48 Hours in the Ot­ways

En­joy an es­cape to the idyl­lic Ot­ways region, just two hours west of Mel­bourne. By Mark Fitz

Where Melbourne - - Contents - Cape Ot­way Light­sta­tion

HOME TO A CAP­TI­VAT­ING COAST­LINE, pic­turesque na­tional parks and an abun­dance of fan­tas­tic food, the Ot­ways region is a de­light to your senses. With so much to ex­plore and ex­pe­ri­ence, here’s how to get the most out of 48 hours in the region.

WHERE TO EX­PLORE? Ot­way Park Trees Ad­ven­ture

There’s no bet­ter way to get the blood pump­ing than on a high ropes course tour! Once you’re geared up and have had the safety brief­ing it’s then straight out onto one of the cour­ses, which range from easy through to more ad­vanced. My favourite ac­tiv­ity on the course is the fly­ing foxes—the adren­a­line rush you get as you’re high in the sky and zip­ping through the bush­land is a lot of fun!

Steven­sons Falls

A 30-minute drive south of Ot­way Park Trees Ad­ven­ture is the mag­nif­i­cent Steven­sons Falls. From the carpark, the falls are a 500-me­tre walk through the for­est and along the Gel­li­brand River. A cou­ple of days be­fore my visit there had been sig­nif­i­cant rains which meant there was plenty of water rush­ing over the falls. There is also a camp­ground in the val­ley which is quite pop­u­lar dur­ing the hol­i­day pe­ri­ods.

Mar­riners Look­out

At the north­ern end of Apollo Bay is Mar­riners Look­out, which boasts some of the best views in the region, espe­cially at sun­rise or sunset. The look­out is sit­u­ated on pri­vate land, however the landown­ers have kindly al­lowed the public ac­cess, so please make sure you re­spect it and take any rub­bish with you. Built in 1848, the Cape Ot­way Light­sta­tion is widely recog­nised as Australia’s most important light­house. Perched high above the meet­ing point of the South­ern Ocean and Bass Straight, this was the first glimpse of Australia for thousands of peo­ple in­clud­ing con­victs and early set­tlers. An In­dige­nous Cook­ing Dis­play is also avail­able here where you can learn about the local Koori cul­ture at the In­dige­nous Cul­tural Centre.

Cal­i­for­nian Red­woods

Nes­tled along­side the Aire River is the colos­sal Cal­i­for­nian Red­woods for­est. Planted in 1939, the Red­woods now reach up to 60 me­tres high and are a mag­i­cal part of the Great Ot­way Na­tional Park. It’s the per­fect spot for a pic­nic so make sure you grab some scal­lop pies and sand­wiches from the Apollo Bay Bak­ery be­fore you head out!

Hopetoun Falls

Only three kilo­me­tres from the Red­woods is one of the most iconic and pho­tographed wa­ter­falls in Vic­to­ria, Hopetoun Falls. There is a view­ing plat­form at the carpark but the best way to ex­pe­ri­ence the falls is at their base. It’s about a 15-minute walk to the bot­tom where you’ll be greeted by the roar­ing falls, a mass of beau­ti­ful ferns and the creek rush­ing past. You’ll be filled with a sense of awe and won­der and it feels like you’re in “Juras­sic Park”.

Ot­way Fly Tree­top Adventures

See the rain­for­est from a whole dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive with a tree­top walk and zip line tour over the Ot­way for­est. The tree­top walk is 600 me­tres long and reaches a height of 47 me­tres at the look­out. Feel­ing more ad­ven­tur­ous? Try the zip line tour for a bird’s-eye view of the for­est. Don’t for­get to strap a cam­era to your hel­met to cap­ture the mo­ment! This tour goes for around two and a half hours, where you’ll also learn about the his­tory and fea­tures of the area from experienced guides.

WHERE TO EAT?

After all those ac­tiv­i­ties, you’ll be hang­ing out for some­thing to eat and the restau­rants in this region know how to put on a feast!

For­rest Brew­ing Com­pany

Just 15 min­utes from the Ot­way Park Trees Ad­ven­ture is the For­rest Brew­ing Com­pany. This fam­ily-owned business was es­tab­lished in 2010 and has a mi­cro­brew­ery and res­tau­rant. This was our first meal in the Ot­ways region and the food and beer here were top class.

Great Ocean Road Brew­house

If you’re stay­ing in Apollo Bay and look­ing for a great meal and a beer, then be sure to stop in at the Great Ocean Road Brew­house. With over 100 dif­fer­ent craft beers avail­able there is some­thing for ev­ery­one and the Tastes of the Region behind the Brew­house is a fan­tas­tic way to sam­ple the local pro­duce.

Chris’s Bea­con Point Res­tau­rant

With an em­pha­sis on the fab­u­lous freshly caught seafood of the ‘Bay’ along with Chris’s trade­mark Mediter­ranean cook­ing and in­cred­i­ble views, Chris’s Bea­con Point Res­tau­rant is culi­nary ex­cel­lence! Lo­cated high above Apollo Bay, there is also the added bonus of be­ing able to stay here in one of the vil­las with amaz­ing ocean vis­tas.

Hello Cof­fee Roast­ery and Cafe

Cof­fee would have to be the most important food group and the only way to start your day! The Hello Cof­fee team have their award-win­ning Daily Blend for you to get your fix. You can find Hello Cof­fee in the In­dus­trial Es­tate of Apollo Bay. It’s a cosy lo­cals’ se­cret with a re­laxed at­mos­phere and a fan­tas­tic ar­ray of break­fast or lunch op­tions.

WHERE TO STAY? Hol­i­day Great Ocean Road

If you en­joy un­in­ter­rupted ocean views and built-in deck spas or just a fam­ily hol­i­day house, Hol­i­day Great Ocean Road has lots of beau­ti­ful hol­i­day prop­er­ties. Hol­i­day Great Ocean Road were ex­tremely wel­com­ing and couldn’t do enough for us while we were in the region.

There’s so much to do in the Ot­ways, you sim­ply can’t fit it all into one day. Come and stay a few nights in the Ot­ways and tick off a number of adventures. From wa­ter­falls to zip lin­ing in the for­est and, of course, the in­cred­i­ble food, you won’t want to leave.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit, iamot­ways.com.au and iamapol­lobay.com.au

Hol­i­day Great Ocean Road ac­com­mo­da­tion view. Photo: @_ mark­fitz.

For­rest Brew­ing Com­pany. Photo: @_ mark­fitz.

Cape Ot­way Light­sta­tion. Photo: Belinda Van Za­nen.

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