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Apollo Bay

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Apollo Bay

Deservingly known as paradise by the sea, Apollo Bay is midway along the majestic Great Ocean Road, in the shelter of Cape Otway and on the lowest slopes of the beautiful Otway ranges.

Valleys just a few kilometres out of town are full of rainforest, streams, waterfalls and fireflies. Once the province of timber workers and farmers, the hills are now also occupied by artists, holiday makers and beach lovers.

 

 

Every water sport under the sun can be enjoyed at Apollo Bay - surfing, fishing, swimming, diving, and boating of all sorts. Bush walking in the Otways, wet or dry, is spectacular. The rain and wind rarely reach the lower levels of the older rainforest which has its own lush climate. Down the Great Ocean Road at Cape Otway are some of the most breathtaking walks in the country.

There are petrified forests, fireflies, rainbows and just south, some of the highest ocean cliffs in Victoria. Two and three hour drives in two loops through the ranges take visitors through a mystical (and misty) green paradise. There are short walks from car parks to mighty waterfalls. Seafood is always on the menu - a small fishing fleet still operates out of the harbour - and modern restaurants and cafes are a vital part of town.

In April, Apollo Bay hosts one of the best three day music festivals in Victoria, Apollo Bay Music Festival and every Saturday morning there is a market on the foreshore. The Cape Otway lighthouse is open daily for visitors.

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Highlights

Auswalk Walking Holidays

Come and experience the real Australia on foot with Auswalk Walking Holidays. Do not watch it pass you by from the windows of a vehicle, get out there and be a part of it! Auswalk Walking Holidays offer guided groups of like-minded people day hikes in fabulous national parks. There are two guides looking after each group, so you will have a choice of easy or hard walks each day. At night stay in comfortable accommodations and enjoy good food and wine. Auswalk Walking Holidays also have self-guided walks through superb National Parks from one accommodation to the next. Walk with your own group of two or more people and start any day of the year. You will be supported along the way with luggage transfers, marked maps and detailed walk notes. Auswalk Walking Holidays can customise a trip for you, your club, group of friends or family. Victorian destinations include the Grampians as it is the best place to see native animals in the wild. There is a rich indigenous history as well as challenging hiking to magnificent rocky peaks. Another great destination is Great Alpine Walk, traverse Victoria's high country, staying overnight in secluded alpine villages. Great Ocean Walk is a long time favourite, this iconic track hugs the southern ocean in parts and ventures inland into the mighty forests of the Otway Ranges. You will see kangaroos while on the track. Great South West Walk is a perfect choice for those who enjoy walking long distances on easy terrain. Highlights include the Glenelg River Gorge and the Three Capes section. Other destinations around the country include the Flinders Ranges, Snowy Mountains and many other beautiful national parks around Australia. Please enquire with Auswalk Walking Holidays for more information.

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.

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.

Longhorn YOUnique Tours

Longhorn YOUnique Tours is a 2015 and 2014 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award Winner, offering tours to the Great Ocean Road, the Otway's Rainforest, Grampians, Phillip Island, the Yarra Valley and can also customise a tour to suit your needs. You will see spectacular scenery, wildlife in the natural environment, learn about the area's history and culture, enjoy homemade treats and great accommodation as Longhorn's expert guides take you on a journey of discovery. Eco Tourism and Respecting their Culture accredited, Longhorn YOUnique Tours is a family owned business operated by Garry and Shirley Hamel, two Australians who know and understand the beauty of the country. With a range of tours from one day to multiple day tours and private or customised tours to choose from. Longhorn YOUnique Tours believe that guests should not feel rushed so tours are conducted in small groups travelling in luxury four wheel-drive vehicles with your comfort and needs a top priority. A maximum of six people on each tour will give you a personalised experience to remember. Longhorn YOUnique Tours are part of the Extinction Fighters program and have adopted a Tasmanian Devil at Healesville Sanctuary. Free wireless internet onboard all tours. Contact the friendly staff at Longhorn YOUnique Tours to enquire.

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.

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.

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

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 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 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.

Apollo Bay Walks

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Surf Coast Arts Trail

Discover the art and meet the artists in their studios and creative venues throughout the hinterland and coast of the Surf Coast Shire - Connewarre, Torquay, Bellbrae, Anglesea, Aireys Inlet, Lorne, Deans Marsh, Bambra, Winchelsea and Moriac Enjoy the diverse arts practices – including: jewellers, ceramic artists, print makers, painters, sculptors, photographers, illustrators, designers and animators. For updates -visit Surf Coast Arts Trail on FACEBOOK Trail maps available online www.visitsurfcoast.com from 19 July Trail maps available to collect at Visitor Centres late July

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.

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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Packages & Offers

High Tea on the High Seas - Searoad Ferries

Experience High Tea on the High Seas in the privacy of the Portsea Lounge on board the Queenscliff Sorrento Ferry.

Blues Train & BIG 4 Beacon Resort - May and August

Enjoy the legendary Blues Train and the equally legendary BIG4 Beacon Resort with this package, from $497 for two people.

Family Supatramp & Stay Package at BIG4 Beacon Resort

Bring the kids and their bucketloads of energy to BIG 4 Beacon Resort with this Supatramp accommodation deal for 2 adults and 2 children, from $459.

High Tea on the High Seas - Searoad Ferries

Experience High Tea on the High Seas in the privacy of the Portsea Lounge on board the Queenscliff Sorrento Ferry.
Enjoy table service in elegant surroundings, exquisite food, quality tea and real coffee!

$40.00 per person and includes immediate return travel on the same ferry for a leisurely experience.

Every Sunday from February to November
12pm sailing from Sorrento
3pm sailing from Queenscliff.

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

 

Blues Train & BIG 4 Beacon Resort - May and August

Enjoy the legendary Blues Train and the equally legendary BIG4 Beacon Resort with this package, from $497 for two people:

  • $40.00 per person and includes immediate return travel on the same ferry for a leisurely experience.
  • 2 nights accommodation.
  • Charcuterie Plate dinner and live band at Flying Brick Cider House, and a 1 litre cider ‘Growler’ to take home.
  • $50 voucher for Mud Day Spa, located at the resort.
  • Breakfast hamper.
  • Extend your stay with early check in (10am) and late check out (6pm).
  • P: 5258 1133 or book online

Only valid for Blues Train events in May and August 2015. Terms & conditions apply.

 

Family Supatramp & Stay Package at BIG4 Beacon Resort

Bring the kids and their bucketloads of energy to BIG 4 Beacon Resort with this Supatramp accommodation deal for 2 adults and 2 children, from $459.

  • 2 nights in a Queenscliff cabin.
  • A Supatramp pass for each child including an hour of clip ‘n climb and an hour of trampolining, plus socks and $10 to spend in the café.
  • 1 hour GoKart hire at the resort.
  • Unlimited DVD hire and a milkshake for each child from the resort shop.
  • Late 6pm checkout.
  • P: 1800 351 152 or book online

Offer available from 11 March to 30 April 2015. Terms and conditions apply.