Bendigo, Ballarat and the Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road Tour
For as little as $2730.00
Enjoy 10 Days & 9 nights,
Includes: Entry to attractions and places of interest as listed,
Coach Transfers & all accommodation, tours and most meals.10 Days

Adult T/S $2730.00 Adult Single $3435.00

INCLUDES:

  • 9 Nights motel Accommodation
  • 9 Dinners inc 1 in Sovereign Hill
  • 9 Cooked Breakfasts
  • 5 Lunches,
  • 1 Morning tea Vintage Talking Tram Tour,
  • High Tea Fortuna Villa,
  • Sovereign Hill, Ballarat & Warrnambool Botanical Gardens,
  • Ballarat Fine Art Gallery,
  • Port Fairy Cape Otway Werribee Zoo & entry to more attractions.

Other meals at travellers own expense.

Day 1 (D): HOME TO ALBURY: 2017

Welcome to our 10 day tour featuring Bendigo, Ballarat and the Great Ocean Road.  We join the Kings Highway, travelling through the pretty villages of Braidwood and Bungendore to Civic Centre in Canberra where we can purchase lunch.  Our afternoon touring takes us via Yass and Gundagai to Albury for our first night on tour.  (Lunch own cost and arrangements, dinner in motel)

Quality Hotel on Olive, Albury – 02 6021 6100 (subject to availability)

 albury

Day 2 (BLD): ALBURY TO BENDIGO: 2017

Sit back and relax as we make our way to Bendigo, where on arrival we visit Bendigo Pottery known as Australia’s oldest working pottery.  The site and buildings have been placed on the Historic Buildings Register by the National Trust.  We enjoy a light lunch and a self-guided tour of the Interpretative Centre.  Here we step back in time and learn about the production processes, machinery, working conditions and traditional skills of Bendigo Pottery from its beginning in 1858 to the present.  There is also the chance to purchase some quality items at factory prices. Feeling refreshed we continue into Bendigo and enjoy a city tour with our Bendigo Historical Society guide. We take in all the sights including Speciman Cottage, the oldest terrace house in Bendigo and possibly the oldest house in the city.  The cottages have both State Heritage National Trust status.  We will also see the Bendigo Beehive building and the beautiful Sacred Heart Cathedral.  We arrive at our motel and can settle in for the next two nights.  (Breakfast and dinner in the motel, light lunch included)

Quality Colonial Inn Bendigo (subject to availability 03 54470122)

 

Day 3 (BD): DISCOVERING BENDIGO: 2017

Following breakfast we continue our touring of Bendigo and the best place to start is on the Talking Tram’ for an interesting ride through the main areas of Bendigo to learn a little about the history of the Goldfields. We stop off at the Bendigo Joss House Temple which is a Chinese place of worship where we explore Chinese beliefs and have explained to us the story of the Chinese who came to Bendigo in search of gold so long ago.  This is a significant and unique part of Bendigo’s cultural history.  Following our ride we visit the Central Deborah Gold Mine for our guided surface tour of what is an actual working mine – right in the centre of the city.

bendigo

We have time for a browse in the city taking in the feel of the town including her gardens, fountains and antique shops.  This afternoon we discover and explore the history of Fortuna Villa.  In 1871, the Villa and the associated ‘180 Mine’ on the New Chum Reef was bought by George Lansell who had become successful in his gold mining interests and investments. With his continuing success in deep mining, Lansell undertook major extensions to his home. Stained glass, elaborate ceilings, grand cedar and blackwood staircase, solid marble baths, extensive acid-etched glasswork (conservatory) are some of the architectural features that contribute to the outstanding ‘feel’ of the structure. The Fortuna grounds cover some 7.57 ha. and feature an ornamental lake, garden, a ‘Roman-Bath’ and the ‘Pompeii Fountain’.  We have plenty of time here to enjoy our guided tour and afternoon tea.  (Breakfast and dinner in the motel, lunch own cost and arrangements)

Quality Colonial Inn Bendigo (subject to availability 03 54470122)

 

Day 4 (BLD): BENDIGO TO BALLARAT: 2017

This morning we farewell our hosts and make a visit to the Golden Dragon Museum and the Yin Yuan Classical Chinese Gardens.  What a story it is of the impact and contribution made by the Chinese people of Bendigo – from the Gold Rush of the 1850’s to the present day. One permanent display is “Sun Loong” the longest Imperial dragon in the world and “Loong” the oldest Imperial dragon in the world. The Yin Yuan Chinese Gardens (Garden of Joy) are based on the Imperial Palace in Beijing and whilst we wander we’ll see the Reflection Wall and murals of the Taoist Eight Immortals who together represent different conditions of life; poverty, wealth, aristocracy, plebeians, age, youth, masculinity and femininity. The Immortals encourage laughter, banish worries and help enliven the struggle for existence.  From here we travel south to Ballarat on arrival we have arranged our lunch at the Ballarat Golf Club.  Our visit to Ballarat would not be complete without a look through Sovereign Hill, a world standard attraction.  Sovereign Hill provides the opportunity to step back in time to the golden past and the days of the gold rush over 100 years ago.

sovereign-hill

There is so much to see and do at Sovereign Hill with their many sights and attractions.  At the Red Hill Gully Diggings, miners dressed in the bright colours of the 1850’s, show us how to pan for gold and along the main street, horse drawn vehicles offer tours of the town.  We check in to our motel to freshen up, we return to Sovereign Hill for our night’s entertainment including dinner.  Australia’s Eureka lives on in Blood on the Southern Cross”, an exciting show which takes place across the whole 25 hectare panorama of Sovereign Hill.  Blood on the Southern Cross is an outstanding experience, which surrounds and involves the audience in the whole historical chapter.  The thunder of galloping horses on a license hunt, the roar of fire as the Eureka Hotel blazes, the murmur of 500 diggers as they swear allegiance to their flag, the fearful clamour of that fateful battle at the Stockade….all will hold us spellbound.  After our spectacular evening we return to the motel.  (Breakfast in motel, lunch at Ballarat Golf Club, dinner at Sovereign Hill)

Mercure Ballarat – 03 5327 1200 (subject to availability)

Day 5 (BLD): BALLARAT TO WARRNAMBOOL: 2017

This morning our local guide joins us on coach for a guided tour of Ballarat.  We also spend some time in Ballarat Botanic Gardens with the chance to wander through the Robert Clarke Conservatory (this is the centrepoint of the annual Begonia display).  Next we visit the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, which was the first provincial Art Gallery to be established in Australia (1884) and contains the largest and most comprehensive collection of Australian Art of all regional galleries.  We now have some free time to purchase lunch.

warrnambool

Early afternoon sitback and relax as we travel through to Warrnambool, a beautiful seaside township on the shores of Lady Bay and the main centre for a stretch of coastline where more than 100 ships and boats were wrecked within a distance of 80 kilometres; hence the current name for the area – The Shipwreck Coast.  We check-in to our accommodation where we can unpack and unwind as this will be home for the next two nights.  (Breakfast and dinner in motel, Lunch own cost and arrangements)

Quality Suites Deep Blue Hotel & Spa Warrnambool 03 55592000 (subject to availability)

 

Day 6 (BD): EXPLORING WARRNAMBOOL: 2017

Today we meet our guide for a tour of Warrnambool.  Gardens are a feature of Warrnambool. The Warrnambool Botanic Gardens were also planned by William Guilfoyle. He later became a director of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne.  We head off to nearby Allansford to visit Allansford Cheese World – home of award winning cheeses.  They have a museum on the premises which will be interesting to wander through.  We enjoy a cheese tasting before returning to Warrnambool with time to explore the shops and to purchase lunch.  This afternoon we visit the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village. Supported by the local community this delightful complex authentically recreates the appearance, atmosphere and activities apparent in a small coastal port during the 50 years prior to 1900. It presents and preserves material, artefacts and vessels relating to Australia’s early maritime museum. And tonight we relive that era! The night time sound and laser show called “Shipwrecked” it recreates the tragic story of the Loch Ard Shipwreck that took place in local waters more than 120 years agoIt will be one of our highlights of our holiday.  (Breakfast and dinner in the motel, Lunch own cost and arrangements)

Quality Suites Deep Blue Hotel & Spa Warrnambool 03 55592000 (subject to availability)

 

Day 7 (BLD): WARRNAMBOOL AND PORT FAIRY: 2017

This morning we have a later start to the day after our spectacular night before.  We head to the small fishing village of Port Fairy travelling through the Tower Hill State Game Reserve.  The 614 hectare reserve is situated in the crater of an extinct volcano which formed thousands of years ago when a violent eruption created the funnel-shaped crater which was later filled by the lake with its various small islets. The reserve is home to kangaroos, koalas, wombats, sugar gliders, possums, echidnae, numerous waterbirds (including Cape Barren geese, musk ducks, spoonbills and chestnut teals) and some very bold emus!  We’ll drive through the reserve via a one way scenic road, over a land bridge to the main body of land which is virtually surrounded by Tower Hill Lake.  We continue on to Port Fairy.  Port Fairy’s rich, maritime history and its colonial character have been faithfully preserved. Seaman’s blue-stone cottages rub shoulders with gracious commercial and administrative buildings. Its fine antique shops, pubs and restaurants are all housed in original Victorian buildings – The National Trust has classified 50 of them. On arrival we have time at leisure to enjoy the township.  We meet up with our local guide for a tour of the area before our lunch at the Caledonian Inn Hotel.  Early afternoon, we visit the Codrington Wind Farm. The Codrington wind farm was Pacific Hydro’s first wind development and Australia’s first commercial wind farm. The wind farm now generates enough electricity each year to supply the equivalent of 10,000 Victorian homes and each year avoids the emission of 49,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions – the equivalent to taking more than 17,000 cars off the roads!  After our tour we return to Warrnambool with some free time to relax in the motel.  (Breakfast & dinner in the motel, lunch at Caledonian Inn Hotel)

Quality Suites Deep Blue Hotel & Spa Warrnambool 03 55592000 (subject to availability)

 

Day 8: (BLD): WARRNAMBOOL TO POINT COOK – THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD

After breakfast we head off on our day tour along the Great Ocean Road, one of Australia’s most spectacular coastlines.  From Warrnambool the Great Ocean Road runs the full length of the Port Campbell National Park and offers some of the most dramatic coastal scenery in Australia.  The stretch on either side of the town of Port Campbell is the most exciting part!  We pass Loch Ard Gorge, which has a sad tale to tell.  In 1878 the iron hulled clipper Loch Ard was driven out onto rocks offshore at this point.  Of the 50 or so on board only two were to survive, being swept into the narrow gorge named after their ill-fated vessel. Before Port Campbell we also come to London Bridge.  This was once a famous landmark and a bridge-like promontory arching across a furious sea.  However in 1990 it collapsed dramatically into the sea, stranding a handful of amazed (and extremely lucky) visitors at the far end!   We also see the Twelve Apostles – huge pillars which loom out of the surf, carved over time by the fury of the ocean.

great-ocean-road2

Other formations along this stretch of coast are the Crown of Thorns and the beautiful Bay of Islands.  From here we travel through the Otway National Park.  We enjoy the Park with its fern gullies and towering eucalypts stands before heading to the coast for lunch at the Cape Otway Lighthouse.  Steeped in history and surrounded by beauty, the Cape Otway Lighthouse is an unforgettable experience.  This monument to the wild untamed coast has stood the test of time.  For many of our brave forbears it was their first sight of this southern land, for some it was their last!  In 1848 the lighthouse became the beacon of hope on a dangerous coastline and is one of the oldest lighthouses in Australia.  We continue through Apollo Bay and Lorne, which was the first place to be declared an area of Special Significance and Natural Beauty by the Victorian Government.  From here we travel on through Aireys Inlet and Angelsea to Point Cook where we can check in to our accommodation and freshen up before dinner.  (Breakfast and dinner in motel, lunch at Cape Otway Lighthouse)

Quality Suites d’Olive, Point Cook – 03 8376 5300 (subject to availability)

 

Day 9: (BLD): POINT COOK TO ALBURY: 2017

Our morning is spent in Werribee where we visit Victoria’s Open Range Zoo.  Here animals from the grasslands of Australia, Africa and Asia live in conditions as close as possible to those they encounter in their natural habitats.  Victoria’s Open Range Zoo has grown of international standing which provides visitors with a truly unique wildlife encounter.  Developed around the beautiful and picturesque Werribee River, the 200 hectare property is home to a range of magnificent animals from the grasslands of Africa, Asia, North America and Australia. Today we enjoy a guided Wildlife Safari, which takes us amongst the animals and provides superb opportunities for “close up” animal encounters.  Our trained Safari Guide provides a personal and informed interpretation of the animals, their features and behaviour. The Safari includes a trip through the African Savannah, where rhinos, giraffes and zebras all share the magnificent river flood plain. It also takes us into the African waterhole, Australia’s only drive through hippo exhibit.  Animals, including meerkats, cheetah, vervet monkeys and serval cats are on display in wonderful environments, linked by a series of waterways. Experience the evolving recreation of these endangered grasslands (less than 1% of remnant grasslands remain in Victoria). Enjoy views into the Australian exhibit, with kangaroos, emus and wallabies.  We enjoy our lunch here before travelling through to Albury for our final night on tour.  (Breakfast and dinner in motel, lunch at Werribee Zoo)

Quality Hotel on Olive, Albury – 02 6021 6100 (subject to availability)

 

Day 10: (B): ALBURY TO HOME: 2017

Sadly our touring has come to an end.  Today is a travel day for home; we stop along the way for convenience breaks and to purchase lunch.  We arrive home mid-afternoon with many wonderful memories of our 10 day holiday.  (Breakfast in motel, lunch own cost and arrangements)

Adult T/S $2730.00 Adult Single $3435.00

For Bookings or Info Call: 02 4474 4243

  • 10% non refundable deposit at time of booking.
  • Bookings Close & full payment due 3 July 2017
  • Cash, Cheque, Credit Card or D/D CBA BSB 062 650 Acct 10278886
  • Name as reference .
  • Terms and Conditions apply.
  • Travel Insurance recommended.
  • Contact: Sue & Mal Rixon PH: 02 4474 4243
  • Mob: 0402 266776
  • 1017 Princes Highway Mogo NSW 2536

All itineraries are subject to change due to occasional restrictions in opening times/days of some attractions, e.g. churches, wineries etc. We cannot be held responsible for any changes due to closures, inclement weather etc.