Find your ideal cycling holiday
Australia - Great Ocean Road (Manchester Flight)
4th February 2020 - 26th February 2020 (23 days)
The Great Ocean Road is one of the world's most iconic routes, built by soldiers returning from WW1. It follows the rocky southern coastline, home to many shipwrecks, and through the lush Otway Rainforest from Warrnambool to Torquay. The Bellarine and Mornington Peninsulas offer some stunning views and iconic surf and sand beaches along with famous vineyards. Expect to see emus, koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, pelicans, sea eagles, shearwaters, parrots, cockatoos, glow worms and maybe the odd possum. A reasonable level of fitness is required, but most daily distances are quite low to allow you to savour the views and enjoy the area.
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager Richard Dugdale
- Grade Moderate
- Booking Status Fully Booked
- Accommodation Hotel & Guesthouse
- Board Basis B&B
- Travel Arrangements Air
- Road / Off Road Road
- Holiday Style Moving-on
- Vehicle Support Carry Own Luggage
- Holiday Ref 03414
Tuesday 4th February
Fly from Manchester to Abu Dhabi on Etihad Airlines flight EY22 departing at 1910.
Wednesday 5th February
Arrive Abu Dhabi at 0615. Continue to Melbourne on Etihad Airlines flight EY462 departing at 0900.
Thursday 6th February
Arrive Melbourne at 0520. Coach transfer to hotel. Assemble bikes. Stay 2 nights.
Friday 7th February
A steady ride to acclimatise. Cycle alongside the Yarra River and around the parks of Melbourne through Docklands for lunch and then onto St Kilda, returning by the cricket ground. 47km.
Saturday 8th February
A non-cycling day. Early coach transfer to Warrnambool. Sightseeing around town. Visit the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum and watch the amazing Shipwreck Laser Show at dusk (entry included). Stay 1 night.
Sunday 9th February
Cycle east along the coast to Port Campbell along a mixture of coastal roads. 65km (640m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Monday 10th February
Cycle from Port Campbell passing the 12 Apostles. Leave the B100 at Gellibrand to head up into the Otway Forest to Lavers Hill. 50km (1,160m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Tuesday 11th February
Cycle east along the C155 towards Colac and down to the Otway Fly Treetop Adventures (entry included) before continuing to Apollo Bay. 63km (1,360m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Wednesday 12th February
Cycle north and east along the B100, hugging the coast to Lorne. 45km (1,100m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Thursday 13th February
Cycle north through Aireys Inlet past the lighthouse and then to Torquay, including some picturesque gravel cycleways. 47km (310m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Friday 14th February
Cycle to Geelong along the quiet Horseshoe Bend Road and some picturesque cycleways alongside the Barwon River. 48km (430m total ascent). Stay 2 nights.
Saturday 15th February
Rest day in Geelong to see the city and Corio Bay.
Sunday 16th February
Cycle to Queenscliff on the Bellarine Peninsula via Barwon Heads for lunch, and visit Jirrahlinga Wildlife Sanctuary (entry included) before continuing along the coast via Point Lonsdale. 63km (450m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Monday 17th February
Take the ferry to Sorrento and cycle to Nepean Point. Cycle back to Sorrento. 28km (440m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Tuesday 18th February
Cycle along the north coast of the Mornington Peninsula, with its lovely beaches, and along interesting cycle paths through Rosebud to Dromana. Head east over the hill to Stony Point and take the ferry to French Island. Cycle to Tankerton. 52km (600m total ascent). Stay 2 nights.
Wednesday 19th February
Cycle along the dirt roads to the Chicory Farm Museum/Eco Farm (donation) at the eastern point. Lunch and return to Tankerton. 20km.
Thursday 20th February
Cycle to the ferry terminal and take the ferry to Phillip Island. Visit Cowes and the beach. 2km. Stay 2 nights.
Friday 21st February
Cycle to the National Vietnam Veterans Museum and/or the Wildlife Park and Grand Prix Circuit. 56km (690m total ascent). In the evening take the free bus to see the Penguin Parade (entry included).
Saturday 22nd February
Cycle to the ferry terminal and take the ferry back to Stony Point on the Mornington Peninsula. Cycle along the east coast through Hastings to Frankston. Take the train to Melbourne and cycle to the hotel. 79km (730m total ascent). Stay 3 nights.
Sunday 23rd February
Free day in Melbourne to visit the city and the chance to visit the famous Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne Botanical Gardens or go up the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel.
Monday 24th February
Cycle to the railway station and take the train to Lilydale. Cycle to Warburton along a disused railway cycleway for lunch. Return to Lilydale and take the train back to Melbourne. 80km (1,100m total ascent).
Tuesday 25th February
Pack bikes for travel home. Free time in Melbourne. Late evening coach transfer to the airport for Etihad Airlines flight EY461 to Abu Dhabi, departing at 2230.
Wednesday 26th February
Arrive in Abu Dhabi at 0535. Continue to Manchester on Etihad Airlines flight EY21, departing at 1100 and arriving at 1505.
Accommodation & Meals
17 nights 3-star or equivalent hotels and motels, sharing room, with breakfast. 2 nights guesthouse, sharing room, half-board. 1 lunch is included. Vegetarian food is widely available.
No vehicle support is provided. Participants are expected to carry their own luggage.
Passports, Visa & Health
EU citizens must hold a passport that is valid for at least 6 months at the end of the tour. An ESTA is required for Australia, which is valid for 12 months from date of issue giving 3 months stay at any time. This can be obtained electronically, and advice will be given on how to obtain this. Holders of non-EU passports are advised to check whether or not they require a visa.
There are no compulsory health related requirements for EU residents. You should contact your doctor at least 3 months prior to travel to obtain any vaccinations and the latest advice to travellers.
Our Booking Conditions stipulate that, for holidays outside the UK, travel Insurance is mandatory. Details of the level of cover needed and other conditions you should check are stated in the Booking Conditions. CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any costs that may be incurred due to insufficient insurance cover.
The price of £3,100 is based on a minimum number of 7 people taking part in the holiday; please note Booking Conditions, clause 3. If there are insufficient bookings by 26th November 2019, we will contact you and return all monies paid, although in certain circumstances the holiday may still run at below minimum numbers but at the same price.
- Return flights from Manchester to Melbourne via Abu Dhabi
- 17 nights hotel/motel, sharing room, breakfast only
- 2 nights guesthouse, sharing room, half-board
- 1 lunch (17 February)
- All coach transfers, ferries and train journeys listed in the Itinerary
- Entry to the Shipwreck Laser Show, Otway Fly Treetop Adventures, Jirrahlinga Wildlife Sanctuary and the Penguin Parade
- CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs
Price Does Not Include
- Travel to and from Manchester airport
- 17 evening meals (allow 10-20 AUD per night)
- Lunches (apart from one day) and refreshments during the day
- Entry fees at any other attractions
- Any other personal expenses
- Travel Insurance
- Single occupancy supplement (£800, subject to availability)
A deposit of £1,300 per person is payable upon booking, with an Interim Payment of £500 per person due by 6th September 2019. The final balance of £1,300 per person is to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 26th November 2019.
Should you be forced to cancel your booking for any reason you must notify us in writing. Cancellation charges are as follows:
Written notice received:
Before 6th September 2019
6th September 2019 to 25th November 2019
26th November 2019 through to departure
The Area Covered By The Holiday
This is the southern region of Victoria in south east Australia. The roads are generally quiet until Geelong and Melbourne, but the route avoids busy sections where possible. The tour has no backup, and there are some hilly parts along the coast including some dirt roads. Included in the tour price is admittance to several 'must see' things - a Shipwreck Laser Show, a Treetop walk, a Wildlife Sanctuary and a Penguin Parade. Ferry from the Bellarine Peninsula to the Mornington Peninsula and then to French and Phillip Islands before returning to Melbourne to see the city and all its delights before heading home.
Rides & Rest Days
The tour is generally quite relaxed, and you are free to travel at your own pace, allowing time for photographs etc. Occasionally the group may ride together in difficult or busy places. The surfaces are mostly tarmac, but some dirt roads and cycle paths will be encountered, though they are generally firm and free from big holes.
The days are generally quite short allowing time to see the coast and small towns and maybe have a dip in the sea. Visits to several visitor attractions are included in the tour price. The Itinerary also mentions other attractions where entry isn't included. Further details/prices for these will be provided well before the tour starts, but further information is available on the attractions' websites.
Accommodation & Meals
Rooms at the hotels/motels are generally ensuite, and evening meals will be taken there if possible, although on the first two nights they will be taken at a local restaurant.
At the eco guesthouse on French Island some accommodation may be in a bunkhouse, or more than two people may need to share a room. Evening meals are provided there.
When visiting Nepean Point, lunch will need to be purchased in Sorrento as food isn't available elsewhere. Emergency rations should also be carried on others days, as lunch locations may be infrequent.
The maximum number of participants will be 11 excluding the Tour Manager(s).
Weather & Clothing
The temperature should be between 15 and 30 degrees centigrade but may get higher on odd days. It could also rain, so a waterproof top should be carried as well as leg warmers or tights, as it may be cold on some days. Sun cream is a must, as the ozone layer is thin over the southern hemisphere. Sun glasses and a floppy hat for hot days are recommended. Long trousers and a fleece are recommended at night, which can be cool. Insect repellent should be worn if out at night to prevent mosquito and fly attacks, which can cause discomfort.
Cycles & Equipment
A touring cycle, hybrid or lightweight ATB is suitable for this tour. You should ensure your cycle is well maintained, paying particular attention to wheels, tyres and brakes. A low bottom gear (e.g. small chainring the same size or smaller than the largest cog on your rear wheel) is recommended. If you are unsure about gears, please discuss with the Tour Manager. Mudguards are optional and not really needed in February here. Lights are not a legal requirement but are recommended, especially a rear one to warn traffic of your presence. New tyres are recommended of at least 28mm diameter; treaded tyres cope better with the dirt tracks. Participants will be expected to carry sufficient spares and tools to deal with punctures and minor repairs.
You are advised to do some riding before the tour with a similar load to that which you will be carrying during the tour to get a feel for how your bike will handle.
Bike bags can be stored at the first night's accommodation.
Helmets are a legal requirement in Australia. It is also recommended that you wear a hi viz top and/or have bright pannier covers to help to be seen.
Maps & Guides
Maps covering the state of Victoria should be available from the internet. Very basic maps will be provided for each day, along with digital routes for electronic devices such as Garmin. Advice will also be given on how to upload local maps to a Garmin.
Travel Insurance & Advice
Before booking you should check the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or on 0845 850 2829.
Currency: This is the Australian dollar (AUD), currently worth about 55p. Most places take credit cards, even for small purchases. ATM's are plentiful in towns.
Electricity supply: This is 240 volts 50hz. Flat angled-pin plugs are used, unlike the straight American variety.