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epixx

One Day GOR from Melbourne: standard or reverse?

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We are staying in Melbourne and have one day to do a tour.  Some tour companies advertise the advantage of the "reverse" when compared to the "standard" tour is that you reach the sites at at different time from the big bus tours.  Are there any disadvantages of the "reverse" tour?

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It's an answer to a slightly different question, but personally I don't think that a one-day tour to the Great Ocean Road is worth it. There's a lot of wasted travelling time and not much time to see any stuff along the Great Ocean Road itself.

 

If you have one more day to fill, personally I'd suggest looking at something else.

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2 hours ago, Globaliser said:

It's an answer to a slightly different question, but personally I don't think that a one-day tour to the Great Ocean Road is worth it. There's a lot of wasted travelling time and not much time to see any stuff along the Great Ocean Road itself.

 

If you have one more day to fill, personally I'd suggest looking at something else.

The reverse tour is possibly not a bad idea depending on the time of year but I agree with Globaliser. One of the beauties of the Great Ocean Road is being able to explore the various coves on foot. You just wouldn't have time to do anything other than photograph what remains of the Twelve Apostles. Check the description of the tour carefully and be sure it's offering what you want.

 

Are you arriving/departing Melbourne by sea? The port is outside Melbourne, not like Sydney when you dock right in the city. You might find an embark/debark tour allows you to have your full day, plus another half day tour. Visitors always seem to enjoy the Dandenong trip that includes the Puffing Billy, which isn't as childish as it sounds. Also Healesville Sanctuary for the Aussie Wildlife. The Mornington Peninsular is also a very popular day trip.

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We arrive and depart Melbourne via air, pre- cruise, not a port stop.  

 

Thank you both for your answers and opinions, which I respect.  As mentioned, we are not keen to spend hours in a vehicle with only a small portion of the time on the land.  Nevertheless, the one day trips seem to get consistently excellent reviews on TripAdvisor, so I am somewhat puzzled.  Do you have any idea why people seem to love these trips if you spend so much time on the bus or van?  Is it really not worth the effort?

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2 hours ago, epixx said:

We arrive and depart Melbourne via air, pre- cruise, not a port stop.  

 

Thank you both for your answers and opinions, which I respect.  As mentioned, we are not keen to spend hours in a vehicle with only a small portion of the time on the land.  Nevertheless, the one day trips seem to get consistently excellent reviews on TripAdvisor, so I am somewhat puzzled.  Do you have any idea why people seem to love these trips if you spend so much time on the bus or van?  Is it really not worth the effort?

That's really subjective :classic_smile: Sometimes we answer from our own experiences over many years as locals who can go back again anytime spending many hours in each location along the route. We forget you don't have the luxury of time but still want to see as much as you can. So, I checked out the Great Ocean Road Tours. There's even a small group one! 

 

Depending on the tour you choose it's 14hrs plus but along the way you get to visit the beautiful beach at Apollo Bay, the koala refuge......not a zoo, just forest where you can look up into the trees and hopefully spot koalas in their natural habitat ....and Otway NP which I assume means the lighthouse and a enjoy a walk in Loch Ard Gorge. If I was at a cruise port I'd probably do this tour. As I said in my response above, check the description of your particular tour and if it feels right, just do it.  And have an amazing day!

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we did a one-day GOR tour when we were in Melb on a cruise for Melbourne Cup in 2015. It was on the Wed and we were overnighting that night, so no all-aboard time to worry about. We had a great day, going down thru Geelong & along the coast, morning tea at Bells Beach, lunch at Apollo Bay, went as far as the Fallen Arch and then the backway thru Colac to the ship. We left at 8am and arrived back at ship in time for 7:30 dinner. 

I am guessing that reverse tour goes the inland way on the way down, so get's to The Arch, or the Apostles quickly (beating the ones doing the coast road first) and then returns via the coast road. I can't see any real disadvantage with that.

 

That was a great trip - crossed The Cup, MCG & GOR off the bucket list on one cruise 🙂

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6 hours ago, epixx said:

Do you have any idea why people seem to love these trips if you spend so much time on the bus or van?  Is it really not worth the effort?

 

To be blunt, there are a lot of lazy tourists in the world. They are happy to switch off their brains - and sometimes even their eyes and ears. They think they have "been to" a place if their bus drove through it; they think they have "seen" a place if they've snapped a smartphone photo of it; and they think that their trip is "better" merely because they drove through more places, often without stopping.

 

I'm not like that, so I don't recommend that anyone tries to see something like the Great Ocean Road in this way. It's so much more than merely one item on a list to be crossed-off just by having fleetingly been through it.

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Thank you again.  We are now planning on Healesville Sanctuary and wineries.

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we did a day tour of the GOR many years ago.... and still remember it as a day well spent in terms of time, sightseeing locations and money

we had allocated one day for the GOR and realised that if we did the driving ourselves, we would come back exhausted and would have to hire the car for two days (no night time returns available!).

so, we git the bullet and paid for a tour.

yes, it was a long day but it was great as someone else did the driving, we learnt many interesting things about each area we visited (which we would not have found out on our own unless we did lots of signboard reading), we did not feel rushed at our stops (surprisingly,we did not meet many other buses at these stops either) and the tour that we chose included morning tea/lunch and dinner

we rarely take tours as we prefer to do the sightseeing ourselves but we're glad we took a GOR tour

we were not lazy tourists.....just tourists who had limited time to do the GOR

Edited by whimsy7
spelling errors

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I have just replied to your other post.  I dont know what part of the USA you are from but having only been to the east coast and central areas of USA the best I can compare the GOR with is the day bus trip we took from San Francisco down to Monteray and along that coast.  I might be totally off here but it was 13 years ago, we had a lovely long day with several stops and wandered around a few towns.  Enjoyed it and can say been there done that.   Ive been back to San Fran since but at the time didn't think I would get there again an it was an insight to the coast.   If as someone suggested your day trip includes a koala visit then even better.   As I said in my other reply to you I wouldnt waste my time on Healesvile.   Sad but true.

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Just returned from "down under" and had a grand 1 day tour of the GOR with Iheartmelbourne  tours. I understand the concerns over a long drive but it does depend on the driver and vehicle.   It ended up being a comfortable 12 hr trip for 5 of us and was well worth it.  James, the proprietor of I heart Melbourne tours, is extremely flexible and accommodating to your needs. Because of his immense  knowledge of the human and physical geography of the area the time flew by.  We all felt that our needs had been met and had received good value for our tour.  Highly recommended!  

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On 11/2/2018 at 4:09 AM, epixx said:

We are staying in Melbourne and have one day to do a tour.  Some tour companies advertise the advantage of the "reverse" when compared to the "standard" tour is that you reach the sites at at different time from the big bus tours.  Are there any disadvantages of the "reverse" tour?

Disadvantages and advantages of both. Going from the end is quieter at twelve apostles etc, but you are then on the left hand side of the road (so further away from the ocean vistas). Plus you have less chance to stop off at look out points as some will be too dangerous to get to, and often they are on blind corners, so crossing over is too difficult. I would just go the normal way......

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