After being away from Australia for a few years, I have forgotten how beautiful the Great Ocean Road is. One of my favourite towns on the Great Ocean Road is Lorne – a picturesque sea-side town located on the Erskine River. Whether you’re a nature lover, adventure seeker or avid surfer, Lorne has it covered.
We started with an early morning stroll along the Erskine River towards the historic swing bridge where the river meets the sea.
Here we stopped at Swing Bridge Cafe, a beach shack style boat house, cutely nestled at the mouth of the Erskine River. We had fun exploring the hidden nooks and crannies of the weatherboard boat house while sipping on St Ali coffee and devouring their delicious breakfast menu. There are even paddle boats at the front you can hire for a leisurely boat trip along the river.
After getting our caffeine fix, we continued to Lorne Main Beach – a beautiful stretch of white sand and sparkling blue water until we reached the historic Lorne Pier.
After working up an appetite, we headed to Mountjoy Parade – Lorne’s main street and explored the cute boutiques and shops. A great spot for lunch is The Bottle of Milk – home to Lorne’s best burgers. They use local 100% premium quality Australian beef on freshly baked organic La Madre buns. I’d recommend the Mad Cow with prime beef, bacon, cheese, house mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion and barbeque sauce. Oh and they serve Seven Seeds Coffee!
In the afternoon, we drove to Teddy’s Lookout – a spectacular viewpoint over Lorne. From the main car park, make you’re way through the bush to the rotunda where you can ogle at the breathtaking views over the St George River and the Great Ocean Road coastline.
Another great spot to see while in Lorne is Erskine Falls, 10km north-west of the township. Park at the main car park at the falls and descend through the picturesque fern tree gully via the stairs to the base of the falls.
The views from the lower platform are spectacular.
I could spend hours playing by the rock pools in the fern tree gully.
If you’re a wildlife lover, don’t miss the Kennett River township, between Lorne and Apollo Bay. The drive here is spectacular, as the road hugs the cliff-face winding through the rolling hills.
Turn off the Great Ocean Road at Kennett River towards the Koala Cafe. On the left you will find the entrance to Grey River Road where you can get close to the most amazing birdlife.
The birds are so tame they will eat from your hand! But don’t be surprised if they stand on your head in the process.
From here you can walk through the gum forest on Grey River Road for some koala spotting. How cute is this sleepy koala high in the trees?
Follow this road for approximately five kilometres to a magnificent scenic reserve where you can have a picnic amongst the beautiful wildlife.
After a jam packed day of being a tourist, it is time for dinner! Maple Tree Restaurant and Mark’s are a couple of good options on Mountjoy Parade.
This time we tried Maple Tree Restaurant which celebrates the best of local, seasonal produce. To start half a dozen of oysters kilpatrick, fresh from the sea, served on a bed of sea salt.
And for mains the Local Hapuka with Drysdale goats yoghurt, pickled beetroot, puffed wild rice and sea spinach followed by Barwon lamb neck served with cauliflower, peppered strawberries and lamb jus.
And to finish a deconstructed vanilla cheesecake with champagne strawberries and sweet balsamic.
For a nightcap, head to one of Lorne’s watering holes – The Lorne Hotel and the Grand Pacific. Or watch a movie at the historic Lorne Theatre.