For most people, the whole point of visiting Lorne on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road is to do as little as possible.
However, this relaxed coastal centre offers plenty to keep visitors occupied. Located just two hours from the Melbourne CBD, Lorne is also the ideal holiday destination for those looking to combine a quaint coastal town atmosphere with many of the luxuries of the big smoke. Beware though — this town may make you want to ditch city life altogether in favour of permanent coastal Zen.
Here are ten top things to do in Lorne.
Drive the Great Ocean Road
Stretching 243 kilometres from Torquay to Allansford, the Great Ocean Road tracks Victoria’s rugged southern coastline. It’s one of the most spectacular drives in Australia and busloads of tourists do the return trip from Melbourne in a single day all year round. Staying in Lorne means you’ll have time to enjoy the drive at your leisure. Stop off in Torquay for a surf, at Cape Otway to see koalas in the wild, and at Port Campbell National Park — home to the Twelve Apostles rock formations.
Pause for reflection at the Memorial Arch
The Great Ocean Road was constructed by returned service personnel from WWI. As you drive towards Lorne you’ll pass under the Memorial Arch, which along with the road itself, commemorates those soldiers who lost their lives in the war. The Great Ocean Road is recognised as the world’s largest war memorial. Pause at the arch to pay your respects.
Hit the beach
It would be remiss to visit Lorne without heading to the beach. Relax on the sand, take a dip, and when you’re done, take a stroll along the coastal track to get a different perspective of the town and its beautiful surroundings. The main beach has trampolines, a public swimming pool and a skate park for the kids. It’s gets super busy in summer so get to the beach early to reserve your patch.
Explore Erskine Falls
A 10-minute drive from Lorne, Erskine Falls is the perfect spot to escape the tourist hubbub in town. Venture down the mossy steps for a breathtaking view of the waterfall cascading down to the rock pools below. It can get chilly down there, so don’t forget your coat!
Enjoy breakfast at one of Lorne’s trendy cafes
Lorne offers a cosmopolitan dining scene and is well-known for its cafe culture. There are plenty of options for breakfast or a coffee after a morning walk or surf. Try the Swing Bridge Café and Boathouse for a stunning view, Moon Licensed Espresso Bar for awesome coffee, and HAH Lorne Beach on the beachfront for a healthy start to the day.
Get a dose of coastal retail therapy
Shop ‘til you drop — or for a couple of hours at least. Lorne’s main street has a great selection of small local boutiques, making it easy to find a little something that you won’t find in the city. Check out Vic and Bert for quality designer basics, Midi Boutique for all the latest trends, or Deluxe Lorne for an indulgent splurge. Lorne Beach Books offers the latest reads for a beach day.
Watch the sun rise or set from Teddy’s Lookout
Three kilometres south of the town centre is Teddy’s Lookout, which provides breathtaking views of the coastline. Watch the cars slowly wind their way around the cliff edges and enjoy the vastness of the windswept ocean. Here you can see the day break or fade in total tranquility. As you drive back into town, you’ll pass the historic Grand Pacific Hotel on your left. Built in 1875, it’s been completely restored and is a great spot for an evening drink.
You don’t have to go far to explore the local wine scene. St Anne’s Winery is located in the town centre and offers wine tastings with ocean views. You can also take a short drive along tree-lined roads to some great boutique wineries. It’s a 25-minute drive to Blakes Estate, 35 minutes to Gosling Creek Winery, and 40 minutes to Bellbrae Estate. Taste wines coupled with amazing cheese. Remember to lock in a designated driver!
Take a hike
Lorne backs onto some truly amazing natural landscapes and what better way to see them than to hike through the area. You can enjoy an easy hike at Sheoak Falls, a moderate trek on the Cumberland and Kalimna Falls circuit, or if you are a hardcore hiker, challenge yourself on the Otways two-day waterfall hike. You’ll get to see the landscape up close and personal, and put in some serious leg work as part of the deal.
Hire a bike and explore the coastline
If you’re up for more exercise, consider renting a bicycle from HAH Lornebeach. It’s a fun and easy way to explore. Get on your bike and discover Lorne!
For more information, please visit www.visitgreatoceanroad.org.au.
Do you have any suggestions to add to our list of ten top things to do in Lorne? We would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.
Cover image courtesy of Wildlife Tours Australia. Additional images: Bigstock
About the writer
Elle Vidovich is a freelance writer based in Melbourne with a love for travel, food and architecture. She has travelled to over 50 countries across Asia, Africa and Europe, eating the local food, drinking the house-made wine and generally trying to assimilate to the local culture. Elle believes that travel can change a person. It can open their eyes to different cultures, make them thankful for what they have, or inspire them to make a difference.