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Looking for fun things to do in Lorne? As one of the most popular places to stop along the Great Ocean Road for a meal or an overnight stay, there are plenty of great activities and attractions in Lorne Victoria worth exploring!
It is definitely worth staying a little while to explore Lorne and the nearby area. Best of all, this is a great place to base yourself if you are looking to visit the beautiful Otway National Park too!
- A Brief History Of Lorne, Australia
- What To Do In Lorne In One Day
- Best Things To Do In Lorne Victoria
- 1. Visit Teddy’s Lookout
- 2. Spend A Day At The Beach
- 3. Visit Erskine Falls
- 4. Lorne Sea Baths
- 5. Walk Along Lorne Pier
- 5. Sample The Seafood At Lorne Pier Seafood Restaurant
- 6. Get Adventurous At Live Wire Park
- 7. Learn To Surf
- 8. Get Active On A Lorne Walking Trail
- 9. Explore Great Otway National Park
- 10. Sample The Local Wineries
- 11. Dine At Swing Bridge Cafe
- 12. See The Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch
- 13. Swim At Jebbs Pool
- 14. See Local Wildlife Along The Kennett River Koala Walk
- 15. Lorne Visitor Information Centre & Great Ocean Road Heritage Centre
- Day Trips From Lorne
- Lorne With Kids
- Planning Your Lorne Visit
A Brief History Of Lorne, Australia
Lorne is a popular seaside town, located about two and a half hours’ drive from Melbourne. Originally named Louttit Bay, after Captain Louttit, and later renamed to Lorne after the Marquis of Lorne who married the daughter of Queen Victoria in 1870.
Lorne established itself as a popular Victorian holiday destination from around the 1950s onwards, particularly for camping in Lorne over the summer months for fishing, swimming and surfing.
These days, with the population of Lorne sitting at around 1115 people, it’s a budding tourist destination with a range of attractions, activities and the famous Great Ocean Road running through it.
What To Do In Lorne In One Day
If you are only visiting Lorne for one day (or even just for half a day), here are the top things to put on your one-day Lorne itinerary:
- Teddy’s Lookout
- Erskine Falls walk
- Lorne Foreshore & beach
- Lorne Pier
Best Things To Do In Lorne Victoria
A visit to Lorne during your Great Ocean Road driving itinerary is well worth the stop and in the busy holiday season, this is exactly what many people do.
Lorne is somewhere you could easily spend a couple of days enjoying the beautiful beaches, a spot of fishing or a hike in the Otway National Park.
Whether you are a local looking for a day trip from Melbourne, a backpacker exploring the Great Ocean Road, or a family with young kids, there are plenty of fun things to do in Lorne!
Here are a few of the favourite things to see in Lorne Victoria and the attractions you won’t want to miss:
1. Visit Teddy’s Lookout
It may seem surprising to put a lookout at the top of the list, but trust us you don’t want to miss this stop!
Teddy’s Lookout offers a stunning panoramic view of the coastline – the Southern Ocean and Saint George River, and it is easily one of the best views along the Great Ocean Road!
This is a great spot to watch a sunrise or sunset, and a must-see for any trip to Lorne. It sits directly above Lorne Scenic Beach. The lookout is just a short walk from the car park.
If you want to spend a while, there are picnic tables and walking trails from the lookout as well.
2. Spend A Day At The Beach
One of the biggest drawcards for holiday-goers choosing to stay in Lorne overnight or for a longer stay is that it is such a great spot to swim, fish and surf. The beaches are a great place to spend a day soaking up the sun or having a beach picnic with a view!
Lorne has a range of sheltered swimming spots as well as plenty of options for fishing, surfing and water activities. And on hot summer days, the main beach is absolutely packed with beachgoers!
Lorne Main Beach often makes the list of the best beaches along the Great Ocean Road too!
- Lorne Main Beach – If you are looking for the best spot for swimming and water activities near Lorne, this is a great option. The 2-kilometre beach is relatively well sheltered by Point Grey making it good for a paddle in the waves and for beginner surfers. This is where families will often come for a day at the beach, with Lorne beach itself backing onto Lorne Foreshore Reserve where there is a playground, picnic and BBQ facilities and shops across the street. The beach is patrolled on weekends between November to April and until February each year on weekdays.
- Shelly Beach – A great spot for a quieter beach day, Shelly Beach is a hidden gem tucked away in a bay near Lorne. It’s a great spot for fishing or a beach stroll.
- North Lorne Beach – Also known as Lorne Dog Beach, this is the place to come if you want to bring your dog to the beach! This isn’t a patrolled beach but it is still a spot people go for swimming, with off-leash areas and places to enjoy a picnic.
- Lorne Scenic Beach – Sitting a short drive away from Lorne and a great spot for a walk during low tide, this beach is a favourite for photographers and for those who enjoy stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking.
>> GRAB OUR BEACH PACKING LIST
3. Visit Erskine Falls
Erskine Falls is a beautiful spot just a short drive from Lorne and a must-see on any trip to the area. The waterfall is one of the highest in Victoria and one of the most breathtaking views along the winding Great Ocean Road route.
Sitting 30 metres high and offering a stunning view from the lookout above and an even better view at the base of the falls, this is a popular swimming hole in Victoria for visitors too.
The walk to the bottom of Erskine Falls is a relatively easy one if you don’t mind the stairs on the way back up. If you aren’t so keen on the stairs, there is a viewing platform just a one-minute walk from the car park.
We highly recommend you walk down to the bottom though. It’s a beautiful spot, even if you don’t have any intention of having a swim. Both our kids managed the walk fairly easily, aside from the fact that our youngest had to take her time after a bit of motion sickness in the car on the windy drive to the falls car park.
Erskine Falls isn’t the only waterfall near Lorne! In fact, Lorne is one of the best places to visit if you love chasing waterfalls! The Otways are filled with special spots that are worth the effort to find.
Here are some of the other incredible Lorne waterfalls worth a visit if you have more time for Lorne outdoor activities:
- Won Wondah Falls – A family-friendly 3.6km walk
- Phantom Falls – Moderate difficulty 3.4km trail
- Upper & Lower Kalimna Falls – A 6.5km return walk to Lower Kalimna Falls, following the former route of the timber tramway once used to transport timber to the Lorne Pier. The upper falls is an 8.5km return walk if you want to go a little further.
- Sheoak Falls – A popular stop along the Great Ocean Road as it’s just a 10-minute walk from the car park to the first viewing area and a 2.2km return walk to the waterfall.
- Cumberland Falls – A more challenging 6km return walk that is better suited to more experienced hikers, with a few river crossings and rocky areas.
- Cora Lynn Cascades – A 4.2km round trip through the eucalyptus forest to these cascading waterfalls
4. Lorne Sea Baths
One of the most popular Lorne attractions for families is the Lorne Sea Baths. This is a swimming pool and entertainment complex located right on the beachfront, with plenty of things to do.
There is, of course, a swimming pool where you can also book a session in the bumper boats and aqua roller orbs within the pool at an extra cost.
Next door to the Lorne Sea Baths swimming pool is a trampoline park, mini golf and other fun activities for the family. Plus they have a beachfront equipment hire service with surfboards too.
You can pay for a single-entry pool pass, for a multiple-activity pass or a full-day pass that gives unlimited access to all the activities. This can be a fun way to entertain the whole family if you’re looking for something other than a day at the beach.
There are also a range of wellness options too, with a gym, salt therapy, yoga and hydrotherapy.
5. Walk Along Lorne Pier
The Lorne Pier is the perfect destination for anyone looking to experience amazing views of the Australian coastline, with an abundance of scenery from marine life to rocky cliffs naturally sculpted by waves crashing against the shore.
This is the best place to catch the sunset or sunrise, watch the fishing boats come in and out of the harbour, or simply stroll around and enjoy the view.
The pier is one of the longest piers in Victoria and has served as a popular spot for visitors since it was first built back in 1879. While the original pier has been replaced with a new, longer pier in 2007, a small section of the historic original Lorne pier remains.
The Lorne Pier is around 1km long, making it an enjoyable length to stroll. It is also a popular place for fishing in Lorne and whale watching during whale season, between May and September.
The pier is also quite well known for its annual Pier To Pub Race, run by the Lorne Surf Life Saving Club, which consists of a 1.2-kilometre swim and run from the pier to the beach at Lorne. The Pier To Pub race event draws around 4000 competitors each year and loads of spectators, making it the largest open-water swim in the world.
5. Sample The Seafood At Lorne Pier Seafood Restaurant
Of course, it wouldn’t be a visit to a seaside town without some fresh seafood on the menu! The Lorne Pier Restaurant is located at the end of the pier and offers some of the freshest seafood in Lorne.
Their menu includes everything from freshly shucked oysters to delicious fish and chips, with a range of locally sourced options for you to choose from.
The restaurant is also a great spot for sunsets, with breathtaking views of the pier and Surf Coast that go on for miles.
6. Get Adventurous At Live Wire Park
Live Wire Park is an adventurer’s playground, offering things like ziplining and high ropes courses for those seeking a thrill. This is one of the most popular things to do in Lorne for families and those who love to challenge themselves.
Here you will also find the Shockwave Zip Coaster, dubbed as ‘Australia’s most extreme zipline’. This zipline track is a mammoth 525 metres long.
Live Wire Park admission includes access to the Spring Circuit trampolines and Canopy Circuit, which are both suitable for all ages. For the other electric experiences, there are extra costs associated.
Basic admission is $22 for adults and $20 for children up to 15 years of age. They also offer combo passes and family combo packages if you’re wanting to do the more extreme circuit experiences.
7. Learn To Surf
If you already know how to surf, Lorne is a great place to catch some waves, but if not, why not make the most of your visit and take a surfing lesson?
There are Lorne surfing lessons suited for different ages, with Go Ride A Wave being a popular surf school. Their lessons include all the required equipment and gear, including wetsuits or rashy vests and an experienced instructor to lead the way.
If you’d rather just give it a go, instead of doing surf lessons, you can hire a board too. Being a sheltered beach, this is a good place for beginners to master the surfing basics before you tackle something a little more challenging – like Bells Beach in Torquay!
8. Get Active On A Lorne Walking Trail
If you’re looking for free things to do in Lorne, you’re spoilt for choice with the many outdoor activities on offer, and of course, there are plenty of hiking trails to explore.
The area has some of the most stunning natural views and scenery, with the many Lorne waterfalls and coastal tracks.
We mentioned the Erskine Falls Walk above and several of the other Lorne waterfall walks that are definitely a great option!
Here are a few other walking trails in Lorne and nearby that are also worth making time for:
- St Geroge River Loop – 5.1km
- Teddy’s Lookout & Otway Ranges Lookout Loop – 3.5km
- Lorne Foreshore & Pier – 2.6km
- Lorne Historic Tramway Track – 3.2km
You can find more details on each of the Lorne walking trails, their lengths and their difficulty rating on the AllTrails website.
9. Explore Great Otway National Park
Lorne is surrounded by the Great Otway National Park, a stunning region of forest and rocky headlands with plenty of things to explore. The national park stretches from Torquay to Princetown, with Lorne right in the middle, making it a great base for exploring this beautiful national park!
The national park is home to some fascinating creatures, making it the perfect place for nature lovers.
The park also has hundreds of kilometres of trails that you can traverse either on foot or by bike, with plenty of things to discover along the way.
Some of the most popular attractions within the Otways National Park include:
- Otway Fly Treetop Adventures – a 600-metre elevated treetop walk through the rainforest or get daring with the Otway Fly Zipline experience.
- Maits Rest Rainforest Walk – a beautiful 800 boardwalk through a forest of ferns and ancient rainforest trees.
- Cape Otway Lighthouse – The Otway Lighthouse is the oldest surviving lighthouse in Australia, situated along the Shipwreck coast.
- The Redwood Forest – This truly magical forest is full of enormous Californian redwoods as tall as 100 feet!
- Melba Gully Glow Worms – Thousands of glow worms light up the night sky here, making it a unique and magical experience.
- Lake Elizabeth Walk – You might be lucky enough to spot a shy platypus swimming around Lake Elizabeth.
Most of these attractions are between 40 minutes and 90 minutes from Lorne so a full-day trip into the Otways is the best way to experience them. They make a great detour from your Great Ocean Road attractions.
10. Sample The Local Wineries
Located only a few kilometres from the Lorne town centre, is the picturesque region of the Otway Ranges.
This area is home to some of Victoria’s best wineries along the Great Ocean Road!
- Otway Estate Winery – Located an hour from Lorne, this stunning vineyard is just outside Colac and is a premium wine producer in the region.
- Blake’s Estate – Located just under 30 minutes from Lorne in Deans Marsh, the cellar door is open weekends all year and every day in January.
- St Anne’s Winery – With the St Anne’s Winery cellar door located right on Lorne’s beachfront, you can enjoy wine tasting 7 days a week from their ocean-view location.
If you’re after a full day of winery hopping, the Great Ocean Road Wineries Trail is a popular way to see them all in one go!
11. Dine At Swing Bridge Cafe
The Lorne Swing Bridge Cafe is a popular place to grab a coffee and morning tea or lunch before heading to the beach.
Located on the banks of the Erskine River, Swing Bridge Cafe has a lovely outdoor seating area to enjoy the views of the bridge and the river.
While they are open every day during the peak holiday season, they do often close during the quieter winter months.
12. See The Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch
Situated between Lorne and Aireys Inlet, you will find the famous Great Ocean Road sign.
This is often mistaken as the official starting point of the Great Ocean Road, but it is in fact a memorial dedicated to world war veterans and the road-building efforts of the returned servicemen who built the Great Ocean Road in the 1920s.
The Arch is a great spot to take family photos or just appreciate its significance to Australian history. There is a sign and plaque sharing some of the history of the area.
13. Swim At Jebbs Pool
If you need a break from the beaches, Jebbs Pool is a swimming hole located just 10 minutes south of Lorne.
It’s just a short walk through the rainforest to reach the waterhole with water cascading over the rocks. This can be fun to slide down so the kids will likely love a visit here.
The best way to get to Jebbs Pool is to park at nearby Cumberland River Holiday Park and follow the signs along the track. There is a walking trail that takes you right to Cumberland Falls if you’re keen to explore the area but not so much for a swim.
14. See Local Wildlife Along The Kennett River Koala Walk
The Great Ocean Road is one of the best places in Australia to enjoy Australian wildlife sightings and if it’s koalas you are keen to see, the Kennett River Koala Walk along Grey River Road is a great option to almost guarantee it!
The walk is only a 30-minute drive from Lorne and well worth making time for. The walk is open 24 hours a day, but of course, visiting during the day is when you have the best chance of seeing koalas.
There is a cafe, Kafe Koala, open from 7 am to 7 pm daily to grab a bite to eat and use the public toilets.
This walk is an easy loop along the banks of the Kennett River. Keep your eyes peeled for koalas up in the trees as they can be hard to spot!
This attraction can be very busy, so come early if you want to miss the crowds and make sure not to touch any of the wildlife.
15. Lorne Visitor Information Centre & Great Ocean Road Heritage Centre
For rainy days or if you just want to find out the best things to do around Lorne and what’s happening in town, head to the Lorne Visitor Information Centre.
The friendly staff can help you find things to do and give you advice on what sort of activities you might enjoy doing.
Within the information centre, you will also find Great Ocean Road Heritage Centre, run by the Lorne Historical Society. This is a fantastic stop for anyone who wants to learn the full Great Ocean Road story.
The Lorne Visitor Centre is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, situated next door to Mantra Erskine Beach Resort, with free entry.
They also have a great selection of souvenirs and gift ideas for those looking for something special to take home.
Day Trips From Lorne
With Lorne on the Great Ocean Road, there are plenty of things to do nearby and day trips you can take from Lorne!
Some popular ones include visiting Wye River, Apollo Bay or Cape Otway Light Station.
Alternatively, you could head to the stunning Great Otways National Park for rainforest walks and waterfalls.
Split Point Lighthouse in nearby Aireys Inlet is another great place to visit. This historic lighthouse is open for tours, offering incredible views and potential whale-watching opportunities.
Although I think my favourite part is the fact that it was the lighthouse featured in the Australian children’s TV series, ‘Round The Twist’, based around the popular Paul Jennings books.
One of the most popular day trips from Lorne is to visit Port Campbell National Park and see the iconic Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, London Bridge, Gibsons Steps and the Grotto.
A day trip to Melbourne from Lorne is another option if you haven’t yet had the chance to explore the Victorian capital.
Travel Insurance: Make sure you don’t leave home without travel insurance. Trust us, it’s one of those things you don’t want to skip, especially when travelling with kids. Check out our travel insurance comparison guide.
Lorne With Kids
Lorne is a fantastic place to visit with kids, especially during the summer season when you can enjoy the beaches and outdoor Lorne attractions even more!
Lorne Children’s Playground, also known as Lorne Beach Playground, is a fantastic playground the kids will love. Ours did! It was hard to get them to leave.
Planning Your Lorne Visit
Now that we’ve worked out the best places to visit in Lorne and in the surrounding areas, let’s plan your trip:
Where Is Lorne?
Lorne is located on the Great Ocean Road in southern Victoria, just 2.5 hours from Melbourne by car.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Lorne?
The best time to visit Lorne would be during the summer months when you can make the most of the beaches and outdoor activities.
Getting Around Lorne
The best way to get to and around Lorne is by car. Being situated along the most famous road trip route in Australia, you want to have the flexibility of being able to get around easily, so having your own car or a rental car makes this very easy. Grab your rental car from Melbourne Airport or the Melbourne CBD.
Find the best price on a car or van to suit your needs on DiscoverCars.
Where To Eat In Lorne
There are plenty of great options for food along the main street of Lorne, including Lorne Hotel, where you can get typical pub food with a fantastic view of the ocean, Lorne Pier Seafood Restaurant for fresh seafood dishes or try IPSOS Restaurant & Bar for traditional Greek dishes.
Best Places To Stay In Lorne
There is plenty of accommodation in Lorne to suit different budgets and types of trips, however, book ahead early if you are planning to visit during summer. We attempted to get accommodation in Lorne around 8 months out before our Great Ocean Road trip and it was already mostly booked out due to the Victorian school holidays.
Here are some of the best places to stay in Lorne:
- Cumberland Lorne Resort – opposite the beach with an indoor swimming pool
- Lorne World – Self-contained with balconies on the beachfront
- Mantra Lorne – Indoor heated swimming pool, direct beach access, golf course
The Lorne region is an incredible destination for anyone looking to explore the best of Victoria’s glorious nature. From stunning views and the extraordinary abundance of natural beauty that this region has to offer. Whether you are looking for excitement, serenity, or both on your next adventure – Lorne is definitely worth a visit!
Where else should I go on my trip to Victoria?
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