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Six Days in the Melbourne area

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posts: 160
Six Days in the Melbourne area


My wife and I have six days in the Melbourne area this September. We arrive very early on a Sunday and will spend Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights in town (with some minimal business obligations). I have many things I want to do in Melbourne. The things below look good around Melbourne. What I'd like to know is 1) What am I missing? 2) What is the best arrangement of these items into an itinerary? 3) What are logical overnight stops on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights? (Wednesday - Friday night in town are covered by business and we'll stay in town, but we'll have time to sight see. Also 4) where do I need a car hire?

Thanks for your help. Here are the current things we want to see. Please put these in order given the questions above. Also, is there a ferry from Point Lonsdale, etc. that would save time?

Here are the places currently on our list (not necessarily in order):

Arrive at Melbourne Airport about 9 am Sunday

Port Campbell via the Ocean Road

Mornington Peninsula

Phillip Island

Dandenong Ranges

Yarra Valley



Skis and Songs

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 1,534
reviews: 41
1. Re: Six Days in the Melbourne area

So you have 3 days to tour Victoria before your work commitments commence and you arrive on Sunday 9am?

A few things to consider:

*Most of the places you have on your list will require a car. Some of the places can be accessed by a tour company or public transport (but I would not recommended public transport as you are short for time)

*Port Campbell via the Great Ocean Road (GOR) cannot be done in a day. To get to Port Campbell, it is a 230km journey and takes around 3 hours, that is ONE WAY ONLY. Given this , any trip to the GOR will have to involve an overnight stay unless you take an all day bus tour which I hear is quite tiring and rushed but...

What I would add to your GOR stay is a vist to the Otways National Park. That way you get the beach and bush experience all in the same region.

Healesville, Yarra Valley & Dandenong Ranges are in the same region. Not sure why you are visiting Healesville though, unless it's for Healesville Sanctuary (Australian animals) If not, give it a miss as Healesville not really a tourist hotspot and not really a nice town.

Phillip Island - although I personally love Phillip Island, I am not sure it is worth a visit unless it is specifically to see the little penguins. If you are going for the penguins only, I would recommend that you take an evening tour after your work day finishes to save some time.

Mornington Peninsula: given that you're going along the GOR, I'd skip this region as it's just more beaches and the region simply does not compare to the GOR. Was there something you specifically wanted to experience in this region though?

posts: 160
2. Re: Six Days in the Melbourne area

Dear PeterWellington1234,

Thank you. This is really helpful. Many of the things I added to the itinerary I saw on the web, but will appreciate your guidance. Here are some comments as well as a more detailed schedule.

The Otways sounds excellent. We'll add that. Any thoughts on a nice town to stay overnight?

I did pick Healesville because of the sanctuary, but we will also be spending three days in the Uluru/Alice Rock area as well as time in Sydney, Cairns, and considerable time in Perth. So if you see any part of our suggestions that seem redundant, please let us know. As tourists, we generally prefer to casually enjoy an area, rather than checking sights off a list. So cafes and coffee shops and a relaxed pace are desired.

I did pick Phillip Island for the Little Penguins.

We'll skip Mornington as advised. Perhaps we should spend two nights along the GOR.

A little more detail on our timing is:

Arrive early Sunday Morning

Free until late Wednesday. We'll spend Wed. - Friday nights in Melbourne near the University. I will be working Friday from about 9-3 but otherwise our time is free.

Leave early Saturday.

Thanks again for your help.

Skis and Songs

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 106
reviews: 96
3. Re: Six Days in the Melbourne area

How will you be feeling after your flight?

Do you need a day relaxing to recuperate, or can you start your exploring when you arrive?

If you can start your exploring the day you arrive I would pick up a car at the airport and start the GOR trip

Head to Geelong and wander along the waterfront.

Drive down the GOR and stop in Lorne for late lunch.

Visit the waterfalls and wander along the beach and through the shops

Possibly stay the night here

Drive along the GOR to Port Campbell stopping at all the sights along the way

Head back to Melbourne via Colac

I have taken people on the entire trip in one day but it is a full day and can be tiring so it is nice to break it up

Edited: 7:59 pm, July 11, 2013
posts: 160
4. Re: Six Days in the Melbourne area

Dear Dragon Princess

Thanks. We won't need a day to recover so we should be able to start right away. Is the Colac drive interesting or should we return on the GOR?

Also, it looks like there is a ferry from Queenscliff to Sorrento. If we wanted to explore the side of Melbourne down by Sorrento, is this a good option? (I'm actually rethinking the plans for Phillips Island etc given PeterWellington1234's comments, but I'm just checking.


Skis and Songs

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 179
reviews: 26
5. Re: Six Days in the Melbourne area

Melbourne is a stunning city - there is so much to do and see. I've travelled o'seas widely & still love spending time in the city, wandering, finding different cafes, quirky laneways, walking thru the parks and gardens, along the river / Southbank, the waterfront, going to an AFL match, the zoo, Vic market ... Much of this you could do after / during your work commitments ... I would put the Great Ocean Rd trip as a highlight, definitely with an overnight stay somewhere. Maybe Lorne, Apollo Bay? The penguin Parade tour can be done on a tour after work. I think I would put a drive to the Mornington Peninsula ahead of the Yarra Valley... include Cape Schank - some stunning coastal walks there, Portsea pub for a meal or fish and chips at the beach. Much depends on what you like and what you prefer to see and do. Hope you enjoy Melbourne ... I love living here!

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 1,534
reviews: 41
6. Re: Six Days in the Melbourne area

Victoria is such a beautiful state and so much to see and do. Check out this link to read about the regions:


I also second Cape Schank and Wilson's Prom but you're just so short of time. So much to see and so little time.....

Re: Australian animals. Will you be able to fit in a visit to a zoo in Perth, given that you have the most time there? Not sure if they have a comparable place to see Australian animals but I'm sure the Perth Trip Advisor Destination Experts (DE) will know. Maybe the Victorian DE's might know of another animal sanctuary around the GOR region? Just to confuse you with more choice, there is a pretty good Australian Wildlife park and Koala Conservatory on Phillip Island. You can see the animals and feed the kangaroos too.

Hope your plans are shaping up. It looks that the beaches are your interest?

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Perth
posts: 10,419
reviews: 30
7. Re: Six Days in the Melbourne area

For Perth I would recommend The Maze on Neaves Road if you have a hire car. Bout 30-40 minutes from the CBD. Has a good selection of Aussie animals whereas the zoo has a much smaller content - more international animals there.

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 52
reviews: 69
8. Re: Six Days in the Melbourne area

Returning along the GOR will be 'more of the same ' and you will not be on the best side of the road for views. You could consider stopping at the tree-tops walk - 'The Otway Fly ' for something a bit different.

Yes - there is a ferry from Queenscliff to Portsea. It departs on the hour and the crossing takes about 40 -50 minutes. You can see some of the Melbourne's most expensive holiday homes on the Portsea cliffs as you go and, frequently, dolphins accompany the ferry. From Sorrento you can have a leisurely drive back along the Mornington Peninsula or head across to Tooradin and the Bass Highway to Phillip Island.

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 106
reviews: 96
9. Re: Six Days in the Melbourne area

Hi Skis and Songs

If you come back to Melb along the Colac road you drive through lovely places like Ballarat which are worth seeing. It is also a quicker road to drive back on to Melb than the GOR.

If you want to go back on the GOR then you can head back to Queescliff and take the ferry to Sorrento. Over a few days you can then explore the Mornington Peninsula and head down to Phillip Island to see the penguins.

Drive back to Melb via another night in Dandenong ranges and Yarra Valley area

posts: 160
10. Re: Six Days in the Melbourne area

Thanks to all of you for these very helpful suggestions. My son is visiting for a few days and I'm enjoying our time. After that, I look forward to digesting this wonderful information. I hope I can get back to you all with a few questions.

Skis and Songs