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Great Ocean Road with VLine

S. california
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Great Ocean Road with VLine

As recommended in TA, we would like to take the great ocean trip with VLine - train to geelong then change to a coach to apolo bay, take another coach to warrnambool, then take the train back to melbourne.

I find the last connect is only 10 minutes(the coach arrives warrnambool at 16:55 and the train departs at 17:05). is this connection guaranteed or it's possible that we might miss the train? We'll have a flight out the next morning.

thanks for all info and advice.

Geelong...
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1. Re: Great Ocean Road with VLine

There is really only one person that I can recall who promotes the V Line option strongly. His name is Victorianlad and he may pop into this post or you could send him a private message.

I would personally think you won't have a problem as bus timetables are designed to fit in with trains that are leaving.....does the bus arrive at the train station??. If there were any delay, I would think they would delay the train or divert your bus to Geelong or somewhere similar and on to another train service to Melbourne. But I am definitely not an expert, so you are better off with someone who does know the system much better.

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Great Ocean Road with VLine

I haven't used the Warrnambool coach/train service for some years but I expect it would be like others where 2 different modes of transport are used on the one route i.e the outgoing service will wait for passengers from the incoming - in this case coach - service before departing. There will be little to no time to do anything else do don't hestitate or it **will** leave without you!

How much convincing would it take for you to rent a car or do an organised tour? This DIY option, although commendable, is going to be very VERY tiring. I am also wondering just how much you will get to see by opting for V-Line. Driving here is not so bad; if you have driven in LA (or indeed come from there) you should be OK. FWIW the majority of people using the GOR are doing so at a leisurely pace so there's little pressure to go go go.

Good luck :)

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: Great Ocean Road with VLine

cruise, the other contributors may not have seen the timetable at www.vline.com.au

The coach between Apollo Bay and Warrnambool makes special 'tourist' stops at a number of locations, including 30 minutes if I recall at The Twelve Apostles. The coach driver also gives a commentary if I recall.

V/Line is owned by the Victorian Government and the coach services are contracted and operated under strict conditions, with almost all coaches being toilet equipped and many suitable for disabled access.

All timetabled connections (such as at Geelong where you transfer from train to coach, at Apollo Bay between the two coaches and at Warrnambool from coach to train) are guaranteed. It hardly ever goes wrong but if it did, V/Line has been known to organise a taxi (or other coach).

Be aware that you can travel first class from Warrnambool to Melbourne (Southern Cross station) for an extra A$6 each way: reservation in first class is compulsory; in economy class it is in theory but on the long distance trains there is always car 'D' and sometimes car 'E' that are unreserved sit where you wish.

You can buy your tickets prior to the day of travel but they are for a specific date. On the latter, you can use your tickets to travel into Melbourne from the suburbs, or around the CBD, on metropolitan trains, trams and buses: the V/Line ticket will have 'Z1' or 'Z1 + 2' to denote availability in metropolitan Zone 1 (inner suburbs) plus Zone 2 (middle distance and outer suburbs).

Fares are reasonable. Select 'coach' timetables at www.vline.com.au and go to 'south-west Victoria' to see the special stops this tourist service from A. Bay to Warrnambool makes.

There is even a Dept of Transport coach (V/Line sells tickets) now three days a week from Warrnambool via Halls Gap to Ararat, leaving the 'Bool around 0800 on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, with a more frequent service between Halls Gap in the famous Grampians to Stawell and Ararat. And you can use V/Line tickets on the thrice-weekly 'The Overland' train operating between Ararat and Melbourne (it goes to or from Adelaide in South Australia) provided you give 48 hours' notice, or of course the three or two-times a day V/Line railcars direct from Ararat to Melbourne.

You could stay overnight at the 'Bool in a reputedly good property such as Quest Warrnambool, bookable through www.wotif.com at a reasonable rate most days.

So V/Line's services are intensive and offer excellent coverage of the smallest mainland state. There's a fare calculator online.

East Gippsland
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4. Re: Great Ocean Road with VLine

The coach and Vline service for the GOR is quite good. The public coach picks up GOR passengers from Geelong station to Apollo Bay where there is a 25 minute stop to buy something to eat before boarding the the Vline coach to Warrnambool. Maybe your accom in Melb. can fix you a picnic lunch? and possibly carry your own juice or water. And nibbles.

As Navylad has said, this coach stops at tourist spots( there is not much else!) for 30 minutes at 12 Apostles(the only place for a toilet stop after leaving Apollo Bay - unless their is a stop at Lavers Hill for that purpose) and 15 minutes at the other spots.

Vline coaches run smoothly and on time.

The 1st class seating in the train is more comfortable than the other carriages seating. There is a buffet car on the train from Warrnambool serving coffee/tea/chocolate/beer/maybe wine/soft drinks, milk drinks.

Sandwiches/ hot pies/sausage rolls. cake/biscuits/?yoghurt/ cant' remember what else.

which you eat in your seat that has a folding table. .

Not sure if you will have some commentry on the way back regarding what you are seeing from the train. It passes through part of the 2nd largest volcanic plain in the world. You will see dry stone walls, volcanoes(sleeping- who can say when they are extinct) lakes and mostly farm land.

If for some reason the coach is delayed(land slip/vehicle accident etc), or the train ( breakdown, road crossing accident,suicide etc), you can be assured that Vline will do everything in its power to return you to Melbourne safely that night.

Shame you can't stay o/night at Warrnambool for the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum package. But thems the breaks.

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: Great Ocean Road with VLine

gardenboffin's advice is sound but the current V/Line timetable states that the lunch stop at Apollo Bay to change coaches is 42 minutes - from 1248 to 1330, so provided it is on time, you will have enough time to find a cafe or fish and chip shop and buy a quick lunch should you wish.

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Great Ocean Road with VLine

One other thing - alcohol is no longer available on V/Line intrastate trains, and you are not supposed to BYO. Passengers still do, but it can result in an argument with the conductor and possible removal from the train.

S. california
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7. Re: Great Ocean Road with VLine

Thanks so much for the great replies.

Now I feel more confident. Will the coach stop at the train station at warrnambool ?

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: Great Ocean Road with VLine

cruise, the coach from Geelong to Apollo Bay, and the coach from Apollo Bay to Warrnambool both stop outside the respective railway stations.

V/Line staff will typically monitor their departure or arrival, particularly at Geelong. Upon alighting from the train at Geelong, walk towards the front of the train and you will see the covered bus bays.

There are specially signposted bus bays: you can't miss them and if you do, just ask.

London, United...
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9. Re: Great Ocean Road with VLine

As per the current VLINE schedule, it seems the GOR journey is like...

Southern Cross -->Warrnambool

1) Melbourne, Southern Cross to Geelong Station by VLINE coach

2) Geelong Station to Warrnambool Station by VLINE intercity.

does that mean its changed as per above discussion?

Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: Great Ocean Road with VLine

Syd, for the Monday, Wednesday or Friday day tour, the way you do it is Melbourne (SOuthern Cross) to Geelong by train, connect to the V/Line coach for Apollo Bay, brief lunch, connect to the V/Line coach to Warrnambool with tourist stops along the way at places such as Twelve Apostles, then connect to the afternoon train to Melbourne at Warrnambool.

Purchase an off-peak return ticket to Warrnambool at Flinders Street or Southern Cross: specify that you are travelling via Apollo Bay on the forward journey. You should reserve a seat on the train ex Warrnambool. First class is available Warrnambool to Melbourne for an extra A$6 per adult or A$3 per concession or child traveller. Again, you must reserve this before you join the train.