Melbourne to Adelaide Road Trip: Basics, Preparations, Tips

Lifestyle ·
Melbourne to Adelaide Road Trip: Basics, Preparations, Tips

Get your road trip music ready for an adventure as you drive from Melbourne to Adelaide.


The seaside road from Melbourne to Adelaide is one of the most beautiful drives in Australia. It has cute beach towns, historical sites, delicious food and wine, and lots of fun things to do. The famous Twelve Apostles and many chances to see wildlife make for a great road trip with family, friends, or someone special.           


For your Melbourne to Adelaide road trip, this guide will give you advanced tips on how to get ready and list essential things to keep in mind. Jackery Solar Generator is also a great thing to bring on a road trip, so you can use solar power to charge all your electronics and appliances.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways:

Usually, it will take three to five days to drive from Melbourne to Adelaide.

There are two main routes to go there: one is the Great Ocean Road (1,290 km), and the other is from the Grampians National Park (905 km).  

When preparing for your road trip, consider your vehicle abilities, pick a suitable vehicle type, plan the stops, check the car, and pack essentials.

We highly recommend Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro or 2000 Plus to charge your appliances during the road trip.

We also provide tips for your trip to help you drive safely and cost-effectively.

Melbourne to Adelaide Road Trip Overview 

From the culturally rich city of Melbourne to the lively coastal town of Adelaide, the road trip from Melbourne to Adelaide takes you through some of Australia's most beautiful scenery.

You can choose between two beautiful routes: the Grampians National Park Route or the Great Ocean Road Route, which goes along the coast. Both are great places to visit to see beautiful nature, quaint towns, wineries, and expansive views.

Each road has its side trips and highlights along the way. For example, the Great Ocean Road has famous surf spots, and the Grampians are home to much Aboriginal history.

The Great Ocean Road Route goes along Australia's beautiful south-east coast and is about 1,150 kilometres long. On the other hand, the Grampians National Park Route is about 800 kilometres long and winds through stunning mountain scenery and peaceful nature wonders.

Take three to five days to finish your drive, depending on how much you want to see and do. This will give you much time to enjoy all the fun and exciting things both offer.  



Driving Time


Great Ocean Road Route



5 Days

Grampians National Park Route



5 Days

Melbourne to Adelaide Road Trip (Great Ocean Route) 

Australia and road trips go together like peanut butter and jelly. The Great Ocean Road is what comes to mind. This famous road goes from Torquay to Allansford and is used by Aussies, backpackers, and tourists yearly. It's something that everyone visiting Melbourne has to see.

At the height of the summer season, the path is packed with other people on road trips in January and February. We suggest you do this during the summer season, between February and March or October and November. It's warm but not too crowded then. Here is a complete plan for the road trip from Melbourne to Adelaide.

Total Length: 1,290km

Time: 12 hours 36 min

melbourne to adelaide map costal route

(Data Source: Google Maps)

Day 1: Melbourne to Lorne (2 Hours)

Best Stops: Aireys Inlet, Bells Beach, Erskine Falls, Fairhaven Beach, Torquay, Phantom Falls

It would be best to stay at one of Melbourne's significant airports before your trip to relax and prepare for the journey. There's nothing worse than not being prepared, so having a nice place to organise all the little things is essential!

Before you leave and sit in your car all day, take one of Melbourne's evening kayaking tours along the Yarra River. The city lights will make the view beautiful. Let your arms hang down by your sides for hours! As a reward, you can eat fish and chips from inside the boat, making it the most authentic dinner you've ever had on the water.

You can get to Torquay, where the Great Ocean Road legally starts, in less than 90 minutes by car. Quiksilver and Rip Curl are based in Australia's Surf Capital, which also has some great waves at Bells Beach. Are you new to surfing? For calmer waves, go to Front Beach. Aireys Inlet has fresh fish that we can eat before going to Fairhaven to surf again.

Visit a few of the ten nearby waterfalls once you get to Lorne, and then relax in Victoria's answer to Byron Bay. While travelling along the Great Ocean Road, Lorne is a great place to stay, though rooms can be pricey. There are, however, a few free spots nearby if you want to camp.

Day 2: Lorne to Great Otway National Park (1 Hour)

Best Stops: Apollo Bay, Cape Otway Lighthouse, Great Otway National Park, Kennett River, Marriner's Lookout, Melba Gully, Sheoak Falls

Today, you don't have to drive very far, but there are a lot of stops along the beautiful road. The Great Ocean Road goes along the ocean's left and the old bush's right sides.

Before you get to the national park, take your time to see waterfalls and lookout points. Apollo Bay is a great place to stop and go sailing or stand-up paddleboarding. If you look up at the gum trees in Kennett River, you might see a wild koala.

Put on your bush boots and explore the rough area around Great Otway. You can watch the sun go down at the oldest lighthouse in Australia. To end the day, walk through Melba Gully,  which is full of glowworms.  

Day 3: Great Otway National Park to Port Fairy (2.2 Hours)

Best Stops: 12 Apostles, Gibson's Steps, Lord Ard Gorge, London Bridge, Logan's Beach, Port Fairy Lighthouse, Warrnambool Botanic Gardens

Hold on to your camera because today is the best day to see the Great Ocean Road. You can follow the Shipwreck Coast, which got its name from the many ships that have sunk off the coast. Along with the famous limestone peaks that make up the 12 Apostles, you'll also be able to see other sea park sites.

Now that you have some extra money from farming, why not take a chopper tour to see the towers from above? Before bed in Port Fairy, check out Logan's Beach to see whales.

Day 4: Port Fairy to Robe (3.1 Hours)

Best Stops: Cape Nelson Lighthouse, Cape Bridgewater Seal Walk, Mount Gambier, Point Danger, Petrified Forest, Umpherston Sinkhole

Once you finish the Great Ocean Road, you'll go to Adelaide along the Limestone Coast and into South Australia. On Day 4, you will see a lot of wildlife and beautiful natural scenery.

You can walk the 2.5 km Cape Bridgewater seal walk or book a cage dive to swim with the nearby fur seals. Mount Gambier is a volcano that has crater lakes and cenotes. Please give yourself a lot of time to see it. People who like to dive can book a magical trip to the Engelbrecht Caves, and those who want to hike can walk around Blue Lake.

Let loose in the pretty seaside town of Robe with some fish 'n' chips and wine made in the area.

Day 5: Robe to Adelaide (3.1 Hours)

Best Stops: Coorong National Park, Meningie, Port Elliot, Victor Harbour

Long Beach's dunes are a great place to take a 4x4 for a thrilling ride. After lunch, take a short walk along Ocean Beach's saltwater sands in Coorong National Park to get some fresh air. Keep an eye out for wombats, ducks, kangaroos, and birds that live in the area. Before or after, you can enjoy a sweet lunch from the Meringue Bakery by the lake.

Take a side trip through Port Elliot to catch our last wave of the journey and relax by the water in Victor Harbour. At night, drink a toast to the end of a great road trip at one of Adelaide's best places to stay.

Melbourne to Adelaide Road Trip (Inland Route) 

Have you been on the Great Ocean Road before? Or would you instead not get sand on your excellent rental? Then you should take the sister road trip from Melbourne to Adelaide. The Inland Alternative winds through rough mountain views and thundering waterfalls. Besides that, you'll go through one of Australia's best wine places.

Total Length: 905km

Time: 10 hours 16 min

melbourne to adelaide map inland route

(Data Source: Google Maps)

Day 1-2: Melbourne to Halls Gap (3 Hours)

Best Stops: Ballarat, Grampian National Park, MacKenzie Falls, Sovereign Hill, The Balconies, Venus Baths

Get a coffee from your best Melbourne spot before the city wakes up. In Sovereign Hill, you can take a quick trip back to 1852. This area is like a time capsule of Australia's rich history; people dressed up will walk around. While you're there, you can even go to a mine. You can meet crocodiles and Tasmanian Devils at Ballarat Wildlife Park, which is just down the road if you want something scary.

The beautiful Grampians can be reached through Halls Gap, where you should spend the whole second day exploring. The MacKenzie Falls, many climbing trails, and natural waterslides can all be found in this vast national park. The best place to watch the sunset before bed is from the balcony's lookout.

If you'll only be on the road for three days, wait to leave the second night. Instead, go early in the morning.

Day 3: Halls Gap to Robe (3.1 Hours)

Best Stops: Coonawarra Winery Trail, Mount Gambier, Naracoorte Caves, Wartook Valley

In the Wartook Valley, you can enjoy your second fix of mountain views as you leave the national park and head north. You can go climbing, horseback riding, or on a quad bike tour through the rough woods to do something exciting.

When you get to Coonawarra, you'll see that it's made up of many wineries. So park the rental car (kids, safety first!) and rent some bikes for the afternoon. If wine isn't your thing, you can quickly go up the road to see the Naracoorte Caves. Instead, you could drive to the town of Robe, which is near the sea.

Day 4: Robe to Adelaide (3.1 Hours)

Best Stops: Bordertown, Murray River, Naracoorte Caves, SA Skydiving, Tailem Bend

Get on the road early and drive north through the winelands of Victoria. Take a side trip out of Coonawarra and go through the Bordertown Wildlife Park. There are a bunch of friendly White Kangaroos there.

If you want to sneak in a jump over the sandy Coorong National Park, get off the road just before Tailem Bend. You could also say hello to the life-sized rhino and the considerable olive sculpture in Tailem Bend.

Stop at the slow Murray Bridge if you have time. You can cool off by paddling a kayak along the calm Murray River. Your final stop, Adelaide, is only an hour away from here!

How to Prepare for The Melbourne to Adelaide Road Trip

It's essential to make a thorough plan for your road trip from Melbourne to Adelaide so that you and your passengers stay safe while you enjoy the great adventure. Here are some ideas to help you plan your trip. 

Consider Your Vehicle

Some cars are only made to go on short trips. Convertibles, sports cars, cars with excellent gas mileage, and small crossover SUVs are great for road trips. If you are going on a road trip with a group of people or your family, SUVs and minivans are also good choices.

Some cars that might not be good for road trips are vans, big SUVs, and trucks. Ensure your guests have plenty of room because you will drive long distances. To keep the cost of your trip down, pick a car with a suitable gas economy as well.

Rent Your Vehicle

You can take a regular car, a 4X4, or a campervan for your road trip. You only need a 4X4 to go beach driving or off-roading.

You will need a legal driver's licence from your home country to pick up your car in Melbourne. You may also be asked to show your ID at some rental places. You may also need an International Driving Permit from a particular country.  

The only bad thing about hiring a car in Melbourne is that it costs a lot. Keep these costs in mind when planning your road trip from Melbourne to Adelaide so you don't get caught off guard:

  • Age Surcharge: To rent a car anywhere in Australia, you must be at least 21. However, if you are younger than 24, you will usually have to pay extra.
  • Additional Drivers: Plan to take turns driving? Make sure that any extra drivers are added to your rental deal. In the worst case, if an uninsured driver causes an accident, your insurance won't cover it.
  • Bond/Deposit: You must pay a bond to protect your rental against damage. It depends on the rental company and the car, but it is generally between $200and $1000.

Plan for Stops

One good guess is that you will need a break from driving every two or three hours. Make sure your stops on the road trip consider any fascinating cities, parks, stores, or restaurants you want to see. It's all part of the fun of taking a car trip.

  • Make a big-picture road trip plan
  • Choose your overnight stops
  • Add quick, accessible stops along your route to maximise fun in minimal time
  • Plan for fuel stops and vehicle checks
  • Be realistic about time constraints

Get A Tune-Up

Having a mechanic check your car for problems before you leave is a good idea if you drive it a long way for several days. Change your oil, add more fluid to your windscreen wipers, and check all your lights to ensure they work. Follow these steps to avoid getting lost or having technical problems on your road trip.

Pack Road Trip Essentials

You should ensure your car is safe and working right before you leave. A professional checkup can give you peace of mind while driving on the highway. It's also a great way to save money and avoid the trouble and time lost when your car breaks down.

road trip essentials

If the car is clean, it's comfortable, and if the people inside are comfy, they are happy. Before you leave, get everyone together to work on fixing up the car. Here are some things you might need for a road trip:

Melbourne to Adelaide Road Trip Essentials

Vehicle Check

Vehicle Clean

Repair Tools


Vehicle Safety Items


Insect Repellent

Fire Extinguisher

Car Oil

Spare Tire

Car Jack

Sun Protection

Emergency Kit

First Aid Kit


Personal Electronics

Hygiene Items

Paper Towels

Rain Gear

Changing Clothes



Pet Supplies

Jackery Solar Generator

Of course, bring your licence, car registration, and insurance papers. But don't forget a road map, a phone charger, some cash and coins for tolls, a first aid kit, jumper wires, a spare tyre and a tyre repair kit, one gallon of drinkable water for each person, and a small cooler with snacks that won't go bad.

Power is essential for car trips, so packing a generator is a good idea. A solar generator is perfect because it is clean and can be used repeatedly. The Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro and 2000 Plus are the best things to take on trips with a trailer in Australia. They are made to be portable, and they only take up a little room in your trailer.

Jackery Solar Generators for Road Trips

Jackery Solar Generators are comprised of Jackery Solar Panels and a Portable Power Station. This is a portable solar system for Melbourne to Adelaide road trips. It has a premium lithium battery, an MPPT regulator, and a pure sine wave inverter to ensure that your outdoor appliances and personal electronics always have power.  

how jackery solar generator works for road trips

The best models are the Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro and the Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Plus. They have a lot of power and last a long time. They are great for road trips because of this.


Working Hours

Solar Generator 1000 Pro


Solar Generator 2000 Plus

(2-12 kWh)

Microwave (700W)



Kettle (850W)



Portable AC (1080W)



Coffee Maker (550W)



Light (60W)



Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro

The Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro is more than just a gadget—it's your ticket to steady power on the go, thanks to its vast 1002Wh capacity and 1000W output power. It can easily hold a full wall charge in just 1.8 hours and has been charged a thousand times. This is a game-changer for people seeking efficient and environmentally friendly energy options.

Include two SolarSaga 80W solar panels to increase the energy you generate by 25%. This is a cost-effective and sustainable option for trips outside or backup power for your home.

To make things easier for you, the Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro portable power station has a handle that can be folded up for easy storage and travel. This makes it the perfect thing to take with you on your outdoor adventures. This small power source promises to keep you fired up with its impressive 1,000-charge cycle life and lightweight design.

jackery solar generator 1000 pro

Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Plus

Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Plus significantly enhances the available choices for portable electricity with its exceptional performance. With its substantial capacity and impressive power output, this device can provide electricity for outdoor excursions or home backups.

Integrating battery cells into the Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Plus enhances the capacity from 2 kWh to 12 kWh, leading to a significant transformation in providing backup power for households.

The Explorer 2000 Plus has a power output of 3000W, 30% higher than other 2 kWh versions with similar ratings. The bulk of critical household appliances are powered gadgets. Although the Solar Generator 2000 Plus is commonly used, it may get a complete charge within 6 hours by utilising 6 SolarSaga 100W solar panels. The power source achieves self-sufficiency by harnessing solar energy rather than relying on the power grid.

jackery solar generator 2000 plus

Tips for Melbourne to Adelaide Road Trip

Always remember that safety is the most important thing on a trip, especially if you're taking a long road trip from Melbourne to Adelaide. These tips are essential to read and remember because you might be the only driver on this trip.

Tip 1# Don't Try to Drive Many Miles A Day

It's dangerous to drive while sleepy. Experts say that you should get at least seven hours of sleep every night to avoid falling asleep at the wheel during the day. Again, a lot depends on the situation, the person, tastes, and tolerances.  

Making stops often keeps you awake and lets you enjoy the ride. Take a short break every two hours or 100 miles to stay alert, and if you can, switch places with a passenger who is also aware.

Tip 2# Save Money on Gas

Since gas costs increase, you might need more money on the road. To save money on gas, try these:

  • Slow down how fast you're going. If you slow down your acceleration time from 0 to 60 mph, you can save 30% on gas usage.
  • It's best to buy gas when it's not too hot outside. The gas is most dense right now.
  • Keep your speed in check. About 21% more gas economy will be saved if you drive at 55 mph instead of 10 to 15 miles over.
  • When you're going fast, keep the windows shut. If your windows are open, it can cost you up to 10% more gas than with air conditioning on.

Tip 3# Notice The Road Rules

It's essential to know the rules of the road where you live. They won't take bribes from Aussie cops if you break the law! If you're from somewhere other than Australia, remember that each state and territory has its rules for the roads.

While you're on the road in Victoria and South Australia, here are some lists to get you going:

  1. Don't honk carelessly. No one in Australia can honk unless they have to, so only do it if you have to. In Victoria, the fine is $300.
  1. Wait to pick up people hitchhiking until you get to South Australia. Victoria has laws against hitchhiking; you could get a $30fine if you do it.
  1. Being caught up? Allow them to go. Another big no-no is speeding up when you are being passed.
  1. Keep the gap in Melbourne in mind. Window gaps must be kept at 5 centimetres or less when you are more than 3 metres away from your car, and the vehicle must be locked, which makes sense.
  1. Put less pressure on them. Drivers nationwide can get fined for going too fast and too slow.  

You should remember the obvious ones, like talking or driving while your seatbelt isn't on. Of course, you already know what the Australian cops think about drunk driving. On well-known backpacker roads like the Great Ocean Road, people are often pulled over and given tests right there.

Tip 4# Be Safe and Alert

Being careful and safe on the road is the last thing you can do to ensure your road trip is secure. Remember that you want to avoid all the problems you just thought of. 

  • Scan the road for hazards
  • Be aware and cautious of tailgaters or aggressive drivers
  • Avoid pulling over on the side of the road unless it is an emergency.
  • Make sure you have plenty of gas between exits 

Is The Melbourne to Adelaide Road Trip Worth It?

Australia's most beautiful countryside and coastal views can be found on the Melbourne to Adelaide road trip. You can do many things inside and outside, whether the coastal way or the Riverland route. Choose the Jackery Solar Generator, without a doubt, if you want to go on a road trip and need a reliable, compact solar generator.                  

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