52 Great Weekends

No 51: Greatest Escapes

Pair adventure with indulgence at the Great Ocean Road’s most luxurious getaways.

Spend the weekend at some of the greatest escapes on the Great Ocean Road.

Wake up to a championship golf course and award-winning day spa, or in true resort-style, right in the heart of Anglesea. Live in beach-front luxury in Lorne, relax riverside in Kennett River, enjoy a home among the Wye River gumtrees or would you prefer a hilltop hideaway high above Apollo Bay?

Settle into the sophisticated serenity of Marengo, pretend to be the lightkeeper for the weekend or enjoy your coastal views cabin in Port Campbell. Rejuvenate at the hot springs in Warrnambool or step back in time at an old-world bluestone bnb in Port Fairy. Spend the night vine-side, at historical country homesteads, a beautiful bush retreat or at a luxurious farm stay and spa.

Don’t you deserve a great escape this weekend?

Torquay

Located only 1.25h from Melbourne luxury is never too far away in the vibrant seaside town of Torquay. It is the official start of the Great Ocean Road and the Home of Australian Surfing. While it has long been an Australian favourite surfing road trip destination today it is one of the largest Victorian seaside towns with great shopping, great food and great culture.

Stay

RACV TORQUAY RESORT

Spacious and beautifully designed with every convenience at your fingertips the award winning RACV Resort Torquay has everything you need to relax and unwind. Ideally situated at No 1: Great Ocean Road you’ll wake up to a championship golf course on your doorstep, be able to check the surf from your private balcony and have the warm waters of the bathhouse and therapeutic steam room waiting for you when you return. No wonder it’s in the Trip Advisor’s Top 10 Best Hotels in Australia list.

RACV TORQUAY GOLF COURSE

Wake to a round of golf on the resort’s championship course. Even the best players might be distracted by the spectacular backdrop of Torquay and Jan Jun beaches as they play the immaculate, wide-open fairways, undulating greens, fescue roughs and wetlands of this Par 71, 18-hole, links style course.

RACV, ONE SPA

Relax with a well-earned bathing session at RACV, One Spa. The award-winning heated spa bathhouse and luxurious thermal stone steam room will leave you blissed out in no time. Continue the pampering with a personalised massage treatment then watch the sun set on the picturesque 18-hole golf course as you sip champagne in your private geisha spa.

Anglesea

Located just 10 minutes past Torquay, Anglesea is a natural playground. Here you can play in the waves at a choice of safe beaches, meet the local abundant native wildlife in the Anglesea heathlands, paddle on the calm waters of Anglesea river and wander through the wetlands boardwalks. You can feel the wind in your hair as you ride horses on wide sandy beaches, explore the rockpools of marine national parks, roam the sandstone clifftops of the coastal walks and mountain bike down bush trails. All with the luxuries of day spas, fine dining restaurants and the conveniences of a vibrant seaside village within walking distance of your resort accommodation.

Stay

GREAT OCEAN ROAD RESORT, ANGLESEA

Spend the weekend enjoying all the luxuries of the Great Ocean Resort – including an indoor pool, tennis courts, fitness centre, trampoline park, day spa and dining options. Spacious, flexible and comfortable, rest and rejuvenation is assured with spacious one and two-bedroom apartments, spa suites and modern studio rooms. This riverside resort is just a short walk from beaches, restaurants, cafes and parks right across the road.

Lorne

Located 150km from Melbourne, luxurious Lorne is a picture-perfect surfside resort town that backs onto the lush gullies of the Otway National Park. Epic coastal views make the drive part of the destination but you know arrived when you’re greeted by the iconic Great Ocean Road memorial sign. Lorne offers the perfect place for indulgence – ocean front fine dining, boutique shopping and sidewalk cafes, all alongside the sparkling waters of Louttit Bay.

Stay

83 GREAT OCEAN ROAD – DLUX + PROPERTIES

This primely located property lives up to being managed by dlux + escape’s! 83 Great Ocean Road offers a stunning location and views overlooking Louttit Bay and beach with 360 degree views from Lorne Pier to Aireys Inlet Lighthouse. Relax on the balcony or in the floor to ceiling windowed lounge and dining rooms to watch the whales frolic in the bay. Other features of the home include chef’s kitchen, master bedroom with ensuite, WC and powder room, front and back deck with barbecue, outdoor furniture and market umbrella.

Wye River

There’s a million reasons ‘Wye’ to visit this hidden hamlet. Slightly bigger than its closest neighbours, Wye River is one of the smaller townships spanning the length of the Great Ocean Road. Discover the secluded sandy bays and cool off in the sparkling water of Wye Beach. Step off the sand straight into the riverside general store café and to dinner and drinks at the town’s only pub. Return to your luxury home among the gum trees and drink in the magnificent beach views framed by a rugged mountain backdrop. Then spend your Sunday chasing over 400 waterfalls in the Great Otway National Park.

Stay

KEMBALI HOUSE

The word Kembali is used in Indonesian meaning ‘return’ and as soon as you see the enviable location, stunning architecture and ocean views I am certain that you will. Nestled into the Wye River landscape, a mere 120m stroll down to the beach, this spectacular 4 bedroom home (sleeps 12) is the perfect coastal destination for your family and friends. The fit for a chef kitchen, 12 seater dining in the treetops, ocean view lounging, multiple deck areas to chase the sun and let’s not forget resident koala ‘Kenny’ makes for a contemporary, earthy and fun holiday. Come once and I am sure you will come again.

Kennett River

Kennett River is full of simple pleasures. Located on the Great Ocean Road 170km south west of Melbourne. Approximately 35 minutes drive from Lorne and 5 minutes further on from Wye River. Kennett River has beautiful walks, including the Grey River Reserve where glow worms can be spotting by night, however you’ll be able to spot Koalas in the trees all around the town as well as birds and other wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled.

Stay

RIVER HOUSE, KENNETT RIVER

River House is an idyllically located riverfront with a flat wildlife walking path right on your doorstep. This wildlife walk will take you along the town’s namesake river to the beautiful Kennett River beach. The home is large and well thought out with 3 levels, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and an extra toilet in the downstairs playroom/shed. Spend the weekend enjoying the expansive open plan living spaces, huge wraparound deck and spa with spectacular ocean, river and native bush views. Kennett River has an abundance of wildlife and the friendly local birds will definitely pay you a visit!

Apollo Bay

Apollo Bay is where rolling green foothills of the Otways meet the sparkling ocean of the Southern Ocean – just under 200km from Melbourne. Here you can wander sandy secluded beaches, enjoy the freshest of seafood, explore waterfall filled rainforests and the vibrant culture scene. It’s a real catch!

Stay

BIMBADEEN ON BUSTY – YOUR HILLTOP HIDEAWAY

Arrive at your hidden hideaway Bimbadeen on Busty and be greeted with 360 degree views of the ocean, trees and lush hills. Perched high on top of a rolling green hilltop, this magnificent two-bedroom, fully equipped home oozes romance, luxury, beauty and privacy with every convenience at your fingertips. You would have a great weekend relaxing in the beautiful surrounds or by the fire of this secluded romantic retreat even if you did nothing else! Bimbadeen on Busty offers incredible views from every room so you can admire the vibrant, colour streaked sunrise from the comfort of your queen-sized bed or enjoy your morning coffee outside as well as the view. What a way to wake up! But if you’re up for exploring, Apollo Bay is only a twelve-minute drive away.

Marengo

Marengo is a small seaside community located 156kms from Melbourne and 2km from the Apollo Bay township, a perfect place for a relaxing getaway.

There are plenty of things to do in the area, including walking the Great Ocean Walk, kayaking with the seals at Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary, swimming at the crescent shaped beach or bushwalking in the Otway National Park.

CYPRESS HILL, MARENGO

Set on an acre, Cypress Hill Marengo situated just 5km from Apollo Bay on the west side of Marengo, with views overlooking the rolling green hills and bush surrounding Apollo Bay and Bass Strait.
The entire front of this modern, architecturally designed house features windows stretching from floor to ceiling with a huge outdoor wrap around deck. This spacious house accommodates up to eight guests in three bedrooms and boasts two separate living areas with ocean glimpses, an 8ft x 4ft pool table, Table Soccer Table and a huge handmade timber dining table. Cypress Hill provides the perfect base for a short break with friends or a great family holiday. Kids will love the llama’s & sheep on the property.

Cape Otway

Australia’s oldest working lighthouse is just one reason to visit Cape Otway. Located just 3hrs 30mins from Melbourne, Cape Otway sits right on the southern tip of Victoria’s Western Coast, where the Southern Ocean collides with Bass Straight. It is also known as the Ship Wreck Coast. It’s home to Australia’s oldest working lighthouse, aptly named ‘The Beacon of Hope’. Built in 1848 this beauty has saved hundreds of sea-farers lives and today is a drawcard for history buffs and sight-seers alike.
Surrounded by the Great Otway National Park there is so much to see in Cape Otway – rocky cliffs make way for hidden sandy beaches, tranquil rainforests hide bubbling streams and even a huge towering waterfalls. It is also home to Australia’s largest koala population and that alone makes a weekend at Cape Otway a must.

Stay

LIGHTKEEPER’S COTTAGE, CAPE OTWAY LIGHTHOUSE

Call the heritage Lightkeeper’s Cottage home for the weekend. Built in 1857 this homely, historical building comes complete with sweeping views of the lighthouse and Southern Ocean. It was home to Henry Bayles Ford, his wife Mary Ann Ford and their nine children, seven of which were born here.

The four-bedroom cottage (which can be broken into two separate two bedroom accommodation options) offers a much more idyllic escape today than it did for the original hard-working and incredibly resourceful light keepers. They not only raised their families in extreme isolation (deliveries came by boat only twice a year) but rescued and fed shipwreck victims and kept the light burning every evening for the safety of thousands of ships that travelled through Bass Straight.

Port Campbell

Located just over 3hrs from Melbourne, Port Campbell is a colourful seaside village only 12km from the 12 Apostles. You’ll find everything that epitomises the Great Ocean Road right on your doorstep – sandy beaches, iconic views, delicious regional focused dining and boutique accommodation that makes you dream of sea changes. You’ll also find things you’ll never see anywhere else in the world – The Twelve Apostles are undeniably great, as are the many unmissable landmarks of the Port Campbell National Park.

Stay

ANCHORS, PORT CAMBELL

Anchors Villas provides you with a luxury rural retreat right in the heart of Port Campbell. Nestled in the hills high above town Anchors offers 3 contemporary
ocean views villas positioned with privacy on the 30 acre property. Each villa provides open plan living, elevated bedroom and spa bath with a panoramic views – the perfect getaway for a little romance.

Warrnambool

There’s so many great ways to spend the weekend in this city overlooking the deep blue of the Southern Ocean. Breathe in the salt air whilst tempting the tastebuds at renowned restaurants then delve into the vibrant arts, culture and music scene. Get back to nature with a visit to the impressive Hopkins Falls and watch the whales migrate from the cold Antarctic Waters. If you’re lucky you might see them calve at the sheltered whale nursery of Lady Bay. You’ll marvel at the wildness of winter waves as they crash into the breakwater on your Sunday stroll to spot the local fairy penguins. Then simply relax, rejuvenate and replenish at the Deep Blue Bath House and the open-air bathing sanctuary of the Deep Blue Hot Springs.

DEEP BLUE HOTEL & HOT SPRINGS

The sound of the Southern Ocean sends you into the deepest sleep when you stay in one of the 81 spacious deluxe or premium suites at the Deep Blue Hotel. You’ll need it, Warrnambool is waiting to wake you up with its never-ending list of exciting adventures. After your room service breakfast in bed of course! The hotel chef’s will indulge your senses at the Deep Blue Restaurant serving up seasonal menus that celebrates local produce. Good food in a relaxed, casual dining atmosphere… what a way to finish the day.

DEEP BLUE HOT SPRINGS

Bathe under the stars at the geothermal rock pools and sensory caves of The Deep Blue Hot Springs. Feel the work week slip away as you step into the restorative mineral salts and feel the natural heat of the earth drawn therapeutic waters. The twilight bathing session will blissfully ease you into holiday mode as you make your way through the steamy open-air sanctuary. Here, you’ll immerse yourself in the rainforest pool inspired by the nearby Otway’s, relax in the aromatic lavender mists, indulge the senses in the illuminated colour therapy caves and gaze at the stars in the shallow pools of Reflection Bay. You won’t want to leave and luckily you don’t have too, you can dine and stay at the Deep Blue Hotel too.

Port Fairy

Ride back in time in this postcard-pretty historic fishing town. This charming coastal village is alive with history and modern treasures alike. Hire bikes and cruise along historic streets, lined with 19th Century cottages and Norfolk Pines. Then watch fisherman unload their catch of the day at one of the busiest fishing ports in Victoria. Explore the wildlife sanctuary and historic lighthouse on Griffith Island and keep an eye out for whales on your walk on East Beach. Peruse the local luxury boutiques, antique stores and meet the makers at the artisan workshops scattered throughout this picturesque town. Then relax at some of the finest food and wine destinations on the Great Ocean Road before returning to your unforgettable accommodation at historic bluestone bnb’s.

Stay

OAK & ANCHOR, PORT FAIRY

Stay at the most romantic of retreats in Port Fairy. Oak & Anchor is a 6-bedroom boutique hotel located right in the heart of the seaside village. This historic bluestone building has been a part of Port Fairy’s colourful history since 1857 and was lovingly renovated by owners Blair and Sally in 2018 – now, it’s the classiest old dame in town. Each suite is uniquely designed mixing the historic stone, timber and rusted steel textures with luxurious, contemporary furnishings right down to the tiniest of details. These luxurious, light filled rooms with open plan bathrooms and decadently deep bathtubs makes for an unforgettable romantic retreat.

Port Fairy is famed for its multitude of dining destinations. But at Oak & Anchor you don’t have to travel further than downstairs. Here you can share some the region’s best produce, tapas style. The Oak and Anchor Hotel team with over 70+ years of combined hospitality experience know how to serve up an exceptional meal, whatever time of day you choose to dine. The three beautifully crafted menus (breakfast, lunch & dinner) show off the best of seasonal and regional produce. The tapas style share plates of slow cooked meats and contemporary bite sized snacks soon turned the meal into a feast!

MacArthur

SUFFOIR WINERY

Suffoir is a family-owned and operated farm, winery, brewery, cidery and distillery inspired by the animals on the property and the South African heritage of the owners. Everything is sustainably produced onsite. Located on the outskirts of Macarthur, only 30 minutes from Port Fairy and next to Budj Bim National Park.

The Suffoir name is derived from the properties Suffolk sheep and Pinot Noir Vines. Enjoy a wine tasting at the Cellar Door or treat yourself to the full ‘Wine in the Vines’ experience as you privately drink and dine in the heart of this picturesque vineyard.

Stay

SUFFOIR WINERY VINE SIDE TRAM CARS

Suffoir Winery is famous for its annual Music in the Vines Festival. But a lesser known but equally exciting offering is their unique and luxurious accommodation experience. Be one of the first guests to spend the night in the restored Red Rattler Tram Car accommodation, complete with firepit that overlooks the vines . The peaceful surroundings make for a great night’s sleep too! 

Cobden

Cobden is a charming country town rich in natural and colonial history. Located 208 kilometres southwest of Melbourne, just 10 minutes from Camperdown and 30 minutes from the Great Ocean Road – Cobden is the perfect base from which to explore the surrounding sites. There is a lot to love in town too – the friendly locals, walking path of Lake Cobden, Crater to Coast Rail Trail and a vibrant local pub makes for a great weekend.

Stay

HEYTESBURY HOUSE BED & BREAKFAST, COBDEN

As soon as you walk into the hidden, hedged gardens of Heytesbury House you’ll be glad you booked for the weekend. Once a local hospital, it has now been transformed into a luxurious, traditional boutique bnb that celebrates the period characteristics of the building. Suites come with their own private bathroom and every guest has access to the drawing room complete with gas log fireplace, library, puzzles, games, television, tea and coffee making facilities, tranquil gardens and bbq areas.

Timboon

The lush pastures of Timboon produce some of the region’s finest products and the tall forests are the perfect playground for active adventures. Spend the weekend trying the locally made whisky, organic cheese, farm fresh fudge, mouth-watering ice cream, hand crafted chocolates and some of the most luscious strawberries you will ever taste! Then ride off on the historic Timboon to Camperdown Rail Trail before escaping for a night of luxury among native bushland.

Stay

MODESC, YOUR MODERN ESCAPE AMONGST THE TREES

This two-bedroom, beautifully designed luxury home resides in the heart of Timboon. Something you’ll soon forget when you’re sitting on the private deck surrounded by native bushland and abundant bird life. It would be a great weekend simply curling up with a good book by the indoor and outdoor fireplaces but more adventurous types will love the neighbouring bushwalking trails that take you all the way to Port Campbell and being only a short stroll from all of the townships main attractions.

Birregurra

The quaint, peaceful country town of Birregurra oozes refined charm with meticulously restored township facades that nod to a rich historical past. Birregurra, an Aboriginal word thought to mean ‘kangaroo camp’ became a thriving town in the 1900’s with its railway being the lifeblood of the vast Otways timber industry. Today, even the toughest food critics flock to these hills for the freshest farm gates, growers and producers, breweries and winemakers of the Otway Harvest Trail and some of the finest dining destinations in the country – Brae is consistently recognised as one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Stay

WARILDA FARM STAY, RETREAT & SPA

Get a taste for luxurious life on the land at the Warilda farm stay retreat and spa, then earn your keep helping tend to the friendly farm animals. As soon as you arrive at Warilda, the relaxation begins. The pine-lined driveway leads you to your magical boutique guest cottage complete with private waterside sundeck and incredible view of the farm. The space is cosy and set up with every necessity. Quiet, private and chic.

WARILDA DAY SPA & BATHING

Put your robe on, change into the cozy spa slippers and forget the world exists at the onsite Day Spa Cottage. Owner, stylist and celebrity masseuse Denise Pinot offers a range of indulgent treatments that will make you feel like a VIP yourself. Then lie back and soak up the Otway country air during your unique open-air bathing experience surrounded by pine trees, farmland and nature.

 

BREAKFAST WITH THE WARILDA ANIMALS

Early risers can enjoy their continental breakfast and the sunrise from their private balcony or sundeck. The free-range farm animals might pop by for a visit, it’s breakfast time for them too! Then help Denise feed the friendly horses, alpacas and sheep, all kept in line by the bubbly blonde kelpie Abby. You won’t want to leave this little slice of farm heaven.

Watch the episode

Top 5 things that made the weekend great

  • Living in oceanfront luxury in Lorne

  • Staying riverside in Kennett River

  • Spending the night vine-side in a converted tramcar

  • The private, rural retreat right in the heart of Port Campbell

  • The blissful Warilda Day Spa and farm stay

Escape from reality at these relaxing resorts, boutique bnb’s and luxurious holiday homes.


 

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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.