02 May 2019 12:02:12
Exploring the Great Ocean Road with Kids: Part One
If you’re sick of city-slicking, pack the kids in the car and hit the road for a healthy dose of fresh air and tree appreciation. The Great Ocean Road is a paradise for children and parents alike, so much so, it’s too plentiful to put in one blog. We’ve split the trip up into two parts, each with places where you and the kids can enjoy this incredible road and Mother Nature at its best.
Ride the Waves in Torquay
If it’s family surf lessons you’re after, this is the perfect place. Here, the conditions are top notch; a crystal clear, safe beach in one of the country’s iconic surf spots. The kids will love learning to hang ten and watching their parents wipeout!. Then, after they master their first ride, you can take them over to Bells Beach to watch the pros at work. And there’s no need to travel with boards; you can hire them, as well as summer and winter wetsuits.
The Lovely Lorne
No trip down the Great Ocean Road is complete without visiting Lorne, along with its incredible 1.2km-long beach. In summer, you can take a dip, or in winter when the water’s icy, pack a picnic or use the BBQs. Then when you’ve had some delicious local produce, go exploring the rock pools. Wander down the pier and chat to the fisherpeople or drop a line to try and snag a snapper or squid. In Victoria, kids don’t need a fishing license, but adults do. While you’re parading the pier, watch out for whales from May to September.
Colac Botanic Gardens
Let the little ones loose in 16 hectares of gorgeous gardens on the southern banks of Lake Colac. Cycle around the carriageway or walk through the garden beds, trees and lawns, enjoy the kids’ playground or have some lunch at the Botanic Café in the former curator’s cottage. Make sure you take in the views of the lake and Warrion Hills from the viewing platform.
Fly By at Otway
For the ultimate side-trip from the Great Ocean Road, put Otway Fly Treetop Adventures in your GPS. Before long, the road climbs into the Otway Ranges, flanked by lush rainforest and towering trees. At the very top is the Otway Fly, with its 25-metre-high canopy walkway. Wander blissfully, enjoying a bird’s-eye view of the forest below. Or, take things up a level (literally), when you strap in for the Zipline Tour and fly from tree to tree, 30 metres in the air. It’s a thrilling experience!
Walk the Walks
While you’re in the Otway Ranges, there are plenty of places to take a deep breath among the fern-filled forests. Try the 1-hour loop to Triplet Falls; for younger walkers, bear in mind there are some steep steps along the way. Learn about the history and story of this rainforest from the signs along the way and keep an eye out for the giant Mountain Ash trees which around over 200 years old. You’ll hear the falls before you see them, and when you do, you can see both the lower and upper cascades of Triplet Falls which are even more dramatic after rain.
Stay tuned for Part Two of this adventure next month.