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Ocean Grove: Best of Bellarine

Ocean Grove, which begun as a religious retreat in the 1800s, has grown to become a popular holiday destination for families, couples, and anyone likely to spend most of their getaway outdoors. Visitors to the small coastal community can alternate between beach sessions and day trips to some of the Great Ocean Road’s most famous natural features. Travellers with children will appreciate Ocean Grove’s amenities, like a spacious playground and plenty of easy walking trails, as well as the proximity to favourite Victorian attractions, like the largest timber maze in Australia or the trampolines at Lorne’s sea baths. Holiday rentals in Ocean Grove are varied and numerous, with stately houses to suit large groups and smaller units for couples and single travellers.

Ocean Grove’s Beaches

Ocean Grove’s main surf beach is a vibrant hub of activity, watched over by the Surf Life Saving Club. Enjoy a waterfront meal at the beach’s cafe, get some exercise along the foreshore trails or walk through the gardens around the Surf Life Saving Club. You’ll also find a series of bollards shaped like people to tell the story of Ocean Grove, from the town’s beginnings to today. For safe swimming, spend some time on the shores of the Barwon River’s mouth, with its sheltered waters. Slightly upstream, there is a jetty. If you’re bringing your own boat to Ocean Grove, you can take advantage of the river’s boat ramp. Meanwhile, serious surfers can drive to some of the world’s best surf beaches in half-an-hour, such as Bells Beach, setting of international surf competitions and often mentioned in pop culture.

Walking and Bird Watching in Ocean Grove

Quite a few trails can be found in and around Ocean Grove, providing the opportunity to get fully immersed in nature. Start off at Ocean Grove Nature Reserve, criss-crossed by walking paths. The nature reserve is a favourite spot for local birdwatchers to bring out their binoculars. If you’re lucky – and quiet – you might even see some wallabies, possums or, more rarely, koalas. Further inland, you can visit Blue Waters Lake or the Bergola Wetlands, both of which have trails along the foreshore, from which bird watchers can spend the day observing local species.

Family Holidays in Ocean Grove

Keeping the kids entertained won’t be too difficult while you holiday in Ocean Grove. Close to home, there’s Ocean Grove Park, which consists of several playground stations, walking trails, outdoor fitness equipment and a basketball court. Children of all ages can climb, swing and run around while adults work out. A short drive away, you’ll find Amaze n’ Games, a complex with a timber maze and mini golf, as well as a cafe with homemade confections and a picnic area with BBQs. If you decide to travel a bit further along the Great Ocean Road, you can spend some time at the Lorne Sea Baths, which offer a large outdoor trampoline park and plenty of year-round activities for the whole family.

On the Great Ocean Road

Ocean Grove is a strategic base for exploring the Great Ocean Road and the scenic route’s most famous sites. You can drive to Torquay, arguably the birthplace of surf culture, in under half-an-hour and access quaint Lorne in just under an hour. While in Lorne, have a picnic on the foreshore, surrounded by wild cockatoos, or sit down at one of the town’s eclectic cafes. If you’re up for a day trip, take your car further along the Great Ocean Road, driving between sea and rolling hills all the way to the Twelve Apostles in Cape Otway. The Apostles, large jagged limestone rocks sprouting out of the turbulent water, are on many travellers’ bucket lists. Be sure to bring your camera!

Getting to Ocean Grove

The most convenient way to get to Ocean Grove is to drive. Ocean Grove is situated on the Bellarine Peninsula, an hour-and-half’s drive from Melbourne and half-an-hour from Geelong.

For more travel information, see our Travel Ideas articles.