Melbourne to Adelaide cover a distance of over 700 kilometres or about 8 to 12 hours of drive. But in between the Victorian and South Australian cities are the best tourist attractions the continent can offer.
The following are the must-visit places when you’re in the southern regions of Australia.
The Great Ocean Road and the Otways
Experience one of the world’s spectacular coastal drives at the Great Ocean Road, and along this route you can stop at the Otways for a scenic getaway with nature. Stop by the Kennett River to take some pictures of the native wildlife and birds.
At Lorne, you can drop by the Erskine Falls or stroll down the beaches. You could also make a stop in the beautiful coastal town of Anglesea. And from the resort town of Apollo Bay, you can drive to Cape Otway and have a stop at the highest point of the Great Ocean Road.
The ultimate destination on the Great Ocean Road is the limestone coast where the 12 Apostles stand. Experience the stunning views of panoramic landscape and seascape. Capture the images of rugged surfs, towering cliffs, and the scenery’s changing colours.
Just 3 kilometres from there you can also visit the picturesque Loch Ard Gorge and hit the beach and cool off in the shallows.
Probably, the Great Ocean Road ranks first of the scenic attractions from Melbourne to Adelaide.
Ballarat’s Sovereign Hill
In a Victorian town of Ballarat, another best attraction you will be interested visiting is Sovereign Hill, an open-air museum in Golden Point. The museum displays the years when gold was first discovered in the area.
It’s like history frozen so we can peek into the past. The town was recreated to depict the life and culture of the mid-19th century Victoria.
There are many tourist activities you can do in Sovereign Hill such as panning some real gold, learn about the Victorian Golden Era, interact with the locals, or take photos of the time capsule. It sure is a lot of fun out there.
A detour to the Grampians would be a great choice. Drive straight to the heart of the Grampians, to the scenic town of Halls Gap.
From there you can visit the impressive waterfalls of the Grampians one by one — Mackenzie Falls, Wannon Falls, Nigretta Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Silverband Falls, Beehive Falls, Clematis Falls, and Fish Falls.
Or you could head to the Mt Difficult Road and reach the Boroka Lookout where you can have a 180-degree view of western Victoria. Overlooking the Boroka Lookout are Halls Gap, Lake Bellfield, Fyans Valley, Mt William Range, and Wonderland Range.
Also in the Grampians, you can have a closer look at the diverse wildlife and lush flora of the region. Learn more about the history, culture, and heritage of the Aboriginal people.
There are more things you can do and more place you can go if you’re with the Grampians National Park.
The volcanic and limestone city of Mount Gambier would be the next attractive stop, 17 kilometres from the Victorian border and about 450 kilometres from Adelaide. There you can check out the lakes, caves, sinkholes, parks, and gardens.
Most notably, don’t miss the Blue Lake and Umpherston Sink Hole.
The Blue Lake is an extinct volcanic lake, a crater lagoon that’s 72 meters deep and the city’s source of fresh drinking water. Take some photos of the beautiful lake and simply enjoy the views.
From there you can drive to Umpherston Sink Hole, a lush beautifully designed sunken garden that used to be a cave.
There are also some other lakes, caves, and sinkholes you can visit such as the Valley Lake, the Leg of Mutton Lake, Cave Gardens, and Engelbrecht Cave.
Coonawarra Wine Region
From Mount Gambier stop by and take a pause at the historic town of Penola and explore the wineries of Coonawarra Wine Region. Coonawarra, a famous wine-producing region of South Australia, is synonymous with Cabernet Sauvignon. But they also produce the best Shiraz.
Relax in a comfortable ambience, great food, and the best wines in the region. Learn the local history and culture through their food and wines.
Visit some of Coonawarra’s cellar doors and sample their best wines. View the amazing landscape of vineyards and farms, and strike a hearty conversation with some local folks.
Also in the limestone coast of South Australia is the World Heritage listed Naracoorte Caves National Park where you can explore the underground caves. The park housed 26 caves that are protected. The caves contained extensive fossil records formed over 200 million years ago.
So, refresh your knowledge in palaeontology by visiting the caves of Naracoorte.
The recommended caves to visit are Victoria Fossil Cave, Alexandra Cave, Bat Cave, Blanche Cave, and Stick-Tomato Cave. You can also learn more about the caves and its history at the Wonambi Fossil Centre.
On the southern coast of Fleurieu Peninsula, about 80 kilometres south of Adelaide, hides the quaint coastal city of Victor Harbour. The city has been a popular summer holiday destination in South Australia.
One of the main attractions is the horse-drawn tram on the causeway to Granite Island, a large colony of little penguins.
At Victor Harbour, you can hit and enjoy the beaches, spot some whales, penguins, dolphins, seals, and wildlife.
Lake Alexandrina and Lake Albert
Located in the Fleurieu, Kangaroo Island, and Murray Mallee regions of South Australia, the estuarine lagoon Lake Alexandrina hosts a rich biodiversity.
Adjoined the smaller Lake Albert, the freshwater habitat is a government-protected area also known as Lower Lakes with most of its water coming from the Murray River.
You can do a lot of activities especially when you’re in Milang, the only lakeshore town in Lake Alexandrina. You can hike, bike, hit the beach, or paddle in the lake to fish.
You can also go bird watching in the wetlands of Lake Alexandrina which is habitat for various waterbirds such as migratory waders, geese, cormorants, sandpipers, and Australian shelducks.
Wildlife Tours Australia has designed tour packages that let you explore the corners and scenic attractions of southern Australia. Book any of our 2 Day Melbourne to Adelaide Tour or the reverse 2 Day Adelaide to Melbourne Tour.
By Kelvene Requiroso, content writer and member of the SEO team of the Melbourne-based Get Lost Travel Group.