Peter is looking forward to seeing some of Australia, with his first stop the being Great Ocean Road, but he is looking for some guidance on how to best to get there.
I am a reasonably fit 87-year-old, except for a couple of gammy knees, and I’m still keen on getting out and about and seeing Australia. I live on the Gold Coast and would like to see or drive the Great Ocean Road. Is it possible to fly to Melbourne and then hire a car? Could you suggest where I could stay for a few days, I don’t need anything too sumptuous?
A. It’s great to hear that you’re still keen to travel and get out and about, Peter. Flying from the Gold Coast to Melbourne is definitely an option, with Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Tiger Airways all flying direct. Some airlines only fly on certain days, so it’s worth spending time online researching your options to make that sure you get the flight which suits your schedule and budget.
Skyscanner.com is a favourite website of the YOURLifeChoices team when it comes to booking flights. You can easily get an idea of what flights are available and how much they cost and you can now subscribe to an email alert which will advise if your watched flights have changed price. Of course, you can also go direct to the airlines and book via these websites.
Picking up a hire car at the airport shouldn’t be too difficult as there are lots of options. I would suggest using a site such as VroomVroomVroom, as this will give you an idea of how much it will cost and you can always contact the hire company to see if you can get a better rate when using a Seniors Card. When booking I would mention your age, although most companies don’t have an upper age limit, checking beforehand will save any nasty surprises.
There are also many tours available along the Great Ocean Road and you might want to get in touch with Visit Victoria to find out what’s on offer. While driving by yourself gives you the ultimate freedom, you can miss much of this beautiful drive if you’re keeping your eyes on the road.
Finally, when it comes to accommodation, you really are spoiled for choice. But if you’ve got one eye on your budget and you’re only looking for somewhere to rest your head, then I would suggest YHA Australia. For a small joining fee of $42 per year, you can save 10 per cent on accommodation, car hire and other travel offerings. YHA has hostels in Melbourne, Apollo Bay and Port Fairy, which are well situated for your trip, and will cost you about $30 per night.
And don’t forget on your way back you can grab the ferry from Queenscliff to Sorrento and head back to Melbourne via the Mornington Peninsula, ensuring you see even more of Victoria on your trip.