fascinating Gold Museum boasts one of Australia’s finest collections of gold coins and gold nuggets. Here you will learn of the tales and legends of the gold rush years.
9. If rest and relaxation is what you are looking for, venture off the beaten track to Daylesford or Hepburn Springs, known as the Spa Capital of Australia. Also a renowned location for food lovers and luxury seekers.
10. Wineries are abundant in Victoria, Australia. Travel to Avoca at the base of the Pyrenees, or along your way to Melbourne stop by the wineries around Bacchus Marsh. You won’t be disappointed.

Days 14 to 15 - 1 Night Accommodation in Melbourne

Travel to your accommodation where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.

Day 15 - International Flight from Melbourne, (check quote for inclusion)

Travel by international air to your destination.

International air to your destination is not included in the starting price. If you requested international air, this inclusion will be reflected in your quote.

Day 15 - Los Angeles to Hometown (Check quote for inclusion)

Travel by domestic air to your destination.

If you request US domestic air pricing, this inclusion will be reflected in your quote.

Packages by About Australia, a fully bonded and ARC accredited travel company.