Our 4D3N Melbourne and Great Ocean Road Itinerary

Our 4D3N Melbourne and Great Ocean Road Itinerary

Sophie shares her itinerary for the four days she spent in and around the city of Melbourne.

The second largest city in Australia, Melbourne is located in the state of Victoria, tucked in the southern part of the country. From the Great Ocean Road, world-class wineries and hipster cafes, Melbourne is the destination to enjoy a vibrant city life and have a taste of astounding nature.

Flinders Station, Melbourne | Image credit: 士航 魏

Melbourne’s dynamic and artsy culture sets it apart from other cities. In terms of look, you might get the Europe vibes from the architecture of the buildings, and a hint of New York from the extensive street art splashed across the city. The creativity within Melbourne is boundless!

Needless to say, I had a great time on my four-day trip to Melbourne. Let me share my itinerary and some of my favourite spots!

Day 1:

We arrived in Melbourne from Sydney after a 1.5-hour flight. The first thing we did was to rent a car. The airport had the whole range of car rental companies, such as Avis, Hertz, and Budget, so we just had to ask around and compare the prices. Renting a car can cost as low as AUD20 per day, depending on the availability and the car type. Otherwise, you can always check for early bird discounts online and book a car in advance.

Great Ocean Road

On a sunny day under the cloudless sky, we started our journey on the Great Ocean Road.

Image credit: Steel Wool

Our first stop was the first village along the Great Ocean Road: Geelong. It’s only about an 80-kilometre drive along a straight freeway. There, we had our lunch and bought some drinking water. Leaving Geelong, we headed to the “real” Great Ocean Road. The journey was beautiful but so winding that our car could barely reach 60 km/h.

If we were to drive from Melbourne without stopping, it would have taken five hours to reach the Twelve Apostles. From Geelong, it took four. The drive was tiring, but definitely worth the effort. After all, the Great Ocean Road is one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world! Did you know that it was built by returned soldiers as a permanent memorial for those who died fighting in World War I?

great ocean road itinerary

The Twelve Apostles is quite possibly the most famous attraction along the Great Ocean Road. It’s formed by the constant erosion of the limestone cliffs over 10-20 million years, and the tallest of them stands at a staggering 45 metres. Seeing them in person will definitely leave you in awe; I can attest that it’s simply majestic.

Fun fact: There are only eight “Apostles” left as the others have collapsed since their discovery.

Image credit: Sherman Geronimo-Tan

If weather permits, take a one-kilometre walk from the Twelve Apostles. You will reach the Gibson Steps, a collection of 86 steps that will lead you down to the beach. Standing at sea level, the giant limestones and the 70-metres-high cliffs will tower over you.

great ocean road itinerary

Lord Ard Gorge

Not far from the Twelve Apostles (around 7-8 kilometres) lie the Lord Ard Gorge and the London Bridge. Both of them are equally stunning. It’s impossible not to be moved by the power of nature that has shaped the cliffs and rocks into these incredible beauties.

Day 2

The Dandenong Ranges & Puffing Billy Railway

The Dandenong Ranges is a series of rolling hills covered with rainforests, and the best way to enjoy the magnificent views of the Dandenongs is by riding the Puffing Billy train.

Image credit: 士航 魏

The Puffing Billy train is a heritage railway built back in the 1900s. Now, it is preserved as a “living museum” and keeping true to how it was originally built, the train is still fuelled by charcoal! When I entered the station, I felt like I was stepping into a scene from a children’s storybook. The experience was even better. We could sit with our legs dangled over the side of the carriage, and the onlookers waved as the train passed by.

Yarra Valley

Winery tour at Dominique Portet Winery

Home to endless vineyards, Yarra Valley is about a one-hour drive north-east of Melbourne. There’s no public transport available to get there, and as we knew we would be drinking, we opted for an afternoon winery tour instead of driving. The winery tour includes visits to three or four vineyards with complimentary wine tasting. We sampled some of the famous Australian wines like Australian Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. What’s more to say – life is great indeed!

Day 3

Melbourne CBD

great ocean road itinerary

In the city of Melbourne, there are more than 230 laneways spreading into the inner heart of the city, and they are dotted with good restaurants, hipster cafes and lively street art. We spent the whole day walking down the alleys, immersing ourselves in the lovely coffee scent and colourful street art, and slowly adjusting our paces to that of the Melburnians.

Hosier Lane

Image credit: Bernard Spragg. NZ

It is almost difficult to miss the vibrant street art (don’t you dare call it graffiti!) on the walls along the many alleys. The most famous area is Hosier Lane, which is always crowded with people trying to get the perfect OOTD photo for the ‘gram. Everything – really, everything from the walls and windows to the rubbish bins – is covered with paint. You might even spot artists at work, conjuring up something new!

Cafes

How can a trip to Melbourne be complete without visiting a cafe or two? There are SO MANY around Melbourne, most of them with pretty decor and the luring scent of good food and coffee. Yum! Here are some recommendations:

The Higher Ground Melbourne has high ceilings, industrial decor, and platings that are too pretty to eat. To top it off, they serve delicious hotcakes!

One of our personal favourites is The Hardware Societe. Its obscure location in a narrow back alley does not stop people from finding this gem. Trust us when we say the food is so good.

Other cafes to visit include Brother Baba Budan, which serves some of the best coffees in the city and has a unique chairs-hanging-from-the-ceiling decor. There’s The Black Kettle, which offers a slice of Bangkok in Melbourne, and don’t forget Lune Croissanterie, where the croissants are so delicious that you might have to queue an hour (or longer) for it.

State Library of Victoria

How can we miss this photogenic state library? Immerse yourself in some books while visiting the library!

National Gallery of Victoria

Image credit: ngvmelbourne

After that, we moved on to the National Gallery of Victoria. This is the largest, oldest and most-visited gallery in Australia. It holds more than 73,000 art works – and it’s free to enter!

Day 4

Brighton Beach

great ocean road itinerary

On our last day in Melbourne, before heading to the airport, we had some time to explore Brighton Beach which is just 30 minutes away from the city. The beach is lined with 82 bathing boxes painted in different patterns and colours. These bathing boxes were built a century ago and have classic Victorian architectural features.

We didn’t get to go to Phillip Island to see the world’s smallest penguins as our schedule was too packed, but that just gives us an excuse to visit Melbourne again!

About Author

Sophie Yong
Sophie Yong

Always eating something, or on her way finding good food, Sophie has the ultimate dream of becoming a full-time traveller and freelance writer to share her travel and food-hunting story. Interested in learning new languages, she has learned French, Japanese and Vietnamese, and hopes to speak like the natives in future. Things she enjoys? French pastries, Impressionism artworks, non-fiction books, Korean drama, and a good cup of coffee (or wine!).

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