A seven-day road trip through Victoria isn’t exactly a tribute to ‘slow travel’. Home to some of the most iconic coastline in the world (over 2,500km’s in length), a myriad of exceptional national parks, quaint villages with incredible fare and some quintessential Aussie outback, this beautiful state literally has too much to do.
With more than enough incredible sights to fill your week (and then some), squeezing all the adventure potential Victoria has into seven days is a tough gig, but it is possible. You’ve just got to know where to go!
We recently spent a week exploring the region in a Jucy Crib (which we highly recommend), and loved every minute of it. We’ve prepared our ultimate seven-day Victorian road trip guide, starting from Melbourne, which will allow you to plan your own unforgettable road trip.
THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD
A world-renowned coastal masterpiece, the Great Ocean Road is the perfect mix of world-class surf breaks, old growth rainforest, misty waterfalls, sheer cliffs, sleepy seaside towns and endless incredible views!
Rising out of the vast plains of western Victoria, the Grampians are impressive mountain range known for their rugged natural beauty, picturesque waterfalls, abundant wildlife, aboriginal rock art, epic campsites and some of the best viewpoints (read: Instagram hotspots) in all of Victoria.
Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges region is the perfect place to chill out, enjoy some incredible food and wine, meander through the historic villages and if you have the time, invigorate the body and mind at a mineral spa.
DAY BY DAY TRIP PLANNER
DAY #1 – MELBOURNE – LORNE
Depart Melbourne in your Jucy rental early and slowly make your way to the beautiful seaside town of Lorne, 3 hours away.
We recommend stopping at these various sights along the way: the famous Great Ocean Road memorial arch for a photo (after all, if you’ve been there but didn’t ‘gram it, did it even happen?), Split Point lighthouse for some incredible views along the whole coast, Fairhaven beach for a swim, and the Aireys Inlet pub for lunch. You’ll also be spoiled for views at the various lookout points, especially after Anglesea. Arrive just in time for a sundowner at the Lorne Pub!
Where to Stay | Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park
DAY 2 – LORNE
Wake up early to the sound of the sea before making your way up to the stunning Erskine Falls (before the crowds). Make sure you walk right down to the bottom of the falls for the most amazing scenery.
Head back to Lorne for a breakfast burger and milkshake at The Bottle of Milk in Lorne (it’s pretty much the best thing ever). Spend the rest of the day relaxing on the beach, enjoying the Aussie sun and pristine turquoise waters of Lorne’s main beach.
When the sun falls, the trendy Chopsticks Noodle Bar is where it’s at for some tasty Asian food and beer.
Where to stay | Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park
DAY #3 – LORNE – PRINCETOWN
Slowly make your way out of Lorne, and begin the most scenic part of the Great Ocean Road on your way to Apollo Bay. You’ll probably want to leave early for this part too, considering the urge to pull over at every single turnout and take photos of the epic coastline will be strong. If you’re inclined, stop and have a swim at one of the deserted beaches you see along the way too.
Get your fish and chip fix at one of the takeaway shops in Apollo Bay before heading into the Otway Ranges. If you have time, you can go zip lining or explore the forest from the treetops at the Otway Fly Treetop Adventures, or go for a quick hike to one of the many waterfalls (Hopetoun Falls is our fave).
If time permits, the 12 Apostles at sunset makes for an absolutely epic golden hour. Sure, it might be super busy, but it’s totally worth it.
Where to stay | Princetown Caravan Park
DAY #4 – THE 12 APOSTLES – HALLS GAP (THE GRAMPIANS)
They say the early bird catches the worm, and never a truer phrase was spoken around these parts! Want to have the 12 Apostles all to yourself and watch an epic sunrise? Get up early (5am), wrap yourself in a blanket and watch the landscape come to life. Don’t forget to check out Gibson’s Steps and Loch Ard Gorge after as well!
Once you’re done taking in the sheer beauty of the Twelve Apostles, buckle in and put on your favourite playlist as you drive from there to the Grampians. It’s a long drive, but you’ll find heaps of food options in Warrnambool on your way.
Head straight to Halls Gap and get your site ready before setting off to catch the sunset from one of the many epic vantage points close by. Tonight’s the perfect night for a barbeque, beer and potentially a few interesting conversations with fellow camp mates.
Where to stay | Big4 Grampians Parkgate
DAY #5 – THE GRAMPIANS
If you want to see one of the most impressive sunrises ever, head up to Boroka lookout before the break of day and watch the first light fall over the vast plains below.
Close by you’ll find the stunning MacKenzie Falls, which you can swim in if the weather is warm enough (if it’s cold, beware – that water is icy, as we discovered!). Head back to Halls Gap to chill out, have lunch and enjoy the afternoon sun. Or, if you’re up for it, there are a heap of amazing hikes within the Grampians National park, or you can try your hand (and feet) at rock climbing.
Another day, another sunset. This time head up to Reids Lookout with some beer, biscuits and dip and watch nature’s ultimate show.
Where to stay | Big4 Grampians Parkgate
DAY #6 – THE GRAMPIANS – DAYLESFORD
If you’re all ‘sun-rised’ out, have a sleep in, you’ve deserved it. Otherwise, if the early rise life has got you, head up to Mt. William – said to the be the best sunrise location in all of the Grampians.
If you’re after the mother of all leg workouts (why not?!), try the Pinnacles walk. It’s short (about 3hrs return) but hard, yet the views from the top are totally worth it.
Now’s time to wave goodbye to this bush playground and head to Daylesford, a short two hour drive away. You’ll probably get there around dinner, so try a traditional Aussie pub meal from one a number of quaint country pubs in the area before settling in for a long night’s sleep.
Where to stay | Jubilee Lake Holiday Park
DAY #7 – DAYLESFORD – MELBOURNE
Today is all about the lazy day, which is fitting considering you’re in Victoria’s spa district; wake up and head into town for a delicious breakfast at one of the many exceptional cafes before a walk around town and Lake Daylesford. If you’ve got time, this is the place to get your spa on. Enjoy!
Sadly all great things must come to an end, and this afternoon you’re going to have to slowly start making your way back to Melbourne, via historic towns including Hepburn Springs and Trentham.
KEEP READING: BEST DAY TRIPS FROM MELBOURNE – DAYLESFORD
Plan your accommodation | It’s important to plan ahead, especially in the summer months or during school holidays. Hotels, hostels and holiday parks will book out, so be sure to check availability online before you go. We recommend using the following booking services:
If you’re looking for accommodation throughout Victoria, we recommend using Hotel’s Combined, the world’s best hotel comparison site. You can also use Agoda and Booking.com to find accommodation you’re looking for at the lowest possible prices.
If you’re after your own space, use AirBnB; there are some absolutely amazing listings along the Great Ocean Road! As a gift from us to you, you can get £25 off your first Airbnb booking by signing up here.
Hire a Jucy van | If you’re going to road trip through Victoria, you need a set of wheels. We recommend getting a Jucy van, a pimped out mini-campervan which allows you to sleep wherever you choose (within reason!). They’re also home to a mini kitchen, bed, and sound system. What more could you want?!
Drive on the left | Yep, in Australia you drive on the left-hand side of the road, so if you’re not from a country that drives on the left-hand side (aka the normal side!) of the road, you’ll have to remember this every time you drive. It shouldn’t be too hard, just follow everyone else!
You’ll need a valid licence | As an international visitor, you are able to drive in Australia with your foreign licence for three months, so long as that licence is in English.
Safety | Australia is one safe country and if you take the necessary precautions you’ll have no issues. However, if embarking on a road trip, you do need to take necessary safety measures while driving on the open road. These include:
- Follow the speed limit
- Don’t drink and drive
- Rest if you’re tired
- Be careful on windy, coastal roads
- Watch out for wildlife, including Kangaroos, at dusk. This is peak grazing time, and you’ll see them lining the roads in rural areas.
Thanks to JUCY for helping me make this road trip possible. Find out more at www.jucyworld.com and follow them on social media @JUCYworld.
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