This Signature small group personalised tour takes you along some of Victoria’s most picturesque and wildest coastlines of Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean.
The Great Ocean Road from Torquay to Princetown is one of the great scenic coastal drives of the world. The road is carved into cliffs and mountains bordering Australia’s most rugged and densely forested stretches of coastline.
Continuing from Princetown to Warrnambool the landscape changes from dunes covered in low coastal heath to sheer awe inspiring sandstone cliffs and stacks. Following the coastal road from Port Fairy to Portland the road skirts the edge of Portland Bay, the landscape is green, rich and rural, and there are some enticing glimpses of the Southern Ocean.
The Discovery Coast stretching west from Portland embraces some of Victoria’s last coastal wilderness areas, spectacular bays, river gorges, caves and pristine coastal lakes.
2023 Departure Dates.
Thu 03 or Thu 31
Thu 07 or Thu 28
Thu 05 or Thu 26
Thu 02 or Thu 30
Please refer to our Terms and Conditions prior to booking
In the morning you will be met at *Southern Cross Railway Station, Melbourne by your Golden Nugget Discovery Tours Eco Guide. The adventure begins as we travel on our fast train to Geelong.
Today you discover the Great Ocean Road, one of the tourism icons of Victoria. The Great Ocean Road is broken up into 3 sections, Surf Coast, Otway Ranges and Shipwreck Coast.
After we drive out of Geelong we begin our adventure at the start of the Great Ocean Road in Torquay. where we visit the Surf World Surfing Museum, as Torquay is the surfing capital of Australia.
As we drive along the Great Ocean Road, we stop at Southside which overlooks the famous surf beach of Bells Beach and at Urquhart Bluff which overlooks long sandy beaches, and drive through the towns of Anglesea and Airys Inlet. Our next stop is Lorne to see views of the Great Ocean Road , and to learn of the WWI ex soldiers & sailors that built the road. Driving further down the Surf Coast we see coastal views of rocky headlands and sandy beaches before stopping at Cape Patton lookout.
We stop in Apollo Bay for lunch, this town marks the end of the Surf Coast and the beginning of the Otway Ranges.
After lunch we drive up into the Great Otway National Park, with the road lined with soft-tree ferns and mountain ash trees (Eucalpytus) the tallest tree in Australia.
We travel along gravel tracks to take you into the heart of the Great Otway National Park to the Otway Fly Tree Walk, the highest tree walk in Australia.
Driving to the coast we leave the tall forests behind us and drive through dairy farms before passing the town of Princetown, the beginning of the Shipwreck Coast, the first stop which you have been waiting all day for – 12 Apostles.
Next stop is Loch Ard gorge, the site of a shipwreck and other coastal views of the ciffs dropping into the sea below.
We stop at Port Campbell for our overnight accommodation.
This morning we continue along the Shipwreck Coast section of the Great Ocean Road, stopping along the way to see coastal scenery such as London Bridge, Grotto, Peterborough township and shipwreck site, and Bay of Islands before leaving the Great Ocean Road and driving into the city of Warrnambool.
After a city tour Warrnambool, you visit the Maritime Museum to learn about the ship Loch Ard and other ships that were lost on the coast and wander around the re-created port before having lunch.
After lunch we continue along the Southern Ocean coast, stopping at Tower Hill, which is an extinct volcano, but now a nature reserve. Look up into the trees for koalas, and you may see kangaroos and emus moving around the park, on the lake there are many native birds to watch.
Next place to visit along the coast is Port Fairy, which use to be a busy port, we drive around the town to show you the highlights. As we make our way to Portland, we stop at The Crags to see views of geological formations and views over the Lady Julia Percy Island, and at Yambuk Lake before stopping at a lookout outside Portland for views of Portland.
We drive into Portland to our overnight accommodation.
Today we travel around the region of Portland, which is a major port for western Victoria. We head off first to the Maritime Discovery Centre, and learn about Portland and the Southern Right Whales, followed by a walk around part of Fawthrop Lagoon to watch the many birds that use the lagoon and maybe spot a koala up in the trees.
We then travel out to Point Danger to see the only mainland breeding rookery of the Australasian Gannet.
We travel south towards Cape Nelson stopping along the way to view the coast. The first stop is Yellow Rock, which is also a local favourite surfing spot, then to the Enchanted Forest, where we walk along the coast through a forest of Moonah trees, seeing coastal views as we go.
We continue to Cape Nelson Lighthouse for a tour of the lighthouse and surrounding buildings.
We return to Portland for some lunch before heading to Cape Bridgewater. On arrival at Cape Bridgewater, we walk to a jetty to be met by the crew of the Ecotourism Certified “Seals by Sea Tours” who will take you out on a boat to see the Australian Fur Seals ( Seasonal).
When you arrive back on land, we drive to see the Blow Holes and the Petrified Forest, followed by a drive to the Bridgewater lakes and have a short climb up to the Tarragul limestone caves.
We head back in the afternoon to Portland to our overnight accommodation.
Today we leave Portland behind us as we travel along the Discovery Bay coast to Nelson, which is close to the Victorian – South Australian border.
Our first stop is Mount Richmond National Park, which is an extinct volcano that has been covered over by the sand dunes. We have a nature walk through the bush, you may see black wallabies, koalas and other native animals and flora, as we walk to a lookout that overlooks the coast of Discovery Bay.
After the walk we travel to Nelson, which sits on the Genelg River before it flows out to sea. We stop here for morning tea, before travelling along the Glenelg River to the Princess Margaret Rose Caves.
Parks Victoria Ranges will take you on a guided tour through the Princess Margaret Rose Caves, telling you of its history and formations.
On return to Nelson, we have lunch, followed by a drive along the shores of Lake Oxbow to view the many different shore birds, and the scenery of the lake and the Genelg River running out into the sea.
We drive back along the Discovery Coast and stop at Moleside Creek camp in the the Glenelg National Park, and walk along a nature walk.
We continue along through the rolling hills to Hamilton, our overnight stop.
This morning we drive across the Victorian Volcanic Plains, which are the 3rd largest volcanic plain in the world, the plains are dotted with extinct volcanoes and lakes.
At Penshurst, we drive to the top of an extinct volcano, Mount Rouse to view the crater and excellent views of the plains.
Continuing on across the plains we travel to Camperdown to see Lake Bullen Merri and Lake Gnotuk, then to the top of another extinct volcano, Mount Leura.
Departing Camperdown, we continue across the plains passing Lake Corangamite, Victoria’s largest natural lake, then we drive through small rural towns before arriving back in Geelong, where we catch our train back to Southern Cross Railway Station, Melbourne and say our goodbye’s.