So we decided on Melbourne this time around because of the Great Ocean Road drive, plain and simple. I’ve heard it’s one of the best drives in the world and I love road trips – exploring a region, driving, getting lost, the works! We expanded the drive to take on the Great Southern Touring route, starting from Melbourne and basically driving in a loop around attractions till you end up back in Melbourne. If you’ve got 4-6 full days days to spare, I highly recommend you do this, because Halls Gap/The Grampians are absolutely worth it.
Before I delve right into the attractions though, I’d like to give a shoutout to Changi Recommends and their Changi Wifi router. This router has saved us time and again on our trip. Our rental car doesn’t come with GPS, but with the router, we had no issues finding our way around thanks to google maps! It’s also allowed me to update my Instagram on the go, and use it when certain AirBnBs provided no wifi, or had issues with connectivity, especially in small towns. Australia has notoriously bad wifi/internet connection, especially in suburbs. Even in Melbourne, I found the wifi services to be a little slower than what I’m used to in Singapore. But it’s not that big of a deal in a city if you’re not looking to play massive online games/download tons of videos. So if you’re need to be connected 24/7, do take note if you’re headed to Australia!
If you’re from Singapore, or even if you have return flights with layovers from Singapore, I highly encourage you to consider renting a wifi router over overseas SIM cards when possible. Why?
Four simple reasons:
- Functional – Allows you to connect multiple devices at once(iPads, laptops, other phones), not just limited to your one mobile with overseas sim cards.
- Affordable – the rates depend on your destination, and the first day’s rental is waived. It’s an even better bargain if you’ve travelling in a group!
- Convenient – 24 hours pick-up/return in Changi Airport, 24hours support hotline via telephone and WhatsApp.
- Long battery life – We had a YouYou wifi router and it lasted the whole day for us, from 9am – 10pm, and even then it was still half-full!
Each rental comes with a wifi router and instructions, charger cable, and international adaptor(yay!) neatly packed in a pouch and easy to carry anywhere you please.
If you’re interested to find out more, check out Changi Recommends! Besides wifi routers, they have tours and attractions too, and we actually signed up for one of them. The review for the gourmet tour will be up next week, but you may see pictures of it and more from my IG.
Now, moving on to the actual road trip! We start off the first two days with the Great Ocean Road. For those of you wondering, yes, the Great Ocean Road can be done in one day if you’re desperate and tight on time, but it’s best experienced over 2 days.
Highlights of the Great Ocean Road Drive (Day 1):
Summary of the drive:
- Melbourne To Bells Beach
- Bells Beach to Anglesea
- Anglesea to Aireys Inlet
- Aireys Inlet to Lorne (Lunch stop)
- Lorne to Kennett River
- Kennett River to Apollo Bay (Rest for the day)
- Optional – Apollo Bay to Mait’s Rest to see the glow worms
Up bright and early, and off we go!
We stopped at Lorne for lunch and had one of the best burgers I’ve had in my life at The Bottle of Milk! We had the Blue Cheese Burger and What a Pickle – I still dream of the Blue Cheese Burger now that I’m back. If you’re passing by, I’d totally recommend this, and it’s affordable (for Australia anyway)!
Kennett River is a famed for koala sightings. To get to the spots, drive into Kennett River, behind the Caravan Park, and walk or drive 200m up Grey River Road – I’d recommend driving because it takes awhile to spot them and we only spotted koalas 1km up the road! Koalas are most active in the late afternoon, as they spend the day sleeping in trees. We were lucky to catch a few of them, and a couple of roos too! Don’t think about getting anywhere close to them though, they’re wild and wary.
Also, if you’re a fan of birds, bring bird seeds! There are pretty parrots waiting to be fed, but make sure you go before sunset, or they’ll be gone, probably back to their nests for the day as we sadly found out!
After Kennett River, we settled in at Apollo Bay for the night. If you’ve still got the energy, consider heading to Mait’s Rest after sunset for the glow worms. They do have seasons though, and the chances of seeing them are better in spring/summer!
Highlights of the Great Ocean Road Drive (Day 2):
- Apollo Bay to Great Otway National Park
- Great Otway National Park to 12 Apostles
- 12 Apostles to Loch Ard Gorge
- Lord Arch Gorge to London Arch Bridge
- London Arch Bridge to The Grotto
- The Grotto to Bay of Islands
- Bay of Islands to Warnambool
Again, we got up early for this. I’d definitely recommend leaving by 9am at least, because there’s a fair bit of driving, and you’ll need to get breakfast, lunch etc. This second day will bring you along all the main points of attraction on the Great Ocean Road drive – it’s a long day ahead!
Loch Ard Gorge & London Arch Bridge
Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands marks the end of our day, and we headed to Warrnambool for a good night’s rest. I love little towns, I love looking up at night and stargazing, and Warrnambool didn’t disappoint!
One of our “galaxy” shots:
Okay, so obviously this can’t be seen with the naked eye, but we saw lots of stars and decided to try taking night sky pic – and this is what we got. A whole galaxy laid out in front of us, and we have no clue! Incredible.
This marks the end of the Great Ocean Road drive, and tomorrow, The Grampians!