I have spent all my waking energies, time and money planning my next international adventure. Which far reaching, exotic culture will I discover next? The bustling, sandy, chaotic streets of India? The tranquil, rolling, snow-capped mountains of Norway? The bold, futuristic, delicious alleys of Seoul?
As we’re all acutely aware, none of these are on the cards any time soon, and it’s been quite the challenge to come to terms with the fact that international travel is off the cards for the foreseeable future. But in a beautiful case of silver lining, it’s finally forced me to look at my own magnificent state and country.
Stepping out tentatively from our 100+ day Melbourne lockdown, I had booked myself a sweet little birthday getaway down the Victorian coast to the seaside town of Apollo Bay.
A seafood village, embraced by tranquil beaches, rolling green hills and the Great Otway National Park, Apollo Bay is approximately two hours south west of Melbourne and a popular summer holiday destination.
Arriving early afternoon, we checked into an amazing home called the Cloud Forest, hired through Riparide. Set atop the rolling hills that look down to the Apollo Bay township, the top had a country cabin charm, with high ceilings, rustic detailing and a sweeping Queenslander deck, perfect on which to enjoy a wine while watching the sun set.
Being the good little foodies that we are, we had extensively researched our dining options prior to arrival and top of everyone’s recommendation list was the Harbour Fish Shop. The fresh seafood is caught daily, just off these shores, so you can be assured you’re getting only the best crayfish, oysters, prawns and delicious local fish.
Being the bad little foodies we are, we panic ordered and bought a rather heavy deep fried meal, and drooled at the crays from afar. It was still delicious, but just meant we would have to come back another time…maybe tomorrow even.
Retiring early to this view every night was not hard.
We rose early the next morning to spend the morning to head out to the Great Otway National Park, specifically to Maits Rest to discover gorgeous fern gullies or the giant beech trees – some of which are up to 300 years old, and walk among the towering Californian Redwoods hidden in the Otway Ranges.
A big fan of waterfalls, I ensured we made a stop at the magnificent Hopetoun Falls, only a short walk from the Redwoods, to marvel at its power and beauty, before we headed back to town for some food.
Getting slightly sidetracked along the way, we popped by the Cape Otway Lighthouse, cause why not really? But upon witnessing the eye watering $40 entrance fee, took a couple of photos from the outside and went on our way!
Our post-hike voracious hungers were satiated with a visit to Icaro Wholefoods cafe for some amazing vegetarian food and next level medicinal drinks, including a bright blue latte that resembled a Smurf.
Heading to the beach in Victoria in any month other than maybe February is a risk, and unfortunately it was just a touch too chilly for a dip in the ocean. But weather regardless, this stretch of coastline is magnificent and worth a visit.
The rest of our drink was filled with leisurely drinks at the local pub that overlooks the beach, wines overlooking rolling hills and taking in some of the joyful local architecture.
Oh, and we did make it back for that cray. And it was incredible!
Great Otway National Park
Cape Otway Lighthouse