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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

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.

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.

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.

Cape Otway Lightstation

Climb to the top of mainland Australia's oldest lighthouse, Cape Otway Lightstation, 90 metres above the wild Southern Ocean, and see why many tragic shipwrecks occurred on this isolated and rugged coastline. Immerse yourself in history with one of Australia's most important and recognisable lighthouses at your doorstep. Spectacular scenery, lighthouse tours, wildlife (koalas, wallabies and whales), rainforests, waterfalls and awesome sunsets will be highlights of your stay. Cape Otway is an excellent location to base yourself, being central to Great Ocean Road and Great Otway National Park activities and walks. Groups of up to 16 people can be accommodated in the heritage Head Lighthouse Keeper's cottage with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, open fires and fully self contained kitchen and laundry facilities. Two night minimum stays. The cottage is a wonderful retreat for families, walking groups or as a unique venue for get-togethers with friends. The Manager's House is a fully self-contained, newly renovated property providing all the comforts of home, comfortably accommodating up to 15 guests. A great location for a house party, or place to relax after walking in the Otways, the Manager's House is filled with natural light. Both properties have bed and breakfast options for smaller groups or couples. The Lightstation also has a delightful café on site which is open daily. Relax over a great coffee and homemade scones, soaking up the views. The café is located in the original Assistant Lighthouse Keeper's cottage, right in front of the lighthouse. Discover the coast on a 4WD Lightkeeper's Shipwreck Discovery Tour, which runs daily and with special offers for accommodation guests. Walk in the footsteps of lightkeepers and pioneers along the Great Ocean Walk with experienced and knowledgeable local guides. Opera in the Otways - Saturday November 17, 2012 - see website for details.
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Spas, Relaxation & Wellbeing

Seahorse Natural Therapies

Run by Lizzie, a qualified AAMT certified and registered Remedial Massage practitioner with over 11 years experience in the wellness industry, 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, within 6km from Apollo Bay. A mobile service is an option with prior booking. 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.

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.

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.

Markets & Shopping

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Cycling

Ride Forrest

Forrest is one of Australia's best mountain bike destinations. With over 60 kilometres of purpose built single track, there is more than three days of riding here. You can stay in a variety of accommodation options and ride right from your front door of your accommodation. Forrest is the gateway to the Otways, with places to stay, eat and ride. Platypus tours are also available. Visit the Ride Forrest website to find all you need to know about Forrest and Mountain Bike riding in the Otways.
 

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Packages & Offers

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.

Drive In + Chill Out at BIG4 Beacon Resort

Drive In + Chill Out at BIG4 Beacon Resort.

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

Girls Indulgence Getaway

Reboot your life with an indulgent Girl's Getaway.

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

 

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

 

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.
 

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.