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Top 15 Things To Do in Apollo Bay, VIC Australia (with local Hidden Gems)

20/08/2023
13 mins read
Apollo Bay
Source: Zafar Nadeem

Nestled along the stunning Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay is a picturesque coastal town in Victoria, Australia, that boasts a rich history dating back to the 1840s. Set against the backdrop of the lush Otway Ranges, Apollo Bay offers a serene escape from the city, with its pristine beaches, charming seaside atmosphere, and diverse range of attractions and experiences.

Join us as we uncover the hidden gems and reveal the top things to do in Apollo Bay, a captivating destination that promises unforgettable adventures. Immerse yourself in the area’s natural splendor, delve into its cultural treasures, and embark on a remarkable journey through the captivating world of Apollo Bay. Get ready to explore the natural wonders, indulge in local flavors, and create lasting memories in this enchanting coastal gem.

Things To Do In Apollo Bay, VIC

1. Apollo Bay Surf & Kayak – Ocean Adventures Await

Unleash your inner adventurer with Apollo Bay Surf & Kayak, offering guided kayak tours to Marengo Marine Sanctuary and a local fur seal colony. Paddle through crystal-clear waters and marvel at the diverse marine life that calls this area home. In addition to kayaking, Apollo Bay Surf & Kayak also provides equipment rental for surfing, snorkeling, and stand-up paddleboarding, ensuring a fun-filled day on the water.

The summer months are the best time to enjoy water activities, with warmer water temperatures and calmer conditions. Whether you’re an experienced water sports enthusiast or a complete beginner, the friendly staff at Apollo Bay Surf & Kayak will ensure you have an unforgettable experience.

  • Address: 157-159 Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay, VIC 3233
  • Opening Hours: Daily, 9 am – 5 pm
  • Best time of the year: Summer months for warmer water and calmer conditions.
  • Directions: Located on the Great Ocean Road, near the Apollo Bay Visitor Information Centre.

2. Great Ocean Walk – A Coastal Adventure

Embark on an unforgettable journey along the Great Ocean Walk, a spectacular coastal trail that stretches over 100 km from Apollo Bay to the iconic 12 Apostles. This awe-inspiring walk offers breathtaking views of rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, and lush forests, showcasing the diverse beauty of Victoria’s coastline. The trail can be completed in sections or as a multi-day hike, with various accommodation options available along the way.

The Great Ocean Walk is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts, photographers, and nature lovers alike. Experience the thrill of spotting native wildlife, such as kangaroos, koalas, and a variety of bird species, as you traverse this stunning landscape. Whether you choose to tackle the entire walk or just a portion, the Great Ocean Walk promises an adventure you’ll never forget.

  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn, when the weather is mild and the scenery is at its most vibrant.
  • Address: Great Ocean Walk, Apollo Bay, VIC 3233
  • Directions: The walk starts at the Apollo Bay Visitor Information Centre and stretches over 100 km to the 12 Apostles.

3. Mariners Lookout – Panoramic Coastal Views

Experience the breathtaking beauty of Apollo Bay and its surrounding coastline from the vantage point of Mariners Lookout. This scenic viewpoint offers panoramic views of the ocean, beaches, and rolling hills, making it a must-visit destination for photographers and nature lovers alike. The short walk to the lookout is suitable for all fitness levels and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Sunrise and sunset are particularly magical times to visit Mariners Lookout, as the sky transforms into a kaleidoscope of colors, casting a warm glow over the landscape. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning vistas and create lasting memories of your visit to Apollo Bay.

  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but sunrise and sunset offer the most stunning views.
  • Address: Mariners Lookout Rd, Apollo Bay, VIC 3233
  • Directions: Drive along the Great Ocean Road, turn onto Mariners Lookout Road, and follow it to the car park. From there, it’s a short walk to the lookout.

4. Great Ocean Road – A Scenic Drive to Remember

Embark on a journey along the world-famous Great Ocean Road, a stunning coastal drive that stretches over 240 km from Torquay to Allansford. This iconic route offers breathtaking views of rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, and lush forests, showcasing the diverse beauty of Victoria’s coastline. Along the way, you’ll encounter numerous lookout points, attractions, and charming towns, making it the perfect road trip destination.

Some must-see highlights along the Great Ocean Road include the 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, and London Arch. The road also passes through the Great Otway National Park, offering ample opportunities for hiking, wildlife spotting, and exploring the region’s natural wonders. Whether you choose to drive the entire route or just a portion, the Great Ocean Road promises an unforgettable adventure.

  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder temperatures and fewer crowds.
  • Address: Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
  • Directions: The Great Ocean Road starts in Torquay and stretches over 240 km to Allansford, passing through Apollo Bay along the way.

5. Mait’s Rest – A Rainforest Wonderland

Discover the enchanting beauty of Mait’s Rest, a serene rainforest walk nestled within the Great Otway National Park. As you meander along the well-maintained boardwalk, you’ll be surrounded by lush ferns, towering trees, and the soothing sounds of nature. Keep an eye out for native wildlife, including various bird species, wallabies, and even the elusive platypus.

Mait’s Rest is a perfect destination for families, couples, and solo travelers seeking a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The walk is suitable for all fitness levels and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. Immerse yourself in the captivating atmosphere of this ancient rainforest and leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder temperatures and fewer crowds.
  • Address: Mait’s Rest Rainforest Walk, Great Otway National Park, Apollo Bay, VIC 3233
  • Directions: Located 17 km west of Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road, look for the signposted turnoff.

6. Cape Otway Lightstation – A Beacon of History

Visit Australia’s most significant lighthouse, the Cape Otway Lightstation, and immerse yourself in the fascinating history of this iconic landmark. Join a guided tour to learn about the lighthouse’s role in maritime navigation, its connection to local Indigenous history, and the lives of the lighthouse keepers who once called this remote outpost home.

The Cape Otway Lightstation is open year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder temperatures and fewer crowds. Don’t miss the opportunity to climb the lighthouse tower and take in the stunning panoramic views of the rugged coastline and surrounding landscape.

  • Address: Otway Lighthouse Rd, Cape Otway, VIC 3233
  • Opening Hours: Daily, 9 am – 5 pm
  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder temperatures and fewer crowds.
  • Directions: Drive along the Great Ocean Road, turn onto Lighthouse Road, and follow it to the Cape Otway Lightstation.

7. Wildlife Wonders – A Journey Through Australian Wildlife

Embark on a guided nature walk through Wildlife Wonders, an Australian wildlife sanctuary designed by the creators of the renowned Phillip Island Penguin Parade. This immersive experience offers visitors the opportunity to observe native animals such as kangaroos, wallabies, and koalas in their natural habitat, all while learning about the unique ecosystems of the Otways.

Wildlife Wonders is open year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder temperatures and fewer crowds. The sanctuary is dedicated to conservation and education, with all proceeds supporting the conservation of the Otways’ flora and fauna. Don’t miss this chance to connect with nature and support a worthy cause.

  • Address: 29 The Boulevarde, Apollo Bay, VIC 3233
  • Opening Hours: Daily, 9 am – 5 pm
  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder temperatures and fewer crowds.
  • Directions: Located on The Boulevarde, just off the Great Ocean Road, near the Apollo Bay Visitor Information Centre.

8. Otway Fly Treetop Adventures – Soar Through the Forest Canopy

Experience the thrill of soaring through the forest canopy at Otway Fly Treetop Adventures, an exciting adventure park in the Otways. The park features a 600-meter-long zipline tour that takes you on an exhilarating journey through the treetops, as well as a 25-meter-high canopy walkway that offers a unique perspective on the lush rainforest below.

Otway Fly Treetop Adventures is open year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder temperatures and fewer crowds. The park caters to all ages and fitness levels, making it a perfect destination for families, couples, and solo travelers seeking an adrenaline-pumping adventure.

  • Address: 360 Phillips Track, Weeaproinah, VIC 3237
  • Opening Hours: Daily, 9 am – 5 pm
  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder temperatures and fewer crowds.
  • Directions: Drive along the Great Ocean Road, turn onto Colac-Lavers Hill Road, then turn onto Phillips Track and follow it to the Otway Fly Treetop Adventures.

9. Great Ocean Road Brewhouse – A Craft Beer Haven

Indulge your taste buds at the Great Ocean Road Brewhouse, a craft beer haven featuring over 100 craft beers on offer, including locally brewed Prickly Moses beers. Sample award-winning beers, enjoy live music on weekends, and savor delicious pub-style meals made with fresh, local ingredients.

The Great Ocean Road Brewhouse is open daily, making it a perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploring Apollo Bay and its surrounding attractions. With its relaxed atmosphere and extensive beer selection, the Brewhouse is a must-visit destination for beer enthusiasts and casual drinkers alike.

  • Address: 29-35 Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay, VIC 3233
  • Opening Hours: Daily, 11 am – late
  • Directions: Located on the Great Ocean Road, near the Apollo Bay Visitor Information Centre.

10. Apollo Bay Distillery – A Taste of Nautical History

Discover the rich nautical history of Apollo Bay while sipping on expertly crafted gin at the Apollo Bay Distillery. Sample superb gin cocktails made with diverse botanicals, and learn about the distillery’s connection to the region’s maritime past. The distillery also offers a selection of delicious food options, making it a perfect spot for a leisurely lunch or dinner.

Apollo Bay Distillery is open daily, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to experience the local flavors of Apollo Bay. Whether you’re a gin aficionado or simply looking for a memorable dining experience, the Apollo Bay Distillery is sure to impress.

  • Address: 23-27 Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay, VIC 3233
  • Opening Hours: Daily, 11 am – 9 pm
  • Directions: Located on the Great Ocean Road, near the Apollo Bay Visitor Information Centre.

11. Kennett River – Koala Spotting Paradise

Kennett River is a popular spot for koala spotting along the Great Ocean Road. Take a leisurely stroll along Grey River Road, and keep an eye out for these adorable marsupials nestled in the eucalyptus trees. In addition to koalas, you may also spot a variety of bird species and other native wildlife.

The best time of the year to visit Kennett River is during spring and autumn when the weather is mild and the koalas are more active. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture these unforgettable encounters with Australia’s iconic wildlife.

  • Address: Grey River Road, Kennett River, VIC 3234
  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn, when the weather is mild and koalas are more active.
  • Directions: Drive along the Great Ocean Road, turn onto Grey River Road, and follow it to Kennett River.

12. Hopetoun Falls – A Picturesque Waterfall Experience

Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Great Otway National Park with a visit to Hopetoun Falls, a picturesque waterfall surrounded by lush rainforest. A short walking track leads you to a viewing platform where you can admire the cascading waters and the serene atmosphere of the forest.

The best time of the year to visit Hopetoun Falls is during spring and autumn when the weather is mild and the water flow is at its peak. The falls are a perfect destination for photographers, nature lovers, and anyone seeking a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

  • Address: Hopetoun Falls Road, Beech Forest, VIC 3237
  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn, when the weather is mild and the water flow is at its peak.
  • Directions: Drive along the Great Ocean Road, turn onto Colac-Lavers Hill Road, then turn onto Beech Forest-Mount Sabine Road and follow it to Hopetoun Falls Road.

13. Melba Gully – A Rainforest Retreat with a Magical Twist

Escape to the tranquil haven of Melba Gully, a lush rainforest area within the Great Otway National Park. Wander along the walking trails, surrounded by towering trees, ferns, and the soothing sounds of nature. Melba Gully is home to a variety of native wildlife, including various bird species and the elusive platypus.

What sets Melba Gully apart is its magical display of glow worms at night. As darkness falls, these bioluminescent creatures light up the forest, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. The best time to visit Melba Gully is during spring and autumn when the weather is mild and the glow worms are most active. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to experience the enchanting beauty of Melba Gully.

  • Address: Melba Gully Road, Lavers Hill, VIC 3238
  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn, when the weather is mild and the glow worms are most active.
  • Directions: Drive along the Great Ocean Road, turn onto Lavers Hill-Cobden Road, then turn onto Melba Gully Road and follow it to Melba Gully.

14. Fisherman’s Co-Op – Fresh Seafood with a View

Indulge in the freshest seafood at the Fisherman’s Co-op, a popular eatery located on the working harbor of Apollo Bay. Enjoy mouthwatering dishes such as southern rock lobster, scallops, and fish and chips, all while taking in the picturesque views of the harbor and the surrounding coastline.

The Fisherman’s Co-op is open daily, making it a perfect spot to grab a delicious meal after a day of exploring Apollo Bay and its attractions. With its relaxed atmosphere and commitment to using locally sourced seafood, the Fisherman’s Co-op is a must-visit destination for foodies and seafood lovers alike.

  • Address: 210 Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay, VIC 3233
  • Opening Hours: Daily, 10 am – 8 pm
  • Directions: Located on the Great Ocean Road, near the Apollo Bay Visitor Information Centre.

15. Apollo Bay Bakery – Home of the Famous Scallop Pie

Treat your taste buds to the famous scallop pie at Apollo Bay Bakery, a local institution known for its delicious baked goods. Made with fresh scallops, vegetables, and a creamy sauce, all encased in a flaky pastry, the scallop pie is a must-try for anyone visiting Apollo Bay.

In addition to the scallop pie, Apollo Bay Bakery offers a wide range of sweet and savory treats, including pastries, cakes, and sandwiches. The bakery is open daily, making it a perfect spot to grab a quick bite or a tasty treat to enjoy during your adventures in Apollo Bay.

  • Address: 125 Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay, VIC 3233
  • Opening Hours: Daily, 6 am – 5 pm
  • Directions: Located on the Great Ocean Road, near the Apollo Bay Visitor Information Centre.

Towns Nearby Apollo Bay, VIC

Here are some nearby towns/suburbs around Apollo Bay, VIC, along with their highlights, attractions, distance from Apollo Bay, and reasons why they are worth visiting:

  1. Skenes Creek, VIC (6 km from Apollo Bay): A picturesque coastal town known for its beautiful surf beach and idyllic atmosphere. It’s an excellent destination for beach lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat.
  2. Marengo, VIC (3 km from Apollo Bay): Located on Mounts Bay, Marengo is home to the Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary, which features a rocky beach and a seal colony. It’s a great spot for nature lovers and those interested in marine life.
  3. Lorne, VIC (47 km from Apollo Bay): A popular coastal town where the bush meets the beach, Lorne offers a range of attractions, including the Lorne Sculpture Biennale, the Lorne Film Festival, and the Lorne Surf Life Saving Club.
  4. Colac, VIC (78 km from Apollo Bay): A regional city known for its beautiful parks, such as the Colac Botanic Gardens and Lake Colac. It’s a great destination for nature lovers and those interested in exploring regional Victoria.
  5. Anglesea, VIC (95 km from Apollo Bay): A charming coastal town known for its beautiful beaches, scenic river, and the Anglesea Golf Club, which is famous for its resident kangaroos. It’s an excellent destination for beach lovers, golf enthusiasts, and wildlife watchers.

These towns and suburbs offer a variety of attractions and experiences, making them great options for day trips or short weekend getaways from Apollo Bay.

Getting To Apollo Bay, VIC

To get to Apollo Bay, VIC from common destinations or origins as a local tourist, you have several options for both public transport and driving.

From Melbourne CBD:

  • By public transport: Take the V/Line train from Southern Cross Station towards Warrnambool and get off at Geelong Station. From Geelong Station, take the V/Line bus towards Apollo Bay. The total journey takes approximately 3.5 to 4 hours.
  • By car: Drive southwest on the M1 towards Geelong, then take the A10 exit towards Colac. Continue on the A10 until you reach the C151, which will take you to Apollo Bay. The drive takes approximately 2.5 hours, depending on traffic.

From other nearby towns:

  • From Lorne: Drive southwest on the Great Ocean Road (B100) for about 47 km. The drive takes approximately 1 hour.
  • From Colac: Drive south on the Colac-Lavers Hill Road (C155) and then turn left onto the Great Ocean Road (B100) towards Apollo Bay. The drive takes approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes or 78 km.

For public transport options from other nearby towns, use the Public Transport Victoria (PTV) website (https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au) or app to plan your journey, as it provides detailed information on train and bus routes, schedules, and ticketing.

Hafiz Kashif

Kashif, our associate writer at HumbleTrail, brings stories from across the globe to our readers. Originating from Pakistan, his journey has taken him through the vibrant cityscape of Dubai and now to the diverse and cultural melting pot of Melbourne, Australia.

His writing is a reflection of his own journey - rich in diverse experiences and filled with the excitement of discovering new places. Melbourne, with its unique blend of cultures and bustling energy, has captured Kashif's heart, a sentiment that deeply resonates in his work.

Kashif's articles for HumbleTrail are more than just travel logs; they are narratives that weave together the beauty of diverse cultures and the thrill of exploration, inviting readers to see the world through his eyes.

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