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7 Day Melbourne-GOR-Ballarat-Buller Trip (Please comment)

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7 Day Melbourne-GOR-Ballarat-Buller Trip (Please comment)

We will arrive in Melbourne next Tuesday from Singapore for our 7day Melb - GOR - Ballarat - Mt. Buller - Melb vacation.

We appreciate any comments and/or recommendations for our itinerary; we have 3 kids (age 6,10,12).

We will be renting a car from the airport from Hertz, with navigational system.

Day 1 (Tue, June 5th, arrival 8am)

- Queen Victoria Market (~10am-2pm)

- Phillip Island

- Warrook Cattle Farm (~3-5pm) - is there a better place for farm/animal experience along the itinerary?

- Penguin parade

- stay overnight (Kaloha Holiday Resort , ~130 AUD 5 pax)

Day 2 (Wed)

- Koala Conservation @ Phillip Island (10am ..)

- Ferry ride (Sorrento-Queencliffe) (~1pm ..) ..... dolphins...

- GOR towards Lorne

- overnight in Lorne

Day 3 (Thur)

- GOR towards Warnambool (12 Apostles, whales)

- overnight in Port Campbell (sunset @ 12 Apostles)

Day 4 (Friday)

- Grampians National Park

- overnight in Halls Gap

Day 5 (Saturday)

- leave for Mt Buller, arrive past noon.

- 1/2 day of fun in snow; kids ski package

- overnight at Mt Buller

[Note: will there be accomodation issue with Winterfest and QE holiday?. Do we really need to book in advance - was hoping to confirm lots of snow before going up Mt Buller]

Day 6 (Sunday)

- more fun in snow

- overnight at Mt Buller

Day 7 (Monday, June 12th)

- leave for Melbourne

- some shopping at downtown? (QVM close on Monday!)

- overnight at Melbourne, Crown Promenade

Day 8 (depart for home, 8am flight)

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
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1. Re: 7 Day Melbourne-GOR-Ballarat-Buller Trip (Please comment)

My only query is that it's a long way from hall's gap to Mt Buller...RU intending to stop in ballarat enroute as the post suggests...

Singapore
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2. Re: 7 Day Melbourne-GOR-Ballarat-Buller Trip (Please comment)

Guruswife,

The middle part of the itinerary is a bit fuzzy at the moment with rush planning over here. 5 guide books and 31 pages of forum threads does not give a good picture yet.

I just did a check on the the route planner - looks like it's 6 hours from Halls Gap to Mt Buller! If it is just a gold town, I'll probably skip Ballarat in that case or just have a very short break there.

Thanks for highlighting... the picture is getting clearer with every minute.

Anthony

Geelong...
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3. Re: 7 Day Melbourne-GOR-Ballarat-Buller Trip (Please comment)

Anthony, don't really hold out much hope on you seeing any snow. Depends on what level of snow you want.....if it is just for snowplay, you may be ok. I don't think there will be much natural snow but there is a chance that snowmaking will begin. I am trying to work out when you will be there, if next Tues is this Tues coming.....then you will be up at the snow over the long weekend.

Incidentally the long weekend (June 10th to 12th) is the opening of the snow season but as I have mentioned, there isn't any snow forecast for the next couple of weeks.Check http://snowatch.com.au/14day.php for further details. The rest of your trip sounds great, let us know if you like walks as there are a number of great walks on your journey.

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4. Re: 7 Day Melbourne-GOR-Ballarat-Buller Trip (Please comment)

willnino,

We arrive next Tuesday June 6th - and yes, I've been peeking at Mount Buller web sites - they have still not started snow making yet! Playing with snow will be minimum, the kids still vividly remember the day it snowed heavily in Mt Cook, NZ (their first time with snow) - but I hope the kids can do a bit more this time - like taking up some basic ski lessons.

Nature walks - yes. Please do recommend some short walks (1-3 hrs) that are friendly to kids. I was thinking the Grampians would have some scenic ones - and that is probably the only reason to go there (but I wonder whether now is a good time, being the start of winter).

Anthony

Geelong...
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5. Re: 7 Day Melbourne-GOR-Ballarat-Buller Trip (Please comment)

Well we have had a couple of very big High pressure systems of late and they tend to block everything else out. This has been giving us cold nights, gettting down to 2-6C and then beautiful sunny, still days that would be perfect for walks, check out www.weatherzone.com.au/local/local.jsp…

for week long forecasts.

Just out of Torquay, you turn off to Jan Juc, make your way down to the cliffs alongside the beach and drive around to the west as far as you can or want to go. Park in any of the car parks and the cliff top walk goes all the way around to Bells Beach, some of the states best surf breaks are viewed along here.

Inland from Lorne is Erskine Falls, well worth the visit.

Out of Lorne on the GOR is Cumberland River and there is another walk between Lorne and CR, only 5 mins out of Lorne.

Port Campbell has a great cliff top walk that is on the far side of the beach. Go onto the beach (it is only small) and the west end which is furthest away, has a small creek running into the bay. It isn't very wide but you may have to take your shoes off if you can't jump it. There are steps on the other side and they lead up the cliff and to the walk. You can walk all the way to London Bridge.

Melbourne, Victoria
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6. Re: 7 Day Melbourne-GOR-Ballarat-Buller Trip (Please comment)

On your first day you seem to be planning to drive from QVM to Phillip Island in 1 hour - it is two hours minimum from the city. Given you have only 1/2 day in Melbourne the market would be about tenth on my list. It is just a market selling lots of cheapish junk. Why bother? A better bet would be some of the city lanes and arcades if you want to go shopping.

If you haven't booked I recommend Colonial Motor Inn at Halls Gap - breakfast on the terrace watching the kangaroos. Be careful where you choose to eat: I recommend the Halls Gap Hotel about 2 km out of town - a nice authentic Aussie pub for an evening meal.

Halls Gap to Mt Buller is a long drive. Your kids will be bored. Check www.mtbuller.com.au for updates regarding skiing. It is quite uncommon to be able to ski on opening weekend.

Singapore
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7. Re: 7 Day Melbourne-GOR-Ballarat-Buller Trip (Please comment)

Appreciate the walks and motel recommendations.

I have a few more questions:

Mt Buller

-----------

- I noticed they started the snowmaking machines. Is this not sufficient for basic skiing lessons?

- I'm trying to book hotel early but I am still not sure of the snow condition. Are commodations generally tight over QE holiday weekend? I was looking at Mt Buller Chalet (but seems full now at Wotif), next is Breathtaker Hotel (but it does not accept cancellation). Any other good recommendations for a family of 2 adults and 3 kids?

Warnambool / Whales

-------------------------------

- Are whale sightings higher with specific time of the day?

- With whales and 12 apostles and walks, which is the preferred place to stay overnight ... Warnambool or Port Campbell?

Daylesford/Hepburn

---------------------------

- In the event we don't go to Mt Buller and have extra days, are there must do things in the spa region that is fun for family. Maybe we want to go for a hot soak in some nice open thermal pools with great surrounding scenery (as an example .. if there's such a thing!).

Singapore
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8. Re: 7 Day Melbourne-GOR-Ballarat-Buller Trip (Please comment)

Oh... one specific food question:

Where are some of the best fish 'n' chips and beef steak eateries along the way ? (hopefully not expensive restaurants).

Glenlyon, Australia
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9. Re: 7 Day Melbourne-GOR-Ballarat-Buller Trip (Please comment)

Snow making is only as good as the base and the weather. If the weather is not cold enough then there will be no snow making and it needs to remain cold for it to not melt away (logic) - so there still can be no guarantee of snow. The snow making is seen as a supplement to existing stocks- not a replacement so if there is no snow there and the machines are turned on full blast there may still be insufficient snow for anything but 'throwing snowballs.

Yes accomodation on the mountains can be tight on the Queens Birthday weekend- simply because of snow or no snow its the opening long weekend and seen as a party weekend. So accomodation can be tight although not impossible to get.

For accomodation I am sure yuo have tried the website service:

www.mtbuller.com.au

as yu can see a lot of there specials can be quiet expesnive even then.

Geelong...
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10. Re: 7 Day Melbourne-GOR-Ballarat-Buller Trip (Please comment)

As I have mentioned natural snow looks very unlikely in the lead up to your visit. Snow making though will be a big chance this week, very cold nights and sunny, cool days with little wind or rain. This could be perfect for snow making but the big question is...when do they start....normally the snow season and infrastructure won't start till June 10th weekend but if snowmaking conditions are good, they may start early.

Re. your question on Warnam vs P.C. It is a very even comparison but I would prefer Warnambool slightly over Port Campbell. There are a few advantages there, these include much more variety and choice in accom and eating. The laser light show at Flagstaff Hill and the whale watching areas at Logans Beach, still think it is a bit early to catch the whales but you may get lucky....still a great beach. There is also a very good kids playground in Warnambool that the kids should love. Check out the Timboon cheese factory if you like your cheese, about 20mins from Port Campbell.....My favourite white wine is Four Sisters, the winery is not far from Halls Gap...there are a number of very good wineries on your drive from Warn to Halls Gap.