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Five Days of Excellent Touring with Great Private Tours and Elijah My wife and I spent six nights in Melbourne and three days on the Great Ocean Road in February. I researched and talked with many tour operators when I planned our month-long visit to Australia, including at least five tour operators in the Melbourne area. My interactions with Steve, the owner of Great Private Tours in Melbourne, were extensive and valuable. He provided excellent insights and suggestions that improved our visit to the Melbourne area. His offerings were very reasonable and included excellent tour vehicles and amenities. It was a wonderful experience dealing with him. I highly recommend him. We ended up spending six days with Great Private Tours in one of their Mercedes Viano vans. The first two days included the Full-day Melbourne Tour and the Phillips Island Penguin Parade. Both were led by Elijah McLeod. The third tour went to the Mornington Peninsula with Steve, the owner. Mornington is a beautiful area and really shouldn’t be missed if you have the time while in Melbourne. We then spent the last three days on a tour of the Great Ocean Road with Elijah again. The quality of these tours was excellent and included little extras like (a) varying maps and really high quality publications relevant to our destination for the day; (b) Wi-Fi hotspots in the car so we never lacked Internet access when needed; (c) bottles of water; (d) a small refrigerator in the car; etc.. While Steve was the man I most interacted with while planning the trip, Elijah was the man who had to implement the plans. There’s little to add about Elijah beyond he is simply the very best guide we’re had in our years of touring. He’s the kindest man I’ve ever met. He greeted everyone we passed. He always asked and remembered the names of everyone we dealt with at shops, restaurants, hotels, wineries, etc. He offered to take pictures of folks who were struggling to include themselves in photos. My wife doesn’t walk distances or go up steps well, so he always found ways to get her to where we were going with as little walking and steps as possible and was always at her side to help her. He always asked if we needed water, a restroom break, a better temperature in the car, a charge for our phones, a Wi-Fi hotspot, a blanket, etc. He drove safely. He came up with wonderful new ideas for places to see and things to do as he learned about our interests. For example, on the second day of our Great Ocean Road trip, he arranged for us to visit the Narrapumelap Home, a Victorian-era French Gothic Revival country mansion in Wickliffe built by John Wyselaskie in 1873, and meet its new owner and restorer, Kevin McIntyre, for a personal tour of the magnificent house and grounds. Elijah grew up with Kevin and his family in this area. I can guarantee this is a stop not on anyone else’s tour. I highly recommend Great Private Tours and Elijah to anyone thinking of private tours in Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road.
Silverstreak46
Silverstreak46
2020-02-26
Jam-packed day! Steve from GPT was great to work with and was a fantastic tour guide. I am the type that likes to do as many things as possible and Steve created an agenda that helped us do and see all the things we wanted. He was very accommodating, polite, and professional. Steve was flexible with timing since some locations we wanted a little longer time at and others we were ok to move along. Steve was great at giving us the background and history to many of the locations and answered many questions. Wouldn't hesitate to book a tour with him again.
Derek
Derek
2020-02-16
Amazing private tour! Despite the bad weather the day we had the tour, Steve still made it an absolutely enjoyable tour, he was very knowledgeable and answered all the questions we had and we had great conversations on our journey. We got to see the beautiful natures of Victoria, the 12 apostles, rain forests, and even koalas and kangaroos, we had a delicious seafood lunch and a few small refreshing hikes. The car was also extremely comfortable! Would highly recommend this private tour!
Rania L
Rania L
2020-01-14
Really amazing great private tour We were picked up at our hotel by Brenden. He was a great guide and gave us a lot of information about the tour, but also about Australia. On forehand we changed the restaurant for lunch (our kids do not like seafood) and we went to the best lunchplace ever, great burgers and curry! The helicopterride was really a bonus, what a beautifull views and because we did the reverse tour we were there just before the big crowd arrived, this also was the case for the walk to the 12 Apostles. Seeing those made me emotional.
Dianne D
Dianne D
2020-01-11
Best way to see Australia! Best way to see Australia! I can not say enough good things about Steve Andrew and our day with him on the Great Ocean Road. Approaching the GOR in reverse was exactly what we were looking for to avoid the crowds. Steve was very knowledgeable about the things that we saw and experienced. The vehicles were very clean and comfortable. Steve was on time to pick us up and return us to our house so we could make connections for other activities. We had such a positive experience on this tour that we booked another tour for a second day. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone visiting Australia.
Robin F
Robin F
2019-12-31
Traveling with a disabled person Steve took us on a half a day tour of Melbourne and we enjoyed it so much we asked him to take us on a full day to Dandenong Ranges/Rickett Sanctuaries/steam train tour. He was friendly and very knowledgeable but what made the tours special was his flexibility accommodating my disabled friend so she could enjoy the experience fully. He went out of his way to spot wild life for her since she wished it so much. We’re thankful to Steve for helping us enjoy Melbourne and showing us great places for shopping and eating too!
T6717TUelenab
T6717TUelenab
2019-12-23
Couldn't have asked for more. I have to say that this was probably one of our favorite tours while in Australia. Others just couldn’t measure up to this one. Our tour stared with a pick up at our hotel by Steve in a really nice Benz van, with water. From the very start Steve was friendly, warm, and informative. He was very knowledgeable and made the entire trip enjoyable. Our first stop was a small coffee shop run out a garage. A welcome first stop after we got out of the city traffic, with good coffee and a delicious sticky muffin. Steve took us on a “reverse” loop so as to arrive at the Apostles before the larger bus tours would. At the 12 Apostles we had a 15 minute flight over the Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge. What wonderful view, one you can’t get by they shoreside lookouts. We got some really cool pictures, and splurged to buy the video taken during the flight. On the way back, we stopped in Apollo Bay for lunch. The included lunch exceed all expectations. Delicious seafood, relaxing environment, and a friendly, and talented, chef. Apollo Bay provided for some retail therapy too. From there we went to Melba Gully, named after Dame Nellie Melba. The best way to describe it is a rain forest park. On the way back had stops to see koalas, feed parrots, see kangaroos “playing golf”, visit historical sites, all while Steve provided colorful and entertaining commentary. I felt this trip wasn’t just a guide taking us around, but a mate who enjoyed showing guests the Great Ocean Road. For a full day adventure of 12 hours, this was well worth price. I would highly recommend tour.
S2161TMfred
S2161TMfred
2019-12-15
AUZ2019 What a fantastic trip!!! Steven Andrew was a phenomenal guide - so many fun and interesting facts plus first-rate tour experience. Could not have been more pleased! A must item to book when you are in Melbourne!
GBAllen
GBAllen
2019-12-14
Dandenong, Puffing Billy Tour, William Ricketts It was a fantastic tour, Steve is very knowledgeable and personable. He explained what we were seeing and ensured we had a good time.
Mike P
Mike P
2019-09-03
Amazing tour A fabulous tour of an amazing place with an excellent informed guide. A real treasure. I recommend this tour to everyone
Alicia P
Alicia P
2019-08-24