Grave Tales of the Great Ocean Road Tour


For lovers of history, storytelling, and scenic beauty, this 6-day journey along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road includes the must-see elements along with the tales of the people who willingly or unwillingly were participants in events that made headlines, eventually coming to rest between Geelong and Port Fairy.

Meet the ladies of the lighthouse who led an isolated life; hero’s and victims of shipwrecks; the stage actor whose career ended too soon; the men who sighted the fabled Mahogany Ship; the two survivors of a shipwreck that everyone wanted to see married, but it wasn’t to be; the inventor of the ute and what inspired his unusual design; and the bushranger shot by police.

Join your host/s including the authors of the book, Grave Tales: Great Ocean Road Country – Geelong to Port Fairy, Helen Goltz and Chris Adams# for this fascinating tour.

Six days from $2,390* per person Twin Share ex-Brisbane or from $2,090* per person Twin Share ex-Melbourne ($475* Single Supplement. Price may vary depending on your dates. Includes tours as listed, plus 5 x breakfasts, 4 x dinners, 3 x morning teas and 2 x lunches. #Host/s to be confirmed depending on your dates, accompanied by the authors. Open to groups of 16 or more).


Day 1 (M, D) – Depart Brisbane or Sydney – Arrive Melbourne / Transfer to Geelong
Arrive early morning into Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport to meet the coach and transfer to Geelong. Enjoy morning tea and meet your host/s, plus the authors – Helen Goltz and Chris Adams, and fellow travellers, and hear what is in store for the next 5 days.
Head out to Geelong Eastern Cemetery for a private “History Alive Themed Cemetery Tour”. The Geelong Eastern Cemetery thespians and the authors will introduce you to some amazing characters. Return to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure before enjoying a group dinner.

Cape Otway Lighthouse Station by Grace Keogh

Day 2 (B, L, D) – Eastern view Lorne to Apollo Bay
After breakfast at the hotel the group will depart for the Eastern View where author Chris Adams will tell the story of the nations’ biggest war memorial. Stop for photos at the Great Ocean Road archway and memorial. Travel 15 mins on to Lorne, where you will hear the tales of Charles Beal, and of the Lindsay boys as we drive through the region.
Arrive at the Cape Otway Lighthouse Station in time for lunch at the Lightkeeper’s Café.
Work off lunch on the Lighthouse Station’s “Cradle to the Grave Tour” and hear about the ladies, men and children of the lighthouse. Travel on the Apollo Bay, check in to the accommodation and enjoy a group dinner.

The Twelve Apostles by Cookaa via Wikimedia.

Day 3 (B, L) – Apollo Bay to Warrnambool
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before departing for the 90min drive along the Great Ocean Road to the 12 Apostles, where you can wander around at leisure and admire this beguiling landmark. Depart for Loch Ard, where you will hear the story of the Carmichaels, and Eva and Tom – the only shipwreck survivors that everyone wanted to see marry. Pay your respects to the Carmichael family grave and see the headstones of the other victims.
Head 15mins up the road to the café scene at Port Campbell to enjoy lunch before departing for Warrnambool. Check in to the hotel and enjoy some time at leisure this afternoon and evening exploring some of Warrnambool’s great restaurants and main street eateries.

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum: by Jorge Láscar via Wikimedia.

Day 4 (B, M, D) – Warrnambool
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning followed by a scenic driving tour of Warrnambool including a visit to Granny’s Grave and the location where the La Bella went down in front of watchers on the shore. Movie buffs can also spot where “Oddball” the movie was shot and the actual home of the Maremma dog that gained international fame by guarding the penguin colony.
Take time in the fascinating Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village where you will see some of the relics from the shipwrecks and you can visit the original lighthouses and Warrnambool Garrison. Arrive just in time for the morning tea in their wonderful café. The rest of the day is at leisure.
This evening, return to the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village for the spectacular, Tales of the Shipwreck Coast Sound & Light Show that takes you on the Loch Ard’s last journey and re-tells the famous story of her only two survivors, Eva Carmichael and Tom Pearce. Enjoy a group dinner tonight.

Day 5 (B, M, D) – Port Fairy
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning followed by a trip to Warrnambool Cemetery to meet young La Bella sailor, Jack Denholm, and hear the heroics of police officer Constable Sharrock, who while saving passengers on the ferry, the Nestor, drowned in the Hopkins River that his grave now overlooks. Depart for Port Fairy, passing Tower Hill on the way.
OPTIONAL: if you would like to visit Tower Hill Cemetery and see the graves of William “Billy” McLean, Captain Charles Pye VC, or Frank MacFarlane Burnet, as featured in “Grave Tales: Great Ocean Road Country” please let the tour hosts know and transport can be organised for the afternoon at leisure.
On arrival in Port Fairy enjoy morning tea followed by Port Fairy scenic tour and Cemetery tales featuring the Rutledge Brothers, the men who saw the fabled Mahogany Ship and Dick the Bushranger. This tour includes a village walking tour. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure followed by a group farewell dinner this evening.

Day 6 (B) – Return to Melbourne / Depart Melbourne – Arrive Brisbane/Sydney
After breakfast at the hotel, we bid farewell to the group and travel back to Geelong and on to Melbourne Airport for the return flight home.


Tour group of 16 or more required. Please nominate your travel dates for an updated quote.
ex BNE & SYD
FROM $2,390* per person Twin Share
FROM $475* Single Supplement per person Twin Share
ex MEL
FROM $2,090* per person Twin Share
FROM $475* Single Supplement per person Twin Share
Inclusions and highlights:

  • Return domestic airfares ex Brisbane or Sydney
  • Fully escorted by tour host/s accompanied by authors
  • 1 night Geelong / 1 night Apollo Bay / 2 nights Warrnambool / 1 night Port Fairy
  • 5 x breakfast, 4 x dinners, 2 x lunches, 3 x morning teas
  • All touring and entrance fees as per the itinerary.
  • A copy of “Grave Tales: Great Ocean Road Country – Geelong to Port Fairy”.

Not included:
• Items of personal nature,  travel Insurance, meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary, touring and admissions other than those mentioned in the itinerary.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Terms and Conditions will be provided on your booking form.