The sun rises on another beautiful day along the coast, perhaps you’re staying in Port Fairy or maybe even Warrnambool! Today you feel like doing something new… may we suggest a trip inland where you will bear witness to some of the region’s most incredible sites and experiences, located only mere hours’ drive from the coastline, and if you’ve got a dog, bring them along for the ride too! This trip is pup-friendly!

COAST TO GRAMPIANS (via Koroit C178)

Grab your favourite traveller to kick off the journey and stop by your favourite coastal café… is it Bank St + Co, The Mill, Rebecca’s? or for our Warrnambool holiday-ers, perhaps it’s Cafe Lava or the Beach Kiosk Café in Lake Pertobe, whatever it is, be sure to visit your favourite before hitting the road!

As a natural progression off the almighty Great Ocean Road, hit highway C178 and follow it through to Penshurst, making sure to pay attention to the rocky landscape between as you’re about to meet the culprit! Part of the Newer Volcanic Province and located on the third largest volcanic plain on Earth, meet Collorer (Mount Rouse) – a dormant volcano that calls Penshurst home and a natural attraction that offers incredible panoramic views of Penshurst and its surrounds. It’s an ideal location to pause:stop on your journey with a picturesque picnic area, walking trails and a crater that puts up many a wildlife, including wallabies that can be seen grazing the grounds daily! Feeling the need to learn more erupting from within? Head to the Penshurst Volcanoes Discovery Centre for further discovery.

Now that you’ve been blown away by Penshurst, stick to C178 and follow through to Dunkeld, a town that embraces its natural environment in all its magnificent shapes and forms; located at the
southern tip of the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park and the Great Dividing Range.

If you’re feeling peckish by now, let us recommend a pitstop at the Penshurst Store before you depart for Dunkeld. Famous for their beesting or a delicious meat pie, it’s sure to please the whole family. With
outdoor seating on offer, your fur family is more than welcome to enjoy a snack of their own too!

Upon arrival at Dunkeld, you will be captivated by the magnificent views! Admire the town’s beauty as you wander the main street and discover Only Ewe, Garage Gallery or a short drive will have you at
Gerard Murphy Furniture. Fall in love with nature at its finest at the Dunkeld Arboretum; this is a truly beautiful location and another perfect pause;stop on your journey.

Note: We have not sent you off bushwalking, as dogs are not allowed in most national parks in Victoria, including The Grampians (Gariwerd) and Budj Bim. Please visit again in the future to enjoy the parks without your four-legged family member.

Mount Rouse Collorer Dog

GRAMPIANS TO COAST (via Macarthur C184)


To commence your return journey to the the coast, jump on the B160 Glenelg Highway and head to Hamilton, the regional civic centre and the home to Greater Hamilton’s only off-lead dog park! Pair this with a leisurely walk around Lake Hamilton or a meander through the gorgeous Botanic Gardens, and you’ll be more than ready to enjoy a bite to eat for lunch. You’re sure to find the perfect spot with an abundance of eateries to choose from, of which you will have no choice but to walk off with a saunter through the CBD where local retailers are sure to tempt a touch of retail therapy.

As you round out your day (and to ensure you’re home in time for tea at Port Fairy’s iconic Fish & Chip shop, East Beach Fish and Chips, a local gem praised by many near and far!), head for the volcanic hills of Macarthur, situated on the edge of a vast lava flow which occurred over 30,000 years ago and the home to the rustically beautiful Suffoir Wines.

Suffoir Wines are a family-owned and operated farm, winery, brewery, cidery and distillery inspired by the animals on the property and the South African heritage of the owners. Enjoy a wine tasting at the Cellar Door or treat yourself to the full ‘Wine in the Vines’ experience as you privately drink and dine in the heart of this picturesque vineyard. This pet-friendly (yes, you heard right, pet-friendly!) winery is open Thursday – Saturday and is the perfect location to wine-d up your day!

We hope this itinerary allows you to plan ahead as you travel to your next destination. Remember always to break your journey every two hours, and pause:stop at the local Visitor Information Centres, staffed by those who know the region best. You will find convenient parking and the cleanest public toilets, and their staff & volunteers have all the local insider tips for the must-see activities to do along your journey to ensure the best is not missed.

Travel safe and enjoy your summer holiday!

Hamilton Dog Park

Pause. Stop. Tips to stay safe and arrive alive, for your next road trip.

We've compiled some easy steps when planning and preparing for your next road trip.

      • Plan your journey ahead of time.
      • Aim to get enough quality sleep before driving – regardless of whether the trip is a long or short.
      • Avoid driving at times when you would usually be sleeping.
      • Don't travel for more than 8 - 10 hours a day.
      • Plan to pause from the road at least every two hours.
      • Consider swapping drivers where possible.
      • Don't drink alcohol before your trip -even a small amount can significantly contribute to driver fatigue.
      • Take a 15 minute powernap if you feel drowsy.
      • Pause and stop for a visit at the Dunkeld Visitor Information Centre or the Hamilton Visitor Information Centre and enjoy free children's activities including colouring in, postcards and tailored itinerary with points of interest.

Find out more information about driver fatigue and drowsy driving here



Call our friendly team at the Hamilton and Grampians Visitor Information Centre for more info on our towns, villages, and the huge range of regional events.