This post includes a complete guide to a 4-day Adelaide to Melbourne drive, including a Great Ocean Road itinerary.
Everybody loves a road trip especially when shared with international friends. Our recent cross country adventure from Adelaide to Melbourne before continuing to Sydney sees us combining multiple luxury travel hacks. These include the road tripping type of travel, utilising Airbnb and the splitting of costs with a group of friends. These three luxury travel hacks will see us save substantial money and allow us to travel in a more luxurious way while road tripping. However, you will need an a vehicle for this adventure. Be sure to check out the BEST campervan or motorhome hire in Adelaide.
Interested in other road trips, specifically in South Australia? Check out South Australia Road Trips.
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Adelaide to Melbourne via Great Ocean Road – What You Need to Know
From distance, safety issues and speed you can travel we have everything covered on what you need to know while travelling from Adelaide to Melbourne. More interested in planning? Check out the ultimate guide to planning a road trip. Interested just in Melbourne? Check out epic things to do in Melbourne.
Wanting to know more about the cost of road tripping Australia? Check out these budget tips for road tripping, or more interested in the cost to travel in general? Check out how much it costs to travel to Australia.
Adelaide to Melbourne Distance
The Adelaide to Melbourne distance is all dependent on the route you take. The most direct route is 727kms and can easily be done in a day. However, this is along a relatively boring highway and there isn’t much to see. I would highly recommend following this route for some epic sightseeing:
- Day 1: Adelaide to Robe via the Coorong (335km)
- Day 2: Robe to Warrnambool (309km)
- Day 3: Warrnambool to Apollo Bay via the Great Ocean Road (160km)
- Day 4: Apollo Bay to Melbourne via the Great Ocean Road (200km)
Following this route the distance is approximately 1000km.
Speed Changing From State to State
Believe it or not the speed changes once you cross the border from South Australia to Victoria when travelling from Adelaide to Melbourne. On an Australia road trip you need to be weary of these changes. Many of South Australia highways are 110km/h however, as soon as you cross into Victoria their highways are commonly 100km/h. With a large police presence on highways and expensive fines you need to be aware of this change while on an Adelaide to Melbourne Road Trip.
Safety on the Great Ocean Road
With the Great Ocean Road being a huge tourist destination it is often horribly busy and roads can be narrow and windy. With this in mind you need to be super weary of your safety and the safety of others on the road. Especially during busy periods such as summer, school holidays and public holidays. Also, depending on what time of year you travel can also effect the conditions of the road, be extra careful after torrential down pours or heavy winds.
Speed limits along the Great Ocean road vary between 80-100 km/h and in towns these reduce to 50-70 km/h, however this number is just the maximum, don’t push your limits. Also it’s important to share the drive if possible or stop for a quick break when you’re feeling tired to recharge your batteries.
It’s also important to know how far you can travel without needing to re-fuel and having an idea where the closest petrol station is. Australia is a huge country and running out of petrol can be a serious problem, especially in isolated areas where phone signal isn’t always great.
Interested in other ROAD TRIPS around the world? CHECK OUT:
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Adelaide to Melbourne Road Trip Day By Day Itinerary
Road Trips from Adelaide – Adelaide to Robe
The distance between Adelaide and Robe, in the Limestone Coast, is approximately 335km and should take around 4.5 hours. Stuck in a car for 4.5 hours isn’t fantastic, no matter how good your spotify playlist, so why not stop off at Coorong, which is about half way between Adelaide and Robe, in the Murraylands, to stretch your legs and enjoy the stunning scenery.
Stop Off in the Coorong
The Coorong, derived from an Aboriginal word karangk meaning narrow neck, is one of the most breath taking places in Australia. Coorong is perfect for the whole family, with a variety of different activities to see and do all year round. The main attraction is Coorong National Park, a vast wetland ecosystem which was formed in 1967 as a sanctuary for a variety of different wildlife, especially birds. Coorong National Park is free to enter and is open 24 hours 7 days a week.
The most popular activity is bush walking and I’m not surprised why, it’s a perfect activity to connect with nature, spend time with friends and keep fit, whilst capturing some mega insta shots! There are a number of different tracks that range from 1km to 25km suiting all levels of fitness.
If hiking isn’t for you, why not try fishing, kayaking or canoeing, within over 150km of lagoon and coastline you can’t find a more suited activity to this natural wonder.
Spend the Night in Robe
Carrying on your journey you’ll eventually hit one of the oldest town’s in Southern Australia, Robe. This seaside town is full of arts, craft and culture, as well as beautiful beaches and tasty food to be enjoyed by all. A visit to the seaside wouldn’t be right without a visit to the local ice cream shop and the one in Robe is not to be missed, with over 45 flavours you’ll be stuck for choice!
If sweet isn’t your thing why not check out Robe Town Brewery, full of flavour and friendly staff this brewery is the perfect place to relax and try a number of different ales.
If the sun decides to shine, why not top up your tan and head to Robe beach, 14km of soft white sandy and crystal clear water. If you’re more of an adrenalin junky why not try your hand at surfing or snorkelling.
This property is all about location location location! Enjoy this stylish townhouse located walking distance from bars, shops and restaurants in the heart of Robe. There’s one queen bed and 2 single beds, making it the perfect place to relax and unwind with a group of friends. The host is very knowledgable about the surrounding area and will give you top tips of place to visit. Interested in more places to stay? Check out these other Robe and surrounds Airbnbs.
Interested in staying in this accommodation in robe. Airbnb, is perfect with the link here!
Getting to the Great Ocean Road from Adelaide - Robe to Warrnambool
The distance from Robe to Warrambool via Mount Gambier is 330km and should take you around 3.5 hours. Set off early to make the most of your day as there’s plenty to see and do at your first stop, Mount Gambier.
Visit the Blue Lake & Umpherson Sinkhole in Mount Gambier
Stop off at Mount Gambier where the main attraction is the Blue Lake. Nestled on a gorgeous volcanic landscape, the Blue Lake boasts a vibrant cobalt blue colour during the months of December through to March each year. There’s a 3.6 kilometre walking trail around the lake with plenty of viewing platforms, great for practicing your photography skills.
Mount Gambier is also home to Umpherston Sinkhole, a limestone cave that formed by the corrosion of limestone rocks by seawater waves and the sinkhole was naturally created when the chamber’s roof collapsed. The sinkhole offers an array of scenic spots and a beautiful garden; certainly offering you a very unique experience where you have the opportunity to see possums feeding in a natural habitat.
Enjoy the City of Warrnambool for a Night
Warrnambool is a mixture of city life, adventure and wildlife. Why not head to Towerhill Wildlife reserve to stop some of Australia’s native animals such as emus, koalas, wallabies and a variety of bird life or take a stroll through Botanic Gardens and relax under the shaded trees. Enjoy lunch at Cheese World, a cheese factory selling the award winning Warrnambool Heritage Cheddar or try their famous Sungold milkshakes, calorific but worth it!
This three story house features two distinct bedrooms and an extra sofa bed, perfect for if you are travelling with a group of friends or family. The master suite situated on the top level contains a huge bedroom, including sitting area and a bathroom with a spa bath. The ground floor level is all about entertaining with a large kitchen and lounge room. Finally the basement, with an outdoor area (yes this is possible) contain the other bedroom and sofa bed perfect for resting weary heads after a long drive.
Want to stay in this glorious three story apartment? You can book it here!
Great Ocean Road Self Drive – Warrnambool to Skenes Creek
The distance from Warrnambool to Skenes Creek is 160km and should take around 2.5 hours without any stops. However, you’re beginning to head onto the Great Ocean Road. As this is the busiest part of your route, I’d recommend setting of as early as possible because the day took us over 12 hours.
Check Out Some Awesome Beaches – Loch Ard Gorge & Gibson Steps
Loch Ard Gorge
If you enjoy epic beaches, then you need to visit the Loch Ard Gorge whilst travelling along the Great Ocean Road. You can expect to see a brilliant beach enclosed by steep cliffs, one that you can get some sweet Instagram worthy shots. Also, there is some really good viewpoints overlooking the beach. Remember to take the camera. If you are tempted to go in the water, then be aware of the waves. The Loch Ard Gorge waves are notorious for their power. However, keep it safe and you will have an amazing beach to spend a few hours getting sun kissed from the stunning Australian sunshine.
We have just mentioned an amazing Australian beach, however, the Gibsons Steps is another beach that you really need to see! This is a great place to stretch your legs from the Ocean Road drive. The Gibson Steps has some cool cliffs that fringe the beach and offer a great place to cool down from the sunshine. Also, like the Loch Ard Gorge beach, the waves here can get wild. So be careful if you plan to cool off in the water. This beach is easy accessible and there is plenty of parking for you.
Stop in at Apollo Bay/ Skenes Creek
The best attraction in Apollo Bay is the famous Great Ocean Walk, a 100km of rugged coastline between Apollo Bay and the Twelve Apostles, now don’t worry you don’t have to complete the whole journey! Even participating in a section of the walk to see the dramatic scenery unfold will amaze you.
Visit Mariners Lookout for a great view of Apollo Bay and surrounding beaches or drive to Cape Otway Light station to check out Australia’s most famous lighthouse and maybe even spot some seals too!
Accommodation Skenes Creek – Sea Spirit Ocean View Beach House
Enjoy this stunning two bedroomed cottage in a beautiful location along the Great Ocean road with spectacular views looking out across the ocean. The property is a 5 minute drive from bars, shops and restaurants but is still tranquil with cows roaming the nearby paddocks. The host is very accommodating and the property is clean and cosy with all the facilities you would need for a comfortable overnight stay.
Accommodation on the Great Ocean Road can be super expensive. Especially one with a view. Do yourself a favour and use the luxury travel hack of utilising Airbnb and stay in the Sea Spirit Ocean View Beach House by clicking here.
Finishing the Great Ocean Road Self Drive – Apollo Bay/Skenes Creek to Melbourne
The final stretch of your journey with take you past Lorne, before heading into the hustle and bustle of Melbourne.
The Perfect Seaside Town of Lorne
Lorne is a classic Australian beachside town full of sandy beaches, quirky coffee shops, spectacular waterfalls such as Erskine Falls and world class cuisine at Brae, one of Australia’s top restaurants. You can even spot whales during the winter months (June to August) from the end of Lorne Pier. Definitely, do yourself a favour and check out this beautiful spot.
The Hustle & Bustle of Melbourne
Melbourne is a fantastic city to visit, full of diverse culture, tasty food, modern art and music. Wander through the famous laneways and immerse yourself in the graffiti art or find a bargain at Queen Victoria Market. If you want a bird’s eye view of Melbourne head up to Eureka Skydeck, the tallest building in the Southern hemisphere, you can even enjoy a hot coffee and piece of cake whilst appreciating the sensations views. If you prefer staying on ground level, visit Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne’s hidden oasis. It’s a beautiful setting to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life and explore over 10,000 different plant species.
With a multitude of options for accommodation in Melbourne our favourites are certainly Airbnb’s due to their value for money. Here are our top tips for Airbnb Melbourne – Luxury Accommodation in Melbourne.
Completing the Adelaide to Melbourne road trip will be one of the best things you’ll ever do. You’ll get to see aside to Australia most people don’t. It’s full of beauty, nature and surprises. Remember not to plan too much, have an idea of places you want to see and things you want to do, but to have a real Aussie road trip, just take each day as it comes and enjoy!