Pair adventure with indulgence this Mother’s Day with a road trip along the Great Ocean Road. The stunning coastline offers endless family adventures, opportunities to indulge in the finest food and wine and world-class, award winning day spas to ‘re-treat’ Mum this Mother’s Day. Whether you’re looking for an afternoon indulgence or a weekend long getaway, the seaside sanctuary of the Great Ocean Road will have her blissed out in no time.
Start your Mother’s Day road trip at the Split Point Lighthouse, famous for starring in the children’s TV show ‘Round the twist’. You can spot its iconic red cap from nearly all areas of Aireys Inlet. Still in automated operation today you can see the inner workings for yourself on a self-guided lighthouse tour (open daily, weather permitting). Learn how it was built, how it operates and about the lightkeepers and their families. You’ll be rewarded for climbing the 135 steps of the 34-metre high tower with 360-degree coastal vista views of the Shipwreck Coast.
Continue the adventure with an easy stroll along the Split Point Discovery Trail. From the various lookouts perched high on the stunning 7m tall sandstone cliffs you’ll gain insight into the history of the area, take in the epic views of the Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary and spot the sandy coves, caves and rock pools below.
Then, treat Mum to the famous scones at the tearooms below. The café is one of the original lighthouse precinct buildings dating back to the early 1900’s and the outdoor garden offers the perfect, tranquil setting to devour a well-earned morning tea.
Escape the noise of the outside world at this luxurious sanctuary located at the Great Ocean Road Resort. The perfect place where Mum can take a deep breath and fill her senses with rejuvenating salt air before the relaxation begins. She’ll be able to choose her favourite essential oil from the Aroma Bar, enjoy the warming sensation of a hot towel compress on her feet and a heat pillow on her back while the coastal lux treatment room is being prepared for her.
The Lux Spa and Wellness signature rituals are carefully designed as a collection of the finest restorative journeys, from the healing cleansing of the Vichy steam cocoon & Geisha tub to the stress-relieving Shirodhara therapy. Each of these holistic signature rituals will engage all of Mum’s senses and restore balance to her mind, body and spirit. Combining the healing powers of sound and touch with the most potent natural ingredients the Ocean and Earth have to offer, these signature Rituals will transport her to a sanctuary of calm and comfort.
Stay for the weekend and indulge in all the luxuries of the Great Ocean Road Resort, including the indoor pool, tennis courts, fitness centre, trampoline park and fine 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.
Let Mum get a bird’s eye view as she wanders the 600m long, 30m high elevated rainforest walk through the lush Otway National Park. This 1h experience offers unrivaled views of the region’s flora and fauna from the rainforest floor into the soaring heights of the towering treetops. Don’t miss the 47m Spiral Tower and cantilever perched above Young’s Creek, a truly exhilarating experience that allows you to gently sway with the rainforest canopy.
The centerpiece of the horseshoe-shaped rocky ridge of Sheoak Falls is the 15m sheer rock face that plummets into a tranquil pool surrounded by trees. It creates the perfect, natural amphitheater. Sheoak Falls is one of the few waterfalls which can be reached almost directly from the Great Ocean Road. The short walk (although there are plenty of steps) weaves its way from the coastal woodland at the mouth of the Sheoak Creek and through wet forest to the hidden cascades of Sheoak Falls.
Continue up the trail to see Swallow Cave. The climb is worth it when you see the alternative views of the falls along the way. This trail also requires a river crossing, so it might be impassable in the winter. At Swallow Cave, show Mum the Tree Martins, which live in the grotto during spring, summer and autumn. These birds use mud from the creek to build their nests.
Nestled between lush rainforest of the Great Otway National Park and beautiful gardens you’ll find a modern contemporary fine dining dinner menu and extensive wine selection that celebrates the produce of this bountiful region. A perfect destination for a Mother’s Day Lunch. Dine on Blue Fin tuna carpaccio, Burrata Cheese with local fresh figs, confit Great Ocean Road Duck, house-made falafels and cold smoked watermelon ‘tuna’ soba noodles. The sprawling garden views makes The Perch at Lavers Hill a truly tranquil place for a special meal or a drink prepared by the friendly in-house kitchen and bar staff.
As soon as your Mum arrives at this private and chic farm stay spa the relaxation will begin. The pine-lined driveway will lead her to the magical boutique guest cottage complete with private waterside sundeck and incredible view of the farm and continental breakfast. As soon as she puts the robe on and changes into the cozy spa slippers she’ll 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 Mum feel like a VIP herself. Let her lie back and soak up the Otway country air during the unique open-air bathing experience surrounded by pine trees, farmland and nature.
Continue the Mother’s Day indulgence at dinner. Pre-book a table at the nearby, world-famous destination restaurant of Brae – consistently named in the top 50 restaurants in the world or settle in for a night under the stars by the outdoor fire pit with a complimentary bottle of red and a self-cooked bbq (byo).
Bellbrae Estate is located five minutes from Bells Beach. The vines were planted in 1999 on the rolling green hills of the Surf Coast. Sample the Pinnacle Bellbrae Estate wines and the local Longboard Range at the Cellar Door or during a long lunch on the lawn. Looking for a gift idea for Mum? The bottle labels showcase the local spectacular coastline, a drinkable souvenir of this great road trip.
Treat Mum to a night or two at Oak & Anchor, 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.
Whilst Mum is sipping wine from her dreamy bubble bath she might spy the sophisticated shopping strip right across the road. Penny & Reibey, Luone Jewellery and Golden Store are just a few of the irresistible boutiques that lure shoppers from all along the Shipwreck Coast. If you haven’t sorted out a mother’s gift she’ll be spoilt for choice of designer labels, handcrafted homewares, gorgeous gifts and jewelry from the bespoke silversmith.
You can’t visit Port Fairy without booking a table at the historic dining room at the Merrijig Inn, Victoria’s oldest inn. Enjoy cocktails in the enchanting cottage garden whilst listening to live local folk music before enjoying a decadent degustation in Victoria’s oldest dining room. A new menu is written daily showcasing the best produce from the Merrijig garden and local farmers. Chef Tanya Connellan uses traditional and European techniques to create her Mums’-Day worthy dishes that nearly look too good to eat.
Making unforgettable memories is always a Great Call for Mother’s Day.
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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.