The Great Southern Touring Route – 5 Day Self-Drive Itinerary

Melbourne – Apollo Bay – Port Fairy – Halls Gap – Ballarat – Melbourne

Total Distance 792kms

Highlights

  • Werribee Open Range Zoo
  • Surfworld
  • Otway Fly
  • Twelve Apostles
  • Port Campbell National Park
  • Sovereign Hill
  • Grampians National Park
  • Ballarat Wildlife Park
  • Eureka Centre
  • Victoria Wineries

The Great Southern Touring Route offers the very best of Victoria’s attractions – stunning coastal and inland scenery, history and heritage all in a circular route connecting Melbourne to 3 of Victoria’s regional cities – Geelong, Warrnambool and Ballarat. The flexible, compact touring route is a unique and diverse driving experience, providing links with the internationally acclaimed Great Ocean Road, the natural wonders of the Grampians National Park and the historic Ballarat goldfields.

Pickup car hire Melbourne.

Day 1 – Melbourne to Apollo Bay (184km, 2 hrs 45 mins)

From Melbourne travel towards Geelong along the Princess Highway, stopping at Werribee Park which features an award winning historic mansion and the Werribee Open Range Zoo, an Out of Africa adventure. Geelong’s new waterfront is a popular attraction to take a break.

Then it’s on to Torquay Australia’s surfing capital with beautiful beaches, a surfing museum, and a great shopping centre devoted to surfwear and surfing merchandise. Torquay is the official start of the Great Ocean Road, where it begins to wind its way though Angelsea and onto Lorne. With the ocean on one side and rainforest behind, Lorne is a cosmopolitan beachside destination, popular for swimming and surfing. Restaurants, cafes and boutique shops adorn the street overlooking the bay.

The road hugs the coastline to Apollo Bay, providing spectacular lookout opportunities along the way. Apollo Bay is set in the picturesque green foothills of the Great Otway National Park and boasts long sandy beaches and deep-blue sea. Sample some freshly caught seafood.

Overnight: Apollo Bay

Day 2 – Apollo Bay to Port Fairy (193km, 2 hrs 45 mins)

The Great Ocean Road briefly leaves the coast as you head through the Great Otway National Park where you’ll marvel at mighty fern gullies, huge trees, beautiful waterfalls and native animals in the lush temperate rainforest. For a bird’s eye view, take a walk along the 600 metre long Otway Fly Tree Top canopy walk.

As the Great Ocean Road returns to the coast, the majesty of the Port Campbell National Park quickly begins to unfold. Colossal rock stacks soar from the ocean floor and blowholes roar with spouting water. The massive Twelve Apostles are a highlight of the whole trip. See them from the boardwalk or for truly awe-inspiring scenery and breathtaking photographic opportunities take a helicopter flight with Great Ocean Road Helicopters. More of nature’s beauty is revealed in the Bay of Islands Coastal Park on the drive to Warrnambool. The picturesque city overlooks the deep blue of the Southern Ocean and has a fascinating maritime history. Visit Flagstaff Hill, a recreated 19th century maritime village and in the evening experience ‘Shipwrecked’, a sound and laser spectacular that tells the tragic story of the Loch Ard disaster on a 9-metre aqua screen.

On the way to Port Fairy, visit Tower Hill to intimately observe Australian wildlife in a dormant volcano or experience bush culture with Worn Gundidj, the local Aboriginals. Travel a further 10 minutes along the road to the historic fishing village of Port Fairy. Steeped in history and charm, Port Fairy’s culture and architecture have been beautifully preserved.

Overnight: Port Fairy.

Day 3 – Port Fairy to Halls Gap (158kms, 2 hrs)

The Great Southern Touring Route leaves the coast near Port Fairy and travels north towards the Grampians National Park. Along the way, character packed country towns provide a glimpse of Australian life. Nearing the Grampians, the pristine beauty and enormity of the ranges becomes apparent as they begin to dominate the horizon. In the Grampians National Park, you’ll discover hidden valleys, waterfalls, lakes and wildlife. Explore the region on one of the many walks in the magnificent Halls Gap are and soak up the breathtaking views from the spectacular lookouts. Take a tour to see Koori rock art within the park and learn about the local Aboriginal culture at Brambuck. For the adventurous, Grampians Adventure Services provides rock climbing, abseiling, mountain biking, guided walks, canoeing and kayaking.

Overnight: Halls Gap

Day 4 – Halls Gap to Ballarat (142kms, 1 hr 45 mins)

The touring route continues onto Ballarat and along the way you can take a self-guided tour of the wine regions of the Pyrenees, Grampians and Ballarat and learning the intimate secrets of some of Australia’s best cool-climate wines.

In Ararat you’ll find Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre, which re-lives the journey and story of gold prospectors from Southern China and their discovery of Australia’s largest alluvial goldfield.

The legacy of the boom from the gold rush days is evident in the majestic architecture and wide tree-lined streets of Ballarat. Strike gold at Sovereign Hill, the city’s major attraction recreating the gold fever that gripped Australia in the 1850’s. Sovereign Hill is brought to life in this outdoor living museum, which features a working bakery, blacksmith, lolly shop and main street troopers. At night ‘Blood on the Southern Cross’ depicts the 1854 Eureka Stockade, the only civil uprising when miners took on the authorities. It’s a spectacular sound and light show not to miss!

Overnight: Ballarat

Day 5 – Ballarat to Melbourne (115 kms, 1.5 hrs)

Spend the day looking around Ballarat, as it boasts a number of other great attractions including the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, beautiful botanic gardens, the Eureka Centre and a wildlife park. At Ballarat Wildlife Park enjoy close contact with Australian native animals. Feed the free-roaming kangaroos, watch crocodiles and Tasmanian Devil feedings, and participate in koala and wombat photo opportunities.

Traveling To Asian Cities

Do you plan to travel to Asian Cities? Do you want to get information about Asian places to visit and how to access these places? This is something that interests you.

Asia is too diverse and massive so we can only imagine it. It is not even possible to close selected places if you only have a limited day with you. It’s also hard to know the limits too. From the mountains around the Black Sea in the west to the Siberian snow field in the east, there is no limit to the level of Asia.

The highest point in Asia is Mount Everest in Nepal and China while the lowest point is the dead sea of ​​Israel and Jordan. The longest river in Asia is the Yangtze, which flows through China. The largest lake is the Caspian Sea which is around 386,400 Sq Km. Asia is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Indian Ocean to the South. There are many travel options ranging from desert ruins and modern malls in the Middle East to majestic monuments in South Asia.

You can also find Beach Bungalows and the Southeast Asian Forest tracks to be very interesting.

Asia provides the most diverse travel options for travelers. You can also find ultra modern countries like Japan, Taiwan and South Korea where people live by living standards. As discussed earlier, there is no limit to discussing places in Asia. Really it is a place to visit where in your budget you can easily enjoy life to the fullest. We cannot leave some of the world famous places in Asia such as Taj Mahal in Agra, India, Beaches in Boracay, Philippines, St. Basil in Moscow, Russia, and an Oasis in Oman. The list will continue to add more places and we will not be able to summarize the list. If you are planning for a long vacation try to get some place in Asia, believe it or not it will be an unforgettable visit in your life.

Hawaii (The big Island) – A City Guide

Introduction

There’s no place on earth quite like this handful of sun-drenched,
mid-Pacific islands. The Hawaii of South Seas literature and Hollywood
films really does exist. Here one will find palm-fringed blue lagoons,
lush rainforests, hidden gardens, cascading waterfalls, wild rivers
running through rugged canyons, and soaring volcanoes. And those
beaches — gold, red, black, and even green sands caressed by endless
surf – a perfect place for spending holidays.

History

After a series of battles that ended in 1795 and peaceful cession of
the island of Kauai in 1810, the Hawaiian Islands were united for the
first time under a single ruler who would become known as King
Kamehameha the Great. He established the House of Kamehameha, a dynasty
that ruled over the kingdom until 1872. One of the most important
events during those years was the suppression of the Hawaii Catholic
Church. The Newlands Resolution was passed on July 7, 1898, formally
annexing Hawaii as a United States territory. In 1900, it was granted
self-governance and retained Iolani Palace as the territorial capitol
building. In March 1959, both houses of Congress passed the Admission
Act and U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into law. On June
27 of that year, a plebiscite was held asking residents of Hawaii to
vote on accepting the statehood bill. After statehood, Hawaii quickly
became a modern state with a construction boom and rapidly growing
economy.

Place of Interest

It will not be a small list if anyone tries to make a list of all
tourist attractions. The partial list should be look like this:

  • Akaka Falls,
  • Captain Dan McSweeney’s Year-Round Whale-Watching Adventures
  • Captain Zodiac,
  • Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center,
  • Fair Wind Snorkeling and Diving Adventures,
  • Hapuna Golf Course,
  • Mauna Lani Frances I’i Brown Championship Courses,
  • Pololu Valley Lookout,
  • Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park,
  • World Botanical Garden.

Museums & Art Galleries

Some of the major museums are

  • East Hawaii Cultural Center
  • Hulihee Palace Museum
  • Jaggar Museum
  • Kamuela Museum
  • Kona Historical Society
  • Lyman House Memorial Museum
  • Mokupapapa: Discovery Center For Hawaii’s Remote Coral Reefs
  • Pacific Tsunami Museum
  • Parker Ranch Museum

are some of the museums in Big Island.Hawaii’s Big Island has a number of art gallery and cultural
centers. Among them:

  • Hawaiian Art Network
  • Dreams Of Paradise
  • Gallery Of Great Things
  • Holualoa Gallery
  • Spirit Art Studio
  • Volcano Garden Arts

are some to mention about.Shopping

Hawaii Big Island hosts open market places with hundreds of merchants
selling their hand crafted items under the open sky. These market
places are one of the main tourist attractions here. Alii Gardens
Marketplace, Long Ears Coffee Company, Kuaiwi Farm, Mountain Thunder
Coffee Plantation, Akatsuka Orchid Gardens, Anthuriums Of Hawaii,
Hawaii Greenhouse Inc., Panaewa Hawaiian Homelands Farmers Market,
Volcano Farmers Market are some of the famous marketplaces.

Besides these market places shopping malls and individual shops are
there in Hawaii Big Island. Hilo Hattie – The Store of Hawaii, Hilo
Shopping Center, Keauhou Shopping Center, King’s Shops, Kona Coast
Shopping Center, Lanihau Center are some shopping centers in Hawaii Big
Island.

Food & Drink

So many restaurants, so little time for a traveler when it comes the
time to wine and dine in Big Island. The Big Island’s delicious dilemma
is its daunting size and abundant offerings of its own cuisine. Shaka
Restaurant, Anthony’s Bistro & Bar, Charley’s Bar & Grill,
Grand Palace, Ting Hao, Bamboo Restaurant, Hualalai Grille By Alan
Wong, Merriman’s, Aloha Angel Café, Big Island Grill are some of
the great places for wine and dine. Except these restaurants and bars,
Hawaii Big Island has a lot to offer to satisfy everyone’s taste bud.

Education

Big Island hosts

  • More than 37 Public schools,
  • More than 15 Private schools,
  • University of Hawaii at Hilo
  • Hawaii Community College – part of the University of Hawaii
    System.
  • Students choosing private education attend Brigham Young
    University
    Hawaii, Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaii Pacific University
    and University of the Nations.

Sports

Hawaii Big Island has lots to offer for the tourists to attend and
participate in different sports like Scuba diving, Horse back riding,
fishing, Golf, Cycling and hiking.

Hotels & Accommodation

Some budget hotels in Hawai are mentioned bellow.

  • Aaah the Views Bed & Breakfast
  • Affordable Hawaii at Pomaikai (Lucky) Farm Bed & Breakfast
  • Cook’s Discoveries Waimea Suite
  • Kona Tiki Hotel
  • Volcano Bed & Breakfast
  • The Bay House
  • Manago Hotel

Beside these budget hotels some mid range to hi-end hotels are there:

  • Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Kaupulehu
  • Kona Village Resort
  • The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
  • Hilton Waikoloa Village
  • Horizon Guest House
  • Kanaloa at Kona

Tours
and Sightseeing

Organized
tours are available in Hawaii
Big Island. Beside the beaches these tours cover all the Hawaii Big
Island places and activities. Tours’ nature is guided or self guided.
The tours are rich in contents. It may be walking
or hiking tours through Thurston Lava Tube at Hawaii
Volcanoes National Park, or snorkeling
in Kahaluu Beach Park or it may be a submarine
tour into the Underwater
World. Different
tours are there in offer. The Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center,
Watching the Volcano is also in the content of the tour.

Transport

Flying is the most common way to get to Hawaii’s Big Island. Air
travelers are serviced by Kona International Airport (KOA) on the west
side of the island, and Hilo International Airport (ITO) on the east.
National and international carriers offer both direct and non-stop
flights to KOA and ITO.

An alternate method of getting to Hawaii’s Big Island is aboard a
cruise ship. Several ships make weekly stops in Hilo Harbor on the East
side, and also generally visit Kailua Bay on the West side.

Different car rental is available for transportation. These car rentals
can be done by the on request to the hotels. The Big Island’s public
transportation system, called Hele-On, consists of a main route between
Hilo and Kailua-Kona that operates once a day in each direction, plus
several feeder routes to Volcano, Pahoa and Waikoloa that run two or
three times a day.

About the Author

Name: Nivedita Balamurugan

Occupation: Traveler

Website: www.thereservationcenter.com [http://www.thereservationcenter.com]

Biography: Nivedita is with The Reservation Center – providers of
discounted tours to make your vacations and sightseeing trips in
various cities across the world as comfortable and enjoyable as
possible.