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Beech Forest

Located 43 km south of Colac on the northern edge of the Otway Ranges, Beech Forest is a tiny township which achieved its moment of national fame in 1983 when a 61-year-old local potato farmer, Cliff Young, won the Sydney to Melbourne Ultra Marathon.  Now Beech Forest is the home to many wonderful food and primary producers as well as the centre of the Otway Harvest Trail.

 

 

The town was named after the Beech (myrtle) trees which abound in the local area.  It was first settled by Europeans in the 1880s as a result of pressure to open the Otway Ranges to settlement.  The first land selection occurred in 1884 and the first pub was built four years later.  It is claimed that the pub was completed using timber from a single giant mountain ash.

With the abundance of this kind of timber, Beech Forest quickly became a major centre for the local timber industry.  There were 29 timber mills in district at one point.

This was compounded when, in 1902, the railway from Colac arrived. It was a narrow gauge railway and when it was extended to Crowes it became the longest narrow gauge railway in Victoria.  The railway provided transport for local timber and huge stands of beech, blackwood and ash were cut down.  This historic route is now home to the popular Old Beechy Rail Trail, where walkers or cyclists can experience picturesque forests, farmland and abundant wildlife.

During the period from the end of World War I the town became a major centre for potato production because of its acclaimed fertile soil.  In 1919 a bushfire destroyed the town and was rebuilt to the east of the original site.

Beech Forest is a central point to access some of the Otways most beautiful waterfalls and scenic drives:

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  • Triplet Falls & Little Aire Falls - 4 km west of Beech Forest.
  • Beauchamp Falls & Hopetoun Falls - approximately 7km south east of Beech Forest
  • Old Beech Rail Trail
  • California Redwoods - a spectacular forest of giant Californian Redwoods (Sequoia trees) planted in 1939.
  • Turtons Track - east of Beech Forest this is a beautiful 17km tourist route through thick rainforest vegetation.
  • Otway Fly Treetop Adventures - a spectacular 600 metre long, 25 metre high elevated treetop walk.

Download a copy of the Otways Walks & Waterfalls Guide here

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Highlights

Otways Forest, Walks & Waterfalls Tours

Beginning in Skenes Creek, the Otway Forests, Walks and Waterfalls tour heads inland toward Turtons Track, a winding stretch of road that looks like it was built for a sports car commercial. Stop at Beech Forest for a coffee before continuing to the Otway Fly and cascading Triplet Falls. Back on the road, head towards the Cape Otway Lightstation. Between May and October keep a lookout for koalas and whales. Back on the road heading toward Apollo Bay, stop at Maits Rest and follow the wooden boardwalk through an ancient forest to a 300 year old Myrtle Beech tree. Finish in Apollo Bay, perhaps with some fresh local fish and a glass of wine. Further details and maps for the Otway Forests, Walks and Waterfalls Tour are available at local visitor information centres.

Old Beechy Trail

Running between Colac and Beech Forest, the trail traverses an railway line, rainforest, creeks, streams and open farmland. The 45km track is surfaced with gravel and some dirt road/heavy gravel in shorter sections. A word of advice that may influence your travel direction – Gellibrand is the lowest point and Beech Forest one of the highest.

Turtons Track

A stretch of road that takes perfect curves through towering rainforest, a drive along Turtons Track will have you feeling like the star of a new sports car commercial. It is considered the prettiest section of road in the forest, linking Tanybryn with Beech Forest.

Auswalk Walking Holidays

Come and experience the real Australia on foot with Auswalk Walking Holidays. Do not watch it pass you by from the windows of a vehicle, get out there and be a part of it! Auswalk Walking Holidays offer guided groups of like-minded people day hikes in fabulous national parks. There are two guides looking after each group, so you will have a choice of easy or hard walks each day. At night stay in comfortable accommodations and enjoy good food and wine. Auswalk Walking Holidays also have self-guided walks through superb National Parks from one accommodation to the next. Walk with your own group of two or more people and start any day of the year. You will be supported along the way with luggage transfers, marked maps and detailed walk notes. Auswalk Walking Holidays can customise a trip for you, your club, group of friends or family. Victorian destinations include the Grampians as it is the best place to see native animals in the wild. There is a rich indigenous history as well as challenging hiking to magnificent rocky peaks. Another great destination is Great Alpine Walk, traverse Victoria's high country, staying overnight in secluded alpine villages. Great Ocean Walk is a long time favourite, this iconic track hugs the southern ocean in parts and ventures inland into the mighty forests of the Otway Ranges. You will see kangaroos while on the track. Great South West Walk is a perfect choice for those who enjoy walking long distances on easy terrain. Highlights include the Glenelg River Gorge and the Three Capes section. Other destinations around the country include the Flinders Ranges, Snowy Mountains and many other beautiful national parks around Australia. Please enquire with Auswalk Walking Holidays for more information.

Great Ocean Walk

The Great Ocean Walk, on Victoria's spectacular west coast, stretches 104km from the idyllic resort town of Apollo Bay, to within sight of the magnificent 12 Apostles. Weave through beautiful National Parks, walk deserted beaches and gaze over pristine marine sanctuaries. Step on and off the trail with convenience; enjoy comfortable accommodation and excellent local meals or pitch your tent at wildly picturesque spots along the way. You can walk at your own pace and within your own timeframe along the Great Ocean Walk. Short walks of up to 3 hours long are available and take in old shipwrecks, historic lighthouses and lookouts. Or, take a full-day walk and experience breathtaking ocean views, stunning waterfalls, lush forest, and more natural wonders. The full walk from Apollo Bay to Glenample, within sight of the 12 Apostles, is an 8 day, 7 night walk. There are hike in campsites along the way, or for a more luxurious approach stay in quality accommodation properties nearby and have licensed tour operators shuttle you and your belongings back and forth each day.

Otway Harvest Trail

The unique combination of aspect, soils, climate and farming practices of the Otway hinterland produce distinctive and exceptional flavours in our produce that cannot be found anywhere else. The Otway Harvest Trail is a celebration of the seasons that bestow their rich bounty on a luscious part of Victoria. Spring is a time of plenty and promise. As the winter gives way to warm sunny days, see the bright patchwork of yellow canola fields appear, the farmers out mowing their grass and baling their hay and the spring lambs frolicking on a frosty morning. The first berries appear. Green shoots can be seen in the vineyards as the vines burst their buds and flowers and spring vegetables appear at farm gate stalls. New release wines can be found at cellar doors. Summer is all about being outdoors. All the berry farms have opened and their sweet juicy berries are ripe for the picking. The lush emerald green of the vineyards become more distinctive as the land around slowly turns a golden brown. People clamour for outdoor tables and chairs at cafés and restaurants to soak in the warm days, mild evenings and glorious pastel sunsets. Local wines and beers go so well with the seafood, vegetables and fruits in plentiful supply. Wine lovers are welcomed at cellar doors and their curiosity is rewarded with the discovery of new wines. Autumn is a time of harvest. The days become still and warm, and the crisp cool nights are perfect for sleeping. With the winter rains not far away, the wineries are busy harvesting their fruit and the vignerons hands become garnet red as they nurture the new wines through their ferment. It is also time to harvest the olives from their groves before the first frosts of winter arrive. Smell the fruity aroma of the extra virgin olive oil as it flows from the presses. The last of the berries are picked. Winter is a time for taking stock of the seasons passed and making ready for the farming year ahead. The farmers plough their fields and sow their winter crops. Vineyards, olive groves and orchards are pruned and readied for a new season. Fences are mended. The days shorten and become colder. Cattle turn their backs to the wind. Dams pent over the summer begin to refill. Root vegetables appear at the farm gate stands. It’s a time for reflection and for savouring the joys of recently harvested produce. Lengthy conversations occur over bottles of wine in front of toasty log fires. Eventually the tell tale signs of another Spring begin to appear.

Gellibrand River Gallery

Nestled in the heart of the Otways, the Gellibrand River Gallery is only two hours from Melbourne and just 20 minutes from Colac. Supporting local artists, The Gallery provides an additional retail outlet and has a large range of works for sale from glassware, jewellery and cards to photography, textiles and woodwork. The Gallery also aims to provide a stimulating and encouraging exhibition space for its Consignee Artists to exhibit. Exhibitions change each month and may vary from traditional, sculptural and contemporary to fine art, experimental and installation. Exhibitions and installations in The Gallery's Exhibition Space mix Feature Artists and Themes throughout the year.

Calma Candles

Calma Candles are pure essential oil candles, that are hand poured and created on site. The Calma Candles are sold directly to the public from their aromatic workshop on the Great Ocean Road near Lavers Hill. Lavers Hill is a perfect stop as you head to, or from the 12 Apostles. Calma Candles was established ten years ago and has become part of the Otways and the Great Ocean Road journey. Using a good amount of beautiful natural plant extracts in every aromatic candle and making their candles and products fresh mean you get a delightful and unique piece of pure indulgence from the region. The Calma Candles range consists of aromatic essential oil candles, soy massage candles and melts as well as beeswax candles. Calma Candles also sell essential oil room diffusers and other handcrafted goods. A pop up studio is open most days, although please call if you are making a special trip.

Karmic Goat Soapworks

Karmic Goat Soapworks is nestled in the Otway Rainforest, near Apollo Bay. Established as a dairy in 1900, Fernside Farm has gone back to its roots - offering goats milk soap and body care products from their stud herd of holistically raised Saanen milking goats. The all natural goats milk soap, and indeed all the products, are handcrafted at the farm and the delightfully smelly Farm Shop is situated in the original farmhouse. Karmic Goat offer a huge variety of soaps, skincare products, salves, balms and liniments, herbal and aromatherapy products. Workshops for groups: Make your own body care and herbal products under the guidance of qualified herbal practitioner and soap maker Bea Gardner. Meet the goats: the girls are usually hanging around in the paddocks near the entrance to the farm shop after morning milking. The best time to view them is therefore in the morning, before they make their way off to the free range pasture. Keep up to date with workshop availability and all other product information by visiting the website. Online shopping is also available.

Otway Herbs

Otway Herbs is a nursery with a difference, set in large terraced garden with magnificent views across the Otway valleys and out to the ocean. It is situated high in the hills behind Skenes Creek 12kms by road from Apollo Bay, 8kms off the Great Ocean Road, via Wild Dog and Busty Roads. The nursery has been open since 1982 and is well known for the huge variety of plants, with an emphasis on herbs but also growing fragrant plants, salvias, perennials, medicinal's, shrubs and trees, and indigenous natives. The plants are all propagated on site using biodynamic compost, using biodynamic methods in the garden for 20 years. The nursery and garden is open every day from 9am to 5pm, there is no entry fee but donations to maintain the garden are welcome. Also for sale is the gardens own dried packaged herb tea, oregano etc, massage oils and herbal body and face creams. Children are welcome to play in the large sand pit or explore the large garden with its many sculptures. Dogs are also allowed as long as they are well behaved and don't chase the many birds that live in the garden.

Seahorse Natural Therapies

Run by Lizzie, a qualified AAMT (Australian Association of Massage Therapists) certified and registered Remedial Massage practitioner with over 11 years experience in the health and wellness services. Seahorse Natural Therapies specialises in remedial and relaxation massage treatments, along with facials and ear candling. Seahorse Natural Therapies is perfect for people of all ages visiting the greater Apollo Bay area, who are looking to add an extra activity to their health and relaxation routine on their break. Seahorse Natural Therapies is located in a peaceful studio at Surf Avenue in Skenes Creek, within six kilometres from Apollo Bay along the Great Ocean Road. If you would rather relax in your accommodation, then a mobile service is an option with prior booking and availability. Please contact for further details. Take some time out and treat yourself or friend to a soothing relaxation massage or facial. For those with muscular pain, Seahorse Natural Therapies provide a more comprehensive treatment specific to your needs, such as Bowen Therapy combined with massage. When you leave you will feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Gift Vouchers are available for all treatments. Health Insurance rebate is available for Remedial Massage. For any further information please contact Seahorse Natural Therapies or view the website. Seahorse Natural Therapies is a Member of Australian Association of Massage Therapists.

Longhorn YOUnique Tours

Longhorn YOUnique Tours is a 2014 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award winner and travel to the Great Ocean Road, the Otway's Rainforest, Grampians, Phillip Island, the Yarra Valley and can also customise a tour to suit. You will see spectacular scenery, wildlife in the natural environment, learn about the area's history and culture, enjoy homemade treats and great accommodation as Longhorn's expert guides take you on a journey of discovery. Eco Tourism and Respecting their Culture accredited, Longhorn YOUnique Tours is a family owned business operated by Garry and Shirley Hamel, two Australians who know and understand the beauty of the country. With a range of tours from one day to multiple day tours and private or customised tours to choose from. Longhorn YOUnique Tours believe that guests should not feel rushed so tours are conducted in small groups travelling in luxury four wheel-drive vehicles with your comfort and needs a top priority. A maximum of six people on each tour will give you a personalised experience to remember. Longhorn YOUnique Tours are part of the Extinction Fighters program and have adopted a Tasmanian Devil at Healesville Sanctuary. Free wireless internet onboard all tours. Contact the friendly staff at Longhorn YOUnique Tours to enquire.

Simmonds Photo Safaris: Personalised Tours

At Simmonds Photo Safaris, David offers personalised one-on-one and small group photography coaching on location in the beautiful Otways and Great Ocean Road region. What better time than when you are on holidays in stunning surroundings to indulge your passion for photography. David is an award-winning photographer with over 30 years professional experience. Now based in Johanna, with a strong focus on fine art photography and mentoring/tutoring others. David has exhibited many times, with works hung in corporate and private collections. Each session is tailor-made. So whatever your current abilities, whether you are a newbie or experienced, you can grow your confidence and improve your skills. David will endeavour to coach, share technical knowledge, train and support your abilities as well as mentor your journey. Mentoring is more personal and more focused, committed to the long term creative journey and development of each of you. You can work at your own pace and level, whilst being challenged creatively and technically in a supportive and enjoyable learning environment. This is a creative safari, a journey for the eye, heart and mind.

Walk91 Self Guided Great Ocean Walk

Based in Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road, 'Walk 91' will plan your itinerary for your perfect 'Great Ocean Walk'. As Walk91 Self Guided Great Ocean Walk is a self guided walking tour, so you can walk at your own pace. All you have to decide is who to bring along and which date suits you. Before the self guided walk begins, there will be a safety briefing by a previous Parks Victoria Ranger in Apollo Bay, to provide you with expert advice before your walk commences. The walks are well signposted, so perfect for a self-guided walk. All walkers are provided with 'Personal Locator Beacons', so that you are never far from help if it is needed. Before the walk you will be given a personal safety beacon (EPIRB), a small lightweight first aid kit, walking poles, detailed walking notes, photos of flora and fauna and maps. Also on the tour you will receive fly nets, Otway Light Station entry tickets and an experienced driver who lives along the Great Ocean Walk. Walk 91 will transfer your heavy bags, so on your self guided walks you just have a small backpack. While your heavy luggage waiting for you at your chosen accommodation. Enjoy hiking to your accommodation or campsites, changing locations whilst walking. This reduces long transfer times and gives you the opportunity to experience different accommodation and camping spots along the Great Ocean Walk. The 12 Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge visits are available, and are included in several Walk91 Self Guided Great Ocean Walk packages. For further information please visit the website or contact one of the team.

Apollo Bay Aviation

Apollo Bay Aviation wants you to take one of Australia's most famous scenic flights in either a helicopter or aeroplane. Experience the adventure and see the best of the rugged Victorian coast in a single day. From Melbourne, drive along the world famous Great Ocean Road through Anglesea and Lorne to Apollo Bay. This drive is one of the most scenic drives in the world. Once at Apollo Bay, fly the rest of the Great Ocean Road via the historical Shipwreck Coast to the 12 Apostles in a high wing aircraft that offers unrestricted views of the spectacular coast below. The flight route follows the Great Ocean Walk along The Shipwreck Coast so you can experience spectacular views as you return to Apollo Bay in time for lunch, just before a leisurely trip back home via the verdant Otway National Park. Please contact Apollo Bay Aviation if you would like further information or to book an incredible scenic flight.

Apollo Bay Surf and Kayak

Apollo Bay Surf and Kayak offers a range of activities including surf lessons, Vegemite surfgroms, kayaking to the seal colony, snorkelling tours, rafting and fishing, surf board and body board hire, wetsuit and beach hire, camping and fishing, great ocean road bike hire, hire camping hire, group and school multi day camps. Apollo bay surf and kayak also offer accredited accommodation, which includes the above activities plus Aboriginal history tours, light station tours, horse riding, rock pool rambles and team building. Apollo bay surf and kayak can arrange transport to and from different locations of the great ocean walk, rental and transfers of camping gear, experienced tour guides, corporate programs, overnight packages, food provisions and transfers. Please contact Apollo Bay Surf and Kayak for further information.

Glow worms in the Otways

The Otways has worms. Glorious little glow worms can be found at sites throughout the Otway National Park after dark. They are generally found in dark, damp places - like soil banks with overhanging ledges, along creek embankments and beside walking tracks. The worms are not actually worms, rather they are the larvae of fly-like insects called fungus gnats. The larvae prey on small insects - as such they produce sticky threads. The glow emitted from their abdomen attracts insects who are then trapped in the sticky threads. Glow worms are shy creatures - torches, loud noises or touching them may disturb the glow worms and case them to 'switch off' their light and retreat into a crack. Glow worms are often found at Melba Gully, and near the Grey River Picnic Area at Kennett River. It's a good idea to take a torch to find your way along the tracks after dark, but avoid shining the light directly at the glow worms.

Forrest Mountain Biking

There are 8 separate mountain bike trails in the Forrest Mountain Bike precinct. There is more than 50km of purpose built track in the area ranging from rated from easy trails to extreme and strenuous tracks. The Otway Odyssey, Forrest 6 hr ride and Rainforest Ride events during the year are adding to Forrest’s reputation among the growing Australian mountain bike community.

Massage Therapist Eija Tibbits

Remedial Massage Therapist Eija Tibbits has a clinic in Apollo Bay. She also has a mobile massage service available if you prefer massage in the comfort of your accommodation. Relaxation massage has an important role in stress management. It can greatly improve sleep and reduce anxiety. It enhances blood and lymph circulation and helps to eliminate toxins from the body. Remedial massage is used to address the muscular aches and pains and to recreate the balance within the body. This is done by using relaxation massage techniques and incorporating modalities such as trigger point therapy, myofascial massage techniques and muscle energy technique. As everybody is an individual, so is each massage unique based on issues apparent at the time. Relaxation massage can be given as a present in a form of a gift voucher. Member of Australian Association of Massage Therapists. Private health fund rebates available.

Forrest Brewing Company

Forrest Brewing Company equal parts micro brewery, eating place and mountain biking hang-out. Offering a true boutique product not widely available outside of Forrest, all beers are brewed using water from the Otway's rainforest. The Forrest Brewing Company embodies all of the things to love about life, great beer, informal eating, good people, mountain biking and some occasional fishing all surrounded by an active community and beautiful environment. The restaurant serves fresh, informal, locally sourced food including breakfasts, lunch and dinners, washed down with our micro-brewed beer or locally roasted coffee. Forrest Brewing Company is an Independently owned, family run business, supporting a small regional township. Brother and sister duo Matt and Sharon Bradshaw resurrected and rebuilt the former general store in Forrest, opening its doors in late 2010. It is a relatively young micro brewery on the Victorian beer scene with four standard beers available on tap for tasting and take-away, limited release beers available each season. The beer is produced in small 600 litre batches, the working brewery can be seen via a viewing window, all beers are brewed on site, nothing is contracted. The Forrest Brewing Company, provides a place to stop, take a break, rest and relax in unique natural surrounds. The prefect start or end to your day's Mountain Biking or journey through the Great Ocean Road region.

Apollo Bay Fishing

There are loads of great fishing spots in and around Apollo Bay. Try near the harbour, from the beach or just beyond the point towards Marengo. There are also freshwater streams nearby worth a try.

Cape Otway Lightstation

Cape Otway Lightstation is Australia's most important lighthouse. The Light established in 1848 is perched on towering sea cliffs 90 metres above where Bass Straight and Southern Ocean collide. Experience the thrill of stepping out onto the Lighthouse Balcony for awesome views, and hear the amazing history of tragic shipwrecks on this isolated and rugged coastline from the passionate Guides. Explore the historic Telegraph Station from 1859 and discover Australia's extraordinary secret war history from WW2. Appreciate and understand local Aboriginal Culture at the Aboriginal Cultural Site, with stories from local guides. Visitors can also enjoy bush tucker, spear throwing, painting and many other activities. Watch whales at play and soak up the natural beauty and atmosphere for a few hours or stay overnight in the unique, historic Lightkeepers accommodation. Ideally suited to families, groups, couples or friends. B&B or longer stays. Cape Otway Lightstation is an excellent location to base yourself, being a highlight of the Great Ocean Road and at the centre of the Great Ocean Walk. Fantastic fishing, swimming, waterfalls and walks are nearby. The Lightkeeper's Wife's Cafe offers coffee, homemade scones and local produce all made fresh on site. The Café is located in the original Assistant Lightkeeper's cottage, with a painting and photo gallery including fascinating historic audio stories of lightkeeper's wives and children. Free wifi and daily newspapers. Discover the coast on the Lightkeeper's Shipwreck Discovery Tour, running daily. Walk in the footsteps of lightkeepers along the Great Ocean Walk with experienced and knowledgeable local guides. Located a short drive off the Great Ocean Road, through serene forests where you are guaranteed to see koalas.

Dinny Goonan Wines

Dinny Goonan Wines is one of a handful of families pioneering grape and wine production in the Otway hinterland. Their wines have won numerous awards since the first commercial release in 2001. The vineyard and cellar door are conveniently situated on the inland road to Lorne, between Winchelsea and Deans Marsh. This location provides a great springboard to explore the Otways and surrounding attractions, and they are happy to share some local knowledge of other places to see and visit. Visitors are welcome to taste their wines and relax in the peaceful vineyard setting. You can find out more about the wines by talking to Dinny the winemaker, or stroll around the vineyard and winery. Vineyard platters are available on weekends between November and April and every day during January, so it is a great chance to take some time out to enjoy the wines, surrounded by the vines that produced them. The platters have a regional focus providing the opportunity to match local wines with regional produce. The only distractions will come from the Crimson Rosellas and Blue Winged Grass Parrots that have made the vineyard their home. They also offer a great coffee and a selection of local foodstuffs and oils. And then of course, there are their award winning wines. As a family run enterprise, everything is very much "hands on". The vines are hand pruned; they pick the grapes by hand and use traditional vinification and elevage techniques within the modern winery. They specialize in the production of cool climate Shiraz and Riesling. They also produce limited quantities of Cabernets (a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec), a Semillon/Sauvignon and a Sparkling wine (a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay) which are available exclusively to their cellar door customers.

Edge Gallery Lorne

Edge Gallery Lorne showcases the beautiful Fine Art Landscape Photography of multi-international award winning Australian photographer, Will Dielenberg. Will's imagery is greatly influenced by coastal Southern Victoria, having lived, surfed and photographed the Great Ocean Road coastline for almost 40 years. It's the love and affinity that he has for the region that continues to motivate and inspire. Will's art in imaging is not restricted to the Surfcoast and you will find many unique works representing the iconic Australian destinations and also those magical hard to reach locations known to very few. From the brilliance of the largest Limited Edition prints, destined to grace the walls of the largest homes, corporate and hotel receptions, to the broad range of Open Edition prints available in sizes to suit even the smallest of rooms, there is something for everyone. Whether it be to experience the luminance, colour and composition of one of Will's two metre masterpieces or if you are considering a smaller print or something in between, Edge Gallery is must see experience when you are next in Lorne. Will Dielenberg is an Associate Member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography. Edge Gallery Lorne looks forward to your visit.

Gentle Annie Berry Gardens

Nestled in the picturesque Pennyroyal Valley near Deans Marsh; Gentle Annie Berry Gardens look forward to welcoming you and your family to their berry farm. Spend time wandering the farm picking a variety of berries and orchard fruit, or simply drop in for a coffee and piece of cake, Devonshire tea, lunch or afternoon tea in the licensed cafe. Gluten free and dairy free offered on menu. When possible Gentle Annie choose to use organic produce and products. Our suppliers are local including the wines, beers and ciders. In the produce shop you will find a variety of Gentle Annie's jams, chutney's, sorbets and a selection of local produce.

Otway Estate

Otway Estate occupies a forest clearing in the northern foothills of the lovely Otway range. Initially a winery, the mainstay of the business is now the hand-crafted Prickly Moses Beer and Forbidden Fruit Cider manufactured on-site. Otway Estate offers self-contained spa cottage accommodation set amongst the bush with views over the vines. Relaxing spas, your own deck, undercover parking and plenty of privacy, the cottages really do offer a unique getaway and enable guests to experience the peace and tranquillity of the bush surrounds. Now dog friendly, Otway Estate welcomes well behaved canines on leash. Both in the Brewery outlet and accommodation, you are welcome to visit with your canine companion. Also now offering dog training facilities at the Estate with a qualified dog trainer. Any beer connoisseur knows you need good water to make good beer. The beers are produced using pure Otway rainwater, so not only are they good beers, they are sensational beers. Offering an excellent conference and function facility, Otway Estate is available for functions, special events, conferences, weddings and group bookings from the small and intimate to large and corporate, they can cater to your needs. The Brewery Outlet is open Friday through Sunday from 11:00am to 5:00pm, offering light bar meals from 12:00 to 3:00pm. Held each year is the Estate's Oktoberfest event, offering authentic food, music and of course great beer - it is an event not to miss.

Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park

The Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park offers a unique opportunity to experience Australian wildlife in an interactive and natural way. Take the time to hand-feed the friendly kangaroos, wallabies, emu and deer in the large petting section. Then take a walk around the sanctuary to observe more animals in a free range environment. Get close up with dingoes and experience how truly amazing they are. Guided entry into the newly renovated and expanded dingo enclosure, free of charge (usually $5) for the whole month of May 2015. Enjoy delicious home baked pizzas and great coffee / tea in the licensed Wildlife Park Cafe. Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park is located 20 minutes from the Twelve Apostles. You will need at least 30 minutes for your visit, so you can enjoy and experience interacting with all the Australian wildlife.

Geelong Wine Region

Whether it is the distinctive maritime flavours of The Bellarine, the ancient richness of the Moorabool Valley Wine Region or the rugged, exposed coastline of the Surf Coast, the Geelong Wine Region is united by boutique, family owned winegrowers producing premium quality hand crafted wines. With each sub region and winery displaying their own unique characteristics, visitors are invited to explore the diversity of the Geelong Wine Region's stunning scenery, touring routes and restaurants whilst sampling some of Victoria's finest cellar door experiences. Geelong's family owned boutique operators maximise their wine's potential by hand pruning, hand picking and hand crafting their wines allowing regional characters to develop. Areas within the region have varying microclimates influencing the depth of colour, bouquet and flavour of the wines. The Bellarine has a maritime climate with bay breeezes and spectacular views, whilst the hills and valleys of the Moorabool Valley – Anakie areas have a warm, continental style climate. The renowned Surf Coast is famous for its long summer days and cooling ocean breezes. James Halliday in his Wine Atlas of Australia and New Zealand wrote: "If there is a unifying feature in all of the Geelong wines, it is their strength and depth of colour, bouquet and flavour." Not only does the Geelong wine region produce some of Australia's best wines, but the wineries are surrounded by some of Victoria's best scenery and touring opportunities. The Geelong Wine Region. Fine wines – from our hands to yours. For a map of the winery region visit: http://www.winegeelong.com.au/wine_region/map

The Surf Coast Walk

Whether you're a nature lover or a fun lover, whether you take an hour, a day or a week, the Surf Coast Walk puts a stunning and unique coastal environment within easy reach. - Offering natural beauty and easy access - A world-class walking destination for all to enjoy - On the edge of the stunning Great Ocean Road - Do a section or do it all; at your own pace - More than a walk, over half the track is suitable for bikes Relish the rich ochre of the Bells Beach cliffs, the deep blue of Bass Strait and the leafy green of eucalypt forects. Discover traditional Wathaurung country, fascinating surf culture and abundant wildlife as the walk connects you with the coastal town comforts of Torquay, Anglesea and Aireys Inlet.

You Yangs

Rising from the flat, volcanic plains between Geelong and Melbourne, the granite peaks of the You Yangs are a terrific destination for many outdoor activities. Walk to Flinders Peak for panoramic views of Geelong, Corio Bay, the Western Districts and beyond. There are several walking tracks within the park catering for varying abilities. The You Yangs are popular for mountain biking; the two designated mountain bike areas offer 50km of track. The park is also popular for rock climbing, abseiling and horse riding and there are BBQ and picnic areas available, as well as toilets.

Skydive The Beach and Beyond Great Ocean Road

Leap into the sky with Skydive The Beach and Beyond Great Ocean Road on a tandem skydiving adventure and surf the air currents above famous Bells Beach, marvel at lush coastal bush and farmland as you free fall from up to 14,000 feet. Skydiving the Great Ocean Road is one of Victoria's best skydiving adventures - let the tandem skydiving team show you Barwon Heads like you've never seen it before.
 

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Packages & Offers

High Tea on the High Seas - Searoad Ferries

Experience High Tea on the High Seas in the privacy of the Portsea Lounge on board the Queenscliff Sorrento Ferry.

Blues Train & BIG 4 Beacon Resort - May and August

Enjoy the legendary Blues Train and the equally legendary BIG4 Beacon Resort with this package, from $497 for two people.

Family Supatramp & Stay Package at BIG4 Beacon Resort

Bring the kids and their bucketloads of energy to BIG 4 Beacon Resort with this Supatramp accommodation deal for 2 adults and 2 children, from $459.

High Tea on the High Seas - Searoad Ferries

Experience High Tea on the High Seas in the privacy of the Portsea Lounge on board the Queenscliff Sorrento Ferry.
Enjoy table service in elegant surroundings, exquisite food, quality tea and real coffee!

$40.00 per person and includes immediate return travel on the same ferry for a leisurely experience.

Every Sunday from February to November
12pm sailing from Sorrento
3pm sailing from Queenscliff.

To book visit www.searoad.com.au or contact 03 5258 3244

 

Blues Train & BIG 4 Beacon Resort - May and August

Enjoy the legendary Blues Train and the equally legendary BIG4 Beacon Resort with this package, from $497 for two people:

  • $40.00 per person and includes immediate return travel on the same ferry for a leisurely experience.
  • 2 nights accommodation.
  • Charcuterie Plate dinner and live band at Flying Brick Cider House, and a 1 litre cider ‘Growler’ to take home.
  • $50 voucher for Mud Day Spa, located at the resort.
  • Breakfast hamper.
  • Extend your stay with early check in (10am) and late check out (6pm).
  • P: 5258 1133 or book online

Only valid for Blues Train events in May and August 2015. Terms & conditions apply.

 

Family Supatramp & Stay Package at BIG4 Beacon Resort

Bring the kids and their bucketloads of energy to BIG 4 Beacon Resort with this Supatramp accommodation deal for 2 adults and 2 children, from $459.

  • 2 nights in a Queenscliff cabin.
  • A Supatramp pass for each child including an hour of clip ‘n climb and an hour of trampolining, plus socks and $10 to spend in the café.
  • 1 hour GoKart hire at the resort.
  • Unlimited DVD hire and a milkshake for each child from the resort shop.
  • Late 6pm checkout.
  • P: 1800 351 152 or book online

Offer available from 11 March to 30 April 2015. Terms and conditions apply.

 

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