October 19, 2019 / By Paul
As one of only a handful of Melbournians who doesn’t holiday in Anglesea or Lorne, when venturing along the Great Ocean Road I regularly find myself explaining the virtues of the Otways and Apollo Bay to people. Such is the case that unless I mention the Twelve Apostles, it seems that no one really knows where I am talking about. I am delighted to reassure you that there is far more to the Great Ocean Road than the Lorne Pier-to-Pub and the Twelve Apostles.
Cape Otway Lightstation
The drive to the Cape Otway Lightstation is not to be missed. The lightstation is located just 40 minutes from Apollo Bay, however it’s more than likely you will want to pull over 30 minutes into the drive just to admire the magnificent scenery. Hot tip: if you start to see more and more cars pulling over, there’s a good chance they’ve spotted a koala, so keep an eye on the trees.
The walk to the top of the lighthouse and the view from the cliffs of the Cape is just one of many highlights of Australia’s oldest surviving lighthouse. Located on Gabubanud Country, the station is full of stunning heritage buildings and Indigenous history. From bush tucker talks to learning to play the didgeridoo, the Cape Otway Lightstation is home to countless stories of the Indigenous people who lived in Cape Otway and the rich history of the lightkeepers who operated the station.
The Otway Ranges rainforest is full of walks and places to explore. Not for the faint hearted is the Otway Fly and Treetop Adventure. Known for its elevated walkways suspended high among the trees of the rainforest and for its 47-metre-high lookout, the adventure is one of the biggest suspended walks of its kind. It provides an extraordinary view of the rainforest floor below and rainforest canopy. Tickets cost around $25 with discounts for children and seniors available.
If heights are not for you, then I highly recommend you explore the forests walks. Whether it’s in pursuit of a waterfall or a walk to Lake Elizabeth there is nothing better than the misty air and smells of a temperate rainforest.
Skenes Creek Beach
If you’re travelling in the colder months, don’t fret! One of the best parts about Victoria’s southern most towns is that no matter the weather, you will always be left with the most amazing views and stunning walks. One of my favourite things to do when swimming isn’t an option is to walk along the beach at Skenes Creek. When facing the ocean, to your right is Apollo Bay and, although there is no path or direct route to follow along the beach, at low tide the coastline is clear of major obstacles the whole way into town. To your left is the way less travelled; a route that finishes when there is simply no sand or rock left to walk on.
Apollo Bay boasts over three kilometres of undisturbed coastline with points of entry every few hundred metres. Whether you drive or walk, you’ll never have to fight for a place on the beach. Bathers beware: Skenes Creek beach and the coastline approaching Apollo Bay are not patrolled and can be prone to strong rips. Apollo Bay has two patrolled beaches closer to town.
First and third photos by Edward Fitzgerald
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