A rugged coastline, a sheltered beach, and incredible waterfalls—Lorne has it all.
One of Australia’s finest beach destinations, Lorne is nestled around a bay and backed by dense bushland. Popular with surfers and holiday makers, the area has a sheltered beach, eateries for all budgets, and superb bushwalking trails (not to forget its many resident kookaburras). The town is 46 kilometres from Torquay, the official start of the Great Ocean Road, making it a perfect mid-way base to camp when taking your time along this winding coastal road. Choose a foreshore campsite with facilities, or opt for a wilderness experience in the Otway Ranges.
Lorne has a scattering of campgrounds and private parks, many set on the Erskine River and conveniently located in town. Those who prefer to escape town can find tranquility and bush walks to waterfalls just outside of Lorne, while grassy campsites can also be found south of Lorne along the Great Ocean Road. Great coastal walks and birds are a boon here.
Half an hour from Lorne is Wye River, one of the Great Ocean's Road's smallest hamlets. Even so, it offers big adventure thanks to its location between the Great Otway National Park and the ocean: birdwatching, surfing, mountain biking, and fishing.
A tiny hamlet and popular surfing mecca, Kennett River and its Kennett River Holiday Park are guaranteed places to spot koalas (plus king parrots, rosellas, and glow worms). Another bonus? The beach has a life-saving patrol.
The tiny rural village of Forrest is a mountain bike hub, although its main highlight is Lake Elizabeth, home to the elusive platypus. Here you’ll also find beautiful trees, from mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans, or Tasmanian oak) to manna gums.
While you can camp year-round at some (but not all) campsites in and around Lorne, it’s packed from 26 December to the end of January, during the Australian summer holiday season, and on Victorian school holidays. The rainiest and coldest months are June through August. Be aware of bushfire threats, especially from January to March.