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The Ultimate Melbourne to Adelaide Road Trip Guide

The Ultimate Melbourne to Adelaide Road Trip Guide

Cruising by coastal twists and vineyards, a Melbourne-to-Adelaide road trip isn’t just about mileage but also discovering gems like Mount Gambier’s underground Eden and treating your taste buds to the finest wines in Coonawarra.

The trip is mighty long, though, so you better come prepared. But fear not. We’ll be your personal tour guide for this ride, ensuring you know where to sleep, find food, and stop by for thrilling activities and astonishing sights!

Best Time to Visit Adelaide

Best Time to Visit Adelaide

Adelaide showcases its allure best during spring (September to November), offering delightful weather with temperatures spanning from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F).

Melbourne to Adelaide Route

Things to Know

Distance: Around 1,030 kilometers

Travel Time: Nearly 10 hours (without stops)

Where to Stay

Address: Anchorage, 115 Princes Hwy, Port Fairy, VIC 3284

Contact Details: +61 3 5568 1145

Pricing: $ to $$


The BIG4 Port Fairy Holiday Park is a caravan park close to Port Fairy’s local hotspots, like Griffiths Island Reserve, Russell Clark Reserve, and Tower Hill Lookout.

When it comes to accommodations, they have the Albatross 6 Berth for fams and groups. These two-bedroom cabins are decked out with modern amenities and sleek furnishings.

For those flying solo or with a partner, their Shearwater Couples Motel room is your go-to. It comes with a queen bed, a sofa doubling as a double bed, and a range of amenities for the ultimate comfort package.

Address: 163 Commercial St W, Mount Gambier, SA 5290

Contact Details: +61 8 8726 7500

Pricing: $ to $$


Park Hotel in the heart of Mount Gambier has been around since 1890. This cozy, old-world-style joint offers three slick boutique-theme hotel rooms, each with comfy beds and modern hotel must-haves, like Internet access, a TV, and a king-sized bed.

The superstar of the lot is the Matthews Suite. This two-room accommodation has an open gas fireplace to set the mood, leading into a roomy king-size bedroom boasting a luxurious spa.

If you’re not into the whole grand extravaganza, there’s the Carey Suite—a tad smaller but packs a punch with all the tech and comfort essentials every weary traveler needs.

Address: 1 Squires Dr, Robe, SA 5276

Contact Details: +61 8 8768 2273

Pricing: $ to $$


Once you reach the coastal town of Robe, Sea Vu Caravan Park is the perfect pit stop. Here, you’re near the ocean, so you can fish, swim, or simply relax before continuing the journey.

Their Superior Ocean View Cabins cost big bucks, but they offer jaw-dropping vistas of Guichen Bay straight from your living room, dining area, and kitchen.

If you’re looking for pocket-friendly options, go for their Seaside Cabins, smaller rooms that still provide beach views, and amazing amenities like queen-sized beds and ensuite bathrooms.

Where to Eat

Address: 26 Bank St, Port Fairy, VIC 3284

Contact Details: (03) 5568 2251

Pricing: $$


Bottega Toscana is a terrific Port Fairy spot for bang-for-the-buck Italian goodness. Chefs here pay homage to the classic Italian trattoria, family-owned diners with delicious home-style bites.

You need a lot of energy for the long drive, so we suggest going for their hearty beef osso buco. This Milan specialty is a plate of beef slow-cooked overnight with onions and served on a bed of vegetable risotto.

Travelers with a plant-based diet can opt for their risotto dell’orto, a creamy mixed vegetable risotto from Tuscany that can be prepared with cheese.

Address: 2 Victoria St, Robe, SA 5276

Contact Details: (08) 8768 1954

Pricing: $$


Sails at Robe sails through the scene with locally sourced modern Australian seafood bites served in a laid-back and sophisticated dining spot.

Their South Australian battered fish, a crispy delight served alongside fried chat potatoes, yogurt tartare, and a zesty touch of lemon, is the crowd-pleaser here.

But if you want luxury on a plate, their Southern Rock lobster is where it’s at. This order will get you 500 grams of fresh, local lobster served in various styles: natural, chargrilled, or Thermidor (very creamy).

Address: Osborn Rd, McLaren Vale, SA 5171

Contact Details: (08) 8329 4848

Pricing: $$


With a hilltop location and vineyard backdrop, the highly rated d’Arry’s Verandah Restaurant is a resto with top-tier scenery and irresistible gourmet nosh.

Our favorite is their S.E. Australian beef filet and bone marrow tartare, garnished with crispy onion rings, spring onion potato mash, and decadent béarnaise sauce.

Those who feel more adventurous should sink their teeth into the Paroo kangaroo tail damper pie. This South Australian masterpiece has seared saddle, macadamia puree, horseradish cream, fried saltbush, and quandong jam.

Things to Do

Address: 410 Surf Coast Hwy, Grovedale, VIC 3216

Contact Details: (03) 5241 5700

Pricing: Free


Narana Aboriginal Cultural Center provides immersion into the mesmerizing world of Aboriginal heritage.

Here, you can marvel at remarkable Aboriginal artworks in (walls) and out (stones and trees) of the gallery or go on an educational tour revealing the Aboriginals’ rich tapestry of stories, spirituality, and profound connection to the land.

In addition, you’ll get to see local animals like kangaroos and emus roaming the center’s lands freely. You can interact with them and even feed the critters’ babies as long as there’s a guide around.

Address: 34A Bell St, Torquay, VIC 3228

Contact Details: (03) 5261 2022

Pricing: $


Torquay Surfing Academy is your golden ticket to ride the Surf Coast’s surging waters. Whether you’re a fresh-faced newbie or a seasoned pro looking to carve up the waves, these guys have the goods.

Their group sessions focus on the basics and how to have fun, perfect for travelers rolling with a crew or their fam. Solo adventurers aren’t left out, too, as the academy offers private lessons tailored to your skill level.

If you’re already a great surfer, you can simply rent their boards and catch Torquay’s waves. They also have paddleboards and a range of kayaks that’ll make you want to hit the water pronto.

From iamportfairy

Directions to East Beach

Directions to South Mole

Budj Bim National Park: Mt Eccles Rd, Macarthur, VIC 3286

Koroit Botanic Gardens: High St, Koroit, VIC 3282

A Melbourne to Adelaide road trip isn’t complete without enjoying Port Fairy’s premier tourist hotspots.

This town has Childers Grove, a secluded beach flaunting sandstone stacks, colorful cliffs, and a heart-tugging past, as survivors and victims of the tragic wreck of The Children were washed to this island.

You can also hit East Beach, decked in fine white sand and strong waves, adding that extra adrenaline punch. 

For those who prefer breathers, head to South Mole Beach, on Griffiths Island—famous for gentle waves and premier picnic sites.

If you prefer reserves, explore Budj Bim National Park, a sanctuary for serene crater lakes, labyrinthine lava canals, and caves perched in lush bushland. You can camp here, have a picnic, and amble among Manna Gums teeming with Aussie wildlife.

And then there’s the Koroit Botanic Gardens with over a hundred rare trees from across the globe. Visitors can meander through pathways, have fun in the playground, and bask in the soothing beauty of shady trees.

From annecasie

  • Cave Garden: 1 Bay Rd, Mount Gambier, SA 5290
  • Blue Lake: John Watson Dr, Mount Gambier, SA 5290

The Cave Garden is found at Mount Gambier’s center. This garden hosts a 30-meter-deep cave that once served as the town’s water source.

Now, it offers visitors a scenic stroll and a lower-level viewing platform, providing enchanting glimpses into the sinkhole’s depths and the flora surrounding the crater.

Blue Lake, on the other hand, is an extinct volcanic crater painted against an enthralling volcanic landscape. This natural wonder is also famous for its different colors.

During the summer months, Blue Lake sports a vivid cobalt blue shade. Come April to November, the lake dons a deep steel grey hue.

Oh, and observing the lake isn’t an issue, as there’s a 3.6-kilometer walking trail that takes visitors through various viewing platforms.

From chantalcook_

Starting Point: Long Beach, Robe, SA 5276

Distance: 12 kilometers

Difficulty: easy

A breezy stroll along the Robe Walking Trail is like a historical sneak peek through time.

This beachside jaunt sweeps past relics like the Obelisk, the Encounter Signal, and the Old Gaol, allowing visitors to soak up the tales of bygone eras while catching scenic views of Robe’s jetty, the Blowhole, and Factory Bay.

The entire trail is undulating, but its hardened gravel pathways make strolling, jogging, or biking less challenging. Just don’t forget shoes with a strong grip if you’re planning to wander off the beaten path to hit the rocky and slippery sections.

  • Penley Estate: McLeans Road, Coonawarra, SA 5263
  • Brand’s Laira: 14860 Riddoch Hwy, Coonawarra, SA 5263
  • Wynns Coonawarra Estate: 77 Memorial Dr, Coonawarra, SA 5263

Coonawarra’s cabernet sauvignon owes its global acclaim to the perfect harmony between its rich terra rossa soil, limestone, and pure underground water. Considering this, it might be a sin not to indulge in the region’s finest offerings during your drive.

You can sip or score a bottle from Penley Estate. Their 2021 Tolmer Cabernet Sauvignon is an ensemble of boysenberry, bay leaf, and a touch of cinnamon, followed by a tantalizing dance of blood plums and anise.

Brand’s Laira, sitting in the heart of the famed “terra rossa” strip, has the 2018 Blockers Cabernet Sauvignon, showcasing a deep garnet red hue and offering a melody of classic berry fruits intertwined with subtle oak, cashew nut, and vanilla aromas.

Lastly, there’s the Wynns Coonawarra Estate, a red-soiled haven for vines. Their Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 is a symphony of redcurrant, cassis, red cherry, and earthy notes, complemented by chocolate, almond, and honeycomb.

From geordie_globetrotter

  • Big Duck Boat Tour: Granite Island Causeway, Victor Harbor, SA 5211
  • Granite Island: CJPM+CW, 1 Granite Island Rd, Victor Harbor, SA 5211

When it comes to heart-pumping adventures with a dash of scenic backdrops, Victor Harbor is hard to top.

You can snorkel in Oliver’s Reef to peek into the vibrant world the Southern Ocean hides. Snorkelers can encounter thousands of fishes and colorful corals and occasionally spot majestic creatures like graceful rays and curious sea turtles.

If cruising is more of your jam, hop aboard the Big Duck Boat Tour for a chance to catch sight of whales, seals, and sea lions, offering an unforgettable marine wildlife experience without getting super drenched in saltwater.

Those who simply want to chill, though, can jump on the horse-drawn tram leading to Granite Island, where rugged cliffs, towering waves, and remarkable granite boulders create an Instaworthy background.

From helivista

  • Helivista: 281 Main Rd, McLaren Vale, SA 5171
  • Escapegoat Adventures: Upper Sturt Rd, Belair, SA 5052

Touring McLaren Vale via helicopter or bike isn’t just a side quest before hitting Adelaide. It’s a memorable escapade to cap off your road trip!

With Helivista, you’ll buckle up for a scenic helicopter joyride starting from Penny’s Hill Winery. You’ll then soar above McLaren Vale’s colorful cliffs, sandy beaches, pristine waters, sprawling vineyards, and the mesmerizing Onkaparinga Gorge.

Now, if you’re more of the ground-level adventurer, stretch your legs for Escapegoat Adventures’ McLaren Vale Bike Wine Tour.

You’ll pedal through picturesque national parks, enjoy the rush of a breezy downhill glide down Wickhams Hill, and cycle amid the vineyards to reach some stellar local wineries, all aboard cutting-edge mountain bikes.

What to Expect from Adelaide Climate

What to Expect from Adelaide Climate

Spring: Welcome the blooming season with temperatures ranging from 17°C to 22°C (63°F to 72°F), showcasing pleasant weather ideal for outdoor activities.

  • Summer: Brace yourself for blistering heat, with typical temperatures oscillating between 25°C and 35°C (77°F and 95°F).
  • Autumn: Embrace delightful weather, as the daytime thermometer hovers between 20°C and 25°C (68°F and 77°F), granting cooler evenings to unwind.
  • Winter: Prepare for gentle winters marked by temperatures ranging from 12°C to 16°C (54°F and 61°F), occasional rain showers, and a call for cozy clothing and steaming hot beverages.
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