Apollo Bay

Canoeing, Tourism Victoria

Population 1095

Named after a local schooner, Apollo Bay has become the resting place of many shipwrecks, yet it maintains an appeal for all lovers of the ocean. The town is situated near Great Otway National Park with a wonderful contrast between rugged coastline and tranquil green hills. The seaside town is popular with fishing enthusiasts and, like many other coastal towns, its population swells significantly over summer as visitors flock here for the holidays.

Visitor Information

Great Ocean Road Visitor Information Centre, 100 Great Ocean Rd; (03) 5237 6529 or 1300 689 297


Nearby national parks

  • Brisbane Ranges National Park

    In Brisbane Ranges National Park low mountains are dissected by rugged gorges and hidden gullies with basalt grasslands and woodlands. An...more

  • Mount Eccles National Park

    Mount Eccles National Park is Victoria’s first co-managed national park, being managed by the traditional owners,...more

  • Kinglake National Park

    Surrounding the township of Kinglake, this bush retreat close to Melbourne offers views of the Yarra Valley, the city skyline and Port...more

Nearby towns

  • Lorne

    Lorne is one of Victoria's most attractive and lively coastal resorts. The approach into town along the Great Ocean Road is truly...more

  • Colac

    Colac was built by the shores of Lake Colac on the volcanic plain that covers much of Victoria's Western District. The lake, once the...more

  • Aireys Inlet

    Aireys Inlet is one of the prettiest towns on the Great Ocean Road and is famed for being home to the Split Point Lighthouse. While there...more

In Town

Old Cable Station Museum: features artefacts from Australia's telecommunications history and informative displays exploring the history of the region; open 2–5pm weekends and school and public holidays; Great Ocean Rd.

Bass Strait Shell Museum: holds an impressive array of shells and provides many facts about the marine life along the Victorian south-west coast; Noel St.

Great Ocean Walk: enjoy stunning views on this 91 km walk near the Twelve Apostles. Walkers must register to use campgrounds en route. Read more. Further information available at www.greatoceanwalk.com.au


Great Otway National Park Formerly named Otway National Park, this section of the 103 000 ha park includes some of the most rugged coastline in Victoria, particularly around Cape Otway and the stretch of coast towards Princetown. It is an ideal location for a bushwalking adventure taking in sights through the park to the sea, from the scenic Elliot River down to adjacent Shelly Beach. Many species of wildlife inhabit the park, including koalas and the rare tiger quoll. Also look out for the historic Cape Otway Lighthouse, built in 1848. Another highlight is Melba Gully, where, at dusk, visitors can witness a show of twinkling lights from glow worms. The Great Ocean Rd, west of Apollo Bay, passes through the park. Contact Parks Victoria on 13 1963; 13 km SW.

Otway Fly The Otway Fly is a steel-trussed walkway perched high among the temperate rainforest treetops of the Otway Ranges. Read More

Marriners Lookout: with views across Skenes Creek and Apollo Bay; 1.5 km NW.

Barham Paradise Scenic Reserve: in the Barham River Valley, it is home to a variety of distinctive moisture-loving trees and ferns; 7 km NW.

Tanybryn Gallery: displays and sells art and craft work in the magnificent surrounds of the Otway Ranges; Skenes Creek Rd; 20 km NE.

Forests and Waterfall Drive: 109 km loop drive featuring spectacular Otway Ranges scenery. Waterfalls include Beauchamp, Triplet and Houptoun falls. Drive starts at Apollo Bay, travels west to Lavers Hill and around to Skenes Creek. Map from visitor centre.

Charter flights: views of the Twelve Apostles, the Bay of Islands and the 'Shipwreck Coast'; details from visitor centre.

Fishing spots near town

Apollo Bay 1 km

Apollo Bay has a diversity of angling options, including river, estuary, surf and offshore. You can also fish from the rocks or in the sheltered harbour. Anglers who come here seek everything from brown trout and bream... Find out more

Aire River 18 km

This area comprises estuary, surf and freshwater on the west side of Cape Otway. Aire River nestles in a valley along the foothills of the Otways. To get there, follow the Great Ocean Road past the Cape Otway turn-off,... Find out more

Lorne 37 km

On the way into Lorne is a popular ledge known as Jump Rock. It consistently produces salmon, silver trevally, barracouta, pinkies and mullet. The drive into Lorne will also take you across the Erskine River, a small... Find out more

Gellibrand River 45 km

A little further west from Aire River are Castle Cove and Johanna Beach; both produce fishing similar to the beach at Aire River. There is also good beach fishing at Princetown, at the mouth of the Gellibrand River. ... Find out more

Anglesea 59 km

Beach fishing species here are the same as Torquay, with the best fishing east of the Anglesea River, although you need to be aware of the marine park that extends west from Point Addis. But most anglers go here to fish... Find out more

Lake Purrumbete 66 km

The bulk of the serious trout-fishing action in Victoria is in the Western District crater lakes. Of these, Lake Purrumbete near Camperdown ranks in the top half a dozen trout lakes in the state in terms quality,... Find out more

Peterborough 72 km

Peterborough has beach and estuary fishing. The estuary system is Curdies River, a noted bream river with fish to 1.5 kg common. The best place to access the river is upstream at a place called Boggy Creek – a name... Find out more

Torquay 74 km

The offshore waters of western Bass Strait, from Torquay to Cape Otway contain an abundance of species including Australian salmon, snapper, barracouta, King George whiting, yellowtail kingfish, silver trevally, gummy... Find out more

Lake Bullen Merri 75 km

Lake Bullen Merri at Camperdown is less than 20 mins drive from Lake Purrumbete. A deep, volcanic lake with saline water, it is stocked with brown and rainbow trout, Atlantic and Chinook salmon, and Australian bass.... Find out more

Barwon River 88 km

Sometimes going fishing in our southern rivers is about making the best of what is available, as is the case of the Barwon River, which flows through Geelong. Like the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers, the coffee-coloured... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Sea-kayaking in Marengo Marine Sanctuary 2 km

In an exciting two-hour guided paddle, head out from Apollo Bay to Marengo Marine Sanctuary to get a close-up view of an Australian fur-seal colony. The seals often come out to swim around the kayaks.... Find out more

Canoeing on Lake Elizabeth 24 km

For a fantastic dawn or dusk paddle in which you have a 95 per cent chance of seeing a platypus, join Otway Eco Tours on Lake Elizabeth. Half-day trips to this remote lake in the ranges depart from the small hamlet of... Find out more

Diving and snorkelling - Port Campbell, Peterborough and Warrnambool 60 km

Best known in diving circles for its multitude of shipwrecks, most of which are reached by boat dives, this area also has some great snorkelling and shore dives. Recommended spots include the Port Campbell jetty, Wild... Find out more

Golf courses around town

The Sands, Torquay 77 km

Sands by name . . . Sands by nature. It doesn’t take long to figure out the overwhelming feature of a round at Torquay. Standing on the 1st tee of this Stuart Applebydesigned layout, a blanket of white is... Find out more

Thirteenth Beach Golf Links (Beach Course) 87 km

After all the accolades Tony Cashmore received for his design work at The Dunes, on the Mornington Peninsula, he must have felt some pressure to produce an equally fine layout when it came time for his next project:... Find out more

Thirteenth Beach Golf Links (Creek Course) 88 km

Sir Nick Faldo won six major titles, playing himself into winning positions on the back of strong shot-making, a trait that is highly prized on the courses he now designs. The Creek course at Thirteenth Beach, created... Find out more

Barwon Heads Golf Club 88 km

From the moment you pull up at the car park in front of the Barwon Heads clubhouse, it is as if you have travelled back in time to a more genteel era. The old-world charm is present not only in the architecture of the... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

Bay Leaf Cafe

This welcoming shopfront cafe has been serving happy customers for 17 years. Hearty breakfasts include BLT and avocado bagel with dill mayonnaise, pancakes with banana and maple syrup, and vegetarian zucchini and feta... Find out more

Chris’s Beacon Point Restaurant

From a lofty perch on the hillside above the Great Ocean Road and Bass Strait, Chris has created a haven from the bustle of daily life. Risen from the ashes of a disastrous fire, his new restaurant is bigger, better and... Find out more

Great Ocean Hotel

This friendly hotel is on the way out of town from Melbourne. Regulars come here for the porterhouse steaks and generous seafood platters for two piled high with prawns, oysters, crab, calamari, scallops, smoked salmon... Find out more

La Bimba

Overlooking the beach on Apollo Bay’s main strip, this contemporary space fosters the work of local artists with paintings on the walls for sale. Comfy wicker chairs on the balcony invite lunchtime customers to... Find out more

Nearby breweries

Otway Estate Brewery 36 km

Located 12 kilometres from Colac, Otway Estate Winery was established in 1983, specialising in cool-climate wines; a microbrewery was added in 2007. Head brewer Luke Scott oversees the production of up to 15 different... Find out more

Purrumbete Brewing Company (Red Duck) 66 km

Scott and Vanessa Wilson-Browne are another couple of ‘ale changers’ who swapped busy Melbourne careers to move to the country, bring up their young family, and brew and market craft ales. Along the way, they... Find out more

Campsites around town

Marengo Holiday Park 2 km

Off Marengo Cres on the headland at Marengo, a little south of Apollo Bay, this holiday park is freshened by sea breezes and affords fine views over the ocean. Just off Marengo Beach is a marine sanctuary containing a... Find out more

Skenes Creek Beachfront Caravan Park 5 km

Skenes Creek is a small place on the Great Ocean Rd at the northern edge of Apollo Bay, only 6 km from its much bigger neighbour and opposite the turn-off to Colac. Over half the campsites here run along the edge of the... Find out more

Blanket Bay camping area 11 km

This is a very popular camping area with shaded sites near an ocean beach to the south-west of Apollo Bay. A little further around the coast is the historic Cape Otway Lightstation. About 20 km west of Apollo Bay, turn... Find out more

Beauchamp Falls camping area 13 km

There are only half a dozen campsites here, which will suit those who prefer small encampments to big ones. A walking track leads through the cool rainforest to the waterfall, where a viewing platform provides a close-up... Find out more

Parker Hill camping area 14 km

A small collection of campsites on Parker Hill look out over a sparkling inlet between Cape Otway and Point Franklin, where the Parker River empties into the ocean. From Cape Otway Lighthouse Rd, travel for 1 km east... Find out more

Aire River West camping area 17 km

This camping area on the western side of the Aire River, near the mouth of the watercourse, is big, flat and open, making it ideal for large groups. You can reach it by travelling 5.3 km down Sand Rd (seasonal access);... Find out more

Aire River East camping area 17 km

This shady campground is about half the size of the camping area on the other side of the river, and so may afford a little more peace and quiet. It’s accessed via Horden Vale Rd, signposted south off the Great... Find out more

Aire Crossing camping area 17 km

Just north of this riverside campground is the magnificent Triplet Falls, cascading down through untrammelled old-growth forest. Also in the vicinity is the walk to Little Aire Falls, which weaves through rainforest to... Find out more

Kennett River Caravan Park 20 km

This orderly park is just across the Great Ocean Rd from the popular surf beach at Kennett River. Rising up behind it are the Otway Ranges, which are threaded by numerous walking trails. You can feed the local rosellas... Find out more

Stevenson Falls camping area 22 km

The drawcard here is the walking track that shadows the Gellibrand River and negotiates groves of Douglas firs before arriving at the viewing platform at lovely Stevenson Falls, where you can take a plunge in the rock... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Pisces Holiday Park 2 km

With a range of accommodation and a great outlook, this quality park is on a rise overlooking the sea. It is 1.5 km to the town centre and only a short stroll to the beach. Bookings are required in peak periods, with a... Find out more

Marengo Holiday Park 2 km

This park is situated on an absolute beachfront property, 1.5 km south of the Apollo Bay township, off the Great Ocean Road. It is budget-priced, especially considering the location. Bookings are required in peak... Find out more

Kennett River Holiday Park 20 km

Located midway between Lorne and Apollo Bay, this park has good basic facilities. It is squeezed between the Otway Ranges and a safe surf beach. Bookings are required in peak periods, with a minimum-stay period at... Find out more

BIG4 Wye River Holiday Park 24 km

This is a very neatly maintained beachside park on this fabulous and popular coastline. Bookings are required in peak periods, with a minimum-length stay at Christmas, Easter and long weekends.... Find out more

Cumberland River Holiday Park 32 km

Cumberland River Holiday Park is set in a picturesque spot on the scenic coastal strip. It is close to the beach and a good base for exploring the Otways. Bookings are required in peak periods, with a minimum-stay period... Find out more

Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park 36 km

This is actually a group of five parks all within Lorne, and all five are administered from the one office. Each is well positioned and within walking distance of the resort-style town centre. Lorne is one of... Find out more

Anglesea Beachfront Family Caravan Park 60 km

This large beachfront and riverfront park is centrally located just 500 metres from the town centre. It has large expanses of lawn, shady sites and a range of good facilities. It is a very nice park! Bookings are... Find out more

Port Campbell Holiday Park 60 km

This park is in a scenic location close to the centre of town and adjoining the beach. It is privately managed but forms part of the national park. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies... Find out more

Great Ocean Road Tourist Park 71 km

Situated just off the Great Ocean Road at the mouth of the Curdies River, this park is popular with those keen on fishing. It is just a short walk from the centre of town and the beach and has good facilities. Bookings... Find out more

Torquay Holiday Park 74 km

The park is located on the highway about 400 metres from the centre of town. It is a very good quality park and facilities include tennis courts, putting greens and private bathrooms with spas. Bookings are required in... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Captain’s at the Bay

The name has a ship-ahoy theme but leave the sextant at home for your stay in this traditional B&B. The heart of Apollo Bay is just out the front door; the beach is a mere 150 metres away. There are four types of... Find out more

Chocolate Gannets

This luxury beachfront accommodation includes four villas set on a 40-hectare property. There is plenty of floor-to-ceiling glass to take in the views of Bass Strait. Apart from the extraordinary views there are also... Find out more

Chris’s Beacon Point Restaurant & Villas

The option of staying at one of Chris’s luxury suites and villas transforms a memorable dining experience at his on-site Mediterranean-style restaurant into a wonderful weekend getaway. The six two-bedroom suites... Find out more

Point of View

These five villas come with views over green fields and trees and, as they are set up on a hill, fabulous views over much of Apollo Bay and Bass Strait. Each villa features a luxurious king-size bed, flat-screen TV with... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Apollo Bay Youth Hostel

This relatively new hostel was built with an eco-friendly design, including thermal storage banks and other passive solar heating and cooling. It also has solar hot water, rainwater tanks, a worm farm, drought-tolerant... Find out more

Cape Otway Centre for Conservation Ecology 14 km

There are not many better-thought-out ecotourism ventures than this superb multi-award-winning facility on Cape Otway. It has its own 66-hectare wildlife refuge and doubles as a shelter for injured and orphaned wildlife,... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Apollo Bay park area

At Apollo Bay

At the information centre on the foreshore.

Aire River East camping area 17 km

T/O 24km W of Apollo Bay (L) or 71km E of Port Campbell (R)

Among trees 5.5km south of the highway via Hordern Vale Rd in Otway National Park. 

Aire River West camping area 17 km

T/O 24km W of Apollo Bay (L) or 71km E of Port Campbell (R)

In Otway National Park. Open area located over a bridge 1km past Aire River East camping area.

Johanna Beach camping area 25 km

T/O 38km W of Apollo Bay (L) or 57km E of Port Campbell (R)

Near the beach 5km south of the highway via Red Johanna Rd in Otway National Park.

Lorne park area 37 km

At Lorne

On the foreshore, just off the highway. On the east side of town.

Colac park area 47 km

At Colac

Just off the highway under shady trees in the middle of town.

Twelve Apostles park area 50 km

86km W of Apollo Bay (R) or 10km E of Port Campbell (L)

Just off the highway at the interpretive centre near the lookout.

Urquharts Beach park area 54 km

6km SW of Anglesea (L) or 23km NE of Lorne (R)

On the foreshore 500m off the highway.

Winchelsea park area 59 km

At Winchelsea

On the riverbank via Barton Tce.

Anglesea Park Area 60 km

West side of town

Large area adjacent to the road on the west side of town. Good facilities.

Peterborough park area 71 km

At Peterborough

On the foreshore, just off the highway.

Torquay park area 74 km

At Torquay

Overlooking the beach on the esplanade.

Leigh River rest area 81 km

At Inverleigh

Large grassed area just off the highway under shady trees. On the east side of town.

What's on around town

Foreshore Market: each Sat.

Seafood Festival: Feb.

Music Festival: Apr.

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