The drive from Adelaide to Melbourne could be done in a single day or broken up over as many days as you wish.  The 8 hour Melbourne to Adelaide drive time is taken inland and is the shortest way to drive from Adelaide to Melbourne.

The longer scenic route Melbourne to Adelaide driving distance time is 12 hours, along the Great Ocean Road.

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The inland route on the Adelaide to Melbourne itinerary, takes you from Adelaide, along the National highway.
You’ll pass through Murray Bridge, Bordertown, Horsham, Stawell, and Ballarat before reaching Melbourne.

This journey is pretty straight forward, unless you decide to stop in one of the small country towns, Ballarat or visit the Grampians. The Grampians National Park is full of sandstone mountains and wildlife. There are plenty of hiking tracks, waterfalls views and galleries, and a restaurant to stop for a drink or food refuel.

The Melbourne to Adelaide coastal drive, while on the Adelaide to Melbourne itinerary, includes The Great Ocean Road.

This iconic ocean road is full of incredible scenery and is on most travelers’ bucket lists when they visit Victoria, Australia.

The Great Ocean Road follows the winding cliffs along the edge of the sea.  The views are spectacular and there are many small seaside towns to stop and refuel.

Stopping to refuel is advised on these long road trips, as driving when tired is a hazard to the wildlife and of course your own and others’ safety.

Along The Great Ocean Road coast, you’ll see secluded beaches alongside cliff top landscapes beside many national parks.

Adelaide to 12 Apostles:
Popular destinations like the Twelve Apostles
and Lorne are worth visiting as you head towards Melbourne.
Or you could travel the reverse direction on a Melbourne to Adelaide road trip, and also visit quieter areas like Kennett River and Aireys inlet.

drive from Adelaide to Melbourne, The Great Ocean Road.
The Great Ocean Road

Should You Drive Or Fly From Adelaide To Melbourne?

It may be easier to fly from Adelaide to Melbourne if you are time poor or only need to get from A to B.

If you take The Great Ocean Road Melbourne to Adelaide coastal drive, you won’t be disappointed. Bear in mind the Melbourne to Adelaide driving distance time is at least 12 hours, as its the longest journey from Melbourne to Adelaide.

Some budget fights come under $100, depending on the time of day and airline, and the flight takes 1 hour 15 in the air.  You should take into account time to park and navigate at the airports, especially at Tullamarine airport in Melbourne.

Still, it is a lot quicker to fly, if you are in a hurry and don’t mind spending a little extra money.

Those who decide to drive, and are on a timeline, should head through the guts of the country, via Ballarat, Horsham, and Bordertown.

The scenery of this direction is pretty boring, and there’s no point in stopping a lot along the way, resulting in the travel time taking closer to 8 hours.

The Melbourne to Adelaide coastal drive along the Great Ocean Road, is one of the most popular Australian road trips. This route showcases some of the best and underrated scenery in Australia.

If you drive on a Melbourne to Adelaide road trip, ensure that you are careful on the coastal road. It’s important to keep an eye out for young families or wildlife wandering over the road from the holiday houses to the beach. 

At night, especially through the Otways be wary of Wildlife on the road at any given time.

Traveling in Australia? See these 3 Secret Beach Getaways

How Much Does It Cost To Fly From Adelaide to Melbourne?

Flights currently range from budget deals of $66 to $200 depending on the time of day, and the quality of flight you are after.

For example:

Jetstar early morning $66 no baggage allowance.
Virgin 9:30am $99 includes baggage
Qantas all day $130 includes baggage.

As you see, prices vary and flight costs will depend on the time of day you plan to travel and extras like baggage allowance. 

Note: budget airlines do not include food and drinks in their prices.  Any snacks or beverages are extras on top of your flight cost.

How Much Does It Cost To Drive From Adelaide To Melbourne?

Driving costs from Adelaide to Melbourne or on a longer Melbourne to Adelaide road trip will really depend on if you drive direct with minimal stops or take the scenic route along the Great Ocean Road.

Taking The Great Ocean Road unusually includes at least one stop overnight, taking into account the Adelaide to Melbourne distance.

Cost guide to driving from Adelaide to Melbourne:

Driving direct inland:

Fuel: $70 approximately per day
Food and beverages: $30 per day

Driving along the Great Ocean Road:

Fuel: $95 approximately per day
Food and beverages: $50 per day
Accommodation: $100 per day
Plus Attractions, and anything else you need along the way.

Adelaide And Melbourne City Breakdown


Beginning your road trip in Adelaide, the small city is usually overlooked, but it’s well worth seeing some of the sights here before you leave.

Adelaide has long been a gorgeous and spacious city.

There are lovely botanic gardens, colonial heritage, and local markets to discover.

Adelaide isn’t as stunning as Sydney or diverse as Melbourne, but possesses a softer experience, with it’s surrounding hills to the east, stunning beaches, wide streets and many gardens and parks.

Food, wine, and the Borossa Valley, are all draw cards to visiting Adelaide. Adelaide is safe if you avoid the parklands and Hindley street at night. The uncrowded city provides a relaxed lifestyle to those tired of traffic and endless bars and shopping crowds.

Perfect for students, Adelaide is an affordable city with an arts community and has also been named one of the greenest cities in the world.

Adelaide has breathtaking countryside at a close distance, including an epic wine region. The city of Adelaide possesses a vibrant art scene.

From the B&Bs and vineyards to choose from within an hour’s drive of the CBD, it’s a perfect reason to set off on a winery tour if you have the time.

drive from Adelaide to Melbourne, Adelaide.
Adelaide at night

Shopping In Adelaide

Adelaide also has a vibrant shopping scene, with markets and boutiques and impressively designed buildings to gaze upon.

There are also full streets and lanes dedicated only to food, for all the foodies visiting Adelaide.


Melbourne is the coastal capital of the Australian state of Victoria.

A city rich with arts, culture, food, and wine.  If you pend more than a day in Melbourne, I recommend visiting one of the many bars or top rated restaurants for a meal and people watching.

There are always events on in Melbourne, whether it be an arts festival, food festival or musical theatre show. The many live gigs on every night in the city and surrounding suburbs have provided Melbourne as the live music capital of Australia.

Alternatively, if you are on a budget, one of the main attractions in Melbourne is wandering the graffiti lined alleyways, past hidden breakfast and coffee spots, boutique shopping, and specialty restaurants and cafes.

The coffee is best in Melbourne (yes I am biased!), due to the large Italian population who began visiting here and migrating in the 1850s due to the Victorian Gold Rush needing additional laborers.

Melbourne is a lively city that knows how to live, complete with 5 star restaurants and hotels, to live gigs, plays, festivals, and huge sporting events, surrounded by historic buildings and parks and gardens.

There are many festivals in Melbourne, including writing, anime, design, projections, alongside or within historic laneways lined with fine dining restaurants, cafes, secret bars, and boutiques.

drive from Adelaide to Melbourne, Melbourne.

Adelaide To Melbourne Drive Stops

Inland Route:

Food, wine, events, and wildlife.
STIRLING A town in the Adelaide hills.
A rural township on the Calder Highway.
A farm selling jams, sauces, and condiments made from local produce.
MURRAY BRIDGE Set on the banks of the Murray River.
TAILEM BEND A railway town. Distance from Adelaide: 9 km
COOKE PLAINS A town adjacent to the Dukes Highway.
KI KI A small town on the Dukes Highway.
COONALPYN Named after the Aboriginal word Coonalpyn, which means Barren Woman.
CULBURRA A town on the Dukes Highway, southeast of Adelaide.
TINTINARA A small town situated in the Mallee region of South Australia.
COOMBE  A small rural town in the area of The Coorong.
KEITH A town popular for its cattle and grain crops.
Situated off the Dukes Highway southeast South Australia.
Situated on the Limestone Coast, South Australia.
BORDERTOWN: On the border between South Australia and Victoria.
SERVICETON A small railway town near the border.
KANIVA A small town situated in far west Victoria.
NHILL The halfway mark between Melbourne and Adelaide.
A small town in the Wimmera region, named after the Aboriginal name for leaf.
DIMBOOLA: A quiet town on the Wimmera River.
A small town 15 kilometers from Horsham in Victoria.
HORSHAM A bigger city in the Wimmera region.
Older style town at the border of the Grampians.
Situated in the Grampians, 20 mins for Halls Gap.
Picturesque town between Stawell and Ararat.
ARARAT: 198 kilometers west of Melbourne, is an old gold mining town.
BEAUFORT A town known for wool, forestry, farming, and mining.
BALLARAT: Ballarat is the 3rd largest city in Victoria, possessing a colonial-era heritage,
Distance from Melbourne: 5 kilometres from Bacchus Marsh, 50km north west of Melbourne.
Bustling city full of art, culture, music, food, coffee, and nightlife.

Drive from Adelaide to Melbourne, Adelaide.

Coastal Route:

This list below is bearing in mind you don’t veer off to other destinations. The Adelaide to Melbourne distance is manageable in a day or two, or over a longer time to really see the small coastal towns.

There are many other gorgeous areas in The Otways and surrounds if you do change track for a day or two. Bear in mind the and the Adelaide to 12 apostles route is longer than the Melbourne to 12 Apostles drive.

MOUNT BARKER: 33 kilometers from the Adelaide city centre, and the biggest town in the Adelaide Hills.
ROBE: Gorgeous seaside town in South Australia.
PORT FAIRY A pretty, historic town with an annual legendary festival Port Fairy Folk Festival
WARRNAMBOOL The biggest town on the journey, with over 4 schools, plenty of cafes and large department store shopping.  Attractions include the foreshore beach and whale watching.
PETERBOROUGH A quiet beach side town with mostly locals and stunning surrounding secluded beaches.
PORT CAMPBELL A seaside summer tourist town, plenty of local, main street with cafes pub and accommodation options through the summer.
12 APOSTLES The big tourist attraction the 12 Apostles are currently ** number and a huge rock formations in the sea.
APOLLO BAY: A fun popular summer beach location which is also nearby to the Otways and incredible bushland and forests.  Plenty of food and drink options along this beachside strip.
SKENES CREEK: Smaller swimming and surf spot, quieter for families when Apollo Bay is busy.
LORNE: Tourists flock to Lorne every summer, due to the closer distance from Melbourne, and accommodation options. 
BELLS BEACH: internationally renowned surfing destination, which holds the Rip Curl pro surf comp annually over Easter.

Adelaide To Melbourne Maps

Here below are the two main routes from Adelaide to Melbourne.

Inland Adelaide To Melbourne Map:

Drive from Adelaide to Melbourne map.

Coastal Adelaide To Melbourne Map:

Drive from Adelaide to Melbourne map.


Whichever option you decide for the drive from Adelaide to Melbourne, there are many stops along the way. Whether it be to refuel or take in all the regional towns or beaches. 

If you have never done the coastal drive, have enough travel time and love views, The Great Ocean road should definitely be added to your Adelaide to Melbourne journey.

People are generally friendly and will offer advice or answer any queries on the area.

This spectacular part of the world will leave an impression whether you drive over one day or 10.

If you drive direct and decide to take the inland route, Adelaide and Melbourne have top art, culture, and food to experience while in each city.

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