Have you ever thought about driving from Adelaide to Melbourne? It takes just eight hours, and there are plenty of exciting sights and stops along the way!
If you rent a car in Adelaide and set out on this epic adventure, make sure you visit the following places.
1) The Otway Ranges
You'll come across the majestic Otway Ranges if you're travelling along the Great Ocean Road. These offer some of Australia's best rainforest scenery, including beautiful tall trees, waterfalls, green ferns and a wide variety of plant life from time immemorable.
If you hop out of the car – and you really should – there are plenty of tracks you can follow, such as the Otway Fly Tree Top Walk. These tracks will give you the chance to really immerse yourself in this unique landscape, and provide you with an opportunity to stretch your legs in splendid surroundings!
What more could you want?
Torquay is a lovely seaside town that marks the beginning of the Great Ocean Road. It's a great place to pull over and have a wander, providing unforgettable ocean views and – for those who dare – some fantastic surfing to boot.
You may have heard of Jan Juc and Bells Beach, two of the world's most famous surfing spots, which are located south-west of the town. Torquay is also the home of many popular surf brands, such as Rip Curl and Quiksilver, so you may want to split your time between surfing and shopping.
3) Shipwreck Coast
This aptly named area has claimed the ships of many a sailor – about 200 in the past century, according to some sources.
In addition to its tragic history, Shipwreck Coast also offers its visitors some unique landscape features. Many tourists flock to this area in order to catch a glimpse of the 12 Apostles, a group of off-shore rock stacks that have dazzled and delighted for years.
You might even spy baby whales swimming just offshore, if you're lucky!
When you've gazed at the ocean long enough, there are also shops and markets here where you can grab a bargain or two.
4) Giant Koala
In the small town of Dadswell Coast lurks a building shaped like a giant koala. Affectionately known as Sam, this giant koala has to be seen to be believed – so make sure you check it out.
A zoo has been built here, so you can pop in and see a few real koalas while you're in town. For a fee, you can even have your picture taken with them! There's a gift store, too, so make sure you take home lots of souvenirs.
You can also have a meal in or near the giant koala, or grab some old-fashioned lollies and an ice cream for the road.
5) Umpherston Sinkhole
If you hug the coast on your way to Melbourne, chances are you'll pass through Mount Gambier. This is where you'll find the Umpherston Sinkhole, also known as the Sunken Garden, which was once a cave formed through the dissolution of the surrounding limestone (according to the South Australia website).
The top of the cave collapsed and this iconic sinkhole was created. It can be visited at any time of the day, but we recommend dusk – this is when the entire area is illuminated by floodlights.
Whatever route you take from Adelaide to Melbourne (or, if you rent a car at the Melbourne airport, from Melbourne to Adelaide), we know you'll find many an utterly unique sight to stop and stare at along the way.