Lorne beach and bay
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Only 1300 call Lorne
home, but this popular holiday destination swells with visitors during summer. Many Victorians have holiday homes here and for good reason. The town has easy access to beaches on the one side and the Otway Ranges on the other. Erskine Falls is well worth a visit and there are many excellent rainforest walks to keep visitors occupied.
Sights and Activities
Lorne is a good place to base yourself for excursions along the Great Ocean Road. It's not particularly close to the Twelve Apostles (2 hours drive or so), but some of the most beautiful winding stretches of the road are in this area. The adjacent Angahook-Lorne State Park offers plenty of opportunities to explore, with waterfalls and walking tracks dotted throughout.
- Erskine Falls is one of the nicest waterfalls in the Otways and a good place for a picnic and swim on a hot day. There is a viewing platform at the top of the falls and then you can walk down a further 240 steps to reach the base. It's located 10km out of town at the end of the Erskine Falls Road.
- Teddy's Lookout overlooks the Great Ocean Road and the George River estuary. There is a walk down from the lookout to the road if you feel up to it. Located at the end of George Street.
- Qdos is an art gallery and sculpture garden set amongst beautiful gum trees. It's open every day from 9:00am to 5:00pm, but outside of holiday periods it is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 35 Allenvale Road. Ph: (03) 5289 1989.
- Lorne Pier is a historic pier a short drive past the main beachfront. Take a short stroll to the end, try fishing off the end, or dine on fresh fish at the Lorne Pier Seafood Restaurant or Grand Pacific Hotel.
- Tramway Track Walk is a walking track that follows along the route of the historic logging tramline. It's a 30-minute walk each way and starts at the corner of the Great Ocean Road and Hird Street, ending at St George River.
- Fishing: Catch salmon, whiting, snapper, gummy sharks, barracouta and trevally. The best fishing spots around Lorne are at Reedy Creek, Loutit Bay and the Lorne Pier.
- Mini golf at Erskine Falls Cottages on Erskine Falls Road. Phone: (03) 5289 2666. Open every day from 9:00am to 5:00pm.
- Skate park for the young or young at heart. Located between the swimming pool and Mountjoy Parade.
- Spa and massage at Surfcoast Endota (Shop 8&9/150 Mountjoy Parade, (03) 5289 1267) and Erskine Wellness Spa (Mantra Erskine Beach Resort, (03) 5289 5103).
- Long walks on the beach. For the romantics, just step onto the main beach in Lorne and start walking. For a more private experience, try some of the other beaches around, including the one near Moggs Creek and Aireys Inlet (about 15 minutes before Lorne).
Events and Festivals
- The Falls Festival is held every New Year's Eve, attracting tens of thousands of music fans from around Australia.
- The Pier to Pub swim is Australia's largest ocean swim, attracting thousands of swimmers each January and likely one of the most popular ocean swims in the world.
There is no train line out to Lorne, but it is possible with V/Line to catch a train from Melbourne to Geelong and then take the coach from there. This trip takes between 2:20 and 2:40 hours and costs $15.
Lorne is located along the famous Great Ocean Road, a road that connects it with other coastal towns like Anglesea, Torquay and Apollo Bay, as well as Melbourne, via Geelong. It can also be reached overland with the C151, which joins the Princess Highway at Winchelsea.
V/Line operates coach services to Lorne from Warrnambool, Geelong, Apollo Bay and other coastal towns. To get there from Melbourne, take the train to Geelong and get the coach from there. If you're coming from Adelaide, get a coach (with Premier Stateliner) to Mount Gambier, catch the train to Warrnambool and then go by coach.
It's easiest to get around Lorne by car, and this also allows flexibility when doing the rest of the Great Ocean Road.
By Public Transport
There is no public transport within Lorne, although there are taxis.
Lorne is fairly easy to walk around. If you are staying in a house off the main street though, be aware that the road leading back to the residential areas is very steep.
Cycling along the Great Ocean Road around Lorne can be a nice way to experience the route. Be aware that some of the stretches of road can be steep, so a decent level of fitness will help.
There are quite a few cafés and restaurants in Lorne, mainly along Mountjoy Parade, the main street:
- River Tea House, 4b Mountjoy Parade. Phone: (03) 5289 2099. Ideal for a morning or afternoon tea, with fresh devonshire teas and coffee.
- Arab Expresso Bar, 94 Mountjoy Parade. Phone: (03) 5289 1435. Arab has excellent coffee, but the food and tea are quite disappointing.
- Cumberland Milkbar, 150 Mountjoy Parade. Phone: (03) 5289 1435. Serving breakfast all day as well as lunch and dinner, this is a good place to go for a cheap eat.
- Lorne Fish & Chips, Shop 1/42 Mountjoy Parade. Phone: (03) 5289 1843. For some traditional Aussie tucker (ie. food), grab yourself some fish and chips and enjoy it on the beach. Also offers burgers, potato cakes, dim sims, souvlaki and other standard fish&chips fare.
- Loutit Bay Bakery, 46b Mountjoy Parade. Phone: (03) 5289 1207. A budget option. Serving meat pies, sandwhiches, homemade soups and more.
- Marks Restaurant, 124 Mountjoy Parade. Phone: (03) 5289 2787. A more expensive restaurant, with mains around the $30 AUD mark. Considered one of the best restaurants in town.
- Lorne Hotel, 176 Mountjoy Parade. Phone: (03) 5289 1409. Fresh local seafood, steaks, pizza and a bar that's open until 3am. If you can get a seat on the sun deck, you'll have a great view of the beach and ocean.
- Grand Pacific Hotel, 268 Mountjoy Parade. Phone: (03) 5289 1609. If you continue along Mountjoy Parade past the main beach area, you'll notice beautiful old colonial Grand Pacific Hotel on the right as you approach the pier. This is a historic building, so expect the food to be priced accordingly.
- Lorne Pier Seafood Restaurant, Pier Head. Phone: (03) 5289 1119. Set on the pier overlooking the ocean and coastline, come here for fresh seafood.
- Lorne Hotel, 176 Mountjoy Parade. Phone: (03) 5289 1409. Grab a meal upstairs while you enjoy a beer with a view of the beach and ocean. There is a sports bar downstairs that closes earlier. Upstairs, the bar is open till 3am.
There is a wide range of accommodation options in Lorne. In particular, there are a lot of private holiday houses for rent. Still, in the summer months, when the town swells with visitors, it can be hard to find a place to stay.
- Great Ocean Road Backpackers YHA at 10 Erskine Avenue. Phone: (03) 5289 1809. Reception Hours: 8 am to 9 pm
- The Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park encompasses 5 separate camping grounds and caravan sites including the Ocean Road Camping Ground, Kia Ora Park, Erskine River Park, Top Bank Camping Ground and Queens Park Camping Ground. Phone (03) 5289 1382.
- Cumberland River Holiday Park is a campsite just out of Lorne along the Great Ocean Road and beautifully situated beside the Cumberland River looking at some steep cliffs. Cabins also available. Phone: (03) 5289 1790.
- The Lorne Hotel at 176 Mountjoy Parade. Phone (03) 5289 1409.
- Cumberland Lorne Resort, 150 Mountjoy Parade. Phone (03) 5289 2400.
- Mantra Erskine Beach Resort, Mountjoy Parade. Phone (03) 5289 1209.
There are four places to access the internet in Lorne. If you have your own laptop with wifi, it is possible to get free internet at the Mantra Erskine Beach Resort (on your left as you enter town). There is also internet available at a fee at the information center, the Cumberland Milkbar and the childcare centre opposite the information centre. The price is about $2 per half hour.
Free wifi is getting more and more common (either with or without a code) in places like restaurants, some bars and coffee places and hotels. Sometimes a fee is required.
See also: International Telephone Calls
Australia is on a GSM 900/1800 network, so if you have an unlocked phone that works on those frequencies, you will be able to buy a prepaid SIM-card and stick into your phone when you're in Australia. You will receive a new Australian phone number with the SIM-card.
To dial out of Australia use the prefix 0011, followed by the calling code of the country you are trying to reach, followed by the area code of the city/town (without the 0!) and finally the phone number.
Within Australia, it is necessary to add an area code to the phone numbers if you are calling from outside the area. Below are Australia's area codes:
- 02 - New South Wales & Australian Capital Territory (Sydney, Canberra)
- 03 - Victoria & Tasmania (Melbourne, Hobart)
- 07 - Queensland (Brisbane)
- 08 - Western Australia, South Australia & Northern Territory (Perth, Adelaide, Darwin)
000 is the emergency telephone number in Australia, but the international GSM mobile emergency telephone number 112 also works on mobile phones.
Australia Post is the government's postal service. Most suburbs will have at least one post office. Opening times are mostly from around 8:00 or 9:00am to 5:00pm though larger ones keep longer hours sometimes. A standard letter or postcard sent within Australia will cost $0.60. Internationally, it costs $1.70 to send postcards anywhere in the world. Letters cost $1.85 to send within the Asia Pacific region and $2.60 to anywhere else in the world.. It is also possible to send things as parcels or by express mail. You can also use use private courier companies like TNT, UPS or DHL as they are competitive and reliable.