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Beach Town Charm and Breathtaking Natural Beauty - A Guide to Lorne

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With its broad golden beach, fresh sea air, and laid-back feel, Lorne has been a magnet for vacationers for over a century. Its population of fewer than 2,000 swells to many times more during vacation season. A calendar full of cultural and sporting events, easy access to the natural wonders of the Great Ocean Road, and a mouthwatering selection of cafés and restaurants make Lorne a consummate coastal getaway.

Mountjoy Parade - Lorne's main drag

 

The Great Ocean Road, which becomes Mountjoy Parade in Lorne, is the town’s main artery, with the oceanfront on one side, and the township on the other. Presiding over Lorne is the landmark Grand Pacific Hotel, restored with its latticework verandahs intact. Mountjoy Parade has a small-town feel, and is lined with delightful shops selling boutique clothing, quirky gifts and homewares, books, and essentials. You’ll also find plenty of cafés for a break from your browsing, where you can sip on a latte and soak up the ocean views.

 

  • Grand Pacific Hotel, 268 Mountjoy Parade, Lorne VIC 3232; Tel: +61 3 5289 1609; Website: Grand Pacific Hotel
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  • Moons Espresso Bar, 108 Mountjoy Parade, Lorne VIC 3232; Tel: +61 44830 4531; Website: Moons Espresso Bar

On the waterfront in Lorne

 

Lorne Beach is a broad 2-kilometer stretch of fine golden sand whose gentle waves make it safe for swimmers and an ideal spot to learn to ride a surfboard. The calm waters of the Erskine River Inlet make it perfect for swimming with small children. The iconic 200-meter Lorne Pier, scene of the annual "Pier to Pub" swimming race, is populated by anglers hoping for trevally, whiting, and bream, and affords panoramic coastal vistas. Climb up to Teddy’s Lookout and you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of hinterland, coast, and Southern Ocean.

 

 

Exploring Great Otway National Park

 

Great Otway National Park forms the lush green backdrop to Lorne, and there are plenty of walking trails to guide your exploration. There are several waterfalls close to town. Erskine Falls, a 10-minute drive inland, cascades down into a picturesque fern valley, and you can follow the rainforest path to the base. The leafy bank of the Cumberland River is a ideal spot for a hike past dramatic cliffs and peaceful pools. There are great views of the rocky coast waiting as you emerge at the river mouth.

 

 

Lorne's lively cultural scene

 

Lorne has a small but vibrant arts community, with its epicenter at Qdos Arts. What began life as a studio has grown into a sculpture park, gallery, and performing arts space. The Lorne Sculpture Biennale, which every 2 years transforms the beach foreshore into a sculpture gallery, also grew out of Qdos Arts. Lorne Theatre is a grand old cinema overlooking the beach, which shows international and art-house movies during the vacation season.

 

  • Qdos Arts, 35 Allenvale Road, Lorne VIC 3232; Tel: +61 3 5289 1989; Website: Qdos Arts
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  • Lorne Theatre, 78 Mountjoy Parade, Lorne VIC 3232; Tel: +61 3 5289 1272; Website: Lorne Theatre

 

Experiencing the Great Ocean Road

 

Lorne makes an ideal base for exploring the sights of the Great Ocean Road, built by 3,000 soldiers upon their return from World War I. You can find out more about the history of this engineering feat at The Great Ocean Road Story. The drive to the spectacular Twelve Apostles limestone stacks takes about 2 hours. Bells Beach, with panoramic coastal views from the cliff-top car park and some of the best surf breaks in Australia, is around a 45-minute drive from Lorne.

 

  • Great Ocean Road Story, 15 Mountjoy Parade, Lorne VIC 3232; Tel: +61 3 5289 1152; Website: Great Ocean Road Story