About the Great Ocean Road: The Great Ocean Road runs along the southern coastal road of Victoria. 664 km/413 miles, about 9.5 hours. One of Australia's most scenic drives, the Great Ocean Road is a magnificent three-day self-drive touring route from surf capital Torquay to the famous 12 Apostles, ending at historic fishing village Port Fairy.
About the Grampians:
How to get to Grampians
Suggested Itinerary: For a day scenic drive motorhome route:
Scenic Drive Route: Melbourne to Stawell via Ballarat
Distance Melbourne to Stawell via Ballarat: 2 hours and 45 minutes
Distance Melbourne to Stawell via Ballarat: 236.0 km via National Highway M8 and A8
Towns in the Grampians are Ararat | Dunkeld | Great Western | Halls Gap | Hamilton | Horsham | Natimuk & Mt Arapiles | Pomonal | St Arnaud | Stawell | Wartook Valley | Lake Bolac
Nestled in the heart of the Grampians National Park, Halls Gap is a delightful small village with varied accommodation on offer and activities at your doorstep. The area is renowned for spectacular hiking, stunning views and inquisitive wildlife including kangaroos, emus, wallabies and birds. If you prefer to canoe, fish or birdwatch, Lakes Bellfield, Lonsdale, Fyans and Wartook are all within a short drive of town. For the more adventurous, opportunities abound with rock-climbing, abseiling, canoeing, 4 x 4 driving and quad bike adventures close by.
Only 20 minutes drive from Halls Gap, the historic gold mining town of Stawell is the closest major commercial centre to the Grampians National Park. Stawell is famous for hosting the annual Stawell Gift, first run in 1878. Check out the track at Central Park from the Stawell Gift Hall of Fame which also showcases memorabilia of the most prestigious footrace in Australia. The 120 metre handicap race is held annually over the Easter long weekend. Explore the Stawell Ironbarks Forest by bike or on foot. Located in the Deep Lead Nature Conservation Reserve, the forest is best seen in spring, when wild blooms are in season. Take in the natural surrounds and try to spot some of the endangered species that have made this forest one of the most important conservation sites in Victoria. Travel to nearby Black Range and take the walk to Bunjil's Shelter – a huge rock overhang with ancient rock art depicting Bunjil, an Aboriginal spirit figure.
Great Western is a quaint and charming township located on the Western Highway between Ararat and Stawell. First settled in the 1840’s by sheep graziers, Great Western rapidly developed through the discovery of gold and then the planting of grape vines. Today, Great Western is known internationally as an historic wine region producing award-winning wines.
Horsham, known as the Capital of the Wimmera, is a major service and commercial centre located on the banks of the Wimmera River. The beautiful Grampians National Park and the Wartook Valley region are only 30 minutes south-east of Horsham. If you head north-west of Horsham you will find the picturesque town of Natimuk and the striking Mount Arapiles which is regarded as one of the top rock climbing areas in Australia. Horsham is renowned for its dynamic arts community. Fast becoming the adventure capital of the Grampians region, Horsham is the official host city of the 2017 National Junior Motocross Championships and 2018 World Junior Motocross Championships.
Content Courtesy: www.visitgrampians.com.au
Beauchamp Falls (Great Otway National Park, Victoria, Australia)
Suggested Itinerary: For a day scenic drive motorhome route:
Scenic Drive Route: Melbourne to before Apollo Bay then turn inland on
2 h 40 min (203.9 km) via Princes Hwy/A1 and M1 (Via Geelong)
3 h 23 min (248.6 km) via C155
3 h 25 min (263.0 km) via C146
Great Otway National Park / Colac-Otway Shire / Great Ocean Road / Aire Valley Road, Beech Forest , Victoria, 3237
Walk through magnificent mountain ash forests with large myrtle beech, blackwood and thick ferns to arrive at the spectacle of the Beauchamp Falls crashing over a ledge into a large pool. One of several waterfalls in the Great Otway National Park, this 20-metre waterfall rewards a somewhat strenuous walk. To get to the falls, take the walking path from the picnic area, located off the Aire Valley Road from Beech Forest Road. The three-kilometre path is an hour's walk return, and requires reasonable fitness. The descent to the falls leads to a viewing platform (there is no access to the falls). The path back is steep and has steps that can be slippery when wet. Great Otway National Park and Otway Forest Park offers excellent camping opportunities whether you are looking for a family friendly place to park your caravan or a solitary night under the stars.
Otway Fly Treetop
Otway Fly Treetop Adventures is located in a rainforest adjacent to the Otway's premier waterfall destination Triplet Falls. 360 Phillips Track Weeaproinah, VIC, 3237.
The 600 metre-long, 25 metre-high elevated walkway provides unrivalled views of the unique beauty of the region’s flora and fauna, from the rainforest floor up into the soaring heights of the treetops. Don’t miss the 45 metre tall Spiral Tower and the cantilever perched above Young’s Creek – a truly exhilarating experience as you gently sway with the rainforest canopy.
Visitors can zip through the leafy treetops of the magnificent Otway Ranges from one ‘Cloud Station’ to another, suspended up to 30 metres above the forest floor. Specialist guides will provide training and unique rainforest insights. The Zipline Tour includes entry to the Treetop Walk.
For up to date information on road closures and conditions visit VicTraffic at www.vicroads.vic.gov.au
For information and updates on parks and walking tracks https://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks
For emergency information www.emergency.vic.gov.au
Route: Melbourne: via the Princess Highway, around Geelong on the ring road, through Colac, through Gellibrand to Otway Fly Treetop Adventures. Approx 2.5 hours
Route: Melbourne to Geelong 74.9 km via M1, about 1hour and 30 minutes
Stopover at Ballarat
142 km/88 miles, about 2 hours
Start your day with a visit to the Brambuk Culture Centre to delve into the area's fascinating Aboriginal history and culture. Enjoy the art, artefacts and activities – try your hand at a boomerang. Join Aboriginal guides on tours to ancient rock art sites and to learn more about the landscape's spiritual significance. Looking with a new point of view, explore the park further, taking in its famous lookouts: Boroka, Reed and the Balconies, all a short distance from Halls Gap and offering stunning views over the Mount William and Wonderland Ranges and Victoria Valley. Make time to stop at another of the Grampians' star attractions: MacKenzie Falls, one of Victoria's largest and most spectacular waterfalls. Take the steep climb down to the base of the falls (allow an hour return) or the easier, more accessible trail that follows the top of the ridge line. From Halls Gap, Ballarat is just under two hours' drive away. Out on the open road, along the Western Highway, admire the imposing Mt Ghiran and explore the beautiful Langhi Ghiran State Park, rich in Aboriginal cultural heritage and home to significant art sites. Upon arrival in Ballarat, explore the burgeoning food and wine scene. Discover the boutique breweries that make it a craft beer mecca, and get to know the local wines. Treat yourself to contemporary Thai at Catfish, or to a regal treat: dinner at Craig's Royal Hotel, a grand heritage hotel. To really live like a king, book in to stay the night here or in stylish luxury at Lascelles Terrace Boutique Accommodation. Before you lay down your crown, see if you can catch the Blood on the Southern Cross sound and light show at Sovereign Hill, for a dramatic introduction to local history.