Family Activities

Run the kids wild in the winter school holidays

Visiting the Great Ocean Road region during the Victorian winter school holidays is the best remedy for tired and testy kids who need a mid-year recharge.

No matter their age – get them out for a run on the beach, a hike in the forest, or fossick along a creek to clear the cobwebs.

It’s a win for grown-ups too, as you benefit from spending time in nature away from the daily grind. Everyone will return home rejuvenated and ready to tackle the new term!

Make sure you pack your gumboots and raincoats and plenty of warm clothes so you can enjoy the outdoors.

And, if you need a break from any inclement weather, there are plenty of inside activities, too!

It’s really easy to visit the Great Ocean Road with the kids in winter.

Here are a few reasons why:

1. The kids won't be in the car too long

The start of the road is only 2 hours from Melbourne and 1 hour from Ballarat!

Many people don’t realise that the most beautiful coastline, rainforest, waterways and volcanic plains are SO close to Victoria’s cities. When you’re wrangling small kids or grumpy teenagers, the less time in transit, the better. The only thing you really need to do is book where you want to stay.

As for the rest – just let it roll.

2. It’s easy to find great accommodation

Winter is a bit quieter than the warmer months over here, which is a bonus for those coming to visit because not only will you have the opportunity to see amazing attractions all to yourself – it’s also easier to book somewhere to great stay, or easier to book at the last minute.

Check out our accommodation options, maybe something different a bit different that’s an experience in itself like a farm stay that will keep the kids entertained – or bring your furry family member along and book a pet friendly place to stay!

3. There’s hearty winter food in every town

There’s no need to pack too much food and drink for your road trip (which removes a lot of stress!). From the start of the road in Torquay, right through to the South Australian border, there are restaurants, cafes and bakeries that are stocked with hearty, winter-warming food and of course great coffee – with something delicious for even the fussiest little family member. We think winter is still a great time for fish and chips!

It doesn’t have to be allllll about the kids, you could even do a sneaky stop at a winery along the way.

4. You have the beaches to yourself

Most beaches that are packed during summer are quiet during winter. Most times, you can have the whole beach to yourself!

Rug up and run (try a cartwheel; nobody will be watching!) and yell out to the wild, crashing surf. Or, sit quietly and watch the water birds do their thing, or explore the rock pools. You’ll feel totally rejuvenated.

5. There’s an abundance of fine chocolate and ice cream

Sweet treats go hand-in-hand with school holidays and family time. Chocolate, confectionery, ice cream, milkshakes and other decadent sweets and desserts are serious business on the Great Ocean Road.

Here’s a round-up of places to visit:

Audley & Hall Artisan Chocolate – Port Fairy

Platypi Chocolate – Forrest

Timboon Ice Creamery or Dairylicous Farm Fudge – Timboon (plus you may as well check out the Railway Shed Distillery for some whisky tasting while you’re there – just sayin’)

The Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Icecreamery – Bellbrae

6. If you’re looking for a bit of adventure…

If you want to get outside for some adventure in nature (and see some wildlife, too!), there are options for kids of all ages, most of which the adults will love too!

Live Wire Park in Lorne for that absolute adrenaline rush! Adventure in the treetops or try the zipline.

Wildlife Wonders in Apollo Bay for a family wildlife experience like no other run by the Conservation Ecology Centre.

Lake Pertobe Adventure Playground in Warrnambool with plenty of cafés and restaurants close by.

Whale watching in Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Portland, these are great hot spots!

Otway Fly Treetop Adventures for a family treetop walk or try the obstacle course high up in the trees.

Worn Gundidj @ Tower Hill Reserve for a cultural tour and spotting wildlife including koalas and emus.

Kangaroo Tours at Anglesea Golf Club to get up close to see the Eastern Greys

 

Tip: If it’s raining, head to Jumpz Angelsea

7. Don't feel like planning?

We’ve done the planning for you. Just check out these blogs which are stacked full of stuff to do with kids around the region.

Apollo Bay & the Otways with Kids

A Kids Anglesea Adventure

Family fun in Aireys Inlet

Warrnambool & Port Fairy for Kids

 

8. Find a local event

The Great Ocean Road region is jam packed with events ALL year round, but in the school holidays, the locals like to add some little extras.

Find an event that looks like the whole family will enjoy. There are stacks of markets on as well.

 

Whatever you decide, we hope you ALL have a great school holidays!

 

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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.