09 May 2018
THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD DIARIES: 2 NIGHTS IN LORNEby Jess Zarnow
2 nights in Lorne
Our third stop for our Great Ocean Road journey was to the seaside town of Lorne. I’ve been itching to visit here for a while now and it totally lived up to my expectations. Its definitely not as quaint as some of the other towns we had visited, but that was to be expected. If you’re looking for a family friendly destination with beautiful beaches, an amazing hinterland, waterfalls and good grub, Lorne has you covered.
On the way we stopped in to Apollo Bay and The Otway Lighthouse (more on them below), they both very worthy of a look in.
Here’s how our two night stay went down-
It’s time to rest your head
As usual we hit up Airbnb for accommodation, this time choosing something a little bit different and heading just out of the town centre. We picked this magical shack as our home for two nights and we couldn’t have been happier. Our hosts Alexis and John were so lovely and accommodating, and have really thought about everything that has gone into the shack. It is in the middle of a property, surrounded by bushland- tall gumtrees filled with parrots, wrens and cockatoos. Its quirky and well appointed, even armed with a log fire for when the weather cools down.
The shower and toilet are also a short walk away from the house, where you can leave the shower doors open and privately shower whilst taking in the stunning scenery. I would recommend this place to anyone- we truly loved our stay and it was super afforable!
It’s time to eat
You really are spoilt for choice in Lorne when it comes to food. We were only here for two nights which means limited dining time (sad face) but here was a few of our favourites-
Pizza Pizza– The name says it all. Delicious pizza in a even more delicious setting. You got me at neon signs, crispy bases, minimalist interiors and BYO wine with $5.00 corkage.
Ice-cream– The ice-cream shop with the orange and white stripes seems to be very popular- and now I know why. I ordered the Hokey Pokey and now I know ‘that’s what it’s all about’.
The Grand Pacific Hotel Lorne– Just opposite the pier, this hotel makes a great steak and delicious curry. The outdoor seating is perfect for when the suns out.
Kafe Kaos– Top notch juices and smoothies. They also do brekky/brunch- their bacon and egg rolls are a winner.
Hotel at the pier– After waltzing on the jetty we stopped at this little hotel/cafe on the corner for a beer. Perfect views of the jetty and coast with food options also available.
Moons Espresso– Great coffee and large range of brunch options. There’s not many places that make a good decaf, but these guys got it right. Brekky picks include the granola and eggs benny with a side of salmon.
The Bottle Of Milk– If you are a burger enthusiast or just like a good feed then pop this in your little black book. The Bottle of Milk make mean burgers, and cater for all (vegan, GF, vego). We loved their ‘What a pickle’ and ‘Bingo Bango’ and practically licked the plates clean. They also offer brekky, and if that’s the same quality as their lunch options then you’re in for a treat.
Get your feet sandy
There are so many beautiful beaches surrounding Lorne, but the all round favourite is the Main Beach of Lorne. It’s a safe swimming beach, is patrolled by lifeguards in Summer and also accommodates surfers. There’s also SUP boards available for hire nearby, and when we were there the water was flat as a tack, so perfect for learners.
We also spent time at the St George River just out of the Lorne township- where the river meets the sea is such a magical spot and the water is crystal clear. There’s also plenty of sand to run around on and rockpools to keep everyone busy when the tide is out.
Explore the Great Outdoors
There are so many things to do around Lorne, but most of them fall into one of two categories- coast and rainforest.
We went to the Eskrine falls to take in the view and it was divine. We stopped at both the top and the bottom lookout, and the view from the bottom was especially beautiful. Just be aware that there’s an awful lot of stairs to walk up if you choose to go to the bottom (I thought it was dying numerous times and felt very unfit when a 3 year old went powering past me). I definitely recommend walking to the bottom though regardless of my lack of cardio abilities.
Teddys Lookout was also worth a stop in. The walk to the lookout only took a few minutes from the carpark and was very flat. The view takes in the coast of Lorne, including the hills and snippets of the Great Ocean Road.
Just on from Teddys Lookout you’ll find a track for the St George River Lookout. I think this gives you a better view of the coast and is worth the 300 metre walk.
If you are after a bit of a stroll then check out the Lorne Pier. We initially came here to soak in the view and hopefully spot the resident seal (didn’t see him), but much to our delight we saw 6 of the biggest stingrays we have ever seen. I’m talking over a metre wingspan, in crystal clear water only a few metres from the shore. Bloody amazing.
We stopped into Cape Otway Lighthouse on the way to Lorne- it was about 20 minutes off of the Great Ocean Road. The track took in some incredible scenery, so have your camera charged up. The entry fee is around $20, but the history of the area was very interesting and the view from the lighthouse was worth the money alone. We spent a hour or so there, making it the perfect driver reviver.
We also stopped into Apollo Bay on the way to Lorne. We would love to come back there for a night or two to check the town out properly because we liked what we saw! The Main Beach was really nice and the bakery, well it was damn good. The chocolate éclair I shared with my other half was literally the size of my head- my kind of dessert.
Cumberland Falls in Lorne was also recommended to us, but we didn’t get the chance to visit. Next time!
Have you ever visited Lorne before? What was your favourite thing to do/see/place to eat? I’d love to know