Tailormade tour Best of Victoria and South Australia tour Australia

18 nights/19 days

Melbourne • Phillip Island • Great Ocean Road • Barossa Valley • Flinders Rangers • Adelaide • Kangaroo Island

This touring holiday is an in-depth exploration of the states of Victoria and South Australia. With exciting self-drives, and an emphasis on the remote beauty of rural Australia, this tour fosters a superb feeling of independence as you discover incredible landscapes and wildlife. In these 18 nights, you see a comprehensive selection of the highlights of southerly Australia. You see Melbourne, the Yarra Valley and Phillip Island in Victoria. You then drive along the Great Ocean Road before exploring South Australia, including the Barossa Valley, the Flinders Ranges, Adelaide and Kangaroo Island.

Holiday price guide

Available year-round subject to the opening period of the hotels, from about £4,300 per person.

Luxury tailormade touring holiday of Victoria and South Australia staying in Melbourne and Adelaide, driving the Great Ocean Road, staying on Phillip Island and Kangaroo Island, visiting the Flinders Ranges and the Barossa Valley

Highlights

Melbourne • Yarra Valley • St Kilda • Williamstown • Phillip Island • Churchill Island • Shipwreck Coast • Warrnambool • Mount Gambier • Port Elliot • Barossa Valley • Flinders Ranges • Adelaide • Kangaroo Island

Day by day

Arrive in Melbourne. You are met upon arrival and transferred by private chauffeur to your luxury accommodation. Spend the day to adjust to the climate and the time zone.

Having settled into the charm and character of Australia’s most fashionable city, it’s time to explore. Candidly multicultural, it is characterised by a mix of Victorian architecture and a spectacular modern skyline, a vibrant café scene, fantastic food and wine, great beaches, and sophisticated leafy boulevards. Enjoy a day of leisure as you explore the sights and sounds of Australia’s cultural and sporting capital. Of special interest here might be shopping in the high-end precinct of Collins Street, visiting Melbourne’s glamorous fashion district, or perhaps venturing to Federation Square or the home of cricket at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground).

From Melbourne, you could choose to partake in an optional tour to one of Victoria’s main attractions, the world-famous Yarra Valley. Here, guests will find great bushwalks and cycling in the wild National Parks of the region. These Parks are home to much of Australia’s iconic wildlife, and guests who are especially lucky may even come across platypuses in Badger Creek. Most importantly however, the Yarra Valley is of course known for its vineyards. While away a beautiful day in the sun tasting the bounty of Victoria, and many vineyards provide fantastic eateries to complement. Of note are the full-bodied chardonnays, sparkling wine and Pinot noir that fame the area.

Enjoy your final day in the hustle and bustle of Melbourne, perhaps by exploring some of its chic and elegant suburbs. The bay side St Kilda, for example, is an excellent place to head in search of great cafes, delectable restaurants, sublime bay side views and a refreshing coastline. Others may opt to head to the rediscovered and historic Williamstown, enjoying the seaside, the history of Melbourne, and again, spectacular bay side views.

Pick up your hire car and drive to Phillip island on the South Coast of Victoria. Originally a farming community, Phillip Island is now one of Victoria’s most visited tourist hotspots, and it’s easy to see why from as soon as you arrive, as a rugged coastline brushes shoulders with idyllic countryside. Of interest to the tourists is the ‘Penguin Parade’, this refers to the nightly return of Little Penguins to the beaches that constitute Australia’s largest colony of Penguins. It’s a wonderful sight, and such is the demand to see them that viewing platforms have been provided for the convenience of onlookers. Elsewhere Phillip Island is also home to Australia’s largest colony of fur seals, as well as abundant bird life, and other fauna.

Another aspect to Phillip Island is the incredible surfing beaches that fringe its rugged and idyllic interior. Fantastic surf schools give tourists the opportunity to get involved in this classically Australian pastime – and there is a great mixture of surf levels to choose from, allowing you to catch waves at a level that suits you. Alternatively, another bastion of Australian cultural heritage is available in the form of a wonderful Koala Conservation Centre. This area of coastline is the perfect habitat for these iconic species, and the Conservation Centre offers the chance for tourists to come face to face with them within a natural setting, as well as abundant birdlife, wallabies, echidnas and bats. For guests looking to get away from it all, another option is the idyllic and historic scenery available on Churchill Island.

Today is the first day of one of the most spectacular road-trips available in Australia. Setting out on the Great Ocean Road in your 4x4 hire car, you will quickly see the suburbs of Melbourne become the rolling green pastures of rural Victoria. Stopping first at Geelong for a mid-morning brunch at one of the many excellent cafes, continue onwards to Torquay, known locally as the ‘Surf Capital of Australia’. Here you could either book a private lesson or watch the professionals in action as you lounge on the beach. In the afternoon, visit the quaint seaside town of Lorne and cool off with a dip in the water, or by visiting one of the many galleries on the high street. Continue onto your overnight accommodation to recuperate from a full day’s adventure.

This leg of your road-trip is possibly the most iconic of the entire drive. Having enjoyed breakfast, set off to the Twelve Apostles. Jutting out into the ocean, these rocky stands look as though abandoned to the ocean by the retreating headland. Only seven ‘apostles’ can be seen today by the fabulous vistas from the timber boardwalks that surround the headland. If possible, stay until sunset for a postcard image like no other. Otherwise, you could continue along Shipwreck Coast, aptly named following a series of around 700 shipwrecks. Stop also at the coastal town of Warrnambool, especially in the months of May to October, as this is where Southern Right Whales calve off Logan Beach. Finally, continue to Port Fairy to settle into a lovely evening in this charming coastal town.

After a leisurely breakfast in Port Fairy, continue to Portland where you can take a trip to the picturesque lighthouse that casts sublime views up and down the rugged Southern coastline of Australia. Here, you will also find a viewing platform over a colony of roughly 650 fur seals. Particularly adventurous guests may choose to snorkel amongst them on an optional cage dive. Next, stop at Mount Gambier, an ancient extinct volcano that is encircled by crater lakes. The hiking is superb on a trail around Blue Lake, so called because it turns cobalt blue in the months of December to March. Follow the coastline up to your final overnight stop at Robe.

Rise early to follow the coastline up to Port Elliot. Refresh by swimming in Horseshoe Beach or by surfing off Boomer Beach, before continuing onto the nearby Victor Harbour. Here you can find a unique horse-drawn tramway which links Victor Harbour with Granite Island, home to yet another colony of Little Penguins. Between June and October, you can also book a boat tour to see Southern Right Whales breeding in the sheltered waters of Encounter Bay. Finally, continue inland through rolling hills and vineyards of the idyllic South Australian countryside to reach the Barossa Valley in the early evening for a spectacular dinner washed down with the world-famous wine of the land.

The Barossa Valley is perhaps the best known and most appreciated of all of Australia’s wine producing regions. Here a wonderful climate and soil conditions have conspired to produce internationally acclaimed reds, such as Barossa Valley Estate’s Black Pepper Shiraz, and certain vintages of Penfolds Grange. In truth, there are now more than 80 cellar doors which are often open to public visits, giving visitors the chance to sample the riches of this area and experience the warm South Australian hospitality that couples it. The idyllic scenery means that a happy day can be spent travelling between wineries and spotting Lutheran churches, pretty hamlets and old cottages that date to 1842.

Today the road-trip continues as you venture deep into the Outback of Australia and head into ‘the Flinders’, an ancient mountain range in the heartland of South Australia. Jagged peaks and escarpments rise north of Port Augusta and track 400km north to Mount Hopeless. The colours are remarkable, as mauve mornings become midday chocolates and ochre-red sunsets. Emus wander across the roads and yellow-footed wallabies bound from boulder to boulder. Settle into your remote accommodation and dine under a star display like no other.

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast in the calm of this remote region, before venturing out to engage with this environment in a more active way. A variety of options are available, from 4x4 drives to hiking to cycling to scenic flights. The scale of the landscape begs belief, and qualified guides will introduce you to the best vistas, and sightings of the iconic wildlife that abounds in this pristine Outback location.

Today you drive south to the capital of South Australia and on the way there is plenty of time to savour the passing vistas, as the red hues of the Outback become the rolling green plains of the fertile wine regions. Stop at Port Augusta along the way to savour the sights and sounds of this frontier town, with its elegant old buildings and revitalised waterfront. Arrive in Adelaide in the late afternoon to drop off your hire-car and settle into the penultimate stop on your tour.

With a distinctly Mediterranean climate, a renowned gastronomy scene, and bordering world-class wineries, Adelaide is a pleasant stop on any itinerary in Australia. Its ambience is elegant and green, as historic buildings sit agreeably next to the many parks that compose it. Soak up the culture of the region by visiting the excellent Tandyana Centre or stroll through the fantastic botanical gardens for a relaxed day to replenish your energy for the last part of the trip.

Another taste of Adelaide awaits visitors who choose to hop on the tram and head to the old-fashioned seaside resort of Glenelg. Here you will be richly awarded by a fantastic beach, lined with a distinctly European feeling strip of al-fresco cafes making the most of the brilliant South Australian produce. Alternatively, more great wine and scenery is accessible through a quick trip to the bordering Adelaide Hills.

Wake early to catch your flight to Kingscote on Kangaroo Island. This wilderness island, alone in the vast expanse of the Southern Ocean has rightly been dubbed a ‘zoo without fences’, and it is home to an incredible range of iconic Australian wildlife, as well as rugged scenery and dramatic Southern Ocean beaches. Spot sea lions at Seal Bay, explore the vast wilderness of Flinders Chase National Park, or hike along the clifftops with the coastal flora for company. In the evening, settle down to the warm hospitality of lodge.

On your final full day in Australia, the choice is yours for making the most of the exceptional climate and landscape of Southerly Australia. Several guided adventures are possible, from hiking to kayaking and with everything in between. It might be a great day, for example, to finally come face to face with kangaroos, by enjoying the ‘Kangas and Kanapes’ experience available to guests staying at Southern Ocean Lodge. Otherwise, why not learn about the settling of the area at Grassdale, which tells a microcosm story of Australia’s history.

Wake to soak up the last of the scenery and climate before boarding your flight back to Adelaide and onward to London.

Holiday price guide From about £4,300 per person based on two people sharing a double room and including for economy flights from London.

Holiday Code AUSG06

Luxury tailormade touring holiday of Victoria and South Australia staying in Melbourne and Adelaide, driving the Great Ocean Road, staying on Phillip Island and Kangaroo Island, visiting the Flinders Ranges and the Barossa Valley

Holiday price guide From about £4,300 per person based on two people sharing a double room and including for economy flights from London.

Holiday Code AUSG06

Our prices include ● Return scheduled flights with British Airways, Qantas or Emirates from London to Melbourne, returning from Adelaide to London in economy class.
● Domestic flights return from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island
● Transfers and car hire where specified in our itinerary
● 3 nights’ bed and breakfast in Melbourne
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast on Phillip Island
● 3 nights’ bed and breakfast on the Great Ocean Road
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast on Barossa Island
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in Flinders Ranges
● 3 nights’ bed and breakfast in Adelaide
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast on Kangaroo Island
● The meals included with your tour will vary by chosen accommodation. Please see our hotel suggestions for included board basis.
● Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints

Our prices do not include ● Early check-in or late check-out at any hotels (although we can arrange this on request at additional cost)
● Any other services not mentioned above, such as transfers and meals except as specified in our hotel suggestions
● Personal holiday insurance. This is essential and cover should be in place from when you book the holiday.
● Local tourist tax, payable locally to the hotel
● Optional tours and activities within each location, except where explicitly specified as included in our itinerary, or by hotels in our hotel lists
● Visa and Passport

Luxury tailormade touring holiday of Victoria and South Australia staying in Melbourne and Adelaide, driving the Great Ocean Road, staying on Phillip Island and Kangaroo Island, visiting the Flinders Ranges and the Barossa Valley

Expressions Holidays includes these hotels in this touring holiday as suggestions, but they can be substituted by others in the same region, if you have a preference to stay elsewhere.
Hotels included in this tour
Melbourne
The Lyall Hotel Value option

The Lyall Hotel is an exclusive and elegant luxury hotel that boasts good facilities and a highly sought-after location. Excellent spa facilities and supremely comfortable accommodation make this an unbeatable spot from which to enjoy the delights of Melbourne.

Deluxe One Bedroom Suite

Park Hyatt Melbourne Luxury option

Park Hyatt Melbourne is a 5-star hotel offering luxurious style in an excellent central location. Award winning cuisine, comfortable accommodation and stylish interiors make it an ideal spot to recuperate after a day enjoying the delights of Melbourne.

King room

Great Ocean Road
Chocolate Gannets

Chocolate Gannets is a luxury homestay hotel which offers understated luxury in a beautiful coastal location at the beginning of the Great Ocean Road. It offers a comfortable retreat surrounded by natural wonders.

Luxury sea villa

Port Fairy
Oscars Waterfront

Oscars Waterfront is a charming, boutique hotel in a lovely waterfront location. Offering luxurious accommodation in an upscale bed and breakfast format, it is an excellent base to explore the Coonawarra wine region and local natural wonders.

Courtyard room

Barossa Valley
Abbotsford Country House

Abbotsford Country House is a beautiful Georgian-style farmhouse located in the heart of the famous Barossa Valley wine producing region. With only 8 bedrooms, a secluded location, and generous hospitality, it is a tranquil and indulgent experience.

Deluxe Suite

Flinders Ranges
Rawnsley Park Station Value option

Rawnsley Park Station is a wonderful secluded retreat in beautiful rural surroundings with an emphasis on sustainable tourism. Delicious local cuisine and supremely comfortable accommodation make it an excellent base from which to explore the Flinders ranges national park.

One Bedroom Holiday Unit

Arkaba Station Luxury option

Arkaba Station in the heart of South Australia's Flinders Ranges is an exclusive lodge in a remote wilderness location, ideal for exploring the scenery, wildlife, and cultural sites of the majestic Flinders Ranges.

Homestead Guestroom

Adelaide
Mayfair Hotel Value option

The Mayfair Hotel is a luxury 5-star hotel in an excellent central location, in an iconic landmark building. Gourmet cuisine, an exclusive rooftop bar and luxury accommodation makes it an excellent spot from which to enjoy the delights of Adelaide.

Superior Queen room

Intercontinental Adelaide Luxury option

The InterContinental Adelaide is a sophisticated and contemporary hotel in an excellent riverside location. Award-winning cuisine, stunning views and spectacular mezzanine pool make it an ideal spot to recuperate after enjoying the delights of Adelaide.

Superior room

Kangaroo Island
Southern Ocean Lodge

Southern Ocean Lodge is a secluded, luxury property in a stunning clifftop location. Guests can experience 'Australia's Galapagos' with a generous range of Signature Experiences, alongside excellent cuisine and spa facilities for a truly secluded, intimate experience.

Flinders suite

Holiday price guide From about £4,300 per person based on two people sharing a double room and including for economy flights from London.

Holiday Code AUSG06

Luxury tailormade touring holiday of Victoria and South Australia staying in Melbourne and Adelaide, driving the Great Ocean Road, staying on Phillip Island and Kangaroo Island, visiting the Flinders Ranges and the Barossa Valley

Highlights of South Australia and Adelaide

Wine tasting in the Barossa Valley, Whale watching from the southern beaches, Visiting Coober Pedy where most of the population lives underground, Abundant wildlife on and around Kangaroo Island, Indigenous cultural tours of the region, The Tandanya cultural centre in Adelaide, Bushwalking in the Flinders Ranges, The Adelaide Fringe Festival.

Luxury tailormade touring holiday of Victoria and South Australia staying in Melbourne and Adelaide, driving the Great Ocean Road, staying on Phillip Island and Kangaroo Island, visiting the Flinders Ranges and the Barossa Valley

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