LOCAL GUIDE: A 360 VIEW OF THE TOP 5 SPOTS IN APOLLO BAYby JO BIRLEY
Our project Manager Jo Birley has lived in Apollo Bay for 18 years. Jo has selected her ‘local’s guide’ of top things to do in Apollo Bay and we’ve put together a virtual tour so she can take you there…
Tip: Make sure you drag around the photo to get a full 360 view!
1. MARRINERS LOOKOUT
Follow Marriners Lookout Road (first right as you enter Apollo Bay) around 3kms to the car park where you can walk the rest of the way to the top of Marriners Hill and the lookout. It’s steep but only around a 5-minute walk. Sunrise and sunset are beautiful, but the view over the township and working harbour, plus east and west along the coast is magnificent any time of day. When the sea and breeze are right, watch yachts in the bay and if it’s really clear, in front of the lookout in the bay, you can see the shadow on the seafloor and the town’s most famous shipwreck, the SS Casino which sank in 1932.
2. APOLLO BAY HARBOUR
Take a walk on the harbour wall to get a beautiful view across the bay with the stunning Otway Ranges as a backdrop. Watch the fishing boats heading out in the early morning or drop in a line yourself. “Mother’s Beach”, as it is fondly known by the locals, and “The Wall”, provide a fun spot for a day out at the beach for the whole family – where gentle waves are calm for little ones and a consistent wave breaks around the edge of the harbour wall for great beginner surfing conditions. When it’s bigger the experienced surfer’s move in on this break, so it’s best to then move the small children into the very sheltered beach inside the harbour on the other side of the boat ramp.
3. PARADISE PICNIC RESERVE
Follow the Barham River Road out of town for a beautiful meandering drive through farmland and then into the rainforest. “Paradise” is around 7kms out of the township and is known for its fern clad picnic spot (with some super tall and very cool tree ferns) and a pretty spot by the Barham River. For a little taste of the rainforest so close to town, this is a local secret – on a hot day locals with little ones come here to cool off in the river.
4. MARENGO REEF
Marengo beach is great for rock pooling and a popular fishing (and sometimes big wave surfing) spot on the point. You can easily see two reefs form the shore – the outer reef is home to a colony of fur seals (which can sometimes be smelt before they’re seen if the wind is just right – or wrong!). The beach isn’t patrolled but popular for paddling during summer. The currents are strong around the reef so if you want to get closer to the seals – take a kayak tour with Nancy and Mark form Apollo bay Sea Kayak Tours.
5. APOLLO BAY BEACH
The Bay is a stretch of over 5 kilometres of sand from the Harbour through to Wild Dog Creek. There is an area of patrolled beach near the surf club in summer and on weekends in the warm months and there are often surf breaks at Tuxion Road and Pisces (The Big4 Caravan Park). A walk along the beach or on the foreshore track (which runs from the Visitor Information Centre to the Wild Dog Creek car park) takes you to the Apollo Bay Museum. The Museum is open on weekends and school holidays and staffed by a group of passionate volunteer/amateur historians. The Museum, which is actually the Old Cable Station, has some fascinating displays, and if there’s someone chatty on duty you are in for a real treat with many delightful stories to be shared!
Other notable favourite spots are Marengo Bush Reserve, Mounts Bay, the first leg of the Great Ocean Walk to Ellliot River, and Maits Rest for spotting giant Mountain Ash and glow worms. Later this year Wildlife Wonders outside Marengo is set to open with conservationist led tours of the property featuring wildlife of the Otways in their natural habitat - one-stop shop, if you like, for koalas, wallabies, potoroos and much more…