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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

Food & Wine

Dinny Goonan Wines

Dinny Goonan Wines is one of a handful of families pioneering grape and wine production in the Otway hinterland. Their wines have won numerous awards since the first commercial release in 2001. The vineyard and cellar door are conveniently situated on the inland road to Lorne, between Winchelsea and Deans Marsh. This location provides a great springboard to explore the Otways and surrounding attractions, and they are happy to share some local knowledge of other places to see and visit. Visitors are welcome to taste their wines and relax in the peaceful vineyard setting. You can find out more about the wines by talking to Dinny the winemaker, or stroll around the vineyard and winery. Vineyard platters are available on weekends between November and April and every day during January, so it is a great chance to take some time out to enjoy the wines, surrounded by the vines that produced them. The platters have a regional focus providing the opportunity to match local wines with regional produce. The only distractions will come from the Crimson Rosellas and Blue Winged Grass Parrots that have made the vineyard their home. They also offer a great coffee and a selection of local foodstuffs and oils. And then of course, there are their award winning wines. As a family run enterprise, everything is very much "hands on". The vines are hand pruned; they pick the grapes by hand and use traditional vinification and elevage techniques within the modern winery. They specialize in the production of cool climate Shiraz and Riesling. They also produce limited quantities of Cabernets (a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec), a Semillon/Sauvignon and a Sparkling wine (a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay) which are available exclusively to their cellar door customers.

Winchelsea Tea Rooms

A café-restaurant with arts and crafts. Enjoy Devonshire teas and generous lunches in a warm friendly atmosphere. Inside, the walls are lined with history. Plaques, honour-boards, maps, photos and more detailing the past of this regional town and country centre.
Brown Magpie Wines
Near Jan Juc

Brown Magpie Wines

'The Brown Magpie cellar door is backed by a row of cypress trees populated, appropriately enough, by an extended family of industrious magpies who stalk around the vineyard with a proprietorial air. This is a tranquil spot in the Surf Coast hinterland with a plot of vineyard that looks towards Mount Moriac's gentle slopes. It's well worth a detour when you're in the region for its award-winning Shiraz and Pinot Noir.' Ralph Kyte-Powell Brown Magpie Wines is located in the picturesque hinterland of the Surf Coast and Great Ocean Road, 15 minutes Anglesea and Torquay, and 25 minutes south west of Geelong. Shane and Loretta Breheny selected the property specifically for the purpose. Planted in 2000 and 2001 the vineyard consists of nine hectares of north facing gentle slope. Dense, well established cypress trees along the borders shelter the vineyard from strong winds and moderates temperature. All wines are handcrafted on site from estate grown, hand picked fruit, and are a true reflection of the vineyard. The vineyard is ideally located for producing premium quality shiraz, pinot noir, gris and grigio, wine. The quality of the wines has been acknowledged since the first vintage in 2003, with multiple gold medals and trophies being awarded. Recent awards include: - Gold Medal, Trophy and Best Wine in Geelong Wine Show -Shiraz 2010 - Top Gold Medal in Class in Dan Murphy's National Wine Show - Shiraz 2010 - Gold Medal and Trophy in Geelong Wine Show 2007 - Shiraz 2006 - Silver Medal in Geelong Wine Show and National Cool Climate- Pinot Noir 2010 - Silver Medal in Geelong Wine Show - Pinot Grigio 2011 The Surf Coast and Great Ocean Road hinterland is a treat for all wine and food lovers, abounding with great restaurants, produce and wineries.

Geelong Wine Region

Whether it is the distinctive maritime flavours of The Bellarine, the ancient richness of the Moorabool Valley Wine Region or the rugged, exposed coastline of the Surf Coast, the Geelong Wine Region is united by boutique, family owned winegrowers producing premium quality hand crafted wines. With each sub region and winery displaying their own unique characteristics, visitors are invited to explore the diversity of the Geelong Wine Region's stunning scenery, touring routes and restaurants whilst sampling some of Victoria's finest cellar door experiences. Geelong's family owned boutique operators maximise their wine's potential by hand pruning, hand picking and hand crafting their wines allowing regional characters to develop. Areas within the region have varying microclimates influencing the depth of colour, bouquet and flavour of the wines. The Bellarine has a maritime climate with bay breeezes and spectacular views, whilst the hills and valleys of the Moorabool Valley – Anakie areas have a warm, continental style climate. The renowned Surf Coast is famous for its long summer days and cooling ocean breezes. James Halliday in his Wine Atlas of Australia and New Zealand wrote: "If there is a unifying feature in all of the Geelong wines, it is their strength and depth of colour, bouquet and flavour." Not only does the Geelong wine region produce some of Australia's best wines, but the wineries are surrounded by some of Victoria's best scenery and touring opportunities. The Geelong Wine Region. Fine wines – from our hands to yours. For a map of the winery region visit: http://www.winegeelong.com.au/wine_region/map

Museums, History and Heritage

Barwon Park

Barwon Park is a majestic 42 room bluestone mansion set in a sweeping rural landscape, built in 1871 for Thomas and Elizabeth Austin. The Enclosed bluestone courtyard catering for up to 120 guests, provides a stylish and enchanting venue for wedding receptions and functions. The elegant formal dining room with its superb polished tables and balloon-back chairs is available for smaller functions and receptions and caters for up to 30 guests. Barwon Park also features a novel cast iron veranda, monumental entrance hall and magnificent central staircase. The mansion captures the glory of Victoria's pastoral heritage. Visitors to Barwon Park are truly rewarded with a vision from the past.

Winchelsea Heritage Walk

The trail commences at the Winchelsea visitor centre and includes such landmarks as the Globe Theatre, Barwon Park Mansion, the Barwon River and the triple-arched bluestone bridge. The heritage walk takes about one hour and offers an intriguing insight into Winchelsea’s rich history.

Surf World Museum

The Surf World Museum in Torquay, Australia’s surfing capital, celebrates the story of surfing. It also charts Australia’s significant contribution to the development of surfing around the world. Through the colourful and exciting permanent displays and temporary exhibitions of important surfing artefacts and memorabilia, the museum commemorates Australia’s fantastic surfing heritage and rich beach culture. An unforgettable experience, Surf World provides the opportunity to immerse yourself in one of Australia’s most popular pastimes. It’s a place where you can experience or relive, surfing’s sense of fun, and marvel at the changes that have taken place over the years. We look forward to welcoming you.

Nature & Wildlife

Country Dahlia

Country Dahlia is a flower farm offering Australia’s largest collection of Dahlias. Spread across 2 acres and with 1,800 different types of flower, you can visit beautiful Country Dahlia during March and April each year and are welcome to bring a picnic lunch with you. Tea and coffee are available.

Fishing

Barwon River

Near the Barwon Hotel a beautiful bluestone triple-arched bridge crosses the Barwon River. There are a number of picnic spots and walks along the river. Early morning walkers have, on occasion, spotted a platypus close to the bridge.

Cycling

You Yangs

Rising from the flat, volcanic plains between Geelong and Melbourne, the granite peaks of the You Yangs are a terrific destination for many outdoor activities. Walk to Flinders Peak for panoramic views of Geelong, Corio Bay, the Western Districts and beyond. There are several walking tracks within the park catering for varying abilities. The You Yangs are popular for mountain biking; the two designated mountain bike areas offer 50km of track. The park is also popular for rock climbing, abseiling and horse riding and there are BBQ and picnic areas available, as well as toilets.

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.

Beaches

Bells Beach

With an international reputation as one of Australia’s best surf beaches, Bells Beach is amazing spot – either in the water or out. There isn’t much ‘beach’ at Bells, it’s mostly a glorious cliff-face, and views from the cliff-top car park are spectacular – a great spot to watch local surfers out in the water. There are several quality surfing spots in the precinct from Southside to Steps Reef. Every Easter Bells Beach hosts the international professional surfing community for the Rip Curl Pro event. To get to Bells Beach, travel along the Great Ocean Road past Jan Juc – turn left into Bells Boulevard and follow the signs. General Beach Hazard Rating: 6 Least hazardous: 1-3 Moderately hazardous: 4-6 Highly hazardous: 7-8 Extremely hazardous: 9-10 Hazard rating refers to physical beach and surf conditions ONLY and does not include potentially dangerous marine life. SURFING Bells is a world class right when above 1.5 m. When smaller, the waves break close in to the headland and produce a right called Rincon. Further around the head are two more reef breaks which work below 2 m, called Centre Side (a right) and Southside (a left). FISHING The water is deep right off the beach, while at low tide you can fish from the reefs at each end. GENERAL One of the meccas of surfing and well worth a visit, if only to view the beach and surf from the bluffs. CARPARK Type: Formal parking area Surface: Sealed Spaces: 200 We provide this information as a guide only. Surf conditions are variable and therefore this information should not be relied upon as a substitute for observation of local conditions and an understanding of your abilities in the surf. We remind you to always swim between the red and yellow flags and never swim at unpatrolled beaches.

Romantic Getaway & Weddings

Saltair Spa

Only one hour from the Westgate Bridge you will find Saltair Day Spa. Situated in a unique location, offering stunning views of Torquay's rolling hills and crystal blue waters. Calm your mind as you are cared for by the exceptional therapists and Indulge in a complete menu of day spa treatments and therapies. Derma-Cosmeceuticals Skincare is available using the latest Multi-spectrum imaging. Try something new like an Indigenous Inspired Rhythmic Massage or a Facial Treatment using a combination of the purist organic bases and pure oxygen gas. Captivate your senses while your stresses melt away in the Hydrotherapy Spa, Geisha Spa, Vichy Shower or Steam Sauna. Saltair treatments use the highest quality aromatherapy oils, earth ochres, desert salts, ocean mineral polishers, moisturisers and elixirs used in the finest destination spas worldwide. Saltair Spa uses and recommends Li'Tya Spa products. Capturing the potency of indigenous Australian plants, fruits, earth ochres, desert salts and sea plants, with each product depicting the wonder and beauty of the country. Li'Tya offers exquisitely pure health, beauty and wellbeing treatments - individually tailored to energise and beautify every part of your being. Saltair Spa also use and recommend Heritage Healers facial treatments. Pure oxygen gas, in conjunction with vitamins and minerals, is used to nourish and revitalise the skin cells. With Heritage Healers O2 Oxygen Therapy they soothe away internal stress, then regenerate and boost the health of every skin cell with pure oxygen gas, plus essential vitamins and minerals. It is the most effective skin treatment program of its kind, designed to cleanse, nourish and revitalise every skin cell of the face, pore by pore. Choose from body treatments, geisha tub, hydrotherapy, massage, facials, oxygen treatments, hand and foot treatments, Day Spa packages and Professional Skin Health Advice and treatments, spray tans, waxing and tinting.

Markets & Shopping

Torquay Shopping

As birth place and headquarters for some of the biggest surf brands in Australia, Torquay is a destination for shopping. The main highway into town has shops and plazas, including the large Surf City Plaza, on either side of the road. Every name in surfwear and adventure sports apparel is featured in the precinct. Many of the brands also have factory outlets nearby. As a vibrant and modern seaside destination, Torquay has a number of other shopping precincts. Gilbert Street is considered the centre of town, with supermarkets, bakeries, post office and banks as well as specialty retail and eateries. Torquay Central is a plaza development housing some of Australia’s best known retailers alongside coffee shops and places to eat. Bell Street has a collection of shops, cafes and restaurants as well as the local pub. Some tour operators and learn to surf schools operate from offices in Bell Street.

Surfing

Surf Torquay

Torquay lives and breathes surfing, and the region has a global reputation as an amazing surf destination. Bells Beach hosts the annual Rip Curl Pro, where the best surfers in the world compete each Easter. Nearby Winkipop is also popular with experienced surfers. Torquay and Jan Juc offer good conditions for those wanting to learn to surf, and several schools operate classes at local beaches. Surf conditions can vary greatly, check with the Visitor Information Centre or local Surf Life Saving Club.

Family Activities

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.

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.

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.

Tours

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.
 

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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.