Easter is the perfect opportunity to leave the city behind and escape to the ocean, while enjoying the freedom of a great Aussie road trip. And the simple joys of navigating the winding roads hugging the coastline and taking in the epic vistas of the Great Ocean Road are not to be missed!
Within one hour of Melbourne, you're on your way to paradise, starting with Torquay; then meander along the Great Ocean Road stopping at towns such as Anglesea, Lorne, Apollo Bay and beyond.
There's nothing better than a road trip –fact! Soak up the sunshine, breathe in the fresh air and feel rejuvenated and escape to the surf coast for the weekend. But make sure you pack our tips for the best places to wine, dine and relax along the Great Ocean Road!
Wickens Provedore & Deli
With sky blue palm tree wallpaper and the surf report scribbled on the wall, Wickens is a surfside cafe that invites you in to relax and enjoy the best coffee in town. Serving Coffee Supreme, with free wifi and simple breakfast and lunch dishes using fresh, local produce, it's the pick of the Apollo Bay strip.
Attracted by the buzz emanating from this upstairs diner, line up if you must – La Bimba is worth the wait! Overlooking Apollo Bay, the menu is a touch on the pricey side, but the food doesn't disappoint, with such dishes as hearty home-grown slow-roasted lamb, and a solid wine list including some fine local drops.
Chris's Beacon Point
An institution in the region, owner Chris Talimanidis has hung up his pans but the kitchen is still turning out stellar Greak-style dishes. Located high on the hillside at Beacon Point and nestled within the tree canopy, the restaurant affords spectacular views of the coastline.
Wye General Store
Wye General Store
A buzzy and cool general store and restaurant greets you in the hamlet of Wye River. The extensive menu caters to all tastes, spanning burgers, pizzas, salads and larger plates, with a good kids selection too. Save room for their drool worthy pastries and sweet treats.
The Bottle of Milk
The food of choice along the surf coast appears to be burger and chips, and there is no better place to sample this casual fare than The Bottle of Milk. Using local premium quality Australian beef on freshly baked buns, you can either eat in on the vintage chairs, at the large outside tables, or take away to the beach. The sea salty chips are an absolute must!
Meandering through Lorne, Tastes Lifestyle is filled with unique homewares and local foodie delights. Stocking unusual finds sourced from around the world, you're sure to fine a unique gift at Tastes Lifestyle.
A gorgeous little boutique in Lorne (and Royal Arcade) filled with jewellery, clothes and body products, such as Melbourne based Myrtle & Moss.
An eclectic collection of laid back, bohemian, beach lifestyle clothes and accessories by stylist Jess Young.
Windblown as you stand in awe of the 12 Apostles, you're reminded of nature's slow inevitable march, emphasised by the collapse of rock stacks in 2005 and 2009, leaving just 7 remaining. If you haven't witnessed this natural wonder, best you hurry!
Under constant attack by nature's fury, it was only a matter of time for London Bridge to come falling down. In 1990, the main arch connecting London Bridge to the mainland cracked and feel into the sea. While no longer a bridge, it's still worth a detour.
Created when sinkholes in the limestone cliffs met with the receding cliff line, The Grotto feels eerie with the still, clear water of the Grotto contrasting with the wild ocean – it's the perfect selfie backdrop!
Cape Otway Lightstation
Cape Otway Lightstation is the oldest surviving lighthouse in mainland Australia, built in 1848. The lighthouse affords spectacular views of the rugged Otway coast. Entry fee applies. There is a large colony of koalas living in the area, so keep your eyes peeled as you drive toward the lighthouse to observe these sublime creatures in their natural habitat.
Cape Otway Lightstation
Otway Harvest Trail
Take a little detour just before the 12 Apostles along the Otway Harvest Trail and sample some of the region's finest, including Apostle Whey Cheese, Gorge Chocolates and Newtons Ridge Estate.
Immerse yourself in the Great Ocean Road experience with a stay at Points South by the Sea. These self-contained elevated cottages provide the perfect vantage point to view the ocean from your plush window seat. Ensconced in luxury, this peaceful and private retreat makes the ideal romantic getaway. Settle in for the weekend with full kitchen facilities, lounge/dining, wide verandah complete with BBQ, cosy fireplace and some with spa baths. Stay from $275 per night.
Points South by the Sea
TUL Note: For more information, or to be inspired by the full collection of unique holiday houses and hidden gems around Australia, head over to Alluxia.
Image Credits: Pinterest, Greatoceanroad.com, Pinterest, Midi Boutique Facebook, Writer's own