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What Can I Do

  • Other Experiences

What can't you do?  That would be a shorter list.  There are attractions, activities, events and features throughout the region to suit all ages and interest groups.  From theme parks for children to adventure sports for adrenaline junkies.  From gourmet food and wine experiences to bushwalking through campsites.  From a simple dip in the ocean to a luxurious spa retreat.  There really is something for everyone.

Things to See & Do

Food & Wine

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.

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.

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

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.

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.
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Cycling

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.

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.

Nature & Wildlife

Lake Elizabeth

Magically secluded and breathtakingly beautiful, Lake Elizabeth offers several walks of varying lengths and is home to a large variety of waterbirds and platypus. The tranquil lake was created by a massive landslide in 1952 and is perfect for walks, picnics and a dawn or dusk canoe tour to see the platypus.

Family Activities

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.

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.

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.

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.

Theatre, Music and the Arts

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.

Gourmet Photo Travels

Gourmet Photo Travels is photography workshops based along the Great Ocean Road. Gourmet Photo Travels teaches photography in all aspects including landscape, portrait, architecture, lifestyle, street and travel photography with particular emphasis on travel photography to get you ready for your next travel experience. By the end of the Gourmet Photo Travels workshop you will be shooting with greater knowledge and control of your camera, shooting in manual mode with confidence. You will understand exposure and exposure compensation, aperture and depth of field, ISO and speed, white balance, composition and will begin a creative journey with your photography. Gourmet Photo Travels will also teach skills in photographing people of different cultures gaining confidence in approaching and connecting with their subjects, increasing their quality and enjoyment of travelling in the process. Techniques will be taught in"post" using popular software like Photoshop and Lightroom to help those images to be even better. The workshops are held over a weekend and on singular days, with the weekend workshops the participants will be limited to only 8-10 people to allow for more intensive tuition. The cost includes lovely accommodation staying at Fairhaven and the great food of the region, eating at some of the renowned local restaurants.

Eagles Nest Fine Art Gallery

Eagles Nest Fine Art gallery is situated in the picturesque township of Aireys Inlet just ten minutes after the famous Anglesea and twenty minutes before Lorne. The charm of this town lies in its quiet bushland setting and spectacular beaches along the Great Ocean Road, the gateway to the iconic Twelve Apostles. Aireys Inlet is also the home of the Split Point Lighthouse and the quiet relaxing nature of the setting is a wonderful source of inspiration for many artists and writers. Eagles Nest Fine Art Gallery prides itself on showcasing the works of established and emerging artists from the Geelong / Otway region, many of whom live in the local area.

Spas, Relaxation & Wellbeing

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.

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.

Markets & Shopping

Sea Echo

Sea Echo is based on the south west coast of Victoria, Australia. Established by Tim Day in 1979 as a landscaping business, Sea Echo has evolved to combine the landscape design and construction business with the supply of unique garden sculpture sourced from around the world and available though Sea Echo Garden ware in Aireys Inlet. Sea Echo supplies architects, landscape designers, project managers and homeowners both locally and internationally with exclusive garden structures and materials. They arrange door-to-door delivery of all pieces, regardless of size, to anywhere in the world. For purchases in the Surfcoast region Sea Echo offers a delivery and positioning service. Sea Echo hand-pick and inspect each piece individually to ensure its quality. They design and build individual landscapes that are distinctly Australian in character while drawing on ideas and inspiration from gardens around the world. Sea Echo Landscapes employ fully qualified tradespeople for all aspects of their landscape construction. Please enquire for more information.

Museums, History and Heritage

Barwon Park

Barwon Park is a majestic 42 room bluestone mansion set in a sweeping rural landscape, built in 1871 for Thomas and Elizabeth Austin. The Enclosed bluestone courtyard catering for up to 120 guests, provides a stylish and enchanting venue for wedding receptions and functions. The elegant formal dining room with its superb polished tables and balloon-back chairs is available for smaller functions and receptions and caters for up to 30 guests. Barwon Park also features a novel cast iron veranda, monumental entrance hall and magnificent central staircase. The mansion captures the glory of Victoria's pastoral heritage. Visitors to Barwon Park are truly rewarded with a vision from the past.

Adventure

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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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.

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

 

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