Apollo Bay and its surrounds
The Gadubanud (Katabanut) people occupied the rainforest plateau and rugged coastline of Cape Otway including the current towns of Lorne and Apollo Bay. By the early 1800s this area was also familiar to sealers and whalers.
In 1845 the Bay was named by Captain Loutitt after he sheltered here in his vessel "Apollo" on a voyage from Melbourne to Port Fairy.
In 1849 timber cutters commenced harvesting the trees. The first timber mills were constructed in the early 1850s and the huts built for the workers were the beginnings of a settlement close to the Barham River (Barrum-burrum).
Apollo Bay provided comparatively protected waters for anchorage. The surrounding flat and undulating land was suited for the location of the township. In 1853 it was surveyed by Skene and was named Middleton.
By the 1860s land became available for farming, by mid 1870s the first township blocks were offered for sale.
Adapted from apollobay.vic.au
Today, Apollo Bay is home to over 1000 residents and has become a very popular tourist destination for travellers wishing to experience all that the Great Ocean Road region has to offer including incredible coastal and rainforest scenic drives, magnificent beaches, the Great Otway National Park, the famous Twelve Apostles, local organic produce, restaurants, cafes and boutique shopping, and unique, native Australian flora and fauna.
The community of Apollo Bay also takes part in the annual Great Ocean Road Marathon and Apollo Bay Seafood Festival, as well as regular Farmer's Markets and other local and seasonal events.
Things to see and do
There is so much to see and do in this beautiful town and its surrounds. Base yourself in town at the foothills of the Otways to explore the Great Ocean Road region, Twelve Apostles or stopover along the Great Ocean Walk.
Swim in the clear water, sea kayak with local seals, indulge in some deep-sea fishing, learn to surf, or horse ride along the beach at sunset.
Shop for art and curios in the boutique gift shops and galleries, grab a coffee at one of the many cafes and peruse the regular foreshore market for local crafts and fresh, organic produce.
Great Otway National Park
Immerse yourself in some of Australia’s best rainforest scenery in the Otway Ranges amongst tall trees, ancient plant life and lush ferns. Walk among giant tree ferns at Maits Rest, have a picnic in Paradise, or experience the full beauty of the rainforest on the Otway Fly Tree Top Walk.
Discover high waterfalls in the national park’s narrow valleys, ranging from the impressive Triplet Falls to secluded falls over fern-fringed pools.
Paradise is only a 10 minute drive from Apollo Bay Hotel - some even like to bike ride to the beautiful fern glen for a picnic and a swim.
More information: parkweb.vic.gov.au
Cape Otway Lightstation
Head into the Otways to find mainland Australia’s oldest and most important lightstation - only a 25 minute drive from Apollo Bay Hotel.
The lightstation was built in 1848 and is perched on towering sea cliffs where Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean collide.
View the dramatic cliffs and secluded beaches along the shore at remote and beautiful Cape Otway, including the stunningly secluded Blanket Bay.
More information: lightstation.com
Apollo Bay Harbour
Take a relaxing stroll to Apollo Bay Harbour (just a five minute walk from Apollo Bay Hotel) and meet the resident flock of geese that gather near the marina's boat ramp.
Apollo Bay Harbour was built in the 1950s and is home to resident fishing boats, yachts and a few craypots! The Pier is a popular fishing spot, and you may even be lucky enough to see giant manta-rays and seals frolicking around!
Less than 90 minutes drive from Apollo Bay Hotel is Port Campbell National Park, famous for the magnificent Twelve Apostles - spectacular limestone rock stacks that rise 45 metres up from the treacherous Southern Ocean.
The Twelve Apostles is by far one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Victorian road map with its breathtaking, yet unforgiving limestone coast - constantly erroding and changing with the wind and the sea.
More information: visit12apostles.com.au
Spot Native Wildlife
You'll find koalas just about anywhere in the Great Ocean Road region (this one was found sitting on a craypot at Apollo Bay Harbour). In particular, you'll find a few in Kennett River - only a 25 minute drive from Apollo Bay Hotel.
Kennett River also boasts amazing bird life such as king parrots, kookaburras, rosellas and cockatoos.
Discover Local Produce
Take yourself on an indulgent foodie experience that starts with walking across the road from Apollo Bay Hotel to Dooley's Ice Cream - a champion at the Australian Grand Dairy Awards, Dooley's chocolate ice cream has been voted best in the country!
From ice cream to cheese and chocolate - make a couple of stops on the way to the Twelve Apostles to visit GORGE Chocolates and Apostle Whey Cheese, where you'll enjoy free tastings of fine produce, receive expert product information, and bask in the lovely country-side scenery.
More information: 12 Apostles Gourmet Trail
You can learn more about Apollo Bay's History by visiting the Apollo Bay Museum - 6250 Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay (see map).
Open from 2pm - 5pm on Weekends, Public Holidays and School Holidays.
Entry fees: Adults $5, Children $1
For more information about sight seeing around the region, visit the following websites: