The Great Southern Road Trip from $4,999 per person including international flights

Hit the open road on The Great Southern Australia Roadtrip! Starting your Australian journey in multicultural Melbourne, enjoy a few days in this marvelous city before setting out on the open road for a multi-day self-drive along the country's breathtaking southeast coastline. Drive the Great Ocean Road past the iconic surf spots of Torquay and Bells Beach, then onto the magnificent Twelve Apostles. Walk through waterfalls and lush forests in Otway National Park and watch whales from historic Warrnambool. Soak up seafaring history in Port Fairy and Portland, near the towering sea cliffs of Cape Bridgewater. See the fossils of giant marsupials in World Heritage Listed Naracoorte Caves and enjoy a night in Robe's quaint and charming seaside town. Cruise the Coorong and perhaps explore the inviting beaches and wineries of the Fleurieu Peninsula on your way to Kangaroo Island. Spend two days on Kangaroo Island, Australia's zoo without fences, and face-to-face with wildlife such as kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, sea lions, and over 250 species of birds in their native habitat. After two full days of exploration on Kangaroo Island, decompress in Adelaide before flying to the Island state of Tasmania and historic Hobart and exploring this UNESCO heritage-listed city & the nearby convict settlement of Port Arthur. Drive the scenic east coast to Freycinet National Park and the stunning Wineglass Bay.

Inclusions

  • Roundtrip International Economy Class Flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco, or New York JFK (domestic US flights can be added at an additional cost)
  • Internal Australia flights
  • 2 nights in Melbourne at the 4.5* Pan Pacific Hotel
  • Half Day Laneways & Arcades Walking Tour
  • Full Day Phillip Island Penguin Parade Tour
  • 12 days medium-sized automatic transmission car rental
  • 1 night in Port Campbell at the 4* Southern Ocean Villas
  • 1 night in Port Fairy at the 4* Ashmont Motor Inn & Apartments
  • 1 night in Robe at the 4* Robe House B&B
  • Kangaroo Island Car and Passenger Sealink ferry transfers
  • 2 nights 4* Kangaroo Island Seafront
  • 1 night 4* Majestic Roof Garden Hotel, Adelaide
  • 2 nights Hobart at 4* Vibe Hotel
  • 2 nights at Freycinet National Park at 4* Freycinet Lodge
  • All Airport & hotel taxes

Itinerary

Day 1 - Depart the US to Melbourne
Depart from one of the many gateways with direct flights to Australia – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Chicago & New York JFK (connecting flights from other local flights available). Ask about our options with Premium Economy and Business class airfare.

Day 2 - Cross International Dateline

Day 3 -  Arrive Melbourne
Welcome to Australia! On arrival in Melbourne, you will be met in the arrivals hall by your driver and transferred by car service to your hotel. Enjoy two nights in exciting Melbourne – named the world’s most livable city for the sixth consecutive year.

ACCOMMODATION - Shouldered by the Yarra River and in the heart of the South Wharf precinct, Pan Pacific Melbourne provides a riverside experience and a new perspective of Melbourne. Guest rooms are spacious private sanctuaries. Full-length windows infuse each room with light and provide stunning skyline views. Oversized bathrooms are calming and luxurious.

There is a lot to love about Melbourne - just ask the locals. This sophisticated world city in the southeast corner of mainland Australia inspires a deep passion in those who live there. Ranked as one of the world’s most livable cities, Melbourne is famous for its vibrant energy, restaurants, fashion boutiques, café filled laneways, cool bars, unbeatable galleries, spacious parks, and village-like inner suburbs, each with its unique character. Melbourne is less than 200 years old and never sits still. Modern, cutting-edge designs add to the fascinating mix of heritage architecture and ensure the skyline is constantly changing.

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Image: Tourism Australia

Day 4 - Melbourne & Phillip Island
This morning, Indulge with a small casual group guided walking tour through Melbourne's lanes and arcades in small groups to engage in the life of this city, which many miss. Discover local designers and specialty retailers, tiny cafes, and more. A little history and attention to unique architecture will inspire locals and visitors alike.

This afternoon, depart Melbourne on your 8-hour small group tour animal adventure, starting with a visit to Moonlit Sanctuary Conservation Park, where you will have time to take photos and have close encounters with animals like kangaroos, wombats, and echidnas. Head to Phillip Island and Woolamai Surf Beach to glimpse the awesome waves and die-hard surfers. Cross the island to reach the dramatic west coast and the Nobbies, where you will be awe-struck by the crashing waves. Finally, it’s time for the main event, the Penguin Parade. There is a reason that this is one of Australia’s top attractions, and the little penguins will not disappoint! You will sit on the protective platform to see possibly hundreds of little penguins waddling onto the beach. Witness this magical procession – it is a treat never forgotten.

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Image: Tourism Australia

Day 5 - Melbourne - Port Campbell
Collect your car this morning and travel southwest from Melbourne on the Princes Highway to Geelong, the largest provincial city in Victoria. Depart Geelong and travel onto Torquay, the surfing capital of Australia. Follow the coast road through Anglesea to Lorne and visit the nearby Erskine Falls. The coastline from Lorne to Apollo Bay has been described as one of the most breathtaking drives in the world.

From Apollo Bay, the road leaves the coast and winds through the ferny slopes of Cape Otway; this rainforest country is silent and untouched. When the road meets the coast again, you will see some amazing rock formations, including the Twelve Apostles and massive stone pillars in the surf, carved over time by the crashing Southern Ocean waves. Continue to Port Campbell, where you will see London Bridge, the broken arch.

ACCOMMODATION - Ideally situated on the edge of the picturesque Port Campbell National Park, famous for its rugged beauty, shipwreck coast, and spectacular scenery, Southern Ocean Villas are positioned in a tranquil, landscaped environment. Conveniently located just off the Great Ocean Road, Southern Ocean Villas is within a short stroll of Port Campbell's town center and beach.

Day 6 – Port Campbell – Port Fairy
Explore Port Campbell National Park and continue your drive towards Port Fairy. You’ll briefly leave the coast to drive through the grand forests of the Otway Ranges. Stop and walk through the rainforests at Maits Rest. Back on the coast road, stop to view the magnificent Twelve Apostles, the world-famous rock towers that thrust up out of the ocean. For a truly unique perspective, take a helicopter flight over the Apostles. Step back in time this afternoon in Port Fairy with its old whitewashed cottages, quaint shops, and a pub on nearly every corner. Overnight at Port Fairy.

ACCOMMODATION - The Ashmont Motor Inn & Apartments is located in the heart of the quaint township of Port Fairy, within walking distance of numerous restaurants, art galleries, and shops. It offers modern, well-appointed motel rooms as well as one and two-bedroom self-contained apartments.

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Image: Tourism Australia

Day 7 - Port Fairy - Robe
Follow the coastline to Mount Gambier, home of the mysterious blue lake, and on to Penola to explore this charming, historic town. Walk along Petticoat Lane and learn about Mary MacKillop, Australia’s first saint. Just north of Penola is the famous Coonawarra wine region. Sample some of Australia’s best reds at one of the many cellar doors. Travel to Robe via Naracoorte to explore the labyrinth of caverns and unique fossil beds that make up the Naracoorte World Heritage-listed fossil site. Enjoy a heritage walk through the pretty seaside village of Robe or stroll along stunning 17 Mile Beach. Overnight at Robe.

ACCOMMODATION - Overnight Robe at Robe House B&B- Built in 1847, this charming building was the first to be built in Robe. Made from locally quarried sandstone and featuring high vaulted ceilings and rustic floorboards, Robe House now has 5 fully self-contained bed and breakfast apartments.

Day 8 - Robe - Kangaroo Island
Continue along the coast road that skirts the Coorong, a 142km tapestry of lagoons, wetlands, and sand dunes that ends at the mouth of the Murray River. Once you cross the river at Wellington, you’re on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Catch the car/passenger ferry across to Kangaroo Island.

Spend the afternoon exploring the east side of the island. Join a tour of the Cape Willoughby Lighthouse, taste the wineries of the Dudley Peninsula, visit American River and the town of Kingscote (don’t miss the pelican feeding), the little penguin colonies and any of the nearby beaches. Overnight at the Kangaroo Island Seafront.

ACCOMMODATION - Situated in Penneshaw, the Kangaroo Island Seafront overlooks the magnificent Backstairs Passage. It is located on the Esplanade, just 400 meters from the Ferry Terminal.

Day 9 - Kangaroo Island 
Head west to the wild side of the island. Highlights include Seal Bay Conservation Park, where you can join a ranger to walk among endangered Australian sea lions; Flinders Chase National Park, Remarkable Rocks, Admiral’s Arch, and Little Sahara. Enjoy beaches galore – and remember to stop and try the island’s excellent local produce. Overnight at the Kangaroo Island Seafront.

Day 10 - Kangaroo Island - Adelaide
This morning, catch the car/passenger ferry across from Kangaroo Island to Cape Jervis and complete the self-drive to Adelaide.

South Australia’s capital city, Adelaide, is a vibrant hub buzzing with life, boasting great food and wine at more than 700 restaurants, cafes, and pubs, great retail therapy in Rundle Mall, and the “cultural boulevard” of North Terrace. It is home to some of Australia’s best museums and the South Australian Art Gallery. Everything is so close in Adelaide, with the beach just 20 minutes by tram from the city center and many of the state’s regions within two hours drive away. Enjoy a day at leisure and take in everything Adelaide has to offer.

ACCOMMODATION - The award-winning 4* Majestic Roof Garden Hotel is a short distance from Rundle Street's bars, restaurants, and shopping. Guests have access to the rooftop garden with panoramic city views.

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Image: Tourism Australia

Day 11 - Adelaide - Hobart
Depart Adelaide on your flight to Hobart, Tasmania. Collect your rental car on arrival and enjoy 2 nights in this historic capital of Tasmania. Hobart and the surrounding area offer a fantastic contrast. Cruise the Derwent River, sip coffee under the sun umbrellas of Salamanca Square, or soak up the seafaring vibe of Hobart’s first suburb, Battery Point. Just 20 minutes from Hobart’s 19th-century sandstone warehouses lies windswept Mount Wellington. A little further to the southeast, wind past the Coal Valley’s cool-climate wineries to the historic towns of Huonville and Richmond. In the coastal hamlet of Kettering, you can take a car ferry to Bruny Island or a wildlife cruise past crags, caves, and sea cliffs. From crescent-shaped Cockle Creek, you can sense the World Heritage-listed wilderness of Southwest National Park even if you never step beyond the beach. Learn about life as a mid-19th century prisoner at the Port Arthur Historic Site on the Tasman Peninsula.

ACCOMMODATION - Of all the hotels in Hobart, none is better placed to deliver an ‘eat,’ ‘play’, and ‘stay’ experience than Vibe. Situated in the heart of historical Hobart, this hotel fully embraces the Australian lifestyle. The architecturally-designed facade - with its trademark colored feature fins – has transformed Hobart’s skyline.

Day 12 - Hobart at Leisure
Enjoy a full day at leisure today to explore Hobart and its surroundings. For those interested in the history of Tasmania, the penal settlement at Port Arthur Historic Site is about 100 km from Hobart.

WORLD HERITAGE LISTED PORT ARTHUR HISTORIC SITE is located on the Tasman Peninsula, connected by an isthmus of land known as Eaglehawk Neck. It is a symbol of Australia's 19th-century convict system. The settlement operated from 1830 to 1877 as a timber-producing sawing station and later as an industrial prison. After the closure, most of the land and buildings were auctioned off, with new residents renaming it Carnarvon Township. Following bushfires in 1895, the old settlement has been restored and is today Tasmania's premier historic site.

Consider combining your visit to the Port Arthur Historic Site with a 3-hour wildlife/eco cruise along the spectacular coastline or a visit to the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park. Other natural attractions on the Tasman Peninsula that should not be missed include the Blow Hole, Tasman's Arch, and the Devil's Kitchen (unusual coastal rock formations). In the evening, you can attend "Ghost Tours," where you walk around the settlement with a guide who tells you all the ghosts that still "live" in the area!

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Image: Tourism Australia

Day 13 - Hobart to Freycinet National Park
Depart Hobart and travel through the seaside towns of Orford and Swansea as you make your way along the East Coast of Tasmania, heading towards Freycinet National Park. Stop at Spiky Bridge, a convict-built bridge, and picturesque Spiky Beach. Walk to the Wineglass Bay Lookout and take in the rewarding and world-famous view after your walk uphill. From the Lookout, keen walkers can walk down to Wineglass Beach. Feel the famous sand between your toes, enjoy a lunch break, or swim in this beautiful setting. Check into Freycinet Lodge for a two night stay.

ACCOMMODATION - With a spectacular waterfront location at the foot of the Hazards, just inside Freycinet National Park, Freycinet Lodge is a superb base for exploring the Freycinet peninsula. A world of hidden comfort, the lodge is living proof that communing with nature does not have to mean roughing it. It's a place to relax and rejuvenate.

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Image: Tourism Australia

Day 14 - Freycinet National Park
Time at leisure today to explore all that the Freycinet National Park has to offer, including abundant wildlife and spectacular beaches, and visit Honeymoon Bay, Sleepy Bay, Cape Tourville lookout, and Great Short Walk.

Day 15 - Depart Hobart
This morning, return to Hobart and depart Tasmania for your flight back to the US or your next destination within Australia.

 

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Costing Per Person

Starting from $4,999

 

Note: Daily departures, this package is an independent itinerary with flexible departures (not a group tour)

Single Supplement: From $1,999

 

Australian Entry Requirements

Before committing to a trip, please ensure you have a valid passport. Australia welcomes US travelers with an approved Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) to enter Australia.

Read More about the Australian entry requirements

Additional departure gateways & pricing

Add on airfares are available from most major airports – please ask an Aspire consultant for a quote

Upgrade Options

  • Upgrade to premium economy from $1,100 per person each way*
  • Upgrade to business class from $4,000 per person each way*
  • Can take the upgrade one way or round trip and combine premium/business classes on same ticket

* Upgrade from pricing based on Sunday through Wednesday departures from Los Angeles - ask an Aspire consultant for the upgrade fee from other departure points and travel Thursday through Saturday.

 

 

Terms & Conditions:

The package from pricing is based on double occupancy (2 people sharing a room) for low-season stays for travel Sundays through Wednesdays from Los Angeles. A $50 air supplement applies each way for international travel from Thursday to Saturday. Add-on fares are available from other cities. Specific blackout dates apply to the accommodation and tour value offers. Seats are limited and may not be available on every flight. Hotels are subject to availability. All prices reflect a discount for purchases made by check/wire; please see terms and conditions for credit card payments. Cancellation penalties and other restrictions apply.

 

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