Great Southern Touring Route Leg 1
Melbourne to Apollo Bay
182 km / 113 miles, about 3 hrs
Just south of Melbourne, the Mansion at Werribee Park was built in the 1870s and is surrounded by extensive manicured grounds and the Victorian State Rose Gardens. Also part of the Werribee Park precinct is the Open Range Zoo where animals from Africa, Asia, North America and Australia roam in open grasslands.
Continue to Geelong, Victoria's second-largest city, and explore its historic waterfront; a lively area filled with restaurants and cafés.
Nearby Queenscliff is a maritime village dotted with historic fishermen's cottages, lighthouses and museums, and a departure point for the car and passenger ferry that crosses Port Phillip Bay to Mornington Peninsula.
Some of the nation's best-known surf beaches are located at the start of the famous Great Ocean Road, including the legendary Bells Beach – host to the Rip Curl Pro and Sunsmart Surfing Classic each April. Beyond Bells Beach is Lorne, an ideal place to stop on your journey and take a well-earned lunch break.
The road winds along the coastline towards Apollo Bay, a town on the edge of the Otway Ranges. Walk through breathtaking wilderness, explore secluded beaches or the forest canopy via the Otway Fly Tree Top Walk in the Otway National Park.
Dine at one of the Great Ocean Road region's restaurants serving fresh seafood straight from the ocean and fantastic locally grown produce.
Discover food and wine, historic seaside villages and breathtaking natural beauty in Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula, one hour from Melbourne.
Take off over the West Gate Bridge and smell the roses at Werribee Park, or head off on a wildlife safari or ramble through the You Yangs wilderness.
Surf the west coast of Victoria at beaches in the Great Ocean Road region from the famed breaks of Bells Beach to the wild waves beyond Discovery Bay.
Enjoy a real bird's eye view and sway with the branches when you take a walk high in the dense rainforest canopy in the heart of the ancient Otways.