February 15, 2019 / By Paul
If you’re in the mood for a weekend away but don’t want to be bumping into the rest of Melbourne while there, then the Otway Ranges are for you. A two and half hour drive from the city and just five minutes from Apollo Bay, Skenes Creek is a great base from which to explore the Great Ocean Road. Easter, Queen’s Birthday, Grand Final weekend, New Years - there isn’t a time of year that I haven’t visited this part of the coast. Jump on the M1 out of Melbourne and take Skenes Creek Road (C119) to find the following great places to refuel while you explore.
Forrest Brewing Company
If you’re after somewhere to break up the drive from Melbourne, or just want a great place to stop for a bite to eat, then look no further than Forrest Brewing Company. Located in the heart of the Otway Ranges, it offers in-house brewed beers and a fantastic gastro-pub feel and menu. Their freshly brewed beers can be found at restaurants and pubs all throughout the region, so be sure to include time for a beer tasting on your way through before tackling the rest of the area. If I had to give a writer’s pick, it would have to be the Untamed Turkey.
Chris’s Beacon Point
Nestled in the trees of the Otway Ranges, Chris’s Beacon Point welcomes its guests with a warm sandstone and timber interior and breathtaking floor-to-ceiling views of Bass Strait. Whether it’s a booking for two or eight, for lunch or dinner, Chris’s offers the space and menu for all occasions. Known for its Mediterranean profile and hearty meals, the restaurant prides itself on cooking the very best locally-sourced seafood. A staple in the region, Chris’s offers a wine list comprised of local wine and beer chosen specifically to be paired with your meal. We have dined at Chris’s every year that we have visited Skenes Creek and its elegant design, menu and view are yet to be lost on me.
The Harbour Fish Shop
A beach holiday would be incomplete without fish and chips. The Harbour Fish Shop doubles as a storefront for the fish market and fish and chip shop. Located on the harbor in Apollo Bay, you would be hard pressed to find fresher fish considering you’re eating within an arm’s reach of the vessel they were caught on. With limited seating, your best bet is to eat your meal with your legs over the pier or take it down to the beach.
The restaurant and pub scene along the Great Ocean Road is quite unknown to Melbournians the further west you travel - take the time to try the local brews and views, it’s well worth it. Be sure to check out these great places in the area too.
First and third photos by Edward Fitzgerald
We think you should know: The Weekender's travel guides are independently written by real travellers. We do not receive any money from, or have a sponsorship arrangement with, any of the entities listed in, or referred to in this article.