Visiting London Bridge on the Great Ocean Road

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gor mmThe Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most prominent natural wonders. Unfolding for more than 243 kilometres along the coastline of Victoria, it is a haven of ancient monoliths, wild beach scenery, and a fascinating history. To one side, rainforest sprawls out as far as the eye can see, while quaint beachside towns pepper the sandy shores.

Along the designated road, there are plenty of world-famous landmarks you can stop off at and enjoy, many of which boast spectacular views out over the ocean and beyond.
London Bridge is one of these landmarks. Tucked away in the pretty confines of the Campbell National Park, it is one of the most popular attractions in the area, simply because of its sheer beauty, but also because of its interesting natural history. london bridge mm

Before 1990, London Bridge was a simple natural bridge that connected a slice of land to the mainland. Named after its namesake in England, it was in 1990 that tragedy struck and the main part of the bridge collapsed into the ocean. Now, the chunk of land that was once connected to the mainland remains castaway at sea, but there’s more to the story than that.

When the bridge collapsed, there were actually two tourists on the islet who were cut off from the mainland and had to wait for hours before a helicopter came to rescue them. 

Tips for Visiting London Bridge

Make Sure You Have Time

london bridge 2 mmLots of visitors think they can cover everything the Great Ocean Road has to offer in a short space of time. But, instead of trying to fit everything into one day, we recommend taking your time to explore the landmarks and scenery.

At London Bridge, which is located near the famous 12 Apostles structure, there are two viewing platforms each at different elevations. They’re both close to the carpark, but it’s worth taking the time to check out both to experience the different views they offer.

Visit Early

Like most popular places, the crowds start pouring in around lunchtime and in the afternoon. To experience the beauty of London Bridge when it’s least crowded, we recommend visiting in the early morning for the sunrise, or in the evening when the sun begins to set. Both times of day promise incredible views out to sea, made even better by the whimsical lighting of the sun.

Exploring the Port Campbell National Park

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Great Ocean Road 13The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s best-loved attractions. Sprawling out along the wild and rugged coast just outside of Melbourne, it is home to some of the country’s most incredible landmarks and some stellar views to go with them.

The Port Campbell National Park is situated along this stretch of coastline, taking in 1,750 hectares of lush greenery and wild seascapes. It is flanked by the Great Otway National Park and the Bay of Islands Coastal Park, and is filled with tons of things to see and do.

Things to See in the Port Campbell National Park

Renowned for its amazing collection of natural rock formations and top attractions like the Twelve Apostles, the park is a haven for nature lovers and those looking to discover more about the fascinating natual history of Australia.

The Twelve ApostlesGreat Ocean Road 13

This mesmerising sight is made up of limestone stacks that have been worn away over the years, presenting visitors with a surreal silhouette that sits against the horizon.

Loch Ard Gorge

Back in the 19th century, this was the spot of a world-famous shipwreck. All along this stretch of coast, which is also known as Shipwreck Coast, you can learn more about some of the tragic tales that took place, as well as take picturesque walks through the surrounding trails.

The Island Archway

grotto 2This natural bridge collapsed back in 2009, changing the landscape of the coastline and reminding people just how fragile the nature of Victoria’s coastline really is.

The Animals of the Port Campbell National Park

There are plenty of bird species that circle the treetops and seascape of the Port Campbell National Park. Keep your eyes peeled for honeyeaters, emus, and fairy wrens, as well as pelicans, peregrine falcons, ducks, and black swans.

When it comes to land-based animals, you might get to spot a brown bandicoot, native swamp antechinuse, and echnida.

There are many different ways you can explore the beauty of the Port Campbell National Park. Start by taking a drive along the coast to get an overview of the stunning scenery that characterises it, and then dip down onto some of the walking trails to dig a little deeper into the natural life that can be found in the region.

This part of Australia is fascinating for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is home to an abundance of natural wonders and, secondly, it hosts a whole load of historic stories that weave around the rugged landscape.

Whale Watching Season at Logan’s Beach on the Great Ocean Road

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Great Ocean Road 13Every year, southern right whales and blue whales migrate from Victoria in search of sunnier climates, and we’re fast approaching the season when you can spot them languishing off the shoreline in all their magnificent glory.

The Great Ocean Road is a popular spot for many reasons – it boasts a wild and rugged coastline, it is home to several of the region’s best-loved natural attractions, and it garners stunning views out across the ocean, which is why it is the perfect place for whale watching.

If you find yourself in the region during June and October, then you’re in with a chance of spotting one of these beauties. Hundreds of them swim through the waters as the migrate to find warmer temperatures (and who can really blame them?).

Whale Watching at Logan’s Beach

From the sandy dunes of Logan’s Beach, you have the perfect vantage point for spotting the whales. This is where Victoria’s southern right whale nursery is located, so you have a high chance of seeing these huge creatures as they begin their migration. Logans beach

From the beach, you can easily come within 100-metres of the mammals, as they frolic around the shoreline, but there is also a specially constructed viewing platform that offers incredible views across the ocean and out into the nursery.

Here, you can watch the females come back to the nursery to calve and rear their young before they head back to the sub-Antarctic waters. Further out at sea, you might be able to spot the males and young adults as they play around in the deeper waters.  

The Southern Right Whale

These magnificent creatures are easy to spot – not least because of their impressive size.

whale watching

They also have a smooth, black back and don’t have a dorsal fin like many other species. Each head of a southern right whale is peppered with callosities, which are kinda of like crusty outgrowths. They differ from whale to whale, giving unique markings to them. You might also spot a smattering of white on the whales’ bellies, a colouring that sets them apart from other whale species.

If you’re ready to spot these incredible creatures in their natural habitat, make sure you do everything you can to ensure viewing is a dead cert. Call the Visitor Information Centre before you head to Logan’s Beach to see if the whales are around – and, remember, even if they’re in the region, they might not be visible from the shore.

If this is the case, be sure to come back another time to see if you can spot them!

Discovering the Wildlife and Walks of Maits Rest

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Exploring the Great Ocean Road is top of many visitor’s to-do lists while they’re in Australia – and for good reason. This popular coastal route takes in stunning cliff scenery, wild rainforests, and an abundance of natural landmarks.

Set just 15-minutes from the bustling town of Apollo Bay, Maits Rest offers visitors the chance to explore all the natural scenery the area has on offer. The boardwalk unfolds through the rainforest, providing you with a stunning 30-minute walk that takes in ancient trees and colourful plant life. As you wander along the valley floor, you can discover unique scenes, native wildlife, and learn more about the natural history of this part of Australia. maits rest michael

All around you, impressive Myrtle beeches jut upwards, while bouncy moss carpets the floor and gives a surreal atmosphere to the surroundings, not unlike a majestic scene from a fairytale.
Maits Rest is part of the Great Otway National Park, which is a haven of unique bird life – there are around 43 native species alone that live in the region. It’s not just birds that’ll keep you busy, though, there are larger critters that roam the landscape, including swamp wallabies, koalas, ring-tailed possums, and kangaroos.

Perhaps the best time to visit is when darkness is just about to fall. As the rainforest changes from day to night, you can get out your torch and discover the magical glow worms that light up the majestic scenery.

Things to Do at Maits Rest

There are plenty of ways you can enjoy the stunning scenery of Maits Rest.  glow worm Michael

Take a Walk

The self-guided boardwalk provides the perfect route to explore everything on offer. Hovering just above the valley floor, you can gaze out at sprawling views and keep your eyes peeled for native creatures as you go. The way the boardwalk has been built means it protects the ecosystem, meaning you can discover the region without feeling guilty about leaving your footprint.

Wildlife Watching

The lush valleys and ancient trees provide the perfect habitat for many of Australia’s native creatures, meaning there’s a high chance you’ll be able to spot some of the local residents while you’re exploring. If you’re lucky enough, you might be able to catch a glimpse of the rare yellow-bellied gliders that float from tree to tree – they’re not often see by day, but they can be heard at night.

Exploring Gibson Steps on the Great Ocean Road

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Gibson Steps are a part of the sprawling expanse of Port Campbell National Park, one of the most popular attractions along Australia’s Great Ocean Road.

Just moments from the renowned site of the Twelve Apostles natural wonder, the steps boast beautiful scenery and plenty of opportunities for exploring. They take visitors from the top of the cliff down onto the pristine beach, giving you the chance to soak up both the views from the top and the rugged coastline that the region is known for.

Gibson Steps Great Ocean RoadThe steps themselves have been naturally carved into the cliff face, where hundreds of years of rain and wind have sculpted and honed them to perfection. They are finished off with two soaring stacks in the ocean which are affectionately known as Gog and Magog – you can see both of them from the viewing platform at the top of the steps.

What to Do at Gibson Steps
As well as admiring the stunning views and walking along the sandy shores of the beach that the Gibson Steps go down onto, there are plenty of other things you can do while in the area.

The beach itself is popular for fishing, and the shallow waters boasts an abundance of colourful fish species and sea creatures. However, if you’re planning on taking a swim, you might want to rethink your decision as there are some ferocious reefs and rip holes that generate choppy waves.

The History of the Gibson Steps
Though the steps now look like a part of the landscape, they were actually manmade by local settler Hugh Gibson. He carved them into the face of the cliff as a route for the Kirrae Whurrong people who regularly travelled down the cliff face to the beach.

Gibson StepsGetting to the Gibson Steps
Getting to the steps is easy. There is a designated carpark for the attraction which leads you directly onto the viewing platform and to the steps. Alternatively, if you fancy a longer exploration, you can take the one-kilometre trail from the Twelve Apostles to the Gibson Steps. The path that takes you there goes underneath the Great Ocean Road near the Gibson Steps viewing platform where you can get beach access.

Exploring everything the Great Ocean Road has to offer is a must-do on every visitor to Australia’s to-do list and the Gibson Steps mark the perfect place to start.


Breath-Taking Views from Reeds Lookout

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The Grampians offer a magical contrast to the rugged coastline of the Great Ocean Road. Here, lush forest rises up into jutting peaks, providing visitors with a slew of incredible sights and experiences.

The views from the peaks are some of the best in the area, and Reeds Lookout is one of the most popular viewing platforms in the entire region. From the excellent vantage point, you can gaze out over the undulating mountain landscape and marvel at the surrounding scenery from a new perspective. To get to the lookout, there are a number of scenic trails and rock climbing routes that cater to all abilities.

Reed lookoutIt’s not just stunning views you’ll experience from Reeds Lookout, though. The area is well-known as a haven of indigenous art, and you can scour some of the key rock art sites and learn about the rich history that imbues the national park. Don’t forget to pack your camera, as there will be plenty of opportunity to snap the panoramic views where land meets the wild ocean.

The Best Time to Go to Reeds Lookout
To enjoy the views from Reeds Lookout at their best, head to the area in the early morning. The crowds are few and far between at this time of day, and the calm light bathes the area in a surreal glow.
You might also want to check it out at sunset, as the glorious colours of the Australian dusk light up the mountainous scenery in a spectacular way.

Walks Around Reeds Lookout
Once you’ve marvelled at the views from the Lookout, you can take in one of the many walks that weave through the region. There are plenty of hiking trails and rock climbing opportunities for all levels which provide even more stunning views and the chance to discover the unique flora and fauna that characterises this part of Australia.

ReedsLookoutHow to Get to Reeds Lookout
Thinking about travelling to Reeds Lookout? Travel along Mt Victory Road and turn off into the designated Reed Lookout carpark. From there, it’s an easy 2 kilometre walk to the Balconies and the Lookout point, where you’ll be greeted by breath-taking views of Victoria Range, Lake Wartook, and Mount Difficult.

It’s the perfect introductory spot to the Grampians and the Great Ocean Road, providing you with amazing views, fresh mountain air, and the chance to explore this magical side of Australia.



The 12 Apostles - Discovering Australia’s Limestone Marvels

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12 Apostles Great Ocean Road 300Australia’s entire coastline is laced with excellent roads and scenic drives that allow you to explore both land and water from the comfort of your vehicle. While there may be many to choose from, The Great Ocean Road along Victoria’s south coast is undoubtedly the country’s most picturesque drive. Cruising along the gently undulating roads you will enjoy a self-driven tour of some of the world’s most fascinating sights and beautiful beaches.

The 12 Apostles is one of the Great Ocean Road’s most popular stops with about 1.7 million annual visitors. Estimated to be at least 60 000 years old, these incredible limestone stacks have withstood the test of time. These pillars would have been part of the mainland as far back as 10-20 million years ago, making their tenacity in the face of Victoria’s unrelenting ocean remarkable. While this may not be the only place along the country’s coast that you can view pillars of such beauty, it’s their proximity to one another that makes them so famous. This particular area of the shoreline is known as shipwreck coast because of the numerous ships that have met their watery end in this bay. This means that a visit to the 12 Apostles will also allow you to view shipwreck coast in its entirety.

Apostles sunsetThough they may be called the 12 Apostles, this name can actually be somewhat misleading. There are only 8 pillars left standing, with the 9th, and tallest, having collapsed in early July 2005. These mesmerising limestone pillars measure up to 45 m in height and grace Victoria’s windswept coastline with their resilience against the might of the ocean waves. The Apostles and the nearby cliff faces are eroding at a rate of 2cm each year. While this may mean that we can expect more of these pillars to collapse, we can also look forward to a number of new apostles being created by the constant erosion of the land. If you take a closer look at the pillars, you will notice that they are made up of many different layers of limestone. Each of these layers has a slightly different density, which explains why some are much thinner than others, being more susceptible to the process of erosion.

DSC00055Many people begin their journey along the Great Ocean Road in Melbourne, which is a total of 275km, or a 4-hour drive, east of the 12 Apostles. What this means for your tour is that you will have the chance to see many of the Great Ocean Road’s other attractions before you end your day viewing the golden-orange sunset between the 8 remaining Apostles. Once you’ve had your fill of this incredible view, you will also have the chance to explore the Port Campbell National Park which is just inland from the 12 Apostles.

Of all the epic road trips around the world, the Great Ocean Road stands out as being one of the very best. You’ll come home from the tour with a number of excellent photographs to ensure your visit was an unforgettable one. After a plethora of exciting stops along the road, what better way to end the day than with a peaceful sunset overlooking Victoria’s 12 Apostles?




Hiking Around MacKenzie Falls

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The Great Ocean Road is packed full of natural wonders. As you weave through the coastal scenery, you’ll find plenty of lookouts, stunning views, and impressive waterfalls – one of which is MacKenzie Falls.

This cascading waterfall sits in the heart of the Grampians, surrounded by sprawling landscapes and incredible wildlife. It is known as one of the best waterfalls in the region, and can be found around a 30-minute drive from Halls Gap along the picturesque Mount Victory Road.

When you arrive at MacKenzie Falls, you’re greeted by a small kiosk serving cold drinks and ice creams – perfect for cooling off with on a hot, sunny day. The Falls can get quite busy, especially in high season, but there is plenty of space to sit around the base and watch the water tumble down the rock.

MacKenzie Falls IWalks Around MacKenzie Falls
One of the most popular activities in the vicinity of MacKenzie Falls is walking. There are several pretty trails that crisscross through the landscape, offering up stunning scenery and breath-taking views.

Firstly, you can take a stroll around the base of MacKenzie Falls. This 2km return trip takes around an hour and a half and exposes you to the eclectic scenery that surrounds the waterfall. As you climb up the final stretch, you’ll be greeted with spectacular views of the waterfall itself, the deep pool below, and the forest and plains that surround it. At its peak, you can watch the fine sprays of rainbow mist that soar skywards out of the gorge and relax in the peaceful setting.

grampians mackenzie fallsAlternatively, you can walk to the MacKenzie Falls Lookout. This shorter walk covers 1.9km and takes about 20 minutes one-way. This route is less steep than the walk around MacKenzie Falls and is perfect if you’re simply looking to admire the views from the peak of the waterfall. Here, you can amble onto the viewing platform and look out over the surrounding scenery, taking in the ancient gorge landscape and everything it has to offer.

The Grampians National Park is one of the Great Ocean Road’s best-loved attractions, giving you the chance to explore and variety of landscapes in a small space. Waterfalls make up a large part of the region and, as one of the most impressive, MacKenzie Falls is well worth a visit. Soak up the stunning views, watch the water cascade, and check out the stunning ancient scenery.




Taking the Great Ocean Road Surf Coast Walk

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Surf CoastThe Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s biggest tourist attractions. Set just outside of Melbourne, it offers fantastic scenery that encompasses lush rainforest, wild cliffs, and beautiful beaches. Along the route, there are plenty of top attractions to see, including the Twelve Apostles and numerous other natural wonders.

It’s not just natural wonders and incredible sights, though. This part of Australia is famed for its active adventures, like surfing. In fact, this stretch of coastline is one of the most prominent surf spots in the world, playing host to a number of key surfing events throughout the year and featuring plenty of surf schools that cater to both beginners and pros.

If you find yourself exploring the Great Ocean Road, you might want to experience some of the great things the Surf Coast has to offer, including sprawling landscapes combined with one of Australia’s hottest pursuits.

Surf Coast2The Surf Coast Walk
The coast is home to a picturesque walk that takes in all the lush scenery that surrounds it. This world class walking destination intertwines with the Great Ocean Road and its eclectic mishmash of backdrops, from rugged cliffs to never-ending sea views and quaint seaside towns perfect for taking a pit stop in.

You can choose to do just a section or the walk, or to commit yourself to the entire length. Either way, you’ll be exposed to amazing views and some of Australia’s most sought-after natural scenery.

Along the way, you’ll pass the rich ochre of the Bells Beach cliffs, a stunning landmark, the deep blue of the Bass Strait, and the lush canopies of the surrounding eucalypt forests.

surf coast3Dive deep into the scenery and culture of Wathaurung country, getting to know the unique and fascinating surf culture and history as well as the abundance of wildlife that lives in the area.

The walk itself joins up key towns along the way, including Torquay, Anglesea, and Aireys Inlet, all of which offer a plethora of cute cafes, restaurants, and bars to check out.

Whatever your reasons are for visiting the Great Ocean Road, taking a stroll along the Surf Coast will expose you to some of the best scenery in the region, from rainforests and cliffs to charming towns and stunning sea views, all of which will introduce you to the fascinating culture and natural history of this part of Australia.

What is an echidna?

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echidnaEchidnas are small creatures native to Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea, and can be found along the Great Ocean Road amongst other parts of the country.

Named after Echidna, a Greek mythological creature who had half the body of a woman and half the body of a snake, the echidna has many of the same qualities as both a mammal and a reptile.

First of all, it has spines like a porcupine, a pouch like a kangaroo – another of Australia’s native critters – and lays eggs like a reptile. And, if we’re getting specific, it also has a beak like a bird.

What Echidnas Look Like
Echidnas are strange looking creatures. About medium in size, they are covered with coarse hair and spines – much like a porcupine – but they actually resemble South American anteaters visually. They tend to come in black and brown varieties (though a fair few cases of albino Echidnas have been logged), with pink eyes and white spines. Their snouts are long and skinny, and they use them as both a nose and a mouth.

Echidna puggleThe Diet of the Echidna
Echidnas mainly survive on ants and termites. As they have no teeth to speak of, they grind down food between the base of their mouth and their tongues.

Where to Find Echidnas
Though they are found predominantly in Australia, Tasmania, and warmer countries, they do not like extreme temperatures, and will seek out caves and rock shelters to hide away from harsh weather conditions. You’ll mainly find them in forest and woodlands, where they burrow under vegetation, roots, and piles of leaves to keep out of the heat, and will sometimes – if they’re feeling brave – hide in the burrows of rabbits and wombats.

Echidnas are, without a doubt, one of the strangest creatures native to Australia, and they continue to be particularly elusive. The more scientists research them, the more they find out about the unique quirks these creatures have.

Echidna2Three Fun Facts About Echidnas
1.    They live slow and long

Echidnas have the lowest body temperature of any mammal at 32 degrees Celsius, and their temperature isn’t controlled in the normal way. They also live up to 50 years due to their low body temperature and slow metabolism.

2.    They have strange brains
Echidnas boast incredibly large brains for their body size, partly because half of it is made up of an enlarged neocortex which usually only takes up about 30% of most other mammals.

3.    Their spines are actually hair
The spines of the Echidna are actually hairs, while fur in between these unique spines provides them with insulation.

Whale Watch at Logan’s Beach

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loganbeachThe Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s best loved tourist destinations. Its wild coastline promises surreal sea views, impressive cliff faces, and a range of environments, from lush rainforests to sprawling beaches.

But it’s not just the landscape that draws in visitors. In fact, the prospect of incredible wildlife sightings is one of the biggest draws to the region. Not only can you spot native creatures in their natural habitat, but you can catch a glimpse of some of Australia’s most mesmerising creatures.

Between the months of May and October, nearby Southern Right Whales return to Logan’s Beach to give birth to and raise their young. These magnificent creatures come back to their “nursery” every year, where they can safely and securely bring their offspring into the world. Logans beach

If you head to Logan’s Beach during this time, you might be lucky enough to see these amazing creatures at play as they splash around in the waves and bask just off the coastline. They tend to hang around just off the shore in the shelter of Lady Bay, giving visitors easy viewing of these gentle mothers and their children.

Logan’s Beach is laid out perfectly for whale watching. It boasts its very own whale viewing platform that is strategically placed so you can get the best views of the ocean and the Southern Right Whales, and there are number of tools rangers in the area use to keep you up to date with the arrival and daily movements of the resident whales.

logansbeachIf you visit Logan’s Beach, prepare to have your breath taken away. Not only will you get the chance to soak up the incredible scenery that defines this part of the Great Ocean Road, but you’ll be able to see some of nature’s most majestic creatures. The viewing platform proves a popular pit stop for visitors travelling along the route, particularly during the winter months. It sits to the east of the Bay and overlooks the sea around Lady Bay, providing visitors with 24-hour access to the whales and their offspring for free.

Whale watching in this part of Australia really is a once in a lifetime experience, and the Southern Right Whales make the experience particularly incredible. From the platform and its surrounding areas, you can watch as they play around and raise their young in their stunning natural habitat.

The Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie

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goricChocolate lovers will definitely want to make a pit stop at the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie. This sweet haven is the brainchild of Ian and Leanna Neeland, two passionate foodies who have come together to share their love of chocolate with Australia.

At the chocolaterie, you can tuck into mouth-watering truffles and unique chocolate flavours, as well as try some of the homemade ice cream that’s also on offer.

While wondering around, master chocolatiers make the delicious sweet treats and you can watch them from the very start to the finish, where they hand pack their goods in charming packaging.

Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie In the showroom, there are thousands of chocolates to tempt you, while the Pod Café boasts a menu packed full of seasonal produce from the on-site garden, and sumptuous desserts, from fondue to ice cream. For an afternoon snack, try one of the decadent pastries or tarts alongside a delicious brewed coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.

Outside the chocolaterie, the landscape unfolds in a delightful display of stunning views and incredible coastline. The lawns are perfect for kids, while the native garden, fledgling orchards and lavender fields add a splash of colour.

What’s on Offer at the Chocolaterie

The chocolaterie’s main selling point is its thousands of chocolates, but there’s more to it than that.

There’s also more than 250 different flavours of ice cream and the chance to watch experienced European chocolatiers craft smooth, delectable truffles.

Every product is made using only the finest, hand-picked ingredients from the chocolaterie’s very own garden. The choice won’t be easy, though, as there are 7000 truffles to choose from, including a unique single origins collection made with cocoa from eight different regions around the world, and the Bush Tucker collection that looks pretty in a packaging designed by Nathan Patterson.

Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie Bellbrae 4Elsewhere, you can try the delightful pastilles and sumptuous chocolate covered creations that are inspired and based on the surroundings of the Great Ocean Road. Try nut clusters, rocky roads, macarons, biscuits, nougat, chocolate spreads, and everything in between – there’s even a chocolate therapy beauty range to indulge in.

And when you’re all chocolated out (if that’s possible!), try some of the homemade ice creams and sorbet, all made fresh daily with seasonal flavours and local ingredients.

If you want to learn how the master chocolatiers craft their delicious products, you can take a chocolate making class yourself. This one-hour workshop lets you discover the chocolate making experience from start to finish, where you end up with your own personal, hand-crafted chocolate bar.