On some holidays, all you need is a place to come home at night and rest your head. But then there are the trips where the stay itself is the experience and the joy is in exploring your epic accommodation. Think quaint cottages with stunning views, working farm stays and adorable tiny homes. If you want to immerse yourself in a one-of-a-kind holiday where you won’t need a TV, itinerary or reason to leave, read on. All you have to do at these properties is settle in and enjoy your gorgeous surroundings.
The most photographed house along the Great Ocean Road, the iconic Pole House is on every couple’s bucket list. Suspended 40 meters above Fairhaven Beach on a giant pole, it boasts 360-degree views from the balcony that wraps around the entire home. See the road snake along fifty kilometres of coastline and look out over the Otways rainforest. Inside, the modern decor is minimalist and chic and won’t distract from those stellar views. Snuggle up in front of the suspended fireplace and watch the world go by.
Get off the grid and into nature. Tucked away on a 200-acre wildlife refuge on the coast of Cape Otway, these eco-friendly pods are solar-powered. To offset your stay, you can even plant a native tree and help regenerate the land. Secluded and self-contained, this luxury stay is a dreamy couple’s retreat. Wake up in the wilderness and roam the reserve, spotting koalas and kangaroos, wallabies and native birds. Spend your evenings watching beautiful sunsets over the ocean.
Discover a hideaway in the hinterlands surrounded by pine trees, where pampering and spa treatments await. Warilda Farm’s boutique guest cottage is a sweet space to rest and recharge your batteries. Throw open the doors and soak in the freestanding indoor-outdoor bath overlooking the rural countryside. Or put on a fluffy robe and treat yourself to a therapeutic massage. The cottage features vintage styling, a firepit and a sun-soaked deck.
Why stay in a house when you could spend the night in a repurposed vintage train carriage? Perfect for train aficionados, history buffs or anyone who loves a unique stay, the Steam Train Carriage sleeps a family of six. Find little touches of steampunk and old-world style in every nook. Think antique furniture, ornate chandeliers and a private outdoor bath. There’s a small kitchen and cosy wood fire, but no TV. Time here is better spent bonding over board games or strolling the bird-filled gardens.
Step back in time in this Edwardian guesthouse. Set among rolling hills and farmland, Heytesbury House is a century-old B&B with oodles of charm. The four suites each boast their own special features, like a four-poster bed, luxe double bath and private garden-view veranda. Take a wander through the beautifully manicured gardens or unwind with a book from the library. Enjoy the true bed and breakfast experience, with a gourmet brekkie in the dining room.
These recently restored lighthouse keepers cottages are steeped in history, taking advantage of Cape Nelson’s prime beachfront real estate on the rugged cliffs of Cape Nelson. The five two-bedroom cottages are equally suitable for a couple’s getaway, families or groups. Tour the lighthouse or head out for a clifftop ramble. Keep watch for whales on the horizon, or curious wallabies hopping around a little closer to home. Book the Head Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage and enjoy the outdoor spa beneath the stars.
Over on another cape, you’ll find another equally gorgeous lighthouse. Choose from Cape Otway Lightstation’s heritage Lightkeeper’s Cottage built in 1859, a four-bedroom lodge or a cosy studio with views of the lighthouse. If you’re looking for a group retreat where you can properly switch off, this is it. Mobile reception is limited and there’s no TV reception. Instead, enjoy views of the Southern Ocean and spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Wake up early for the morning lighthouse climb which is included in your stay.
The tiny house movement is showing no signs of slowing and boutique accommodation Timboon Tiny Homes proves that luxury doesn’t need to be large. Located in the heart of Timboon surrounded by beautiful native bushland, these pint-sized gems feature a queen-size bed, bathroom and kitchenette. Silk pillowcases, hardwood floors and stone benchtops complete the stylish look. The best bit? Guests are treated to unlimited ice cream from the famous Timboon Ice Creamery next door.
You’ve probably heard of this world-class restaurant tucked away in the little town of Birregurra. But did you know you could also stay on the grounds of the working farm? Spacious and eco-friendly, the guest suites feature organic bed linen, a turntable and record collection, custom artwork and views of The Otways and its rolling hills. Wake up to a breakfast of sourdough, pastries and preserves before exploring the orchards, olive groves and vegetable beds where your meal was grown. Stays are only available on the day of your lunch or dinner booking.
In the foothills of the Otway Ranges, Johanna River Farm offers a farm stay experience on a lush 280-acre working farm. Choose from a one-bedroom spa cottage for couples or a self-contained two-bedroom family room. Take in the stunning views across the farm and ocean. Then get the full farm experience meeting the animals, picking fruit from the orchard and collecting eggs from the chickens. The nearby fern gullies are perfect for bush walks and at night you can spot glow worms by torchlight.
These Great Ocean Road stays are guaranteed to be truly memorable. Just don’t blame us if you never make it out of your incredible holiday home to go sightseeing!
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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.