DRAGONS, TREASURE HUNTS & TINY CINEMAS: VISIT THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD THESE SPRING HOLIDAYSby BETH GIBSON
Whether you have two days - or two weeks - to hang with the kids these school holidays, the Great Ocean Road has more activities that you can poke a stick at.
All you have to do is book your family accommodation (NOW, so you don’t miss out!); pack the car and make it happen!
You can do the entire stretch from Torquay to Portland, or pick a shorter section depending on what events you are most keen to attend.
Normally a road trip might sound like a nightmare with kids, but there’s very little chance of arguments when you’re driving along the most beautiful beaches, coastline clifftops and rainforests in the world.
Here are a few key events that are happening at various points along the road this September and October in the Great Ocean Road region.
Torquay to Apollo Bay
1920s pop-up cinemas (Sep 20 - Oct 6)
As part of Great Ocean Road centenary celebrations, there will be five pop up cinemas at Torquay, Anglesea, Lorne, Wye River and Apollo Bay. The mini cinemas are shipping containers fitted out in 1920s décor, and will show a 10-minute documentary focusing on the history of each location. Entry is free, but pre-registration encouraged.
TIP: Grab an entry form and get it stamped at every pop-up cinema to go in the draw to win 2 nights at Great Ocean Road Resort, a massage at Lux Day Spa and a session at Jumpz, Angelsea.
Click here to search for accommodation between Torquay and Apollo Bay.
Follow the Dragons Footsteps (Sep 21 – Oct 20)
- 20 minutes from Lavers Hill
- 40 minutes from Colac
- 1 hour from Apollo Bay
They may not be official Australian wildlife, but there are definitely dragons living in the Otways! See them hiding in the trees and follow a 200m trail (ideal for the littlies) to find their footprints, brightly colored eggs and a dragon nest with a golden egg. You might also get to meet resident dragon, Fern.
For information and tickets go to: Otway Fly Treetop Adventures.
Hunt for the Golden Gumboot (Sep 21 to Oct 5)
The region has lots of beautiful rail trails to be explored, including the Old Beechy Rail Trail from Colac to Beech Forest.
The 45km trail includes 30kms of dedicated rail trail, with the rest being on-road. It follows the route of the historic ‘Beechy’ train line that operated from 1902 to 1962.
Each year the local community hosts the Hunt for the Golden Gumboot to encourage families to get out and enjoy the bushland – by foot or on the bike. The hunt starts at Gellibrand River and finishes at Kawarren.
Tip: If answer the questions at each golden boot you find, you might win a prize!
For more information go to: https://www.facebook.com/goldengumboot/
‘Hidden Treasures’ Spring School Holiday Program (Sep 21-Oct 6)
Flagstaff Hill is a short walk to Lake Pertobe Adventure Playground, foreshore caravan parks and the town centre.
At the 1870s maritime village, kids can try old-fashioned cooking, carpentry and writing with a nib pen and ink. They can also dress up in period costume and ‘attend’ our common school, with slate boards and traditional lessons.
Tip: at night, see the spectacular ‘Tales of the Shipwreck Coast’ sound and light show to really get a sense of the area's culture, whaling history and the wreck of the Loch Ard.
For tickets and information go to Flagstaff Hill.
Tip: the motor boats at Lake Pertobe are now open for Spring and Summer.
- Surfside Holiday Parks
- Blue Whale Motor Inn & Apartments
Submerged – Stories of Australia’s Shipwrecks (Sep 21 – Oct 6)
This free touring exhibition will be hosted at the Portland Library, at the western end of the Great Ocean Road region.
The oldest wreck featured is WA’s Batavia. Its 1629 loss on Beacon Island, and subsequent mutiny, is one of the most dramatic events in Dutch and Australian history.
Tip: wander down to the Port of Portland to check out the big ships and moored yachts!
- Victoria Lodge Motor Inn & Apartments
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