VICTORIA69Bells BeachTHE GREAT OCEAN ROADHugging the contours of Victoria's rugged coast,this famous road snakes from the surf-capital ofTorquay past cliffs, scenic lookouts, rainforests,wrecked ships, and laidback fishing villages onits way to Port Fairy. Between Angelsea andLorne the Otway Ranges' forests are riven withwaterfalls and bushwalks, with the Otway Flywalkway offering you a chance to explore theforest canopy. Drive along the coastline past thetiny hamlets of Wye River and Skenes Creek toApollo Bay, and briefly head inland to LaversHill, the highest point in the Otway Ranges,where Melba Gully has one of the mostimpressive rainforest walks. Princetown marksthe boundaries of the Otway and Port CampbellNational Parks, where the spectacular'Shipwreck Coast' (see page 70) starts.Picturesque Warrnambool, less than half anhour from Port Fairy, is a lovely maritime villagewhere each June southern right whales visit tocalve offshore. APOLLO BAYThis small fishing village was named after a localschooner and despite the town becoming aresting place for many shipwrecks it oddlyremains popular with fishermen. Set in thefoothills of the Otway Ranges there is aremarkable contrast between the craggycoastline and breathtaking forest wilderness. Awander will uncover some excellent cafés andrestaurants, but make sure you continue to'Mariners Lookout' for a stunning view backover the bay, its long sandy beach washed bydeep blue waters.tailor-made travelAll our travel arrangements are on a private,individual basis to offer you complete freedom ofchoice. The itineraries and accommodation optionsthroughout the brochure are designed to give you aflavour of what is possible and can be tailor-made tosuit your preferences. Prices vary according toselected accommodation and season. Please callour Australia specialists on 01869 276 345 todiscuss your individual requirements.Captain's at the Bay, Apollo BayThis welcoming, contemporary bed & breakfast iswithin a stroll of the superb restaurants of tranquilApollo Bay. Whether you are in the Terraces,Cottage or the Loft, the elegant décor is warm andinviting. A sumptuous Australian breakfast is servedin the guest lounge and the dining room is a greatplace to relax with a huge open fire and localmaritime history on display.The Great Ocean RoadCaptain's at the BayThe GreatOcean RoadOne of the world's most scenic driving routes willtake you from Melbourne along one of Australia'smost scenically dramatic coastlines, justly namedthe Great Ocean Road. Pass through friendly seasidetowns, famous surfing beaches, dense forest backedby the Otway Ranges and past incredible naturalsandstone formations carved by the elements.Day 1:Leave Melbourne and drive to ApolloBay. Perhaps stop in Geelong and take astroll along the bollard trail, where localartist Jan Mitchell has transformedhundreds of old timbers from the old pierinto striking Australian icons. Stop at BellsBeach near Torquay, one of Australia'stop surfing locations.Day 2:Drive to Port Fairy, take a short detourinland and walk along the unique OtwayFly Walkway high in the tree canopy.Continue along the coast and enjoy themagnificent views of the infamousShipwreck Coast.Day 3:Spend the day exploring the lovely villageof Port Fairy, perhaps returning to theTwelve Apostles at sunset.Day 4:Return to Melbourne today via the inlandPrinces Highway, or continue on toAdelaide.EXTENSIONSThere are many variations to this famous journey.One of our favourites is to drive down theMornington Peninsula and take the ferry fromPortsea to Queenscliff for a night or two beforecontinuing with your journey to Apollo Bay.Alternatively, you can return to Melbourne from PortFairy via the Great Southern Touring route (see page71) taking in the Grampians National Park and theheritage town of Ballarat.Port FairyChocolate Gannets, Apollo BaySet just outside Apollo Bay, these spacious self-contained villas offer spectacular sea views. Relax inyour ensuite double spa bath looking out to therolling ocean, sink into a rich leather sofa in front ofan open fire, or use it as a base to explore. Fromthe tasty breakfast hamper that greets each newday, all the home comforts you need are provided.
Loch Ard Gorge, The Shipwreck CoastTHE SHIPWRECK COASTBlowholes roar with spouting water and theocean seems to boil around towering rockstacks on this majestic coastline. At thecavernous Loch Ard Gorge, the stunning vista oftowering cliffs, sparkling sea and a tiny sandybeach make it hard to imagine the dramas thathave unfolded in the treacherous waters. Thebeautiful Twelve Apostles, set off by a backdropof dramatic, imposing cliffs are part of aprocession of natural features that string thecoast: Pudding Basin Rock, Island Arch, theBlowhole and London Bridge. This coast is bestseen when the winds are fierce, whipping theocean in to a frenzy, playing out the naturalforce that has battered and crafted thelandscape into shape. Boardwalks and viewingplatforms ensure easy access to the sweeping,awe-inspiring vistas, with blazing hues at sunriseand sunset. There are plenty of day tours leavingfrom Melbourne, but these often prove ratherlong with a good deal of driving: our choicewould be to take your time, and spend a nightor two in Port Fairy and Apollo Bay.Great Ocean Road Walk Traversing one of the most remarkable stretches ofAustralia's coast this new walking tour passesthrough tall forests, shaded gullies, remote beachesand towering cliffs, travelling from Apollo Bay to theTwelve Apostles in four days. The walk breaks afterfour hours, allowing energetic walkers to continueand those that prefer a more leisurely pace to catcha ride to the overnight stop. Accommodation can bein character bed & breakfast properties or indesignated campsites and good food and wine isavailable all along the route. 70PORT FAIRYIn early 1800 a boat called 'The Fairy' chose thistiny bay on the mouth of the Moyne River toshelter from a storm. Steeped in charm, there isalso an historic Celtic influence in thearchitecture of this town of restaurants and aflourishing arts scene: open studios and galleriesscatter the streets and are linked into adelightful 'Art Walk'. The beauty of the coastlineis at its best on Griffiths Island, home to acolony of mutton birds, and on Lady Julia PercyIsland where lava flows have created an almostflat top with soaring cliffs. Although seen bymany as an overnight stop, Port Fairy is aperfect base from which to explore the famousand somewhat notorious shipwreck coast.Goble's Mill House,Port FairyA beautiful heritage-listed three-storey bluestonebuilding with views of the Moyne River, Gobles MillHouse has been converted into a very comfortableand characterful guesthouse by the owners, Noeland Lorraine. There is a homely atmosphere aroundthe massive open fireplace, comfy couches and tinyguest pantry, where guests are invited to helpthemselves to tea, coffee, homemade biscuits and aglass or two of port. Six bedrooms of varying size areelegantly furnished and three overlook the fishingboats and river: our favourite is the beautiful loftroom with its king-size bed and private balcony.Breakfast is served next to the kitchen and Goble'sis just a short stroll from an array of restaurants.The Shipwreck CoastPort FairyGoble's Mill House