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Adelaide to Melbourne Drive | Distances and Itinerary

Skip the Plane and Journey Along The Great Ocean Road from Adelaide to Melbourne

What is the distance between Adelaide and Melbourne?

The distance from Adelaide to Melbourne is 727km by car. While the most direct way from Adelaide to Melbourne tracks inland (averaging 8-9 hours), we think an extra few hours will be well worth your while if you opt to hug the coastline instead.

With ceaseless sunshine and scenic surrounds, it is no wonder that The Great Ocean Road has claimed the #1 spot as the best driving route in Australia. To help make the most of your road trip, we’ve outlined the best stops to soak up along the way.

Here is an example of our suggested Adelaide to Melbourne scenic road trip itinerary

Stop 1: Coorwong National Park

Distance from Adelaide: 2 Hours & 20 Minutes / 172 km

Safeguarded by the Ngarrindjeri people, Coorwong National Park’s 140 km lagoon is protected from the ocean by a vast area of sand dunes, and boasts as much historical significance as it does beauty. Coorwong has an abundance of walking trails to stretch your legs, mountain biking trails to cycle, or jump into a kayak and explore the area by water.

Stop 2: Mount Gambier

Distance from Adelaide: 5 Hours / 461 km

Setting the half-way point between Adelaide and Melbourne, Mount Gambier National Park has such a mix of activities and sights, you may very well want to stay the night. Take a dip in the hidden gem and popular Blue Lake, venture deep inside the World Heritage listed Naracoorte Caves, or explore the unusual Uperston Sinkhole Cave Garden.

Stop 3: Portland

Distance from Adelaide: 6 Hours / 586 km

For all the history buffs, you won’t want to miss the town that started it all; Portland was Victoria’s very first European Settlement in Australia, founded in 1834. Today, the city has a surplus of 200 buildings protected by the National Trust and remains as the only deep-sea port in the region.

Adelaide to Melbourne Drive Great Ocean Road
Great Ocean Road

Stop 4: The Great Ocean Road - Starting Point: Warrnambool

Distance from Adelaide: 7 hours 20 minutes / 690 km

The moment you’ve been waiting for: The Great Ocean Road. This stretch of highway runs between Allansford and Tourquay and draws crowds from far and wide. With so much to see, it’s highly recommended to stop by the visitor centre in Warrnamool before you start your journey. While there’s lot to take in, the following sights are ones you shouldn’t miss.

Stop 5: 12 Apostles

Distance from Adelaide: 8 Hours & 20 Minutes / 745 km

Arguably the most popular sight on The Great Ocean Road is the 12 Apostles. Erosion collapsed the top of limestone arches, leaving stacks of rock 45 meters in height to stand alone in the middle of the Southern Ocean. Dusk and dawn are the best times to glimpse these geological wonders, as the setting and rising sun changes their colours.

Last Stop: Great Otway National Park

Distance from Adelaide: 9 Hours & 10 Minutes / 810 km

You’ve hit the home stretch, when you venture into the rainforest of Great Otway National Park, encompassing the land between Torquay and Princetown. This is the perfect picnic lunch spot to spend beside jaw-dropping waterfalls, sitting on the banks of cosy creeks, or relaxing in the sand of pristine beaches.

With so much to see along the drive from Adelaide to Melbourne, why miss it all by hoping on a plane? Just remember, reading about the journey doesn’t come close to the real life experience - so grab your coffee, camera, best mates, and favourite driving playlist, and kick off on your own adventure exploring The Great Ocean Road. When you arrive to Melbourne, maybe get your bearings initially with a Melbourne free walking tour or check out some Melbourne things to do.


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