Great Ocean Road
TOWN SEARCH
Family Picnic
Family at the Beach
Adventure Park 2
Adventure Park
Portarlington Jetty
Kids Train

Family Activities

Stay Connected

Connect

Stay connected with us through Facebook and Twitter. We'll keep you updated with events, information and special offers throughout the region.

Not Now Connect

Families

There are loads of things to do and places to see in the region for families. With so much coastline, well serviced towns, villages and regional centres and a hinterland area that has some of the best attractions in Australia, there are activities to suit every type of family, and family member.

Rockpool rambling and beach activities at any number of the beaches in the region are popular. You can learn to surf, boogie board, paddle in the waves or try skim boarding in the shallows. Build sandcastles, play cricket or just enjoy a picnic or ice cream on the sand, the beach is the perfect place for families to spend some time.

As well as Victoria's biggest theme park Adventure Park at Wallington, there are some fantastic attractions suitable for families. The Otway Fly tree top walk is exhilarating, and the dinosaurs hiding in the forest below are popular with kids. There are mini golf courses, a giant maze, loads of playgrounds and places to swim. Pick your own berry farms, animal sanctuaries and a vintage steam train operate in the region, and many of the museums and heritage attractions have specific programs to keep the kids engaged and entertained - learning by stealth.

Sporting activities are also great for families - horse riding tours in the hinterland, bike riding on designated tracks, swimming or water sports, there are places to do all these things and more.

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.

Great Otway National Park

The Great Otway National Park stretches from Torquay through to Princetown and up through the Otways hinterland towards Colac. The park features rugged coastlines, sandy beaches, rock platforms and windswept heathland. In the north, the park features tall forests, ferny gullies, magnificent waterfalls and tranquil lakes. Walking The Great Ocean Walk, stretches 91 kms from the idyllic resort town of Apollo Bay to Glenample Homestead (adjacent to the 12 Apostles). It passes through the National Park and overlooks the Marine National Park. The walk has been designed so that walkers can 'step on and step off' the trail at a number of places, completing short, day or overnight hikes. Horse riding and mountain biking Experience and enjoy the natural environment on horse back or on a mountain bike. A permit is required for horse riders to ride in the National Park and Parks Victoria staff can assist you with this. The formed roads and tracks provide ideal trails for these active endeavours. Picnicking and camping Picnic opportunities abound, with lovely settings at many of the waterfalls as well as Blanket Leaf, Sheoak, Distillery Creek, Moggs Creek, Paradise, Melba Gully, Shelly Beach, Triplet Falls and Blanket Bay to name a few. There are excellent camping opportunities throughout the Parks. Whether you are looking for a family friendly place to park your caravan or a solitary night under the stars there's something to cater to every need. 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.

Lake Elizabeth

Magically secluded and breathtakingly beautiful, Lake Elizabeth offers several walks of varying lengths and is home to a large variety of waterbirds and platypus. The tranquil lake was created by a massive landslide in 1952 and is perfect for walks, picnics and a dawn or dusk canoe tour to see the platypus.

Whale Watching around Lorne

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.

Lorne Beach and Foreshore

The wide ribbon of sand and gentle waves make Lorne Beach on Loutit Bay a perfect spot for swimmers, surfers and frolickers alike. The sand is only a short stroll from Mountjoy Parade, there are shower and toilet facilities and the beach is patrolled in Summer. In the foreshore reserve area there is a children’s playground, swimming pool, skate park, trampoline hire and lots of open space for games and picnics.

Lorne Rides

Lorne has four set rides. Ratings range from easy, for all ages on the flat, to hard in the steep hilly sections. With times from 30 minutes to three hours, and optional extensions, the rides cover the town, coast, bush and Erskine Falls. The hills around Lorne provide a bit of a challenge, but you can enjoy a leisurely cycle around the main street and down to the pier. If you like a bit of a challenge, the Forests and Flowers Mountain Bike Ride is a moderate to hard circuit of 35km, with plenty of scenic rewards. The ride starts at the Lorne Visitor Information Centre with an almost 9km climb through the forest in its first section. Highlights include Erskine Falls and giant tree ferns. The second, less-taxing section, follows the Benwerrin-Mt Sabine Road through the tall Otways forest. The final section is downhill run along Deans Marsh Road back to Lorne.

Lorne Shopping

Mountjoy Parade is the main strip in Lorne, and is a great place for shopping with a view – the street overlooks Loutit Bay. There are loads of specialty stores, fashion boutiques, giftware, souvenirs as well as the pharmacy, post office and other services.

Lorne Walks & Waterfalls

The Great Otway National Park is a spectacular area of native forest, and there are plenty of opportunities to get closer to nature with walking tracks and trails in the area, many leading to spectacular crashing waterfalls. There are seven waterfalls within the bushland surrounding Lorne, with different accessibility levels – some are a quick ten minute stroll from the carpark, others are a more strenuous rainforest hike rewarded with the majestic roar of a waterfall. CORA LYNN CASCADES Car park options: - Blanket Leaf picnic ground carpark (4 km return walk to the falls) - Cora Lynn Cascades carpark (7 km return walk to the falls) - Allenvale Mill carpark (8 km return walk to the falls) Walking track information: - Start: Blanket Leaf picnic ground, off Erskine Falls Road - Finish: Allenvale Mill car park - Distance: 4 km return to Cora Lynn cascades, 12 km return to Allenvale Mill - Duration: 2 hours to Cora Lynn cascades, 5 1/2 hours to Allenvale Mill - Difficulty: Moderate (to Cora Lynn cascades), Strenuous (to Allenvale Mill) Details: The Cora Lynn Cascades walk passes through fern gullies and rocky gorges to Cora Lynn Cascades (about 2 km from the picnic area). The next section (from the Cascades to the Cora Lynn carpark) is only for experienced walkers. From the carpark the track continues on to Phantom Falls to Allenvale Road. From here you can walk east along Allenvale Road then turn left onto the Green Break Track which joins up with Erskine Falls Road which leads back to the picnic area. Another option is to follow Saint George River from the Allenvale Mill site to the coast. ERSKINE FALLS & 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. HENDERSON FALLS, THE CANYON & PHANTOM FALLS Car park options: - Sheoak Creek Picnic area carpark, along Allenvale Rd (21/2 hours return walk to Phantom Falls) - Allenvale Mill site, on Allenvale Road (90 minute return walk to Phantom Falls) Walking track information: - Start: Sheoak Creek Picnic area carpark - Finish: Sheoak Creek Picnic area carpark - Distance: 6.5 km return - Duration: 21/2 hours - Difficulty: Strenuous Details: Henderson Falls, the Canyon and Phantom Falls are reached from the Sheoak Creek Picnic area, along Allenvale Rd. There are barbecue facilities, toilets, picnic tables, fireplaces and drinking water. From the Canyon, you can return to Sheoak picnic area by the same track or continue on to Phantom Falls and then down to the Allenvale Mill carpark and along Allenvale Rd back to the Sheoak picnic area. On the way is also Won Wondha Falls. Henderson Falls is about 8 to10 meters, Panthom Falls about 15 meters high. The total distance of this circuit is around 9 km. KALIMNA FALLS (UPPER & LOWER FALLS) Car park options: - Sheoak picnic area carpark (2.5 hours walk to Lower Falls, 31/2 hours to Upper Falls) Walking track information: - Start: Sheoak picnic area carpark - Finish: Sheoak picnic area carpark - Distance: Lower Falls – 6.5 km; Upper Falls – 8.5 km - Duration: Lower Falls – 21/2 hours: Upper Falls – 31/2 hours - Difficulty: Easy Details: The Sheoak picnic area, is a 4km drive from Lorne. The Kalimna falls are fringed by tall rainforest trees and dense tree ferns. The Lower Falls are not large, but you can get behind them and look out through the falling water to the large pool surrounded by mossy logs and rocks. The Upper Falls are a series of cascades viewed from a platform. The walk follows the route of an old tramway and some of the old sleepers can still be seen. The return walk to the picnic area can be made along Garvey track. SHEOAK FALLS Car park options: - Sheoak picnic area carpark (10 minutes walk to Sheoak Falls) Walking track information: - Start: Sheoak picnic area carpark - Finish: Sheoak picnic area carpark - Distance: 7 km return • Duration: 3 hours - Difficulty: Moderate Details: Head south-east from the Sheoak Picnic Area along Sheoak Creek to Swallow Cave (where swallows nest in the rock crevices in spring) and on for another 400 m to the 15-metre Sheoak Falls (this section of the walk should not be attempted when water levels are high). While not falling for a great distance, the water passes over a dark rock face within a natural amphitheatre, making for spectacular viewing. Return a very short distance towards Swallow Cave then branch off to the left along the Sheoak/Castle Rock Track. After about 1.3 km there is a track junction. Turn left to Castle Rock where there is a lookout then return to the junction. Keep to the left, following the Sheoak Track north to Garveys Track which leads back to the Picnic Area. CUMBERLAND FALLS Car park options: - Picnic area carpark at the mouth of the Cumberland River (3 hours walk return) - Sheoak picnic area carpark Walking track information: - Start: Picnic area carpark at the mouth of the Cumberland River - Finish: Picnic area carpark at the mouth of the Cumberland River - Distance: 9 km return - Duration: 4.5 hours - Difficulty: Strenuous Details: About 6 km south of Lorne along the Great Ocean Road is a picnic area at the mouth of the Cumberland River. You can take the Cumberland Falls Walk by following the river for about 3 km past some excellent clifftop scenery to the Cumberland Cascades (not to be attempted when the river level is high). Return the way you came for nearly 1 km but then take the track on the left which follows a ridge north to Garveys Track. Turn right onto the latter but turn right again almost immediately onto the Sheoak Track to Castle Rock. From Castle Rock return along the track for a couple of hundred metres to the track junction and turn right. The track leads to Sheoak Falls then on to the Great Ocean Road carpark which can be followed back to the Cumberland River Reserve. CURRAWONG FALLS (AIREYS INLET) Car park options: - Lower carpark, Distillery Creek picnic area (near Aireys Inlet) Walking track information: - Start: Distillery Creek picnic area carpark - Finish: Distillery Creek picnic area carpark - Distance: 12 km return - Duration: 4 hours - Difficulty: Strenuous Details: The Currawong Falls are at their best in the winter and spring and the site offers fine views of the surrounding countryside. The walk reveals a fascinating range of habitats: ironbark and other eucalypt forests, melaleuca swamps, fern gullies, sheoak stands on high ridges with panoramic views, and steep-sided gorges.

Great Ocean Road Memorial Archway

Built as a tribute to the soldiers from the First World War who were engaged in the construction of the Great Ocean Road, the memorial arch provides a great photographic opportunity for travellers entering Lorne. Alongside the arch is a sculpture also commemorating the returned servicemen, which was commissioned and placed during the 75th anniversary of the road celebrations. There is a carpark alongside this area so visitors can make the most of this photo opportuniy.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A Maze N Games

Located in Wallington, A Maze 'N Games is the place to be; hosting one of the largest three dimensional timber mazes in Australia. You can challenge yourself in the giant maze, or on their adventurous 18 hole mini golf course. You can relax your mind inside the cafe with coffee and delicious home-made cakes or light snacks. You could also enjoy the great barbecue facilities undercover while the kids explore the playgrounds. Enjoy browsing in the spacious shop, which has an extensive range of clever Gifts for all ages, many are set up for you to try. A Maze N Games specialise in Children's Birthday Parties!!
 

Where Can I Stay?

Use our accommodation
finder to find and book online.
 

What Can I Do?

Plan your perfect getaway
before leaving the house.
 

Where Can I Eat & Drink?

Plan and locate your eating
and drinking options.
 

What's On?

Discover all the exciting
events in our region.

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.