Apollo Bay – Great Ocean Road
Apollo Bay is another destination on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria that wows you from which ever direction you arrive. The town that hugs the bay spreads upwards with houses built on the hillsides giving panoramic views of the town and bay. The Pisces Big 4 Apollo Bay Holiday Park also takes advantage of its position, being nestled into the hillside with just the Great Ocean Road separating it from a coastal walking path and the ocean. The caravan park has all the amenities you would expect with the bonus of a pool and an excellent play area for the kids including a bike track and basketball court.
For more activities in Apollo there are a host of different walks you can do. A ‘walks and waterfalls’ brochure can be picked up from the information centre from which you can choose any number of options that suit, with distances of walks and difficulty ratings listed so you can know before you go. The walking options include from foreshore areas and harbor walks all the way through to taking short drives to waterfalls and rainforests. The harbor walk is one of the easiest ones to do with parking available near the wharf and fishing and leisure boats of all shapes and sizes to view as you go.
Fishing is an important local industry in Apollo Bay and you can buy locally caught seafood right by the harbor at the Apollo Bay Fisherman’s Co-op. You have the option of taking fresh seafood home or buying cooked seafood to have dine in or take away. The local bakery also has a variety of seafood pies to try including a scallop pie that they are widely known for.
While you’re on the foreshore you can also visit the information centre and pick up a brochure explaining the various artworks, sculptured timber poles and interactive sculptural seating in the vicinity. The sculptures include Australian animals, sea creatures, Apollo and even a sneaky mermaid under one of the seats.
Just a little out of town is another easy walk I would highly recommend which immerses you in a whole different environment. Maits Rest Rainforest Walk is within the Great Otway National Park, a 16 kilometre drive from Apollo Bay. The loop walk is via boardwalks and dirt paths and is around one kilometre in distance with just a few parts of the walk up and down gentle hilly sections as you make your way around. This can be a very busy stop with touring groups and individuals passing through, but if you’re prepared to wait a while and let people pass by, you can have sections of the walk to yourself to savour the cool green tranquility. The rainforest is a mix of lush green tree ferns and soaring Mountain Ash eucalypt trees and Myrtle Beech Trees. Some of the trees can grow to 100 metres tall and are over 300 years old. The shedding bark provides constant food to the forest floor ecosystem. It’s a cool, quiet and very calming place to slowly wander through.
If you are staying for a while at Apollo Bay there are a number of waterfalls within 50 kilometres of the town which in the winter months especially would no doubt be cascading at their spectacular best.
Apollo Bay is an ideal base to explore the natural wonders in this region with its location being sandwiched between rainforest and beach making it perfect for exploring at any time.