Wednesday, July 18, 2018

2017 Australia - Road Trip to Great Ocean Road & Mornington Peninsula

On the first day touched down in Melbourne Tullmarine Airport, we wandered around the city and visited places like Queen Victoria Market, State Library of Victoria, Flinders Street Railway Station and ended our night by admiring the graffiti art in Hosier Lane.

As for the second day, we took ride on Puffing Billy - the oldest stream train in Australia and one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world. It was my second time on this train ride and because I blogged about this before, there's no point for me to do it again. You can check out my old post on Puffing Billy, Australia's Favourite Stream Train (here).

Third day, we went breakfast at a cafe which I will blog soon and went back to Arrow on Swanston for check-out. We left our huge luggages and just carried our light and small backpacks. Why? Cause we're heading for road trip - that's the main highlight of my Australia trip. I always wanna do self-drive road trip around Australia cause it's one of my bucket list. Previously when I went Melbourne alone, I signed up local tour operator for Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula trip but I don't feel the excitement and fun during the trip. 

Cut the story short and now let me share which car hire service we booked from. I ended up with Apex Car Rentals Australia mainly for one reason - cheap. In Melbourne, they have two branches; airport and city center along Spencer Street. We went the latter one to pick up our car by taking Uber from our apartment. Only those persons named as authorised drivers are allowed to drive - hence, it's best to remind your friends or family members to bring along passport and valid driving license if you need more than one driver. The minimum age for drivers is 21 years old. Unlike Japan, you don't have to apply International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive around Australia. 

Right after checking the car, start the engine and prepare ourselves for another road adventures!

2017 Australia Melbourne Day 3 Road Trip to Great Ocean Road 01
#1: We rented Hyundai Elantra - compact and comfortable for the four of us. Bear in mind, we don't have huge luggages with us as we placed in the apartment we stayed earlier. 

2017 Australia Melbourne Day 3 Road Trip to Great Ocean Road 02
#2: Australia, you never fail to amaze me.

2017 Australia Melbourne Day 3 Road Trip to Great Ocean Road 03
#3: Beware of kangaroos. If saw this sign, it indicates there are colonies of Kangaroos within the area and therefore, it's best to reduce your driving speed. 

Our car rental came along with GPS. From Melbourne city center, we drove via M1 or Princess Highway A1 road. As for the tolls, we didn't come across any of them. Probably GPS helped us to escape from paying it, I guess so. So after drove for more than 4 hours with 2 rests, finally we arrived Great Ocean Road - it's still spectacular and magnificent to me, just like my first visit 6 years ago. 

2017 Australia Melbourne Day 3 Road Trip to Great Ocean Road 05-1 copy
#4: We stopped at four different spots (1 - Twelve Apostles, 2 - Gibson Steps, 3 - Loch Ard Gorge, 4 - London Arch) 

2017 Australia Melbourne Day 3 Road Trip to Great Ocean Road 04 Twelve Apostles Port Campbell National Park
#5: Hello Great Ocean Road once again

2017 Australia Melbourne Day 3 Road Trip to Great Ocean Road 04 Twelve Apostles Port Campbell National Park 2
#6: Look what we bumped into - wallaby

After enjoying and admiring the picturesque coastal journey for two hours, we then left for dinner time and guess what, we ended up with KFC. Really typical Malaysian lah us! 

2017 Australia Melbourne Day 3 Road Trip to Great Ocean Road 06 KFC for Dinner
#7: Guess this is the most comfort food for Malaysian

We settled down our night in Carisbrook Cottage Queenscliff which took about 2 hour and 30 minutes of drive from Great Ocean Road. It was kinda last minute decision to book this lodge because initially I decided to drive back to Melbourne city center but after taking into considerations of many factors, I think it's best to overnight somewhere nearby in between Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula. 

Carisbrook Cottage Queenscliff 1

Carisbrook Cottage Queenscliff 2

Carisbrook Cottage Queenscliff 3
#10: Breakfast provided by the host and my friends and I almost finished all of them.

Date Stayed: 22nd May 2017
Room Rate: AUD160 (approx. to RM528) for two bedroom cottage and it comes along with breakfast (Booked via

On the next day, we're heading to Mornington Peninsula. In order to get there from Queenscliff (a small town which we overnight before), we have to across Port Phillip Bay. The best part of staying in Carisbrook Cottage Queenscliff is that the harbour is just less than 10 minutes drive away. So near that we don't even bother to wake up so early at all. 

2017 Australia Melbourne Searoad Ferries
#11: Searoad Ferries - a must do attraction of the Victorian coastal travel experience, connecting the Great Ocean Road to the Mornington Peninsula and beyond to Phillip Island. 

Searoad Ferries depart every hour, from 7am to 6pm daily. If you want to know more about the latest timetable and fares, check out the website here. The 40 minute crossing is an ideal alternative to the 200km drive around the bay, on toll roads, freeways and in city traffic. There is a cafeteria within the ferry - so in case you are hungry, grab a quite bite. Probably because we're too early, there were not many people and there were plenty of seats for us to occupy. 

One of the reason why I returned to Mornington Peninsula because my friends would like to experience wine tasting.

2017 Australia Melbourne Day 3 Road Trip to Mornington Peninsula Chapmans Point Lookout
#12: Chapmans Lookout Point - This is not part of our plan but no harm to stopby for photo capturing. 

2017 Australia Melbourne Day 3 Road Trip to Mornington Peninsula Tuck's Ridge
#13: Tuck's Ridge - An ideal setting for wine and food.

We promised to return the car by 5.45pm and before we do so, we did stopby at Brighton Beach for bathing boxes as well as Shrine of Remembrance. But because we're too rush to return the car, we didn't manage to fuel up the petrol. At the end, we're being charged additional of AU$25 for our silly and clumsy mistakes. Despite this incident, I still enjoy the fun and excitement of self-drive road trip, especially when you have the best companion along with u. I can't wait to do another round again!

Additional Information of the Vehicle and Extras Breakdown:
Apex Car Rentals Australia
In average, each of us paid AU$68 (approx. to RM222) including fuel and Searoad Ferries ride. This consider to be fairly affordable because if you sign up and join the local tour operator, it cost at least AU$250 for Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula tour. You can check out my old posts here where I signed up for these both two tours when I went Melbourne alone 6 years ago.  


  1. Nice to drive yourself in Australia. Can go where you want at your own pace.

    KFC? Different packaging. Haha. Miss it when over there??

  2. A very detailed write up. Hi Diane. I'm Willie.

  3. The minimum age for drivers is 21? That's a good policy, old enough to vote & drive. How's the road there - must be much, much better than ours in Sabah, right? I hope I'll get the chance to step on Australian soil some time in the future. :D

  4. A self drive trip is always nice when with friends. I drove to GOR but I would never wanna do it again coz it's so far and winding lol. View is beautiful though, I managed to drive up to loch and gorge saja. Wished I had time to explore further.

  5. You write up very nicely the overall journey and it is good to viist th

  6. Wow! beach and coastal scenic views along the Great Ocean Road, taken by you are awesome. It shows that you enjoyed a lot.
    Visit:Great Ocean Road Day Tours


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