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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

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.

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.

The Great Ocean Walk

Shelley Beach Circuit

This is one of the best short walks on the Great Ocean Walk. The track traverses through fern gullies, coastal scrub, along Shelly Beach and across rocky platforms to Elliot River. Return through a majestic stand of blue gums, inhabited by koalas and nocturnal Yellow-bellied Gliders. Distance: 2km Duration: 45 minutes Grade: Easy Start: Shelly Beach picnic area Finish: Shelly Beach picnic area.

Marengo to Shelly Beach Hike

Follow low cliff tops overlooking the ocean and the exposed and aptly named Bald Hill. It traverses on and off the beach through sheltered forest to picturesque Shelly Beach. Coastal route at low tide and during calm seas. Distance: 4.7km Duration: 2 hours Grade: Medium Start: Marengo caravan park Finish: Shelly Beach picnic area

Food & Wine

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.

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.

Family Activities

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.

Marriners Lookout

Marriners Lookout is located atop a hill on the Norther outskirts of Apollo Bay. An easy 10 minute walk from the carpark is rewarded with spectacular ocean, beach, hinterland and town views. If you're feeling more energeticm walk about 1.5 kms north from Apollo Bay along the beach or Great Ocean Road, then climb a steep hill along a surfaced road for another 1.5 km to the lookout track. This is also a popular take-off point for hang gliders, so with the right conditions you may see someone take off.

Apollo Bay Foreshore

The sheltered, sandy Apollo Bay main beach is a great place to swim or bodysurf. Just behind the sand dunes, the Apollo Bay foreshore area has a terrific playground, skate park, lots of open space for games and picnic and BBQ facilities. Right opposite the main street food outlets and ice-creameries, it’s perfect for grabbing an al fresco bite to eat.

Apollo Bay Walks

MARRINERS FALLS WALK An easy to moderate, 40-minute return walk. Located at the end of the Barham River Road, with a large car park. You will cross over large stepping stones at 4 creek crossings and view Magnificent tree ferns, lichens and mosses, with a close view of the falls. Dogs on lead. Note: Track is subject to flooding at times, take care after rain. MAITS REST RAINFOREST WALK The walk at Maits Rest is a great introduction to Victoria's tall wet eucalypt forests and rainforests. The forest walk has sections of raised boardwalk, compacted soil and aggregate. Some steep sections lack handrails. There are excellent interpretive signs along the path. Vehicle access to this site is excellent, and the area around the car park is free of obstacles. There are no picnic or toilet facilities. The closest are at Apollo Bay or the Aire River Camping area. SHELLY BEACH CIRCUIT WALK This is one of the best short walks on the Great Ocean Walk. The track traverses through fern gullies, coastal scrub, along Shelly Beach and across rocky platforms to Elliot River. Return through a majestic stand of blue gums, inhabited by koalas and nocturnal Yellow-bellied Gliders. THREE CREEKS CIRCUIT WALK A moderate walk that features coastal forests, sea views, beaches and rock platforms. Start at the Shelley Beach Picnic Area car park and descend to Shelley Beach. Turn left at the Three Creeks junction and walk through coastal scrub with views over the ocean. The small beach is the western end of a larger beach just around the rocks. Note: only attempt the coastal return leg if the tide is low and the seas are calm. ELLIOT RIVER CIRCUIT WALK A moderate walk that features river, forest and ferns. From the carpark follow the Elliot River Track down to the mouth of the river crossing on stepping stones. Climb up the ridge into Blue Gum and Wet Forest. Return via the Management Vehicle Track and road. Note: only attempt the coastal leg if the tide is low and seas are calm. AIRE RIVER ESCARPMENT LOOKOUT Starting from the Aire bridge, discover the peaceful estuarine waters of Aire River, the Hordenvale Wetlands and the impressive view from the Escarpment Lookout over the ocean and wetlands on this moderate walk. Keep an eye out for kangaroos and wallabies in the coastal scrub. KATABANUT CIRCUIT WALK From the north east end of the main Blanket Bay campground the track climbs steeply through foothill forests with a dense understorey of banksia's and small shrubs. The track turns right down over the Blanket Bay creek into a damp environment. Continue to the right descending onto the beach and returning to the campground. PARKER FOREST CIRCUIT WALK From the Parker Hill campground, following the cliff tops to Point Franklin. Watch along the coast as the Cape Otway Lightstation emerges. Step onto the beach but keep a watchful eye out for the Hooded Plovers which need a wide berth. Stringybark Track will bring you back past Koala habitat to your starting point. LIGHTHOUSE CEMETERY AND LOOKOUT WALK From the Cape Otway Lightstation car park, this easy walk leads walkers through the Beard Heath to a lookout point with views across to the lighthouse, telegraph station and the ocean. Visit the historic cemetery which bears witness to the harsh times of early lightstation life. GLORIOUS LOOKOUTS The lookouts close to Apollo Bay provide magnificent views of the countryside and ocean. These are a few that should not be missed: • Cape Patton Lookout: Great Ocean Rd, east of Apollo Bay • Crows Nest Lookout: Tuxion Rd, Apollo Bay • Marriners: Marriners Lookout Rd, Apollo Bay • The Gable: Moonlight Head Rd, Wattle Hill • West Barwon Reservoir: Apollo Bay Forrest Rd, Barramunga • Wongarra: Sunnyside Road, Wongarra

Apollo Bay Waterfalls

TRIPLET FALLS & HERITAGE TRAIL Triplet Falls is one of the iconic visitor sites in the Great Otway National Park and it has recently been reopened to visitors after a two million dollar redevelopment. This beautiful waterfall, set amongst tall mountain ash, blackwoods, myrtle beech and towering ferns, now has a new two kilometre loop walk with raised boardwalks and viewing platforms. This takes visitors into previously unexplored parts of this ancient forest and provides new and unique views into the lower cascades and the majestic main falls. A small picnic area is also available for visitors to relax and enjoy the beautiful surrounds. BEAUCHAMP FALLS WALK A moderate 1.5-hour return walk from the picnic area. The walk passes through magnificent mountain ash forests, with large myrtle beech, blackwood and thick ferns. The track becomes steep before opening to the spectacle of the falls crashing over a ledge into a large pool. Dogs on lead. Located off the Aire Valley Road from Beech Forest Road. HOPETOUN FALLS A 30-minute return moderate walk to the falls. The path is steep to the valley floor where it passes through a glade of tree ferns to the foot of the falls. Alternatively, a viewing platform at the car park offers a view of the roaring water as it pounds into the Aire River. The Aire Valley is a short distance south, offering a beautiful area with a backdrop of towering Californian Redwoods. Dogs on lead. Located 26 kilometres east of Lavers Hill off Aire Valley Road.

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.
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Fishing

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.

Boating & Sailing

Apollo Bay Harbour

The Apollo Bay Fishing Fleet is moored at the harbour, sheltered by a large breakwater. As a working harbour it is an interesting site to wander through and see the professional fishermen either unloading their catch or preparing to depart on another voyage to sea. Apollo Bay is renowned for crayfish, and the stacks of lobster pots stacked up on the wharves make an interesting spectacle. The daily catch is available fresh from the boat at the local fishermens cooperative.

Sightseeing

Apollo Bay Lookouts

The lookouts close to Apollo Bay provide magnificent views of the countryside and ocean. These are a few that should not be missed: • Cape Patton Lookout: Great Ocean Rd, east of Apollo Bay • Crows Nest Lookout: Tuxion Rd, Apollo Bay • Marriners: Marriners Lookout Rd, Apollo Bay • The Gable: Moonlight Head Rd, Wattle Hill • West Barwon Reservoir: Apollo Bay Forrest Rd, Barramunga • Wongarra: Sunnyside Road, Wongarra

Whale watching

Whales have long known what we humans are just coming to realise – the Great Ocean Road is a wonderful spot for a winter break. Sightings are most common during June, July and August, though whales have been spotted as early as February and as late as November. On the migration from Antarctica – humpback whales pass Lorne en route to Queensland and southern right whales spend time on the sheltered Victorian coast to breed and raise calves. To help land-based visitors make the most of this special time, a range of ‘Whale Watch’ initiatives are in place to provide notifications when whales have been spotted off the coast. At Lorne, Wye River, Onion Bay and Apollo Bay, dedicated whale-sighting flags will be hoisted when a verified spotting of one or more of the massive creatures has been spotted nearby, letting people know to cast their eyes to sea for a chance at seeing them too. The ‘Whale Watch’ blog on this site has a diary of confirmed sightings with times, locations, numbers and, where possible, breed of whale. Members of the public can use the blog to report a sighting in the region. ‘Whale Watch’ has hundreds of separate whale sightings reported each year, sometimes with up to six whales in a pod.

Markets & Shopping

Apollo Bay Shopping

In a world where anonymous and sterile malls increasingly define the shopping experience, Apollo Bay is literally a breath of fresh air. Most retail outlets have distinct personality and style, and are right opposite the foreshore – shopping with a sea breeze and ocean views. There are several stores selling art, jewellery and homewares crafted by local artisans.

Nature & Wildlife

Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary

Just past Apollo Bay, off the world famous Great Ocean Road, Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary protects 12ha of ocean waters. About 150m offshore, this sanctuary protects a reef system known as Little Henty Reef. Two sections of the reef, the inner and outer reef, are usually exposed and separated by a narrow channel known as 'The Gap'. Composed of sandstone they support wonderful intertidal and subtidal reefs which are packed with sea life. Visitors exploring the intertidal reef may come across many invertebrates including sea snails, tubeworms and abalone. In slightly deeper waters there are beautiful seaweed gardens including towering Bull Kelp forests and beds of delicate green and red species. Between the two small islands, calmer waters support colourful soft corals, sponge gardens and sea urchins. The diverse range of habitats provides resources for a huge range of species including Australian Fur Seals, schools of Zebra Fish and many species of wrasse. Before you go Conditions can change in parks for many reasons. For the latest information on changes to local conditions, please visit the relevant park page on the Parks Victoria website. Be bushfire ready in the great outdoors. Refer to the Bushfire Safety section on the Parks Victoria website for tips on how to stay safe.

Theatre, Music and the Arts

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.

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.

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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