Travelling with your family is a great opportunity to slow down, spend more quality time together and explore the fantastic local towns throughout the region.
Whether you have been to the Great Ocean Road before or not, it is always worth a visit. Many people that travelled our coast and hinterland in their younger years are now returning with their children.
No matter how old your kids are, children always love to learn from their parents and spend time making memories together. Apart from visiting kid-friendly beaches along the Great Ocean Road and spending your day on adventure activities to keep your children entertained, there is stacks to discover for the entire family.
Get that notepad and pen ready! Whether you are planning a Great Ocean Road itinerary with toddlers, will travel the Great Ocean Road with a baby in tow, or are going on a road trip with your older kids, it’s time to find inspiration to prepare for that perfect family getaway.
To help you make the most of all there is to do and see across the region, here is our list of the top family things to do around the Great Ocean Road.
Surfing is on the bucket list for many people, so why not cross it off during your Great Ocean Road family holiday and teach the kids something new at the same time? This tremendous outdoor activity will burn plenty of energy and put big smiles on everyone’s faces.
Surfing is one of the many cool things to do in Apollo Bay for families but experienced and friendly surf schools also offer lessons at the following locations:
Go Ride A Wave
Go Ride A Wave
Apollo Bay Surf & Kayak
There are many fun activities to do along the Great Ocean Road. One of them is enjoying a family paddle together. Anglesea Paddleboats and Canoe Hire provide motorised fun boats, aqua bikes, 2-person kayaks and paddleboats to explore the Anglesea River.
A chocolate-smeared face is usually a tell-tale sign of a good day out for any kid. At Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery you can join a class that is suitable for all ages and learn about sustainable chocolate making. This is one of the best things to do for families near Torquay, just ten minutes out of town.
Finish off a great day of learning and deliciousness with a chocolate waffle topped with ice cream at the in-house cafe, which is open all day.
Between May and September, try your luck at seeing a whale in the wild for a unique and memorable experience that the whole family can enjoy. Visit the lighthouses at Split Point, Cape Otway or Cape Nelson and climb them for the best seat in the house to watch the gentle giants together.
Lighthouses are also the perfect outdoor classroom for children to learn about the region’s history, the animals of the sea, and the science behind the moving light atop the lighthouse.
The Lorne Live Wire Park is the perfect adventure activity at the Great Ocean Road for kids (and older thrill-seekers) with various courses available. Tire out both tiny and adult legs on the most extreme rollercoaster zip lines, tree surfing, treetop walks and high ropes. Visit the ‘Spring Circuit’ for a sky high-bouncing experience for smaller kids.
Learning and understanding the cultural connections of a region is an essential and exciting part of any family holiday. Visit the UNESCO world heritage site, Budj Bim, to learn about the area’s rich cultural history and discover the native wildlife and unique volcanic landscape.
Tower Hill is an inactive volcano and home to plenty of wildlife including koalas, kangaroos, and emus. Just beyond the 12 Apostles, you can find Flagstaff Hill in Warrnambool to experience and learn more about the history of the region’s shipwrecks, their crews and passengers.
Kids are like sponges and best learn through nature play. Why not visit the Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park to experience Australian wildlife in an interactive and natural way? Learn about dingoes in this family-run park with an eco vision and experience local iconic animals up close.
When visiting the Apollo Bay region, make sure you plan a stop at Wildlife Wonders to see and learn what the Otways once was before predators. Guided by conservationists, you will see animals roam the stunning bushland freely, whilst learning about their many habits and native habitat.
Giddy up and explore our stunning Great Ocean Road scenery by horseback. Visit the Blazing Saddles horse riding school in Aireys Inlet and discover fun for the entire family. From pony rides for the little ones to full-day adventures for experienced riders, they have a horse for every rider.
Go for a dune or beach ride with Rundell’s in Warrnambool, open to riders of all ages and experience levels. Spring Creek Horse Rides are another fantastic thing to do for families just out of Torquay, providing an incredible natural backdrop and horse trail rides stretching through Great Otway National Park.
We all love a bit of live music, even the little ones. After your action-packed day, find a cosy cocktail bar like the Last One Inn in Anglesea or the famous Bomboras Pop Up Bar in Torquay and listen to the tunes. The kids can dance their hearts out while you kick back and sip on a Bomboras Great Ocean Road Negroni while watching the sunset. This is a fantastic thing to do in Torquay for families and a great way to finish off your holiday.
Holidays with kids don’t always have to be all about the kids. When planning your family holiday to the Great Ocean Road, remember to include plenty of activities to keep everyone happy and interested.
Keep in mind that recharging your own batteries after an action-packed day with the little ones is as important as entertaining your children. Visit the Great Ocean Road region to find your balance and discover the endless suggestions for the entire family.
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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.