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Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula & The Great Ocean Road

2021 (8 Days / 7 Nights)

We are realistic that our Kiwi guests will not be able to travel to Australia in January. This tour will now run at a later date in 2021 (March or November) with a slightly modified itinerary. We will continue to monitor the COVID situation and plan accordingly.

We are currently taking expressions of interest.

Thankyou for you understanding - Karl, Dean & Chris

Overview of the Tour

The Great Ocean Road is a heritage listed road that stretches 243 kilometres along the south-eastern coast of Australia. Tick off some of the most picturesque towns along this majestic coastline - Apollo Bay, Why River, Lorne, Anglesea, Torquay to name but a few. The road was built by returning soldiers between 1919 and 1932 and dedicated to fallen WW1 soldiers. Making it the world's largest war memorial. Our destination is the 12 Apostles, a natural wonder of the world.

This road was built by returning soldiers between 1919 and 1932 and dedicated to fallen WW1 soldiers. Making it the world's largest war memorial. Our destination is the 12 Apostles, a natural wonder of the world.

Additionally, we get to enjoy the sights of the Mornington Peninsula, along with riding in the UCI Cadel's Road Race. In 2015 Cadel Evans created his very own European "Spring Classics" inspired race. With over 100,000 spectators, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race is not to be missed.

Our timing is perfect as its Australian Open Tennis time. Yes - we will do our best to arrange tickets.

Normal Ride Holidays standards apply - the perfect mix of cycling, sightseeing, cafés, wineries and restaurants.

** Please note - this itinerary is based on the assumption that the Australian Open and the Cadel Evans event runs on similar 2021 dates to what they did in 2020. Due to Coronavirus there are a lot of uncertainties. If Cadel's event is delayed or cancelled then we will still travel. However, the itinerary will include Grampians National Park rather than Geelong. Please do not book flights at this early stage unless we have said to do so.**

Great Ocean Road | Tour Details

Tour Inclusions


  • 4-star quality hotels where possible
  • 1 night Melbourne Southbank
  • 1 night Rye
  • 1 night Lorne
  • 1 night Apollo Bay
  • 3 nights Geelong

Amazing Cycling

  • Ride up to 200km of the Great Ocean Road
  • Choice of two guided rides daily - 50 kms to 110kms plus
  • Local Melbourne guides who know every nook and cranny

General Cycling Tour Details

  • Majority of meals are included - All breakfasts and dinners. (except 1)
  • Optional V.I.P viewing of the Cadel Evan's road race.
  • Optional Australian Open tickets.
  • Cadel Evan's Fondo entry
  • Separate itinerary, vehicle and guide for Team Macchiato (non-riders)
  • Support vehicles and bike trailers
  • 10-week training program
  • Souvenir 40 page booklet included
  • RIDE Holidays cycle jersey

    The Tour Price Excludes

    • Airfares and extra accommodation
    • Cycling drinks & bars, additional meals, alcohol.
    • Travel Insurance - including cover for your bikes.

    The Tour Cost

    • $3650 NZD pp. (Twin Share)
    Want your own room? Single supplement $NZD800.00 pp.


      Bike hire $600.00 NZD (Specialized Bikes)

      Extra Melbourne accommodation & Breakfast $NZD170.00 pp twin share.

      The cost for non-riders is the same as for cyclists. We pay for a lot of your winery lunches, entry fees etc etc.

      In lieu of COVID-19, all future bookings do not require a deposit. Full balance required 60days prior to departure. ** This may change later on in the year if the situation improves. We only see that as a good thing.

        Click on the map to view a larger version

        Great Ocean Road Tour Itinerary

        Day 1

        Australian Open Tennis and a ride on the bike paths

        Welcome to Melbourne. Ideally you would arrive before midday. Our hotel is in central Melbourne on Southbank. A short 1.5km walk to the sporting precinct (Rod Laver Arena - AO Tennis). You are within minutes of the numerous cafes and restaurants that align the Yarra River.

        This afternoon we'll help you assemble the bikes and then pop out for a short ride along the River bike path. Just to make sure there are no mechanical issues.

        Team Mac - While your partners are building bikes, you're in for a real treat. We have a short walk planned to visit to the Eureka Skydeck. This is the highest public observation deck in the Southern Hemisphere. They offer unparalleled views of Melbourne.

        Early this evening those that are keen can head off to the evening session at the Australian Open. It's the first day of week 2 so we're at round of 16 stage. We have asked Roger to hang around for a beer.

        We haven't arranged dinner tonight as we wanted to give you the freedom to head back to your hotel when you're ready. Tomorrow is a big day.

        What a start to what will be an epic 8 days!

        / Accommodation: CBD Mantra Southbank
        / Meals Included: Dinner Own Arrangements

        Day 2.

        Mornington Peninsula

        The Mornington Peninsula is an absolute must. And, just happens to be where Dean Mills (Tour Leader) grew up. With white sandy beaches and picturesque vineyards. Tonight, we will find one of those wineries to eat at. We are on holiday after all.

        Have you heard of Beach Road? Yep, anyone that owns a bike in Melbourne rides this every weekend. It practically runs from Port Melbourne to Portsea, 110km worth. Attracting thousands and thousands of cyclists daily. Just for kicks we will check out the Melbourne F1 street circuit at Albert Pk on our ride today also.

        Today there are two ride options. The full 110KM or a shorter latte ride of 60KM. Both head south along the coast and over the rolling hills of Mount Martha before tackling the iconic Arthurs Seat. Made famous by the Herald Sun Tour, it's only 3km but the 8.1% avg gradient will surely test the legs. Let's see if you can beat Chris Froome's time of 7minutes.

        More importantly - Dean knows an Italian café that lays claim to the world's best affogato's. That's a big call Dean - they'd better be good.

        Team Mac - After a short 90-minute drive we'll be in the seaside town of Sorrento with its café's and local art galleries. After a stroll along the Sorrento foreshore we'll visit a dairy for cheese tasting or head to one of the beautiful wineries for lunch.

        / Accommodation: Mornington Peninsula
        / Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

        Day 3

        Cycling, ferries, Great White Shark spotting and the Great Ocean Road

        We finish our time on the Mornington Peninsular with a short 30km ride from our hotel to the very tip of the peninsular - Sorrento. We will stop here for coffee, perfect.

        The town of Portsea was fortified from 1878 to defend the entrance to Port Phillip Bay. With the removal of costal artillery after World War II, the barracks facilities continued to be used for Officer Cadet training. Plenty of time to have a look around here too.

        Our ferry departs Sorrento with a short 40min sailing to Queenscliff. We'll have to be logistically smart today as the ferry waits for no one - not even Dingo.

        Once we arrive in Queenscliff, we will have two Great Ocean Road ride options. Both finishing in the seaside town of Lorne.

        • Hop in the van and ride from Bells Beach to Lorne. (approx. 40km)
        • Ride the full distance Queenscliff to Lorne (approx. 85km)

        Team Mac - This morning, you will head to Point Nepean to do one of the many scenic walking trails before boarding the ferry to Queenscliff. Barwon Heads is our next destination. Made famous from the TV series "Seachange" this small seaside village offers many sights to see. I'm sure Diver Dan is still hanging around the beach somewhere or possibly working at the Jirrahlinga Koala & Wildlife Sanctuary.

        Team Mac - Explore Barwon Heads

        / Accommodation: Lorne
        / Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

        Day 4

        Lorne to Apollo Bay

        The beautiful thing about this trip is that you bike hotel to hotel with very little van time. We'll take care of all the logistics. The actual distance for today isn't great which means that there's plenty of time for photos, coffee and simply stopping to take everything in. If you're keen for more riding, let us know, we can always add a few false flats and loops of the local area.

        You will need your climbing legs though as it's a 450meter climb out of Lorne up to Deans Marsh. We then traverse across the Otway Ranges before descending into Skenes Creek and Apollo Bay which is our home for tonight. (another must stay here on the Great ocean Road)

        Great Otway National Park covers rugged coastland, beaches and the mountains of the Otway Ranges. Waterfalls dot the park, including the 3 cascades of Triplet Falls. Boardwalks lead through temperate rainforest at Maits Rest.

        Team Mac - Lets check out a few of the cottage industries along the Otway Harvest Trail. Today we will start with a short and then walk the Cape Otway Lighthouse trail stopping at the original Assistant lightkeepers residence from 1858 which has now been converted to a café. Next, lets join the riders for a late lunch at Apollo Bay.

        / Accommodation: Apollo Bay
        / Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner

        Day 5

        Apollo Bay to the 12 Apostles

        Tell anyone that you are off to the Great Ocean Road and their first question will always be "did you see the 12 Apostles"? You will able to say yes and no to that question. Yes, you saw the Apostles, no, you didn't see 12 as there's only 8 remaining. Let's get there before that changes to 7.

        Today is kind of perfect - we start with a nice relaxed breakfast and then hop on our bikes where we ride the 80km to the 12 Apostles. Keep the waters of Bass Straight on your left. Even Dingo won't get lost.

        Team Mac meet us at the Apostles after some retail Apollo Bay retail therapy. There will be plenty of time for everyone to go for a good walk. After you're finished, we hop back in the vehicles and take the more direct inland route direct to Geelong. Our only real van time for this trip.

        The important part for today is heading to Geelong's waterfront race village to collect your Fondo registration packs before we all head to the Little Creatures Brewery for a tasting of the local hop. Their new XPA is amazing… better than EPO so we have been told!

        / Accommodation: Geelong
        / Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner

        Day 6

        Cadel's Fondo

        For the next 2 days, we will be focusing on the UCI One Day Classic. Starting with Cadel's people's ride with courses to suit all abilities. What will it be? 35km, 65km or 115km distances? Of course, Cadel Evens will be up the front leading the peloton out. Join him and stretch yourself to do the full 115km which feature Bells Beach, Barwon Heads and Challambra climb - a punchy 830 meter climb.

        This afternoon it's time for the pro women to shine. The UCI Elite Women's race starts at 12:20pm, so let's find a great viewing point and cheer on a local. Is it Amanda's year?

        Team Mac - You will explore some of the multiple sights the Geelong has to offer. The Geelong Bollards Trail is popular among the locals along with the Geelong Gallery established in 1896. It is one of Australia's leading art galleries featuring collections of Australian, European painting, sculptures, printmaking and decorative arts dating back to the 18th Century. We will then have you at the finish line to cheer the Ride Holidays team across the line.

        / Accommodation: Geelong
        / Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner

        Day 7

        Recovery, Coffee and Cadel's Great Ocean Road Race

        We'll pop out for a short recovery ride. Probably one last time up the Challambra Climb which will now be on closed roads for today's race. There will already be spectators getting the best viewing spots. The atmosphere matches the European spring classics.

        Closer to the time we will offer VIP viewing options for today. Otherwise - we'll know the course so well by now that you can easily find the best place to suit you. It's our experience that some like to be near a big screen while others like to be in the middle of the countryside with nothing going on but the buzz of cyclists going by. Whatever your ideal - we will come up with a plan to make it happen.

        Once the race finishes, we will dismantle all the bikes and then head out to one of the local fancy restaurants. It's time to find that nice shirt or frock that's been at the bottom of the bag. Let's recap and share highlights of the past week over a glass of bubbles.

        / Accommodation: Geelong
        / Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner

        Day 8

        Home James

        All good things come to an end, for now at least. After breakfast it's a short transfer back to the Melbourne Airport. Or, we can coordinate getting you in to Melbourne CBD if you wish.

        Thank you for travelling with RIDE Holidays. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

        Safe travels

        / Meals Included: Breakfast


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