You’ve booked your trip to the Great Ocean Road. You’re now looking forward to a little bit of indulgence, the fresh ocean breeze, some quality time with your family, and some good food and drink.
On a warm day we think there’s no better way to experience the region’s beauty than by packing up a picnic hamper and a blanket, and enjoying your meal al fresco.
The Great Ocean Road is packed full of great picnic spots. There are clifftop lookouts with stunning views, pretty beaches and peaceful rainforests, each with its own charm and beauty.
There really are so many great places to stop for a picnic along the Great Ocean Road that it’s often hard to choose where to go. To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of our top seven picnic spots.
1. Teddy’s Lookout, Lorne
This is a great place to stop for lunch on your drive down from Melbourne. The viewing platform affords spectacular views of the ocean and surrounding hills. There’s a picnic table here so bring your lunch and enjoy!
2. Port Campbell
Port Campbell is a beautiful town about half an hour’s drive from Alkina Lodge, and close to the famous Twelve Apostles. It has a sheltered swimming beach and is the perfect spot for a swim and a picnic after a morning exploring the Great Ocean Road’s most iconic sights. You can picnic on the beach or for those who don’t like to run the risk of sandy sandwiches, there are also picnic tables on the grass areas.
Families with children might choose to enjoy their lunch in the local playground which has swings, slides, a skatepark and an undercover picnic area.
3. Melba Gully
Melba Gully has been used as a picnic spot for decades, and it’s easy to see why. This beautiful spot in the rainforest is filled with magnificent trees and soft green colours. Bring your picnic hamper and enjoy the tranquility.
4. Triplet Falls
The nearby Otway Ranges are filled with a range of walking tracks and beautiful waterfalls. Triplet Falls is one of the most enchanting and is well worth a visit. Work up your appetite with the rewarding 1 hour loop walk or an extended walk to Little Aire Falls, so make sure you bring your walking boots! There’s a picnic area with tables to enjoy your food afterwards.
5. The Californian Redwoods
Tucked away in a corner of the Otway Ranges you’ll find one of the most awe-inspiring places imaginable. These giant trees are truly impressive and reach right up into the sky. There’s no better place to enjoy a picnic than under the thick forest canopy, with rays of sunlight streaming through the gaps while you listen to the peaceful babbling of the nearby Aire River.
6. Kennett River Picnic Reserve
Kennett River is a small town with a safe beach that is patrolled in summer. This area is also one of the best places in Australia to spot koalas in the wild. Head up the Grey River Road and watch the eucalyptus trees carefully! There’s a pretty picnic area here in a scenic reserve. After you’ve eaten you might like to enjoy a walk – there’s a beautiful loop walk through the forest.
7. Wye River
There is a fantastic sandy beach at Wye River which is great for paddling, swimming, fishing or rockpooling. When you’re ready to eat there are two picnic areas located on the Wye River foreshore with free electric BBQ’s.
The General Store at Wye River is a bit of a combination of a gourmet deli, green grocer and convenience store. It’s a good place to look for a few picnic treats.
What to pack for your picnic?
So you’ve decided on your location, but what’s the key to the perfect picnic menu? We think the trick is to keep it fairly simple and fresh, and use local produce whenever you can.
If you want to make things really easy for yourself, we offer a range of gourmet hampers which we lovingly source from the local region, using organic produce where possible. Click here to read more about our hampers.
Alternatively there are some fabulous local food suppliers which you can visit to pick up some goodies for your picnic. We highly recommend you check out Apostle Whey Cheese, and GORGE Chocolates for some picnic treats. And you really can’t beat picking your own berries at Berryworld.
If you feel like doing a bit of preparation before you go out, our lodges come with a fully equipped designer kitchen.
Try whipping up these easy Quesadillas, or throwing together this roasted tomato, haloumi & white bean salad. And all good picnics need a good pasta salad, so try out this delicious lemony orzo salad.
Add in some seasonal fresh fruit and a bottle of chilled wine, don’t forget your ice packs, crockery and cutlery, and you’re ready to go!
Where To Stay
Luxury accommodation is available at Alkina Lodge (+61 3 8899 7426 ; alkinalodge.com.au ), an architecturally designed lodge set in over 100 acres of native bushland. The lodge is about 15 minutes drive from the 12 Apostles. Prices start from $297.50 per person per night (based on twin share occupancy and excluding flights).
The Great Ocean Road is located in Victoria and stretches for 243 kms, starting at Torquay and ending near Warrnambool. How to get there depends on which part of the Great Ocean Road you’d like to visit. However, the most famous sights such as the 12 Apostles and Port Campbell National Park are located 275 kms west of Melbourne, approximately a 4 hour drive along the Great Ocean Road.