Sunday, December 17, 2017

Driving from Melbourne to Adelaide via Great Ocean Road

I always imagine of going for a great car drive on a famous route. Not necessary the 4-wheel-drive type of challenge. It can be a drive of great distance covering exciting places. I have driven on the Amalfi Drive from Naples to Sorrento in Italy. It was one of the most interesting and scenic place that I have driven. The next scenic route I want to drive is the Perth-Adelaide-Melbourne route in Australia. This route is over 2000km and it will probably take me at least a week to thoroughly visit the places along the route.

My plan is to start the journey from Melbourne. The main reason of doing this is that I wanted to drive along the Great Ocean Road on the left side of the road, which is closest to the coastline. Upon arrival, I will check myself into one of Melbourne hotels. In Melbourne accommodation is easily available if booked in advance. I plan to spend two days in Melbourne to check the car I hire and look around Melbourne. Perhaps, try my luck at the casino.

Whenever I visit Melbourne, I always try to find time to visit a few of Melbourne’s many vineyards, among the many attractions in Melbourne. These vineyards are located in Yarra Valley which is located outside of Melbourne but not too far from Melbourne city. Yarra Valley is one of the foremost wine producing regions in the world. Wines from Yarra Valley are exported all over the world.

If I am alone, I won’t drive to these vineyards as I will get intoxicated by the time I finish visiting the vineyards. Instead, I will join a day tour organized by one of the many travel companies in Melbourne. It’s better to be a law abiding tourist than to end up on the wrong side of the law. I would prefer to spend my nights in one of the Melbourne hotels than in a police station.

A visit to any vineyard will always start of with an introduction about the particular vineyard by the owner, if it’s a small one, or by a marketing staff. You can sense the pride in them when they talk about their produce and the awards they have won. Then, they will introduce the art of wine drinking.

They will teach the tourists how to swirl, sniff and slurp and you will be offered the opportunity to taste some of their wines. Usually, they will offer a few varieties of white and red wines. So, the amount consumed can be intoxicating for those who are not used to drinking wines.

Some owners may even bring you to see how they produce their wine. A short tour of the cellars is a must to appreciate the complexities in producing good quality wines.

Lunch, is usually part of the travel itinerary, in one of the vineyard with the wide selection of wines from the winery is an interesting event not to be missed.

In the evening, before the tour ends, usually tourists enjoy seeping their wine in one of the most beautiful vineyards to enjoy the scenery as the sunsets in the horizon.

Then, it’s back to Melbourne where tourists will be dropped off at their hotels regardless if they are cheap hotels or luxury hotels.

From Melbourne, I plan to start my journey early and drive towards Lorne and then, to Apollo Bay. From Apollo Bay, I will drive along the Great Ocean Road and make as many stops as I wish to enjoy the spectacular view of the Great Ocean Road along the way. I will end the journey for the day at Warnambool.

From Warnambool, I will drive to Adelaide – the capital of South Australia – on the Princess Highway though Mt Gambier. I will put up a night in one of the hotels in Adelaide. I can do my booking easily via the internet. In Adelaide, I will visit the Murray River to recharge myself before taking on the big challenge of driving across Nullarbor Desert the next day.

The next day, the challenge begins. The car must be able to take the challenge. I must be able to take the challenge. I will drive on the Eyre Highway, which crosses the Nullarbor Desert, heading west to Perth. I must plan each day carefully especially the fuel and know exactly where the next fuel station is going to be on the map.

The drive is going to be long and lonely drive. Road is straight and virtually flat. I may be driving alone on the road without see another car for the next hour or so. I cannot expect to have any breakdown, as the nearest town may be hundreds of miles away.

Taking a break to rest along this long and lonely route is necessary as safety precaution. Along the way to Perth, I plan to stay over at Esperance, Albany and Pemberton before arriving at Perth.

Upon arrival at Perth, I will check into one of the hotels in Perth for a good rest after a long and eventful drive across Australia.

Next drive? Perhaps I will drive on Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles.