WHAT TO DO DURING WINTER SCHOOL HOLIDAYS WHEN IT'S RAININGby GREAT OCEAN ROAD
Winter is secretly one of the most spectacular times to visit the Great Ocean Road, and yes, there is plenty to do even when it’s raining! Here are some of our best family-friendly activities for a rainy day along the Great Ocean Road.
Get immersed in surf culture in Torquay...without getting wet
Winter is the time of big swell and a favourite for keen surfers in and around Torquay. For most of us though, getting into the ocean doesn’t sound too appealing in this climate, but don’t worry, there are other ways to immerse yourself in the world of surfing without getting a toe wet. Usually we would recommend checking out the Australian National Surfing Museum which has a collection of boards old and new, a ‘hall of fame’ and is a great place to understand how surfing has enriched the culture in Torquay. With the current restrictions in place, it currently remains closed. If the rain clears up, then instead, it's time to grab a coffee and head down to watch real surfers in action! If the surf is pumping, they’ll be out there rain, hail or shine. The best spots to spectate if the swell is on, is Torquay Surf Beach, or a bit further to the famous Bells Beach, Winki Pop or even over to Jan Juc. You won’t be disappointed, they are impressive to watch!
Try a chocolate making class in Bellbrae
Learning is always more fun when chocolate is involved – and there is plenty of both at the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery just out of Torquay in Bellbrae. For the young ones aged between 9 – 12, take a Junior Chocolatier class, or a Chocolate Discovery class for kids aged 12 and up. You can even create your own rocky road! That’s not to say there’s nothing here for the adults (who we know love chocolate just as much as the kids!), so why not enjoy a High Tea with the family. There is always something going on at the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery, it's a must stop on your way between Torquay and Anglesea – plus it’s a perfect (and delicious) shelter if it’s raining outside.
Take the family on a gourmet trail around Port Campbell
This is one for the foodies, and perfect for jumping in and out of your car if it’s raining. The 12 Apostles Gourmet Trail is a scenic drive through this stunning part of the region, tasting the local produce from artisans in Port Campbell, Timboon, Cobden and more. On offer are gourmet cheese makers, single malt whisky, rich ice cream, chocolate, fudge, beer and olives just to name a few. We can’t think of a much better way to spend a wet, rainy day and there are stops along the trail that will make the whole family happy.
Don't mind a few drops? Exploring (if it’s not pouring) can be fun
Waterfalls are the secret place to be when it's raining, not only are the waterfalls absolutely flowing with water but more likely than not, you'll be witnessing this as a private show if it's raining! There are tonnes of waterfalls around the Great Ocean Road, a few to note are Erskine Falls near Lorne, Hopetoun Falls in the Otways and there's even Hopkins Falls over in Warrnambool. There are so many waterfalls to check out but we guarantee you won't be disappointed in winter if you visit even just one.
Rockpools are also a super fun activity with the kids, even when it's drizzling. Throw on the gumboots and search for little crabs and shells in the rockpools at Aireys Inlet in the coves at the base of Split Point Lighthouse, or at Marengo (just past Apollo Bay) at low tide. Blanket Bay amongst the Otways is another hot spot for little rockpools brimming with life to explore.
Get your art on in Warrnambool
The F Project Art Gallery in Warrnambool is a wonderful place to visit, and yes, even for kids! Open Wednesday through to Sunday, The F Project is a big supporter of local artists and has helped shape the culture of Warrnambool. They even run workshops, so keep an eye out for what’s coming up. The WAG (Warrnambool Art Gallery) is another big contributor to the art culture in the west but with current restrictions, we recommend you keep an eye on this one to check whether it is open. If it is, well, it’s the perfect cultural haven to escape the rain.
Discover the birthplace of the kelpie in Casterton
Casterton is not only a stunning town to visit but it is overflowing with history, including the Australian Kelpie Centre. These impressive, iconic Australian working dogs have a huge history in Casterton, just north of the eastern end of the Great Ocean Road, so a visit to the Kelpie Centre is a great place to start, however with current restrictions, we recommend calling ahead to check if it's open during this time. If the rain manages to hold off, you can continue on to the Kelpie Walking Trail which links five unique sculptures to reveal the fascinating life and times of the Kelpie.
So while the Great Ocean Road is best known for its iconic ocean vistas and family beach holidays, don't let the rain keep you away. There are so many things to do on and around the Great Ocean Road when it's a little drizzly and the perfect time to discover something new. Grab yourself a special winter deal, book somewhere cosy to stay, grab the family and your jackets and we'll see you soon!