Kelly Landry's childhood memories include a love affair with Victoria's coastal town of Lorne. It's been a few years since she jumped on the trampoline or enjoyed a drink at the pub, so it was time to return.
Lorne is along the Great Ocean Road, between Anglesea and Apollo Bay, about two hours from Melbourne. More than 100 years ago it was the first Victorian place declared an area of special significance and natural beauty. It has 2km of protected beach and a backdrop of the heavily-wooded Otway Ranges.
The 22,000 hectare Angahook-Lorne State Park hugs the coastline and flows into the ranges, providing a mix of secluded coves and bays, walking trails, waterfalls, valleys and ridges.
B Bar & Grill
Once a little ice-cream kiosk, B Bar & Grill is one of the few eateries with absolute beachfront. It offers all day dining from 8am every day in relaxed surroundings with nothing to look at but the ocean.
Lorne's first contemporary art gallery, QDos has been around since the 1980s. It's a great little place to stop for lunch in the Otway Forest and now you can stay there in a tree house!
They are actually five cottages in the Japanese style, but due to their location, are referred to as tree houses. Tranquil and magical are just two words to describe the accommodation. They are elegant, each has a private deck, there are no televisions and are perfect for a romantic weekend.
Even if you aren't staying there you can enjoy breakfast or lunch in the cafe, enjoy the gardens, listen to the birds and look at works of local and international artists. There is also a ceramics studio in the grounds. They're just a kilometre from town where there are good eating places to visit.
A different perspective of Lorne can be had on a Southern Exposure mountain bike tour. You'll be riding a $2000 Mongoose mountain bike one of the best there is. They have a team of 20 highly qualified staff and tours are tailored to riding ability.
You'll take to the beach, go on to Teddy's Lookout and hit the tracks in and out of the bush. You'll see the old Lorne pier where around 2000 swimmers hit the water in January for the "Pier to Pub" swim.
Southern Exposure also has surfing and cycling tours, kayaking and surfing classes. Everything they do is eco friendly and meet Education Department guidelines.
Related: driving from Melbourne to Lorne
Lorne, 2.5 hours from Melbourne.
QDos Treehouses start at $200 in the off-season and $250 in the peak season. Breakfast is included. The cafe is open from Thursday to Monday between 9am and 5.30pm.
Southern Exposure two-hour downhill mountain bike tours are from $130 per person for eight to 10 people. They are suitable for adults and children 14 years and older. Equipment and bus transfer are included. They run from Point Grey year-round.
Virgin Blue has flights to Melbourne.
One-way fares from:
- Adelaide $79
- Hobart $85
- Sydney $90
- Canberra $95
- Brisbane $129
- Darwin $179
- Perth $239
There are limited seats which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares quoted are one-way booked on the internet. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one-way flight is applicable. Fares are subject to change.
Prices correct at August 26, 2010.
For further information
Ph: 136 789
B Bar & Grill
81 Mount Joy Parade
Ph: (03) 5289 2882
Fax: (03) 5289 5286
35 Allenvale Road
Ph: (03) 5289 1989
Shop 3, 38-40 Bell Street
Ph: (03) 5261 9170
Lorne Visitors Bureau
Ph: 1300 891 152