Located 150km from Melbourne, Lorne is a picture-perfect surf town that backs onto the Otway National Park – home to over 500 waterfalls and a surf break suitable for beginners to seasoned surfers. It’s where bush meets the sea so why choose between chasing waterfalls or chasing waves! You can have it all in one Great Weekend.
We left Melbourne far behind and took to the open road after work on Friday night. The winding Great Ocean Road lives up to its name as one of the world’s most scenic drives. Epic coastal views make the drive part of the destination but you know arrived in Lorne when you’re greeted by the iconic Great Ocean Road sign lit by the last rays of sunset – magic!
We set Jimmy from Lorne Tours the challenge to take us to as many great waterfalls in the Otways as we could walk in a day. With his amazing local knowledge, Jimmy knows how to deliver an extraordinary experience and will tailor a trip to your needs.
There are over 500 waterfalls in the Otways, many unmapped and we were on a mission to hunt out 5. Only 495 to go!
From Sheoak picnic area we wandered through rainforest and Aussie bushland to Won Wondah Falls, Henderson Falls (you can add upper and lower Kilimna Falls to your circuit too) and through the canyon all the way through to the majestic Phantom Falls (upper and lower).
Henderson Falls is a little hidden gem. Much quieter and lesser known than many of the other falls and what it lacks in size it sure makes up in the serenity of having the place to yourselves.
18,000 steps later we completed our circuit. But we couldn’t leave without driving to nearby Erskine Falls. This is definitely a well mapped waterfall, and no wonder it’s 30m drop into a cascading gully it makes for one impressive waterfall! But get here early to avoid the crowds.
We stayed at Joy Apartments #2, coastal luxe accommodation located right in the heart of Lorne. The giant balcony gave us prime position to take in the sunrise, meet some locals (if you’re lucky the friendly cockatoos might pop over for a visit) and also do a surf check, in the comfort of our pj’s.
Then with a quick walk down Selfie Lane and across the main street foreshore we were at HAH Lornebeach — Health and Hire. Whilst we kicked back with a super smoothies cafe owner Leon kitted us out with stand-up paddleboards and wetsuits. After a demo on the sand it was time to hit the surf.
You don’t have to be a pro to give Stand Up Paddle Boarding a go. It’s a great way to play in the water for all levels of experience, ages and fitness levels. The beach right out the front of the HAH is shallow so beginners can push the boards past the waves to the flat water behind and more experienced paddlers can catch the shore break right our front or head over to the long board wave to the right.
Follow the Princes Highway (M1) from Melbourne to Geelong, then take the Great Ocean Road through Torquay to Lorne.
Driving the Great Ocean Road at sunset.
The guided, personalized tour of the Otways with Lorne Tours took us to places we’d never find on our own.
The staff make the experience even more spectacular. Say hi to Jamie for me! The ease of a healthy brekky with surf hire at HAH Lornebeach.
You don’t have to have your own gear or lug it to Lorne to make the most of this beautiful beach.
Staying right in the heart of the action at Joy Apartments. With the luxe comfort to retreat when you want.
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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.