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Nature & Wildlife

In a region that is best known for the pristine natural environment, there are loads of ways to get back to nature or have encounters with wildlife.

Nature puts on an exhilarating show at every turn on the Great Ocean Road.  With sparkling ocean one side and towering rainforest the other, it is a truly breathtaking journey.

The natural environment is just as spectacular in the water, with world class scuba diving sites and an amazing diversity of marine life right around the coastline.  Swim with the dolphins and seals at Queenscliff, snorkel at marine sanctuaries throughout the region or dip a toe in the water at any of the beaches - this is nature at its dramatic best.

There is plenty of wildlife to be seen in the region.  There are wild koalas throughout the Otways, particularly around Kennett River and Wye River.  Scores of kangaroos share the Anglesea Golf Course with club toting players.  After dark, glow worms come to life in the Otways.  And the elusive platypus can be seen at dawn or dusk on Lake Elizabeth.

There are zoos and sanctuaries in the region too.  The Werribee Open Range Zoo takes visitors on an African safari.  Jirrahlinga in Barwon Heads is a wildlife rescue centre with lots of native animals to view. 

Alternatively, take yourself off the beaten track and explore the 10 waterfalls within 10 kilometres of lovely Lorne, with the help of the Lorne Walks and Waterfalls guide. 

Highlights

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.

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.

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.

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.

bothfeet walking lodge & tours

bothfeet walking lodge & tours takes you down the Victoria's Great Ocean Walk. They have purpose built a lodge along the way to support hikers on the Great Ocean Walk. Winner of the 2011 Victorian Tourism Award for unique accommodation, specialising in walking packages with every detail taken care of. Only three years old, and sustainably designed and built, its Eco-chic lodge is packed with hiker comforts, all customised to what walkers need. Drying room, foot spas, gear hire, live in chef and meals prepared to order, licensed dining room, and the exclusive "green suites" with rainforest outlooks and ensuite bathrooms. bothfeet walking lodge is the perfect compliment to your Great Ocean Walk experience. Discover the native flora and fauna, and delight in good food, good company and memories that will last a lifetime. bothfeet walking lodge & tours offers a range of guided and self guided packages, covering part or all of the Great Ocean Walk. Self drive to the lodge, or ask to arrange transfers from Melbourne. Bring your own gear, or hire some of their excellent professional kit.

Longhorn YOUnique Tours

Longhorn YOUnique Tours is a 2014 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award winner. They travel to the Great Ocean Road, the Otway's Rainforest, Grampians, Phillip Island, the Yarra Valley and can also customise a tour to suit. You will see spectacular scenery, wildlife in their 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 they live in. 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 their 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. Fee wireless internet onboard all tours. Contact the friendly staff at Longhorn YOUnique Tours to enquire.

Walk91 Self Guided Great Ocean Walk

Based in Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road, 'Walk 91' will plan your itinerary for your perfect 'Great Ocean Walk'. As Walk91 Self Guided Great Ocean Walk is a self guided walking tour, so you can walk at your own pace. All you have to decide is who to bring along and which date suits you. Before the self guided walk begins, there will be a safety briefing by a previous Parks Victoria Ranger in Apollo Bay, to provide you with expert advice before your walk commences. The walks are well signposted, so perfect for a self-guided walk. All walkers are provided with 'Personal Locator Beacons', so that you are never far from help if it is needed. Before the walk you will be given a personal safety beacon (EPIRB), a small lightweight first aid kit, walking poles, detailed walking notes, photos of flora and fauna and maps. Also on the tour you will receive fly nets, Otway Light Station entry tickets and an experienced driver who lives along the Great Ocean Walk. Walk 91 will transfer your heavy bags, so on your self guided walks you just have a small backpack. While your heavy luggage waiting for you at your chosen accommodation. Enjoy hiking to your accommodation or campsites, changing locations whilst walking. This reduces long transfer times and gives you the opportunity to experience different accommodation and camping spots along the Great Ocean Walk. The 12 Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge visits are available, and are included in several Walk91 Self Guided Great Ocean Walk packages. For further information please visit the website or contact one of the team.

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.

Otway Fly Treetop Adventures

Otway Fly Treetop Adventures - One Location two adventures. Located in Victoria's magnificent Otways providing visitors with a unique opportunity to view the forest from a bird's eye view through its two unique eco-adventure experiences, the famous Tree Top walk and Zip Line tour. The Tree Top Walk - the longest and tallest elevated walk of its kind in the world. At 600 metres long and 30 metres above ground level. A 45 metre high lookout is ascended via a spiral stairway through the under story to emerge amongst the crowns of the giants of the forest, whilst the springboard cantilever bounces precariously high over picturesque Young's Creek. The walk is a 1.9 kilometres round walk starting from the visitor centre and takes approximately 45 minutes to one hour to complete. The walk is full of quality interpretive panels educating our visitor on the forest and surrounds on display. For the thrill seeker Zip lining is the perfect adrenaline fuelled activity where you can Zip across the treetops in this unique forest experience, gaining a bird's-eye view of Otways beautiful forests. The Zip Line tour involves traversing from one platform to another connected by tree platforms called 'cloud stations', and attached so steel cable suspended up to 30 metres above the forest floor. This exciting adventure lasts 3 hours and is unlike any other experience, we recommend pre booking the Zip Line Tour via the Otway Fly Tree Top Adventures website. The visitor centre is home to a licensed cafe which seats up to 100 people. The car-park also provides for Campervans, Caravans and Coaches. Group bookings can be made and need to be booked in advance, guided tours and catering are available for these bookings.

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.
 

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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.

Fireside Jazz Series at Jack Rabbit

Two wonderful evenings featuring seven of the best Jazz musicians in the business, at the gorgeous Jack Rabbit Vineyard.

Drive In + Chill Out at BIG4 Beacon Resort

Drive In + Chill Out at BIG4 Beacon Resort.

Queenscliffe Bricks LEGO Creations

'Queenscliffe Bricks' is bringing its display of LEGO models to Point Lonsdale.

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

 

Fireside Jazz Series at Jack Rabbit

Two wonderful evenings featuring seven of the best Jazz musicians in the business, at the gorgeous Jack Rabbit Vineyard.

Saturday June 21 + Saturday August 2

$90 per person, including three-course dinner and show. Drinks at bar prices.

Limited numbers.

To book phone 52512223 or email functions@jackrabbit.com.au

www.jackrabbitvineyard.com.au

 

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

 

Queenscliffe Bricks LEGO Creations

'Queenscliffe Bricks' is bringing its display of LEGO models to Point Lonsdale.

Featuring new displays, a free-play area, retail shop and a “selfies” LEGO movie stand.

21 + 22 June 2014
Point Lonsdale Primary School
$10 - Adults
$6 - Children 6 - 14
FREE - Under 5

Book online at www.trybooking.com/71506

For more information and ticketing visit www.queensclifferotary.org.au.

 

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.