The Great Ocean Road
With Kids- This trip is not for the faint hearted!
Our Great Ocean Road Trip
Stop 1. Geelong
Coffee Break GO! Cute and Quirky café, limited pram access but a gorgeous courtyard out the back and toilets.
Eastern Beach Geelong- play on the play ground to stretch the legs. Being winter we skipped past the little kids pool but we’ll definitely be back to enjoy it in summer!
Little Creatures Brewery: We don’t usually put ‘brewery’ and ‘kid-friendly’ together, but Little Creatures have and they got it RIGHT! Kids menu, indoor and outdoor sandpit and toys, a little area where they can colour in and have fun, definitely one of dad’s favourite places to take the kids!
Scheduled Stop 2. Torquay
We didn’t stop here, because one of the little guys were sleeping and we’ve been before- but you can enjoy some outlet shopping, a wander by the gorgeous Torquay Beach or The Surf World Museum which celebrates Australia’s rich surfing history
Stop 3. Anglesea Riverside Playground
What a great playground, I love the incorporation of the shark and the octopus, it was like the playground was on the ocean floor with the sand and the rock walls, with climbing structures that look like seaweed and a nest swing- maybe I’m just looking too much into it, but it was a great place to stop anyway ☺
Stop 4 Anglesea Reserve Look Out, Henley St, Anglesea
This was just a nice place to stop and admire the coast line. It wasn’t too much out of the way so it wasn’t a lot of back tracking, which you can appreciate with such a long drive still ahead!
Airley’s Inlet Playground
What we loved about the great ocean road is that there are so many nice places to stop – when you’re travelling such a long distance with kids, getting out for a run around and a toilet stop can be necessary. This playground ahad a scate park as well as the usual swings, slides and monkey bars.
Split Point Lighthouse
When we actually arrived at Warrnambool later that night we laughed as we turned on the TV to Masterchef who were filming at this location. But this Lighthouse had a place in our childhood- do you remember Round the Twist? The TV show based on the books by Paul Jennings? The show was filmed here, in this very same Lighthouse
Stop 6 Lorne
By the time we got to Lorne we were very aware that our aim to make it to the 12 Apostles might be slipping away- which would have been a problem for 2 reasons- 1. We would have driven for 8 hours without getting to see one of our major landmarks that we were looking forward to AND 2. We would be driving for a long stretch in the dark- country road in the dark almost always carry the risk of running into kangaroos. We did decide to make 2 stops
The Look Out
The lookout was quite a bit off track and as nice as it was, considering that we were stretched for time we should have skipped this one and headed straight to the next one
We chose this waterfall for the simple reason that it wasn’t a long stretch from the car park. We don’t mind a baby wearing hike- but when time is a constraint then this was a good place to see a waterfall without having to trek for 2-3km. It was about an 80m walk (but it’s mostly steps- so a pram is of no use)
Scheduled Stop 7
We should have stopped here overnight, because we still had about 3 hours to get to the 12 Apostles (via the Great Ocean Road) and about 3hours and 10 minutes until sunset. We stopped at a servo here and loaded up on supplies and then we just drive those winding roads…. And drove…. And drove….. It is at this point I would like to thank Apple for creating the IPad that managed to keep the kids entertained for this leg of the trip!
The 12 Apostles
We made it!!!! We didn’t think that we were going to and the rest of our trip we were on the edge of our seats, but we made it as the sun was setting, after 8 hours of driving and pit stops and admiring the beautiful coast line. It was spectacular, just so picturesque and quiet, despite there being many people around, I think it was just a beautiful place where people come and just stop. We are often so busy- smart phones, and technology, TV and demanding jobs. So to drive for hours just to see something natural and beautiful and sunset, wow! It was the middle of winter, it was cold and windy, but we were here and we were together and it was beautiful. BUT… our accommodation was booked in Warrnambool- we still had an hour drive to go, after dark
Loch Ard Gorge
Just a short stop away was the beautiful Loch Art Gorge, we stopped and took a few photos, but the best light was gone… so on we went
The drive to Warrnambool, we were again on edge, both sets of eyes were firmly on the road looking for kangaroos and we did slow down to let one cross the road, but an hour later we were finally there. Our accommodation was pretty unremarkable as we had booked at the last minute and it was a peak time in the town- but it was only for a sleep and a shower so I’m glad we didn’t break the bank on the overnight stay.
Brown Grain Thai Restaurant
We had heard good things about the Thai in town and we weren’t disappointed. Hubby ordered and picked up the meals while I got the boys ready for bed and we all ate at the hotel. It was fuss free and a great way to wrap up an exhausting day. It was an early night preparing for the day ahead
We checked out early and headed to Fish Tales (63 Liebig Street) They had highchairs and options for the kids and an outdoor area (but it was winter so we stayed inside). There was room for the pram which they happily accommodated. Hubby said that it was the best big breakfast that he had in a long time.
We had the most amazing time at the Fun4Kids Festival. Join their Facebook page and find out when the next one will be announced- plan to have a 3 day mini getaway if you can. Mr 2.5 really was able to embrace it, Mr 1.5 was a little less patient and tolerant for the activities. We will be back every year until the kids outgrow it if it can keep up the same program. It was great for all ages.
We went to the Logans Beach whale nursery- but we had heard by locals that the terrible weather we had in the lead up had seen them come in a bit later this year and there were none in sight. Fortunately though we road tripped a again a few weeks later and we managed to catch a glimpse of them. From what I have seen from watching the Warrnambool Whales page which reports sightings of the whales, they tend to be there around 7.30am and after 2pm. But it is hit and miss, so you still have to be lucky. But you won’t be bored, there’s still plenty to do
Lake Pertobe Adventure Playground
A lake, a maze, a couple of playgrounds, a flying fox, make sure you black out a couple of hours to enjoy here!
The Way Home:
Take the SHORT WAY!!! Only 3.5 hours to get home on the way back via Camperdown, Corio, Geelong