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Travel options from Adelaide to The Grampians

Grampians National Park
Grampians National Park

The Grampians is one of the most popular natural attractions in Victoria. Located between Adelaide and Melbourne, it consists of a vast national park that surrounds a series of rugged mountain ranges. Explore the many walking tracks including the Grampians Peak Trail, enjoy panoramic views from several lookouts, and visit beautiful lakes and waterfalls. You will be sure to encounter Australian wildlife, native wildflowers and discover ancient Aboriginal sites which are shrouded in mystery.

Right in the centre of the Grampians National Park is the tourist village of Halls Gap. This holiday town includes shops, restaurants and a large number of accommodation properties including caravan parks, apartments, chalets, cottages and motels.

In a direct straight line, the distance from Adelaide to Halls Gap is about 430 kilometres. There are several ways to get to The Grampians from Adelaide.

By car

The journey from Adelaide’s CBD to Halls Gap is around 500 kilometres.

Head south-east along the South Eastern Freeway (M1). This road becomes the Princes Highway (A1) after passing to the south of Murray Bridge and crossing the Murray River.  At Tailem Bend, which is almost 100 kilometres from Adelaide, continue driving straight and then this road becomes the Dukes Highway (A8). Follow the Dukes Highway for around 190 kilometres, passing through Keith and Bordertown, until reaching the state border between South Australia and Victoria. At this point advance your clocks by 30 minutes due to crossing a timezone.

Once into Victoria, the highway is called the Western Highway (A8). Follow the Western Highway through Kaniva, Nhill, Dimboola and Horsham.

The quickest way from Horsham is to follow the Western Highway (A8) for about 45 kilometres and turn right into Mt Drummond Road, left into Ledcourt Road, right into Greenhole Road, right into Fyans Creek Road and right into Grampians Road (C216) which then leads directly to Halls Gap.  While involving a number of turns through sealed local roads, it avoids crossing major mountain ranges into the national park.

Alternatively, for a more scenic route, turn right off the Western Highway about 15 kilometres out of Horsham onto Northern Grampians Road (C222).  From here, it will be a 57 kilometre to the centre of Halls Gap via Wartook and Zumsteins.  This road is also known as Mt Victoria Road once you get inside the Grampians National Park.  Before reaching Halls Gap, take a short detour to the famous MacKenzie Falls, Wartook Reservoir and the scenic Reed Lookout.

The entire journey will usually take around 5 hours and 15 minutes if you drive non-stop, however allow at least an extra 15 minutes if you choose the more scenic route via Wartook.  Given the length of this journey, it is recommended that you do not drive for more than 2 hours continuously without taking a break.

Driving directions from Adelaide to The Grampians

By public transport

Getting to Halls Gap from Adelaide using public transport requires the use of a train and a bus service.

Catch The Overland train from Adelaide’s railway station to Stawell in Victoria. This will take about 6 and a half hours.  Currently, this train only runs Monday and Friday, arriving at Stawell at 2:54pm. See the timetable for the Adelaide to Melbourne train.

From Stawell railway station to Halls Gap, there are two bus services.

The V/Line bus to Halls Gap operates Monday to Friday, however it departs from Stawell in the middle of the day, between 12:20 and 12:50, depending on the actual day.  Unless you are planning to stay overnight in Stawell (which you can, it’s a lovely town and there are a number of accommodation options in Stawell), then this bus service is not suitable.

In order to do the journey from Adelaide to Halls Gap in one day, you will need to catch Sandlant’s Halls Gap bus which departs weekdays at 7:15am and 3:55pm.  The only choice is to take the 3:55pm service, which means you will need to wait for an hour in Stawell after arriving by train.  Once on the bus, it will have you arriving in the Halls Gap town centre within about 20 minutes. See the timetable for the bus to Halls Gap.

By public transport and hire car

Having your own vehicle in the Grampians will make it a lot easier to get to the many attractions in the national park and surrounding areas, however the drive from Adelaide can be a long one.

Another option is to catch The Overland train from Adelaide to Horsham (see the timetable for the Adelaide to Melbourne train) and then hire a car in Horsham for the 55 to 70 minute drive to Halls Gap.

Car hire from Horsham

 

How to get to the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne

Great Ocean RoadThe Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most iconic coastal drives. It covers around 240 kilometres between Torquay in the east and the outskirts of Warrnambool in the west.

The journey along the Great Ocean Road passes through several coastal holiday towns and showcases the natural beauty of this part of Victoria including rugged coastlines and rock formations, the famous 12 Apostles, beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, mountain scenery and native flora and fauna.

If you are in Melbourne, there are several ways to reach the start of the Great Ocean Road at Torquay.

By car

Torquay, which marks the official start of the Great Ocean Road, is around 100 kilometres from Melbourne by road.

Head west along the West Gate Freeway (M1), across the West Gate Bridge, and then this road becomes the Princes Freeway (M1) as it skirts around Werribee and the large city of Geelong.

Take the Anglesea Road (C134) exit off the freeway and follow this road for around 14 kilometres until you reach the Great Ocean Road (B100). Turn left if you want to head into Torquay (5 kilometres away) or turn right to skip Torquay and head along the rest of the Great Ocean Road towards Anglesea.

Driving a vehicle is one of the best ways to see the Great Ocean Road. You can stop at various towns you pass through, view the many lookouts on the side of the road, and take a few popular detours along the way, such as the Cape Otway Lighthouse, the Otway Fly tree top walk and a number of waterfalls.

It is quite common to break the journey along the Great Ocean Road into several days, so as to get the most out of this scenic driving adventure. You can stay overnight at popular locations including Lorne, Apollo Bay and Port Campbell.

Driving directions from Melbourne to the start of the Great Ocean Road

 

If you don’t have your own car, consider hiring a vehicle to get the most out of your Great Ocean Road visit.

Car hire - search for the best rates

 

By public transport

Getting to the Great Ocean Road by public transport involves a train journey followed by a bus trip.

Catch a V/Line train from Southern Cross Station in Melbourne to Geelong. This journey will take approximately one hour. See the train timetable to Geelong.

From Geelong Station, there are a number of bus services you can catch, depending on exactly where on the Great Ocean Road you want to travel to.  From Geelong to Torquay, it will take approximately 40 minutes.

  • McHarry’s No.50 bus – Geelong to Torquay and Jan Juc
  • McHarry’s No.51 bus – Geelong to Torquay and Jan Juc
  • McHarry’s Apollo Bay bus – Geelong to Torquay, Anglesea, Aireys Inlet, Lorne, Wye River and Apollo Bay
  • V/Line Warrnambool bus – Geelong to Torquay, Anglesea, Aireys Inlet, Lorne, Wye River, Apollo Bay, Lavers Hill, Port Campbell and Warrnambool.

Join a tour

A number of guided tours of the Great Ocean Road depart from Melbourne. Sit back and relax and you are driven to the start of the Great Ocean Road and then along this scenic iconic route, stopping off at a number of popular attractions along the way.

The entire trip from Melbourne and back, usually going as far as the  12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge or Port Campbell, can be covered over one long day.

As well as day tours to the Great Ocean Road, a number of organised activities are available, including surf lessons, sky diving, kayaking, snorkelling and scenic helicopter flights.

Great Ocean Road tours & activities

Coming from Melbourne Airport?

If you are coming to Melbourne by air, see our guide to transport between Melbourne Airport and the city centre.  Once in Melbourne’s city centre, choose from the above options to get to the Great Ocean Road.

How to get to The Grampians from Melbourne

Grampians National Park
The Pinnacle Lookout

The Grampians is one of Victoria’s most popular natural attractions. Located north-west of Melbourne, it encompasses a huge national park which surrounds a series of mountain ranges. Visitors can explore many walking tracks including the Grampians Peak Trail, enjoy panoramic views from lookouts, and visit several lakes and waterfalls. It is a great place to encounter Australian wildlife, native wildflowers and discover historic Aboriginal sites.

At the heart of The Grampians is the tourist village of Halls Gap. Visitors will find shopping facilities, restaurants and a large concentration of accommodation options including caravan parks, holiday units, cottages and motels.

The distance, in a direct straight line, from Melbourne to Halls Gap is about 230 kilometres. There are a number of ways to get to The Grampians from Melbourne.

By car

The journey from Melbourne’s CBD to Halls Gap is just over 250 kilometres.

Head west along the West Gate Freeway (M1), across the West Gate Bridge, and take the Western Ring Road (M80) exit which is about 6 kilometres after the bridge. After travelling on the Western Ring Road for 4 kilometres, take the Western Freeway (M8) exit. Keep following this freeway which will skirt around Bacchus Marsh and the city of Ballarat. The Western Freeway will become the Western Highway (A8), and the first town you will pass through the centre of will be Beaufort. Drive a further 44 kilometres until you reach the larger town of Ararat. Turn off the highway and onto Ararat – Halls Gap Road (C222), following this road to a T-junction just on the northern outskirts of Halls Gap. Turn left into Grampians Road (C216) and after a few short minutes, you will arrive within the centre of Halls Gap.

The entire journey will usually take around 2 hours and 45 minutes if you drive continuously. However it is recommended that you do not drive for more than 2 hours straight without taking a break.

Driving directions from Melbourne to The Grampians

By public transport

Getting to Halls Gap from Melbourne using public transport requires the use of both train and bus services, however there are a couple of main options. Which one you choose may depend on how the timetables fit in with your personal travel plans.

Option 1 – one train journey and two bus journeys

Catch a V/Line train from Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station to Ballarat Station. This will take about 90 minutes, however some peak express services will complete the journey in a quicker time.

Once in Ballarat, switch to a V/Line bus which goes to Ararat and Stawell. This section of the journey will take about 90 minutes.

From Stawell, catch the Halls Gap bus which will have you arrive in the Halls Gap town centre within about 35 minutes.

See the V/Line timetable which covers this entire travel option.

Option 2 – one train journey and one bus journey

Catch a V/Line train from Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station to Ararat Station. This will take between 2 hours and 10 minutes and 2 hours and 30 minutes depending on the time of day. See the timetable for the train to Ararat.

Once you arrive in Ararat, catch the Warrnambool bus and get off 50 minutes later at Halls Gap.  See the timetable for the bus to Halls Gap.

Join a tour

Take the easy option when heading to The Grampians and join one of the several guided day tours that depart from Melbourne. You won’t have to worry about how to get there or finding your way around when you arrive.  You will also have an experienced guide that will be able to transport you directly to the many attractions of The Grampians, with some interesting stops along the way.

Day tours of The Grampians can include guided walks to waterfalls, lakes and scenic lookouts. Experience close encounters with native wildlife, discover a rich variety of plant life and learn about the history and Aboriginal culture of the area.

Small group Grampians day tour from Melbourne

 

Full day Grampians tour from Melbourne

Coming from Melbourne Airport?

If you are coming to Melbourne by air, see our guide to transport between Melbourne Airport and the city centre.  Once in Melbourne’s city centre, choose from the above options to get to The Grampians.

How to get to Melbourne’s city centre from Melbourne Airport

Melbourne Airport
Melbourne Airport

Melbourne Airport, also known as Tullamarine Airport, is located 19 kilometres north-west of Melbourne‘s central business district.  Once your flight lands at the airport, there are a number of transport options for getting to the city centre.

By bus:

SkyBus
SkyBus

SkyBus operates a fleet of clean and comfortable airport buses which travel express from Melbourne Airport to Southern Cross Station in the city centre.

The SkyBus service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Departures are every 10 minutes from 6am to midnight. Between midnight and 6am, departures are either every 15 or 20 minutes.

On average, the journey on SkyBus takes 20 minutes. During morning and afternoon peak times, the average journey time is 30 minutes due to the extra traffic.

Reservations are not required on SkyBus. Simply buy your tickets online or at the SkyBus ticket booth located at Melbourne Airport or Southern Cross Station. Tickets are valid for 3 months from the date of purchase. The Myki smart card cannot be used on SkyBus.

SkyBus also operates a fleet of mini buses which can transport ticket holders from Southern Cross Station to a number of hotels in the city, free of charge.

Star Bus
Star Bus

Alternatively, Star Bus operates a door to door service from Melbourne Airport to the city centre and its immediately surrounding inner suburbs from 6am to 6pm, 7 days a week. Unlike SkyBus, you won’t need to change buses if you need to be dropped off somewhere specific.

By train:

There is currently no direct train or tram line between Melbourne Airport at the city centre. As such, SkyBus is the quickest and easiest way to travel between the airport and city by public transport.

If you really do want to use the train, catch the Craigieburn line train from Melbourne and get off at Broadmeadows station. Transfer to bus number 901 which is a SmartBus service that operates frequently between Broadmeadows Station and Melbourne Airport. Allow least one hour for this entire journey, keeping in mind that there are no train or bus services between Melbourne and Broadmeadows from just after midnight to about 5am during weekdays.

By taxi:

Designated taxi ranks are located at Melbourne Airport, on the ground floor in front of each terminal. The taxi fare from the airport to Melbourne’s city centre is approximately $60.

You can pre-book a taxi to pick you up from the airport. The driver will park in the short term car park and will meet you at the baggage carousel, where you will be then escorted to the waiting taxi.

By chauffeur:

Travel in style between Melbourne AiAirport chauffeurrport and the city, with the option of being dropped off directly at your city hotel.

Let Royale Limousines take the hassle out of getting to and from Melbourne Airport in one of their chauffeur driven standard or luxury vehicles.

Once you experience a chauffeur service, you’ll never want to drive yourself to the airport again!

Airport chauffeur - standard car

 

Airport chauffeur - luxury car

By hire car:

Six major car rental companies operate at Melbourne Airport. Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Thrifty and Redspot have information desks at the domestic terminals with car pick-ups available from their offices located in the short term car park at the front of the airport.

Melbourne Airport is located 20 kilometres by road from the heart of Melbourne.

The most direct route, which avoids toll roads, will take 25 minutes if there are minimal traffic delays. Travel via the Tullamarine Freeway (M2), exit at Bulla Road (metro route 37) which then becomes Mt Alexander Road and Flemington Road as it heads into the city centre.

Alternatively, take the Tullamarine Freeway (M2) and travel along the western section of the CityLink toll road. This will take less than 20 minutes assuming there is no significant congestion. Hire car companies have procedures in place whereby you can be automatically billed for using the vehicle on any toll roads.

Map of driving routes from Melbourne Airport to Melbourne CBD
Map of driving routes from Melbourne Airport to Melbourne CBD

By air:

Heli-Express
Heli-Express

Heli-Express offers a helicopter service from Melbourne Airport to the city.

Passengers are greeted at Melbourne Airport and are chauffeur-driven for 2 minutes to the nearby heliport where they board a luxury twin-engine Agusta helicopter. The flight time is just 4 minutes, with passengers being dropped off at a Yarra River heliport. Complimentary refreshments are served in the passenger lounge, where connecting transport can be arranged.

The helicopter service operates during daylight hours with between 2 and 6 passengers per flight.

How to get to Phillip Island from Melbourne

Cape Woolamai, Phillip Island
Cape Woolamai, Phillip Island

Phillip Island is one of Victoria’s most popular tourist destinations. It is well-known for its famous penguin parade, large fur seal colony,  native wildlife, exciting racing at the island’s Grand Prix circuit, its scenic coastline, quaint fishing villages, beautiful beaches, outdoor dining, and so much more.

The island’s reasonably close proximity to Melbourne makes it a popular choice for visitors, be it a day trip or longer stay.

As the crow flies, Phillip Island is only 75 kilometres from Melbourne.  There are a number of ways to get there.

By car

Phillip Island map
Driving from Melbourne to Phillip Island

Phillip Island is linked to the Victorian mainland by a bridge at San Remo. The distance to drive from the heart of Melbourne to the bridge is just over 120 kilometres.

Head south-east along the Monash Freeway (M1), taking either the South Gippsland Freeway (M420), Clyde Road (C407) or Koo Wee Rup Road (C422) exit.  Follow the M420 and B420 signs as you travel along the South Gippsland Highway, Bass Highway and Phillip Island Road.

The journey time is usually around 90 minutes.

Note that there is no car ferry to Phillip Island, so if you wish to bring your vehicle onto the island, you must use the bridge at San Remo.

Driving directions from Melbourne to Phillip Island

By bus

A number of V/Line bus services run between Southern Cross Station in Melbourne and several towns on Phillip Island including Newhaven, Cape Woolamai, Surf Beach, Sunderland Bay and Cowes.  The journey from Melbourne requires a change of bus at Koo Wee Rup and takes around 2 hours to get to the bridge and a further 20 to 25 minutes to Cowes.

Refer to the V/Line timetable for Melbourne to Cowes.

By train and bus

Another option is to catch a suburban train service to Dandenong. From there, catch a V/Line bus that travels direct to Phillip Island. The train journey to Dandenong takes between 40 to 50 minutes, depending from which station in Melbourne’s city centre is used. The bus journey from Dandenong to the Phillip Island bridge takes around one hour and 45 minutes, and a further 20 to 25 minutes to Cowes.

Refer to timetable for Melbourne to Cowes which also includes details of the train service to Dandenong.

By train and ferry

Passenger ferry service from Stony Point to Cowes
Passenger ferry service from Stony Point to Cowes

For something a little different, you can catch a suburban train from Melbourne to Frankston (1 hour), then switch onto a diesel service which runs from Frankston to Stony Point (35 minutes).

From Stony Point Jetty, board the Inter Island Ferries passenger catamaran which docks at the Cowes Jetty.  The boat trip takes around 45 minutes, usually with a stop at French Island.

By car and ferry

Driving from Melbourne to Stony Point
Driving from Melbourne to Stony Point

If you have a vehicle but don’t want to drive all the way around the eastern side of Western Port to the Phillip Island bridge at San Remo, you can instead drive to Stony Point and catch a passenger ferry from there.

Head south-east along the Monash Freeway (M1), take the South Gippsland Freeway (M420) exit and continue along that road which becomes the Western Port Highway (M780/A780) and ends up at Hastings.  Alternatively, take the EastLink (M3) exit off the Monash Freeway, then the Peninsula Link (M11) exit and follow that freeway to the Frankston-Flinders Road (C777) exit which takes you to Hastings.

Once in Hastings, follow the Frankston-Flinders Road (C777) to Bittern where there is a turn-off to Stony Point Road (C786) which ends up at the Stony Point railway station and jetty.

There is a public car park in the vicinity of the railway station and jetty. Alternatively, secure parking is available for a nominal daily fee at the Stony Point Caravan Park.

From Stony Point Jetty, board the Inter Island Ferries passenger catamaran which docks at the Cowes Jetty.  The boat trip takes around 45 minutes, usually with a stop at French Island.

By air

Phillip Island Helicopters
Phillip Island Helicopters

Did you know that Phillip Island has its own airfield?  So you can get to the island by air!

Fronting Phillip Island Road at Newhaven are Phillip Island Helicopters who not only conduct scenic flights, but also offer charter services.  In just 30 minutes, you can be flown from suitable landing locations in Melbourne, such as Essendon Airport or Moorabbin Airport, directly to Phillip Island. Avoid the traffic and save time! See  www.phillipislandhelicopters.com.au for further details.

Join a tour

Take the hassle out of getting to Phillip Island and finding your way around by joining one of the many guided day tours that departs from Melbourne.

Day tours include a range of activities such as a visit to the famous Penguin Parade and eco-tours that explore the island’s diverse flora and fauna. Tours may also include visits to Churchill Island, the Koala Conservation Centre, The Nobbies and the island’s beautiful coastline and beaches.

Phillip Island tours from Melbourne

 

Coming from Melbourne Airport?

If you are coming to Melbourne by air, see our guide to transport between Melbourne Airport and the city centre.  Once in Melbourne’s city centre, choose from the above options to get to Phillip Island.