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The Otways Hinterland Region

Possibly the most spectacular area of the Otways Coast is between Lorne and Apollo Bay continuing on to Wye River, Kennett River and Wongarra.

This enchanting region includes stunning coastal scenery, including Cape Otway and the popular coastal resort town of Apollo Bay, lush rainforest and waterfalls of the Otways Ranges and the major inland town of Colac and its fertile volcanic lakes.

You can explore fascinating historic townships one day and hike the beautiful Otway Ranges the next. Pick your fill of seasonal berries in the morning, sip on local wines at the many cellar doors all afternoon and then dine on fresh and delicious local produce, home-baked breads and biodynamic ice cream.

Highlights

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.

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

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.

Great Ocean Road Marathon

Australia's iconic Great Ocean Road is home to one of the world's most visually spectacular runs, the Great Ocean Road Marathon. With panoramic views of the Southern Ocean and national forest this challenging run will attract participants from across Australia and around the world to take part in one of the five events on 16 and 17 of May, 2015. Challenge yourself across a range of distances, from one and a half kilometres through to 45 kilometres. The Great Ocean Road is renowned throughout the world for its natural beauty. Taking part in this event offers you the opportunity to experience the Great Ocean Road like never before, pounding the road without a car in sight, taking in the fresh ocean air, the breathtaking views and if you are lucky, possibly even a koala or two! The surrounding townships also offer an abundance of accommodation and activities so you will be assured an enjoyable stay once you have crossed the finish line on Race Day. To register for an event or for more information please visit their website.

Erskine Falls and Straw Falls

Car park options - Erskine Falls car park (300m return walk to falls 1st lookout, 700 m to 2nd lookout) Walking track information (Erskine River Track) - Start: Erskine Falls car park - Finish: Lorne - Distance: 7.5 km one way - Duration: 3 hours - Difficulty: Strenuous Details Erskine Falls is a short drive out of Lorne on appropriately named Erskine Falls Road. It is one of the most popular falls in the Otways and easily accessible. A five-minute walk from the car park brings you to a lookout of the falls, cascading 30 metres into a beautiful tree fern gullyYou also can take steps down to the Erskine River to view the falls from below. . Straw Falls are a 15m cascade on the Erskine River and are a further 400m downstreams of Erskine Falls. Experienced walkers can follow the river from Erksine Falls to Lorne. The 7.5km one-way walk takes about three hours and passes Straw Falls and Splitter Falls. It should not be attempted when water levels are high.

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.

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.

Otways Wine & Food Lovers Trail

This trail traverses some of the most fertile land in Victoria which grows some of the state’s best produce. Breakfast can be enjoyed anywhere between Apollo Bay and Lorne before turning left into the Otways hinterland. The Deans Marsh and Pennyroyal area is renowned for its berries, olives and wineries. Further North, Birregurra is the hub of Otway produce and the perfect lunch stop. Heading back towards the Great Ocean Road via Forrest, which has a boutique brewery and an atmospheric cafe. Continue South through towering rainforest to Apollo Bay. Brochures for the Otway Harvest Trail, which details the growers and producers in this hinterland region, are available at local visitor information centres.

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.

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.

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.

Goats of Gaia Soap

Goats of Gaia Soap 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 our stud herd of holistically raised Saanen milking goats. The all natural goats milk soap, indeed all the products, are handcrafted at the farm and the delightfully smelly Farm Shop is situated in the original farmhouse. Goats of Gaia Soap 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: Informative sessions about milking goats, with photo opportunities and a chance to interact with some of the herd. Keep up to date with Workshop information and Meet the Goats sessions by viewing 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.

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.

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.
Tiger Moth World Adventure Flights
Near Torquay

Tiger Moth World Adventure Flights

Step back in time and let Tiger Moth World take you on an adventure flight experience you will never forget! Tiger Moth World was established in 1990 and operates from it's own private airfield in Torquay - the start of the Great Ocean Road. Torquay Airport was developed specifically as a World War II style grass aerodrome for Tiger Moth World's biplane adventure flights. Climb aboard one of their Tigers for a Tiger Moth flight of a lifetime. Be Biggles for a day in their Tiger Moth, take a romantic biplane flight for 2 in Tiger Cat or (if you dare) turn your life upside down with a choice of mild, wild or Extreme adrenalin pumping aerobatics in their Super Tiger. Their open cockpit biplane fleet is extensive. Whatever flight you choose, you will wing your way along the magical coast of the world famous Great Ocean Road and beyond. If you prefer, take a spectacular scenic flight in a modern class aircraft for a bird's eye view of the stunning coastline of the Great Ocean Road through to the 12 Apostles. Tiger Moth World even has an Adventure Park to keep all the family happy. All the flight action happens literally metres away from the viewing area. Awesome! The team at Tiger Moth World are waiting to "make your day"! All flight bookings are arranged on a day and time to suit you. Please contact Tiger Moth World if you have any queries or would like further information.

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.

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.
 

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Packages & Offers

Legendary Blues Train Weekend: Stay & Play, Save 50%

A unique musical experience! Toe tapping entertainment, cool drinks and a good laugh.

Seahaven Village - Taste of The Bellarine $495

Relax at stunning Barwon Heads Friday and Saturday night in a cosy 4.5 star one bedroom spa suite.

Barwon Heads Golf Club - Winter Escape with Free Golf

$240 per couple per night

Drive In + Chill Out at BIG4 Beacon Resort

Drive In + Chill Out at BIG4 Beacon Resort.

Twilight Cruise - Searoad Ferries

Take a stroll on the viewing decks, sample some of the regions finest produce, all in the privacy of the Portsea Lounge.

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.

Girls Indulgence Getaway

Reboot your life with an indulgent Girl's Getaway.

Legendary Blues Train Weekend: Stay & Play, Save 50%

A unique musical experience! Toe tapping entertainment, cool drinks and a good laugh. Make a weekend of exploring Queenscliff with 2 nights’ accommodation at the award-winning BIG4 Beacon Resort including Blues Train tickets, return transfers to the event, buffet breakfast, 6pm checkout, local discounts and more.

Only $487 per couple.

Phone: 1800 351 152 or visit BIG4 Beacon Resort for more information.
 

Seahaven Village - Taste of The Bellarine $495

Relax at stunning Barwon Heads Friday and Saturday night in a cosy 4.5 star one bedroom spa suite. Enjoy fabulous bonuses including:

  • A $70 dinner voucher
  • Welcome pack including wine, chocolates and a breakfast basket
Stay between Sunday and Thursday nights and receive THREE nights accommodation for the same price.

T: 03 5254 1066
 

Barwon Heads Golf Club - Winter Escape with Free Golf

This winter, guests who book a standard room at our normal Bed and Breakfast rate play golf for free. Want an even better reason to take a break? The Club is rated one of Australia’s Top 10 public access courses.

From $240 per room per night.
($120 p/p twin share)

  • Accommodation in a standard room with ensuite at Barwon Heads Golf Club
  • Fully cooked breakfast
  • A complimentary round of golf each person (normally up to $85 each).

Address: Golf Links Rd, Barwon Heads, Victoria 3227

To book:

Phone: 03 5255 6255
Fax: 03 5255 6266
Website: www.bhgc.com.au
Email: reservations@bhgc.com.au

T&C's: Valid Sunday to Thursday inclusive. 1st June to 31 August 2014. Dress requirements apply on course and in the clubhouse.
 

Drive In + Chill Out at BIG4 Beacon Resort

$317 for 2 adults & up to 2 children (save 60%)

  • 2 nights in a Lonsdale Villa
  • Unlimited Mountain Bike Hire
  • Unlimited DVD Hire
  • A daily Espresso Coffee or Hot Chocolate per person
  • A bottle of local wine
  • Free Daily Kids Activities
  • An extra Long Late Check-out to 6.00pm

Plus get two LI'TYA Deep Ocean Renewal Facials for the price of 1 at the resort's Mud Day Spa (save $120)

And there's plenty of indoor fun at the resort with an indoor heated swimming pool and 8-seater spa, an indoor toddler playroom and a games room. Add another layer of clothing and there's even more to explore outside! BIG4 Beacon Resort is the ideal base to check out Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale.

Phone 1800 351 152 or Book Online.

Terms and Conditions: Offer expires on 31/08/2014

 

Twilight Cruise - Searoad Ferries

Take a stroll on the viewing decks and find the best spot to capture the setting sun. Sample some of the regions finest artisan products from both the Bellarine and Mornington Peninsulas. Enjoy a regional produce platter with an award winning wine, locally made ale or cider, all in the privacy of the Portsea Lounge.

$35.00 per person (includes return sailing between Sorrento and Queenscliff)

Every Friday and Saturday from April to December
4pm sailing from Sorrento
5pm sailing from Queenscliff

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

 

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

 

Girls Indulgence Getaway

Reboot your life with an indulgent Girl's Getaway. When life gets a little overwhelming, an escape with your best friends can be the best way to share some uninterrupted catch up time, a little relaxation and, of course, some well-deserved indulgence on looking after you.

$798 is for 4 people ($199.50 per person) and includes:

  • 2 nights accommodation at Beacon Resort in a Curlewis Villa
  • A Food Purveyor "Little Extra" Hamper (special treats from our region including jams, chocolates, tapenade and much much more)
  • 1 x bottle of Jack Rabbit Sparkling
  • 4 x 60 minute relaxation massages in our day spa
  • Return transfers to a venue of choice (within 3225 postcode area during your stay)
  • Unlimited DVD Hire
  • 12 noon check-out

This offer is valid until the 20th December 2014; No further discounts apply; Some exclusion periods to apply; Package is subject to availability at the time of booking.

 

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