Adelaide to Melbourne. What a journey.
Here’s our rundown of The Great Ocean Road and beyond: where to stop, where to eat, what to see. We loved every minute and I wanted to share our recommendations along the way!
* Adelaide in 48 hours *
We didn’t have a huge amount of time here, but what we saw of Adelaide, we loved. First of all, we discovered the yummiest burger place (Betty’s)… they have a few scattered around Australia and considering the burger fiends that we are, I’m surprised we didn’t find it sooner. They also have the most amazing thing called a ‘concrete’ which is basically frozen custard loaded with delicious toppings like cookie butter or marshmallow sauce. (Don’t go there looking for a light bite). We also ignited our love for Botanical Gardens here. It was so beautiful. I love how you can find a peaceful haven of greenery and colour in the middle of a city. Gorgeously kept and so many lovely areas, such as the Dahlia flower garden- so pretty. The sunset over the pier at Glenelg Beach was amazing on the first night. It was a little bit cloudy, so that made for the most beautiful orangey sky. We watched it from The Mosley Beach Club on beanbags, which I would definitely recommend. Also, really yummy jalapeño poppers at Beach Burrito on Jetty Street- it had a gorgeous mural on the outside wall too, which I loved.
Barossa Valley Wine Tasting….. On our second full day in Adelaide, we went on a wine tasting tour. We had the best day. We definitely took the average age down a few years, let me just say that.. but we had so much fun. 3 different tastings. Plus lunch and cheese. Anyone who knows me knows I luuurve cheese. I was potentially more excited by that than the wine. I’m also not really a red girl, but I honestly liked 90% of the wines I would say. The people were just so lovely everywhere we stopped, and each place was different. Our first stop was Tearo Estate, a family run winery. They gave us little wine postcards with the story behind each wine on them… I liked that touch. Our second was the Lambert Estate, where we also had a really tasty, fresh lunch. We found the most gorgeous rosé called ‘First Kiss’. Lastly, we went to Pindarie Estate, where they gave us aaall the cheese. Hello!! It had such a perfect, rustic setting, with great views across the valley and huge hay bales looking over the fields of vines.
From Adelaide after breaky at Luigi’s (10/10 would recommend the sharey board) we started our journey towards Melbourne via the Great Ocean Road in Hattie the Hyundai. We made a few stops along the way…
*1st stop- Victor Harbour*
A sweet town, with some cool surfy shops and cafes, not loads to see but perfect for a pit stop. We walked across to Granite Island and the crashing waves were completely mesmerising. We stood there for ages just watching them break over the rocks. I had my first bath in over a month here too… so for that, it holds a special place in my heart.
*2nd stop- Robe*
We didn’t have super high hopes for Robe, as we didn’t know much about it, but it was so charming! We had a little cottage, which I have to say, looked a little bit scary on the pictures…kind of ‘set of a horror film’ vibes…. but it was actually the sweetest thing. We felt like we had a little house there and we really settled in. The 2nd bedroom did have a creepy doll in it though… I did SO MUCH WASHING HERE. Just needed to note that. I was so happy. We turned the cottage into Widow Twankey’s Wash Shop, literally clothes, knickers, towels hanging from everything. We hung most of our stuff outside and found it all scattered across the garden in the morning, so we had to do a scavenger hunt for stray socks….. that was fun! Anyway, I’ve digressed ( no one wants to know about my washing Romy), it was a lovely beachy town with gorgeous blue water. I found my new favourite shop, Holiday- look at their dreamy Instagram. Aaaall the linen, sandals and dangly earrings. Sam tried to teach me chess here too, at the local ice cream shop (standard) and I managed to drop my entire cone onto the chess board (standard Romy). We loved it here.
*3rd stop- Port Fairy*
Someone in a shop in Robe told me that most people prefer Port Fairy to Robe. I think we preferred the town in Robe more, but Port Fairy’s beach and surroundings were prettier. A highlight was the walk over to Griffith Island. The most beautiful lighthouse, wallabies, unspoilt beaches and sparkling water. We had a great breaky here too, someone on Trip Advisor said it was the ‘best breakfast’ they had ever had- bold statement- at Bank St. & Co. I have to say, it was delicious. I had a fresh sourdough bruschetta with poachies, mozzarella, avo and chopped toms. Nothing wild, but it was really tasty. Sam had sweet potato avo toast.
After leaving Port Fairy, we joined the Great Ocean Road. It started with only a few flashes of ocean, then all of a sudden it was there in full force… amazing cliffs and wild waves. Luckily, we left in enough time to do all of the little stop offs, which I would definitely recommend. Bay of Islands, London Bridge, The Arch and The Grotto were some of our favourites. Once we arrived in Port Campbell, we made our way to the heliport for a tour of the 12 Apostles. We only booked a short trip, but when we arrived they upgraded us to a 25 minute tour with all the sights included! An incredible way to see the 12 Apostles… we felt very lucky. For any nervy flyers, it was much smoother than a tiny plane. I was worried beforehand but actually it was really smooth. After the flight, we thought we’d get some food in Port Campbell and decided to get some crispy prawns and scallops to share at a food shack…they gave us 1 prawn and 1 scallop. Oh we laughed… I mean I think you probably had to be there, but considering the expense, we thought there would be at least 5 of each to share… but no. Just 1. Trying to make 1 prawn and 1 scallop feed the two of you is a struggle, let me tell you. Turns out we had to specify that we wanted more than 1….
After that little giggle (hate the word giggle), we drove to Apollo Bay, for our final stop before Melbourne.
*4th stop- Apollo Bay*
So. The most gorgeous room. There was a big bath in the middle, which I completely relished. But in terms of much to see… nada. We strolled out in the evening as we were starving after the 1 prawn 1 scallop saga and there was honestly nowhere to eat. We ended up sharing a takeaway pizza and relaxing in the room with ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ (watch it on Netflix- so funny).
I feel like I’ve maybe done Apollo Bay a disservice, but we realised that Lorne nearby had a lovely surfy, beachy feel with loads of little shops and cafes and we probably could have stayed there instead, but considering Apollo Bay was really just the gateway to the 12 Apostles for us, it was perfect. The next morning it did give us a pretty tasty breaky- we can’t remember the name… but we had asparagus, poachies and a great coffee and it was lovely.
We arrived in Melbourne a day early and we were staying with Sam’s cousin and his girlfriend…. we had the most amazing time. Melbourne- what a city. We absolutely loved it. I feel like I can’t write out absolutely everything we did and saw, because it will take this post from being long to snore-worthy… so I will try to keep it as brief as possible.
WHERE TO EAT-
Yomg- totally filthy, delicious burgers…. complete with cheese injectors (yes you heard me correctly)- cheese you inject into your burger. Ps. We don’t just eat burgers.
Tommy Ruffs- amazing soft shell crab. Buzzy atmosphere, great superfood salads too. ( Am I redeeming myself for the cheese injector yet?)
Bodega Underground- delish, fresh and unusual Mexican, open really late. Amazing guac.
Main Street- super tasty breaky. We both had avocado eggs benedict and it was totally veggie and yummy.
Tulip- great iced coffee.
Hawker Hall- on Chapel Street. The best Asian food. Mmmmm… makes my mouth water now thinking of those mushroom and garlic dumplings…. Also amazing sangria.
All of the Laneways in Melbourne have amazing little restaurants and tiny cafes, definitely would recommend.
Prahran- great foodie market, some great cafes and boutique shops. We met up with some friends there and we went to a really cool cafe called Hobba.
Parkdale- Sam’s cousin lives near there, so we went to the high street a few times. A really lovely area, some cool bars and unique spots to eat.
Southbank- this is in the city and we loved it. So pretty, yet in the middle of a bustling city. Right by the water, lots of restaurants and the coolest floating bar called Arbory.
Federation Square- when we were there, there was a Footlocker ‘House of Hoops’ basketball pop-up there, which we watched for a while… basically people shooting hoops to win trainers. It had a great atmosphere. Also, the area was so clean and modern, we loved it.
Brighton Beach- it has beach huts that are inspired by Brighton in the UK. I loved it! There were so many pretty designs and we kept walking along saying… ‘I’d have that one….actually that one….actually that one!’
Chapel Street- THE street to eat and drink on, famous for its foodie spots and groovy bars (…did I just say groovy?) That was where Hawker Hall was.
The Laneways- these are scattered all over the city, but the main one is probably Hosier Street. Really busy, packed with tourists, but definitely worth a look, famous for its street art.
St Kilda- great buzzy area for drinks. We watched the most beautiful pink sunset and I had a great pornstar martini at Captain Baxter.
OTHER THINGS WE LOVED-
The State Library of Victoria- okay book wormy me needed to mention this… it was complete heaven for me. So beautiful, so peaceful and sooo many books.
The Royal Botanical Gardens- another gorgeous garden, another tranquil break from the busy city. Definitely would recommend a stroll round here.
Cricket! – we went to see the Semi Final and Final of the Big Bash while we were in Melbourne and it was sooo much fun at the Marvel Stadium.
Clementine’s- this little gift shop was my fave. Not just because my middle name is Clementine.
The Peninsula- just an hour from Melbourne was the beautiful peninsula. There are loads of stop offs, but our faves were Arthur’s Seat lookout and Sorrento Back Beach- it had the clearest water with a turquoisey tinge and a natural ‘swimming pool’. Also had a great lobster roll in Sorrento at ‘The Boss’s Daughter’.
We absolutely loved Melbourne, its edgy, arty vibe and beautiful sights and were so grateful to Sam’s family for having us for such an amazing stay.
If you’re still here after this looong post, you deserve a gold star and a life supply of cheese injectors (….not sure that would be wise). Well done and thank you so much for reading, I genuinely appreciate it. xx