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A Different Side of the Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is known all over the world for its spectacular coastal scenery, including the iconic Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and London Arch. It’s also well known for its wild surf beaches, beautiful rainforests and excellent cuisine.

But the Great Ocean Road is so much more than that. We always recommend you stay a minimum of three nights if you want to see all the major sights. But if you really want to get to know the area well and make the most of all it offers, you’ll probably want to stay even longer. Or come back again for another visit!

If you want to know what the most popular tourist spots are on the Great Ocean Road, this article is a good place to start.

But once you’ve seen the famous sights, you might be wondering what else is there to see and do on the Great Ocean Road. We recommend you have a browse through our blog for some ideas.

We also thought you might like to know about some of our personal favourite places. They’re some of the region’s lesser known and best kept secrets. And they’re all well worth a visit. Read on for more information.


Not everyone knows that Victoria is home to hundreds of dormant volancoes. If you’re keen to learn more, we recommend a visit to the nearby town of Camperdown.

Camperdown is located on the world’s third largest volcanic plain. Thankfully the last eruption in this region was around 5000 years ago! You’ll find the surrounding landscape fascinating, as it’s filled with spectacular volcanic scenery.

It’s worth spending a whole day here. Once you’ve wandered through the historic town itself, don’t forget to check out the surrounding area. Just on the outskirts of town you’ll find Mt Leura, which means “big nose” in the local Aboriginal dialect. This is a volcanic cone which is thought to have last erupted between 5,000 and 20,000 years ago. Climb (or drive) to the top and you’ll be rewarded with 360 degree views of this volcanic landscape with its lakes, cones and craters.

Across the other side of town, you’ll find the crater lakes of Lake Bullen Merri and Lake Gnotuk. You might like to stop here for a picnic, or some gentle walking, canoeing or fishing.

Lake Bullen Merri,
Lake Bullen Merri. Photo credits: Visit Victoria / Robert Blackburn


The Camperdown to Timboon Rail Trail

Use our complimentary mountain bikes or bring your own, and enjoy a wonderful day out.

This trail is suitable for most abilities and stretches 34km along the old Timboon Railway Line. The rail line was originally built in the 1890s to serve the local farmers, saw millers and merchants. It was eventually closed in 1987

You’ll pass through volcanic scenery, farmland, native vegetation and across trestle bridges. The trail ends at the charming town of Timboon. Click here to read more about the Camperdown to Timboon Rail Trail.

Timboon Rail Trail
Timboon Trestle Bridge. Photo credits: Visit Victoria / Robert Blackburn


Eat your way around Timboon

We’ve been raving about Timboon for a long time.

It’s a foodie’s paradise, with gourmet delights such as the Timboon Fine Ice Creamery, the Fat Cow Food Company, the Timboon Cheesery and the Railway Shed Distillery.

It also now has a brand new deli, the fabulous Corner Store. It’s worth a trip out to Timboon just to browse through the local, gourmet produce on their shelves. Think organic coffee, sourdough breads, goats cheese, fresh pasta, locally made cakes and craft beer…

Timboon Distillery Great Ocean Road
Timboon Railway Shed Distillery. Photo Credit: Visit Victoria / Robert Blackburn


Lorne Sculpture Biennale

Over in Lorne, Victoria’s largest public outdoor sculpture event is currently taking place.

The LSB is a free public event held every two years. This year’s event runs from 17 Mar – 2 April 2018, with sculptures all along the foreshore and a vibrant programme of events.

This year’s theme is “Landfall” and the sculptures make use of light, sound, performance and projection.

Lorne is a great place to stop on your way to or from Alkina Lodge, as it’s a good half way point between us and Melbourne.

Mountain Biking in Forrest

The quaint township of Forrest is set right in the heart of the beautiful Otway National Park. It’s about an hour’s drive from Alkina Lodge, making it an easy day trip.

You’ll have the choice of an extensive range of mountain bike trails, which weave through native bush, soft moss, magical fern gullies and tall eucalypt trees. Forrest plays host to several internationally renowned biking events each year, and has been called one of the best downhill mountain bike areas in Australia!

There’s something here to suit everyone, no matter what your skill level. And once you’ve finished biking, we recommend a visit to the Forrest Brewing Company. This is a wonderful place that describes itself as “equal parts microbrewery eating place and mountain biking hang-out”.  Relax and try some local craft beer, before you head back to soak in our beautiful big bathtub.

Click here to check availability and to book your stay on the Great Ocean Road.

Forrest Otway Ranges Great Ocean Road
Forrest Brewing Company. Photo credit: Visit Victoria / Robert Blackburn

Where To Stay

Luxury accommodation is available at Alkina Lodge (+61 3 8899 7426 ; ), 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).

Getting There

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.