Road Trip! Day 5 – Lorne – Apollo Bay – Cape Otway

Koala-spotting on Cape Otway

What an exciting day we’ve had today! We set out from Lorne this morning, dropping in to walk on the giant pier on the outskirts of Lorne before we left. The idea was just to snap a pic or two of the period Grand Pacific Hotel opposite and then walk to the end of the pier and back, but when we got to the end we had quite a surprise – there was a seal flipping about in the water! Needless to say we were thrilled to see such a big beautiful fellow enjoying himself in the Southern Ocean! A couple of other entranced tourists were there too, throwing in some bait fish for him to eat – which of course he did!

This friendly seal at the end of Lorne pier had us entranced!

This friendly seal at the end of Lorne pier had us all entranced!

Onward we went, straight into the curves, bends and astounding views of the Great Ocean Road. Vantage point after vantage point – it was slow progress, as there was so many amazing views – each vista better than the last. After about half an hour on a low stretch of the road, we saw a Historical event sign. We pulled over to look and find a grave on the roadside – it was a memorial to two salvage-men who had drowned following a shipwreck. A nearby sign advised us that at low tide you could still see the winch or anchor – we eagerly scanned the shore-side waves and – spotted it! The top of the anchor of that old shipwreck, the WB Godfrey – we were all in awe of what must have been a frightful event. If you look carefully at this pic, you’ll see what we spotted…

The top of the anchor of the WB Godfrey shipwreck sticking up into the waves

The top of the anchor of the WB Godfrey shipwreck sticking up into the waves

Back on the road, we eventually drove into Apollo Bay, a small seaside village. From Lorne, even with our frequent stops it wouldn’t have been longer than an hour or so. In Apollo Bay you’ll find two small supermarkets and a petrol station, so the basics are covered. There’s also several boutique-y type shops, surf shops and cafes.

We decided to have lunch here, and enjoyed some delicious fish-and-chips, pancakes, pasta and chips from “Café 153”. The girls also seem to be developing a rather expensive Spider (lemonade and icecream drink) habit now – it’s going to be hard to kick that one when we get home! Best of all, this café sports a kids toy corner – so the kids are happy mucking around there until their meal arrives (rather than fifteen minutes of “where’s the food?”!)

Café 153, Apollo Bay main street - yummy food and a kids toy corner!

Café 153, Apollo Bay main street – yummy food and a kids toy corner!

We didn’t linger over lunch too long, because we were all excited about our next stop for the night – the Cape Otway Lighthouse! We were booked to stay at the Head Lighthouse Keepers Cottage, and so we were most eager to get there! An easy 30 minutes or so later, we turned onto the Otway peninsula road.

A few kilometres in we noticed a car pulled over and people pointing up at the trees – could it be – a koala? As bold as you like, there he sat – a plump grey bundle of fur, wryly watching us with one eye. He was sat on a branch that overhung the road – it certainly seemed as though Koalas weren’t too bothered by cars!

We pulled over and all tumbled out of the car to see him. A koala in the wild – there’s just something so amazing about that! All four of us were absolutely thrilled at such an experience. And he wasn’t the only one – we were to see two more koalas on roadside trees as we made our way to Cape Otway. This was indeed a very special forest in a unique part of the world, and if koala’s are your thing, this is the place to be. A peaceful, magical koala forest.

The koalas of Cape Otway don't even raise an eyebrow at all the tourists!

The koalas of Cape Otway don’t even raise an eyebrow at all the tourists!

When we finally tore ourselves away from the koalas, we arrived at the Cape Otway Lightstation. What an amazing tourist destination this precinct is. Entry is through the souvenir shop – you’re going to need some time to check this shop out, as it’s jam-packed full of interesting souvenirs and everything-shipwreck! Here you can pay your admission (adults $19.50, concession $17.50, child $7.50) into the Precinct which covers all of the attractions inside, including the lighthouse, and helps to preserve it all.

As we were staying there the night, we set about settling into the Head Lightkeeper’s House house before going out for an evening walk. You can read our full review of the amazing Cape Otway Head Lightkeeper’s House accommodation here.

At 5 oclock the Cape Otway Lightstation Precinct closes to the public, and if you are staying in accommodation on site, you basically have the whole place to yourself – this is such a great bonus!

First we went for a walk to the Aboriginal Cultural area, discovering shelters, sculptures and atefact displays along the way. There is a 1km loop trail which is just the right length for a nice stroll – or for the kids to race excitedly along, which was pretty-much us! There are some great ocean vantage points along the way too, and best of all we had this charming little forest all to ourselves. I made a mental note to make sure we came back tomorrow when there was an indigenous guide.

Cape Otway Lighthouse at dusk - a beautiful sight

Cape Otway Lighthouse at dusk – a beautiful sight

We completed the day with an evening walk down to the now-closed lighthouse for some scenic coastal photographs, and to just wonder at the size and splendor of it – just beautiful.

We headed back to our gorgeous accommodation, ate up a yummy Cafe dinner we had arranged earlier, and settled down for a peaceful night. We’ll explore the Cape Otway Lightstation Precinct thoroughly tomorrow.

The girls proudly show off their home for two nights - the Head Lighthouse Keepers house!

The girls proudly show off their home for two nights – the Head Lighthouse Keepers house!

Today’s route…

You can read our Road Trip! daily posts here:

Read the Road Trip! Day 1 blog here  -Canberra to Gundagai to Wangaratta
Read the Road Trip! Day 2 blog here – Wangaratta to Glenrowan to Aireys Inlet
Read the Road Trip! Day 3 blog here – Aireys Inlet to Lorne
Read the Road Trip! Day 4 blog here – Lorne
Read the Road Trip! Day 5 blog here – Lorne to Apollo Bay to Cape Otway
Read the Road Trip! Day 6 blog here – Cape Otway
Read the Road Trip! Day 7 blog here – Cape Otway to 12 Apostles to Port Campbell
Read the Road Trip! Day 8 blog here – Port Campbell to Warrnambool to Port Fairy
Read the Road Trip! Day 9 blog here – Hearn’s Beach & Port Fairy
Read the Road Trip! Day 10 blog here – Port Fairy to Warrnambool to Ballarat
Read the Road Trip! Day 11 blog here – Sovereign Hill gold mining village, Ballarat
Read the Road Trip! Day 12 blog here – Ballarat and the road home…

Tomorrow we will be spending another night at the fabulous Cape Otway Lightstation…we’ll check in with you then!

Have you travelled (or want to) travel to Lorne,  Cape Otway or along the Great Ocean Road with your family? Comment here!



About LetsGoMum

Hi, I'm Barbara, mum of the Let's Go Mum blog. We'd love to hear from you! You can contact me anytime with ideas on where you think we should go or what you think we should try...just drop me a line at barbara@letsgomum.com.au!
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