Published on 14th September 2021
by Linsey Rendell

Promises of southern rock lobster, abalone and scallops fresh from Bass Strait aren’t the only alluring elements here. This stretch of the south-west is also flush with craft brewers, distillers and forest-bathing opportunities. In partnership with Visit Victoria, here’s our guide on where to eat, drink and stay.

If you’re a nature lover, this north-south ribbon of the Great Ocean Road is the kind of place you’ll want to return to again and again. From the forested hills of the Otway Ranges, to lush rainforest, rugged coastline, and sandy beaches, there’s an abundance of flora, fauna, and fungi to explore.

Here, you’re visiting Gadubanud and Gulidjan Country. It’s one of the wettest areas in Australia, with rainfall particularly plentiful in winter and spring. While the weather might be occasionally tumultuous, this time of year can gift sightings of southern right whales.

Whether you’re intent on cycling, birdwatching, bushwalking, or swimming (or just sitting on a verandah and soaking it all in), you’ll need some local specialty coffee and fresh seafood to support your pursuits.

From Melbourne, it’s a roughly two-hour drive to the Otways, or three hours if you mosey along the coastal route to Apollo Bay. In partnership with Visit Victoria, here’s our guide on what to do, eat, drink, and where to stay.

Explore more travel itineraries here.

Welcome to Apollo Bay and The Otways

EAT

From fresh-as-can-be seafood to Neapolitan pizza and Portuguese-style bistro fare, most meals in the region come with a view.

DRINK

There’s no shortage of things to sip here. Start with specialty coffee, progress through the local craft beers and ciders, and maybe pack the wine to go.

DO

Nature and wildlife abound in this forest-to-beach stretch of diverse microclimates. Explore it slowly by foot or swiftly on two wheels.

STAY

Enveloped by gardens, forests and calming seascapes, accommodation in the region leans into its natural surrounds.

Itinerary

24 hours in Apollo Bay and the Otways

This ocean-to-forest tract offers ample reprieve from the city tempo. Punctuate the plentiful nature bathing (or actual sea bathing) with delicious dishes shaped by local produce. The drinks scene here is fertile too – with wine, spirits, beers and coffee always close at hand.