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Nature & Wildlife

In a region that is best known for the pristine natural environment, there are loads of ways to get back to nature or have encounters with wildlife.

Nature puts on an exhilarating show at every turn on the Great Ocean Road.  With sparkling ocean one side and towering rainforest the other, it is a truly breathtaking journey.

The natural environment is just as spectacular in the water, with world class scuba diving sites and an amazing diversity of marine life right around the coastline.  Swim with the dolphins and seals at Queenscliff, snorkel at marine sanctuaries throughout the region or dip a toe in the water at any of the beaches - this is nature at its dramatic best.

There is plenty of wildlife to be seen in the region.  There are wild koalas throughout the Otways, particularly around Kennett River and Wye River.  Scores of kangaroos share the Anglesea Golf Course with club toting players.  After dark, glow worms come to life in the Otways.  And the elusive platypus can be seen at dawn or dusk on Lake Elizabeth.

There are zoos and sanctuaries in the region too.  The Werribee Open Range Zoo takes visitors on an African safari.  Jirrahlinga in Barwon Heads is a wildlife rescue centre with lots of native animals to view. 

Alternatively, take yourself off the beaten track and explore the 10 waterfalls within 10 kilometres of lovely Lorne, with the help of the Lorne Walks and Waterfalls guide. 

Highlights

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.

Balyang Sanctuary Geelong

A haven for waterbirds and popular with picnicking families, Balyang Sanctuary is situated in Geelong suburb Newtown. The centrepiece of the nine hectare park is a lake with three islands – two connected by bridges and the third retained as a safe nesting place for native birds. Feathered residents at the sanctuary include swans, pelicans, Eurasian coot, dusky moorhen, Pacific black duck, mallard, pied cormorant, geese and silver gulls There are also shady grassed areas, picnic areas, a rotunda, free parking and public toilet facilities.

Barwon River Geelong

From its beginnings in the Otway Ranges, the Barwon River winds its way through suburban Geelong before flowing into the ocean at Barwon Heads. The Barwon River is the site for a huge number of leisure pursuits for Geelong residents. There are several rowing clubs located in Belmont, and a little further south there is an area for waterskiing. At various points along the river as it runs through Geelong there are tracks for running, cycling and walking. There are also several parks, playgrounds, picnic spots and BBQ areas. The mouth of the river has sandy banks that are well used walkers and families who build sandcastles and paddle in the shallows. Fishing is popular on the jetties near the mouth of the river and kayakers and paddlers are often seen in this area. Barwon Heads also has a sailing club where laser yachts are often seen at high tide. There are also BBQs and picnic areas alongside the riverbank.

More Than A Tour

More than Tour offer their local knowledge will give you the very best opportunity of seeing a range of beautiful native animals in their natural environment. Short walks to the scenic attractions, lookouts, beaches and rain forests will be on well-defined tracks and board walks and requires a moderate level of fitness. Their guides will accompany you on all walks and your safety is their priority. Being a boutique tour company they will confirm your pick up point, departure and return times prior to departure. More Than A Tour also offers a Door to Door Service from Geelong & District. More Than A Tour can tailor make tours to satisfy your groups desires, including Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island Penquin day tours. Discover the beauty of the Bellarine including special experieinces to swim with dolphins or simply sit back and enjoy a boat ride to explore the treasures of Port Phillip Bay from Queenscliff. Contact More Than A Tour for more details.

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.

SEAROAD FERRIES QUEENSCLIFF

Searoad Ferries connects the Great Ocean Road and the Bellarine to the Mornington Peninsula, the 40 minute crossing is a stress free alternative to driving through the city. Two specially designed all weather 60 metre ferries have easy drive on/drive off facilities, spacious comfortable lounges with full-length windows, a tempting cafe and plenty of deck space. Watch out for dolphins, whales in winter and enormous ships as you breathe incredibly fresh air. Arriving at Sorrento, you will have a perfect view of multi-million dollar mansions sitting atop cliffs, tiny coves filled with boats, the beautiful foreshore and old limestone buildings. Whether you are going home or on a journey far away, there's no better way to see the bay than with Searoad Ferries. Passengers with vehicles are advised to arrive at the terminals at least 20 minutes prior to departure. The ferries depart from Queenscliff Harbour, Queenscliff and the Sorrento Pier, Sorrento. Special Features on the 40 minute journey are the unparalleled views of historic lighthouses, the Point Nepean fortifications, navigational features, seals and dolphins are available from the comfortable lounge areas, cafe style seating or numerous observation decks. Both vessels are fully equipped to cater for passengers with disabilities, including an internal lift from the vehicle deck to the passenger lounge. Coaches may be booked ahead. Seven days notice is advisable to secure passage.
 

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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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