An insider’s view of Lorne and other Great Ocean Road attractions

Lorne is a seaside town along the famous Great Ocean Road and offers many local attractions, restaurants, cafes and of course beautiful beaches. This great coastal town boasts many hidden gems and here Mantra Lorne’s General Manager, Abraham Dow shares his favourite local things to do, see and eat in the area.

Best hidden spots to take the kids

Lorne is full of family friendly spots but the best is St George’s River.  With an area inshore that is safe for swimming and edged with soft fine sand, this is a great place to bring the kids. You can also fish at the platform located on the southern rocks at low tide. Parking is nearby and there is a great little picnic area all within close distance.

Lorne Sea Baths is also another spot to visit. This truly is a child’s paradise with trampolines, mini golf, water play, bumper boats, aqua orbs and cannon ball blasters; so while the kids are well entertained, parents can enjoy the lounge chairs around the pool, the hydrobaths, salt therapy or the yoga and massages available.

Best restaurants and coffee

For the best value The Larder inside the Mantra Lorne offers a great breakfast with delicious coffee to start your day off on the right foot. The Swing Bridge Café and Boathouse, named because of its proximity to the swing bridge, is another great weekend breakfast spot which comes complete with a beautiful seaside view. You can’t go wrong with the slow poached eggs or the eggs benedict. Or enjoy a lovely Friday BBQ for lunch. With a fresh seasonal menu, the bottle of milk is the best place for premium quality burgers. Open for breakfast, lunch or dinner – it’s a great place for a family meal; everyone will find something on the menu to tickle their fancy.

If you are looking for a kid free, romantic dinner with beach views, enjoy the deck at the Lorne Beach Pavilion. Open for breakfast and lunch during the week and breakfast, lunch and dinner from Friday to Sunday, this restaurant features fresh local ingredients that come together to form a delicious menu.

Local attractions, restaurants, cafes and of course beautiful beaches. This great coastal town boasts many hidden gems.

Best outdoor attractions

Erskine Falls – With 2 lookouts to choose from, the 30 meter falls are beautiful year round. The first lookout is easy to reach and is a 15 minute return journey. For those looking for a more challenging walk, head to the second lookout which takes 30 minutes. The diverse vegetation and unique birds make this walk fun for the whole family.

Sheoak Falls and Swallow Cave – Similar to Erskine Falls, there is a perfect option for all levels of walkers. Choose the quicker route, and you’ll be able to admire the waterfalls and its surrounding green oasis in around 10 minutes. For those who are more experienced, there is an hour long walk which takes you deeper into Great Otway National Park. If you’re walking the track between spring and autumn you may be lucky enough to spy the swallows nesting in Swallow Cave.

For more Lorne walks and waterfalls check out this helpful map.

Erskine Falls, image credit - Nick Morieson

Best festivals

The Lorne Arts Festival combines dance, film, music, circus, cabaret and comedy to create an inspirational event that is great for people of all ages. Taking place at the end of August, this 3 day festival began in 2010 and has been the launching pad for many new productions. The festival combines unique backdrops with amazing performances to create something memorable that ignites passion in everyone who attends.

The Falls Music and Arts Festival began in Lorne in 1993 and has been so popular that it has expanded to include 2 other festival locations - Byron Bay and Marion Bay in Tasmania. The festival runs from the 28th of December until the 1st of January with the headlining musical acts normally performing on the 30th and 31st.

This festival usually sells out so be sure to book your tickets and accommodation early. There are bus shuttles that run to and from the festival every hour from Lorne making transportation easy.

Fun insider secret

Lorne has a resident seal that lives under the pier at the Western end of Loutit Bay. Go down and catch a glimpse of him on land or frolicking in the ocean. He is a real hit with the kids!

Lorne Accommodation

Mantra Lorne

A truly unique holiday spot, Mantra Lorne is situated right on the famous Great Ocean Road, leading to picture-postcard attractions such as the 12 Apostles, Bells Beach and the Great Otway National Park... Read More »

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