Great Ocean Road & AMY'S GRAN FONDO 2022

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The Great Ocean Road & Amy's Gran Fondo

19 - 28 October 2022 (10 Days / 9 Nights)

The heritage-listed Great Ocean Road stretches 243 kilometres along the south-eastern coast of Australia. Tick off some of the most picturesque towns along this majestic coastline - Apollo Bay, Wye River, Lorne, Anglesea, Torquay just 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.

Overview of the Tour

For each tour, we like to have some sort of event focus. On this tour, we will participate in the UCI world series event - Amy's Great Ocean Road Gran Fondo. This amazing Fondo began in 2011, in support of The Amy Gillett Foundation. The AGF was established in 2005 in memory of Amy Gillett after the Australian Women's Cycling Team were involved in a tragic accident while training in Germany. The Fondo caters to cyclists of all abilities and held on fully closed roads. What better way to explore one of the most picturesque destinations on the planet.

Additionally, we get to enjoy the sights of the Mornington Peninsula including Red Hill, historic Fort Nepean and the award-winning Peninsula Hot Springs. Normal Ride Holidays standards apply - the perfect mix of cycling, sightseeing, cafés, wineries and restaurants.

If that's not enough, we've positioned this tour around Australia's most famous annual horse race The Melbourne Cup. Explore Melbourne for a few more days before attending the Race that stops the nation. With a long tradition dating back to 1861, the first Tuesday in November has become more than just a horse race. With over 100 thousand people descending on the Flemington each year, there's something for everyone from fashions on the field, iconic Flemington rose garden, and not to mention the majestic animals racing for that ultimate prize.

Great Ocean Road | Tour Details

Tour Inclusions & Highlights


  • 4-star quality hotels where possible
  • 2 nights Melbourne CBD
  • 2 nights Rye
  • 2 nights Lorne
  • 1 night Apollo Bay
  • 2 nights Port Campbell
  • Local guides who know every nook and cranny
  • All Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 6 Dinners and some cycling snacks
  • Choice of two guided rides daily - 50 km to 100kms plus
  • Amy's Great Ocean Road Gran Fondo entry
  • Entry to Peninsula Hot Springs
  • Separate itinerary, vehicle and guide for Team Macchiato (non-riders)
  • Support vehicles and bike trailers
  • Ferry ticket - Sorrento to Queenscliff
  • Dusk Fairy Penguin viewing
  • Ride up to 250km of the Great Ocean Road
  • 10-week training program
  • RIDE Holidays cycle jersey and souvenir tour booklet
  • GPS routes available for upload to personal devices
  • Airport transfers for those arriving, departing 19 & 28OCT

      The Tour Price Excludes

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

      The Tour Cost

      • NZD4400.00pp. (Twin Share)

      Want your own room? Single supplement $NZD900.00pp.


        Bike Hire - Please contact Dean for more details.

        Extra Melbourne accommodation & Breakfast $NZD170.00pp

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

        Payment terms…

        There is no deposit until 120 days prior to departure. We will monitor the COVID situation and keep you posted if things change. We are happy for you to book flights. Balance is due 60 days prior to departure.

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          Great Ocean Road Tour Itinerary

          Day 1, Wednesday 19 October

          Explore Melbourne's CBD and the Yarra River bike paths

          Welcome to Melbourne. Ideally, you would arrive before midday. We will be there to meet you at the airport.

          Our hotel is in central Melbourne on Southbank. You are within minutes of city shopping, the Yarra River along with numerous cafes and restaurants.

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

          Team Mac - while the cyclists are out riding we have a short walk planned. Let's visit the Eureka Skydeck. This is the highest public observation deck in the Southern Hemisphere. They offer unparalleled views of Melbourne's CBD.

          Tonight, we have booked an amazing restaurant along the South Bank restaurant/ café strip to welcome and introduce the team.

          What a start to what will be an epic 10 days!

          / Accommodation: CBD Mantra Southbank
          / Meals Included: Dinner

          Day 2, Thursday 20 October

          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. Today, 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. The official 30KM beach road route runs from Port Melbourne to Mordialloc however, It practically runs to Portsea, 110KM worth. Attracting thousands and thousands of cyclists daily.

          Today like most days, there are two ride options. The full 100KM (800VM) or the shorter latte ride of 50KM. 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, there's plenty of coffee stops along the way. You cant ride more the 5km before seeing the next café.

          Team Mac - After a short 60-minute drive we'll be in the seaside town of Mornington with its café's and local art galleries. After a stroll down the main street, it's onto Arthurs Seat to help encourage your partners on the climb. Rather than standing on the side of the road, you will cheer from above from a private Gondola.

          At the top, let's regroup for a photo before a gentle descent to our Red Hill winery for lunch. Montalto Winery is known for some of the best pizza's outside of Italy. Big call I know.

          / Accommodation: Rye Hotel
          / Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch (Dinner - Own Arrangements)

          Day 3, Friday 21 October

          Fort Nepean & Peninsula Hot Springs

          Mornington Peninsula is rich in history from its initial European settlement in 1803 to the strategic defence infrastructure on Point Nepean. The first settlement was located in what is now know as Sorrento before eventually establishing in Melbourne.

          Fort Nepean (Point Nepean) was fortified from 1878 to defend the entrance to Port Phillip Bay. The round fired from Fort Nepean's Gun Emplacement No 6, just three hours and forty-five minutes after war was declared in London, was the very first shot fired in anger in the entire British Empire in World War One - the first of all the hundreds of millions of rounds of all calibres that were subsequently fired over the next four years and four months until war ended on 11 November 1918.

          With the removal of coastal artillery after World War II, the barracks facilities continued to be used for Officer Cadet training. Point Nepean National Park is closed to cars so that gives us the advantage to explore the whole area by bike. It's not massive mileage today as we'll top out at 70km however there's also a walk planned. It's important we take time to explore some of the bunkers and gun emplacements.

          Team Mac - This morning, you will join the riders and head to Fort Nepean to do one of the many scenic walking trails and explore this historical site.

          Late this afternoon we will head to the award-winning Peninsula Hot Springs for a relaxing soak. These natural springs offer guests over 50 globally inspired hot pools. You will sleep well tonight.

          / Accommodation: Rye Hotel
          / Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner

          Day 4, Saturday 22 October

          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 Sorrento. Let's stop here for coffee and wait for our ferry. Don't be late. The short 40min ferry to Queenscliff waits for no one.

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

          • Hop in the van and then ride 50km Torquay to Lorne. (total distance for today 80km)
          • Ride the full 85km from Queenscliff to Lorne (reasonable day at 130km)

          Team Mac - Barwon Heads is our next destination. Made famous for 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.

          This afternoon let's head into town, pick up our Fondo packs and soak up the party atmosphere. Tonight, we'll have an early BBQ dinner at the hotel to discuss tomorrow's event details.

          / Accommodation: Mantra Lorne
          / Meals Included: Breakfast & BBQ Dinner

          Day 5, Sunday 23 October

          Amy's Gran Fondo - our queen stage

          Today we join a few thousand friends in what has become an iconic worldwide cycling event.

          You will need your climbing legs from the get go. It's an 11.2km, 450VM climb out of Lorne up to Deans Marsh (Benwerrin Peak). We then traverse across the Otway Ranges before descending into Skenes Creek. From there it's the final 43km winding back along the Great Ocean Road to Lorne. Don't worry about the photo's today, as we will have plenty of opportunities tomorrow when we ride the same stretch of road to Apollo Bay.

          The complete course is 130km, 1903VM on fully closed roads with a shorter option of 45km Apollo Bay to Lorne.

          Team Mac - After you wave off your partner at the start/ finish line, let's get a coffee at the Lorne Sea Baths before heading to the Great Ocean Road Chocolate & Ice Creamery in Anglesea. Once there, you will be welcomed with a spectacular showroom filled with thousands of chocolates and pastries. You deserve it. On the way back, let's drop into Aireys Inlet for lunch and then onto the famous Great Ocean Road Gin Tasting room. Chocolate & Gin, what more can you ask for in a day?

          Tonight we've booked a nice restaurant as it's important we celebrate the days achievements. Team Mac could even bring the nice chocolate they bought us. Thank you.

          / Accommodation: Mantra Lorne
          / Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

          Day 6, Monday 24 October

          Lorne to Apollo Bay (Recover Ride)

          Yesterday was tough on the legs, so today is all about recovery and plenty of cake & coffee. You deserve it.

          The great 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 today isn't big (45KM) which means that there's plenty of time to relax. If you're keen on more riding, let us know, we can always add a few false flats and loops of the local area. (Max ride today is 70km)

          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 the temperate rainforest at Maits Rest.

          Team Mac - The Otway Ranges are infamous for their high rainfall and that's good news for us, it means amazing waterfalls and there happens to be one of the best in the area only 15 minutes away. There's an easy walk to the first lookout or a more strenuous but rewarding climbing down 230 steps to the second lookout where you see the waterfalls in all their glory. Comfy walking shoes are a must today. Then it's onto Apollo Bay stopping at Wye River Café and many of the coastal towns along the way.

          Tonight's dinner is own arrangements, however, I have booked a table at the #1 Craft Beer destination on the Great Ocean Road - The Great Ocean Road Brewhouse.

          / Accommodation: Waterfront Motel - Apollo Bay
          / Meals Included: Breakfast (Dinner - Own Arrangements)

          Day 7, Tuesday 25 October

          The Twelve Apostles

          Tell anyone that you are off to the Great Ocean Road and their first question will always be "did you see The Twelve Apostles"? You will be 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 90km (1100VM) to The Twelve Apostles. Keep the waters of Bass Straight on your left. Even Dingo won't get lost.

          Team Mac - Today we will start with a short drive 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. Then it's on to meet up with the cyclists at the Apostles.

          Tonight, we've booked out the Sow and Piglets Brewery for some local craft beer and gourmet pizza.

          / Accommodation: Port Campbell
          / Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

          Day 8, Wednesday 26 October

          London Bridge is falling down…

          Originally a natural archway and tunnel, London Bridge collapsed on 15 January 1990 and became an isolated arch no longer connected to the mainland. Two tourists were stranded on top of the remaining island and had to be rescued by helicopter, true story.

          Let's keep an eye out for passing Southern Right Whales and Humpback Whales on their migration north. Then it's onto the Bay of Islands. This is the furthest point of The Great Ocean (coastal) road before it heads inland to eventually finish in Allansford.

          Later this evening (Dusk), we will return to the London Bridge lookout to spot the adorable Fairy Penguins coming ashore on the protected beach below.

          P.s. Dinner wont be until Approx. 8:30 PM

          / Accommodation: Port Campbell
          / Meals Included: Breakfast (Dinner is own arrangements)

          Day 9, Thursday 27 October

          Back to the big smoke..

          Later this morning, we will pack the vans and head back to Melbourne's CBD. The plan is to be back in the CBD with plenty of time for a spot of retail therapy and explore more of the most liveable city in the world. If you're into street art then I recommend taking a stroll over the Yarra to Melbourne's iconic Hosier Lane or a coffee in the bustling Degraves Street.

          For those that are keen and haven't seen enough of their bikes, let's head out for a short ride around the Formula One track - Albert Park Lake before packing bikes and heading to dinner.

          We have booked a local favourite for our farewell dinner tonight. Let's raise a glass of bubbles and reflect and share stories of the past 8 epic days.

          / Accommodation: CBD Mantra Southbank
          / Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner

          Day 10, Friday 28 October 2021

          Home James

          All good things come to an end, for now at least. After breakfast, it's time for the transfer back to the Melbourne Airport.

          That's of course if you're not staying on for a few days and heading to Flemington for the Melbourne Cup today. Which we highly recommend. Enjoy!

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

          Safe travels

          / Meals Included: Breakfast


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