This was an excellent excursion away from Melbourne. Although Melbourne is a lovely city, it was good to get away for the day and enjoy the coastline. The highlight was seeing the 12 Apostles which we had only heard of before. Doing the reverse of the Great Ocean Road involved an early start and a long drive, but I do believe that we escaped the crowds. Although there were many tourists at the 12 Apostles, I'm sure it was less than with the conventional tours.
Absolutely fantastic scenery! We arrived at the 12 Apostles at a time of day with good light which I'm not sure would have been the case with a non-reverse tour. The tour was booked via Viator and provided by Wildlife Tours Australia. The guide Peter was quite personable and seemed to really enjoy being our guide. Bus was comfortable. It had Wi-Fi but that was not provided until the ride home perhaps intentional to be certain we focused on the tour. The lunch a sub sandwich was really pretty good. No drinks were provided though except for access to a water container from which to fill bottles. We stopped in the morning for coffee in the park provided and later for ice cream our own . The most important thing was the scenery along the Great Ocean Road which was stunningly beautiful. We made several viewing stops. This tour was in early July and do note that it was quite cold, especially with the wind when walking by the ocean. We also walked through a rainforest and stopped at a location known to have koala's and another viewing spot with kangaroos. I would highly recommend this tour.
We kept waiting in extreme cold and rain for 45 minutes before the scheduled pickup only to be told that we have to come to another place on our own !!! having landed in a new place just 12 hours back how are we supposed to do that? Nooone came to pick us up then my husband rang up and requested them then they obliged.....phew!!!! we never experienced such mismanagement and unprofessionalism in any country as we travel all over the world.....the mini bus was also very very uncomfortable.... i had to sit sepatately from my husband for next 12 hours during the trip.... it was a horrendous experience by this particular tour operator.we also saw AAT kings and grayline buses which were very comfortable buses unlike the oones we got on this tour...it was like spending 12 hours on wooden plank.
The tour was well organised and the guide knowledgeable and fun. Every stop was timed precisely to allow time to do it all, but it did not feel like being under pressure. It allowed plenty of time to take photos and enjoy the views.
The delicious picnic lunch was a little oversold as it was a simple sandwich no water or anything else provided. And the take a hike through the Otway rainforest, spot koalas along the Kennett River did not really happen. The driver stopped on our way back and we could spot koalas a few meters away from the minibus but it apparently was not part of the plan and was not supposed to be an event in itself.
There were so many places packed in one day tour, we had 30 minutes each place or even less. We had to run and rush to see everything to get to the bus on time otherwise our tour guide would be angry and complaining about it for another half an hour. I didn't understand at all why we have to rush thing when the magnificent 12 Apostles right before our eyes. There were so many ways to resolve this problem, maybe leave a bit early from the city?
I couldn't rest at all while we were in the bus. It might not seem to be a good idea for a tour to have guide act as a driver at the same time, since he drove very dangerously. The music was too loud, one passenger had to tell the driver to turn it down. We even had our little talk between passengers that the way he drove is carelessly.
The one star I gave here is a compliment to the view that I had seen on that day.
A really great trip with spectacular views. I've done this tour in both directions and this one is better for seeing the 12 Apostles in good light. It was a long drive at first but well worth it and there are lots of stops and views on the drive back. Brett was a great guide and soon got to know everyone.