Great Ocean Road Tour

We are scheduled to take this trip Dec. 2, 2019 and arrive a day early. Has anyone done the Great Ocean Road Tour to see the 12 Apostles with Simon Greenland? If so, how far is it? What about the Penguin Parade? Or are their better choices for the limited time prior to the start of the tour?


  • Thanks mcmaj for the tip! We had ruled out the Great Ocean Road for our Nov. 4 tour start date, as we didn’t want to worry about being late for the Welcome Dinner. (Plus GOR is a l-o-n-g tour.) We are critter lovers and prefer our critters in the wild, so we booked the Echidna Walkabout tour today - we’re excited! (and we’ll be back in plenty of time for the welcome events.)

  • Marcia Travels - You’re very welcome! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Wait until you see how they make tea in the outback. It’s fun.

  • mcmaj. We're critter lovers too. Sounds like a great choice.

    Marcia Travels - We are on the trip after you. Any tips would be greatly appreciated if you have time upon your return.

  • I can’t emphasize enough how much easier it is to arrive to this tour two days early if you can. There’s plenty to see in Melbourne without doing the Great Ocean Rd trip. If you are worried about missing out on seeing the penguins, you may see some in NZ.

  • Penguins (probably a smaller number) also come ashore near the St. Kilda pier in southeast Melbourne, if you don’t want to commit to the drive to/from Phillips Island. Think penguin enthusiasts could combine that with a nice dinner by the beach?

  • We recently returned from this trip, and it was wonderful. We arrived a day early. On the morning of arrival day, we took a 10:30 walking tour, which was a good way to familiarize ourselves with Melbourne. During the tour, we received a text from the hotel advising us that our room was ready. After cleaning up and relaxing, we had an early dinner in Chinatown.
    The next day, we took an excellent small group ocean road tour (there were 5 of us), which I had read about on this forum. Unlike other tours, we had an early pick-up (5:45 a.m.) and were back to the hotel around 4:00 p.m., in plenty of time for the welcome cocktail party at 6:30 p.m. We were very pleased with our choice. The guide, Stuart, is very knowledgeable and the tour included a breakfast goodie bag and lunch. We booked the tour online about one month before the trip (

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