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Want To Know The Best Things To Do In Apollo Bay?
You’re in the right place because we live less than 2 hours away from Apollo Bay and love nothing more than popping down for a quick getaway.
The amazing food, bounty of wildlife and fascinating history are just some of the reasons why Apollo Bay is a must-visit destination.
The fact is that there are countless Apollo Bay things to do, but we’ve put together this guide to what we think are the best ways to spend your time here.
Are you planning your trip to Apollo Bay right now?
If you’re travelling to Apollo Bay you’ll want to make sure you have your accommodation booked well ahead of time. This place is popular!
Below are some of our top picks to help with your planning so you can be booked and all set for a fantastic trip!
Best Places To Stay In Apollo Bay:
Below, you’ll find our Apollo Bay, things to do travel blog.
To make things easier for you we’ve included a map so you can see exactly where each Apollo Bay attraction is, as well as the best places to stay for your ultimate holiday in Apollo Bay!
Best Things To Do In Apollo Bay
What is the best thing to do in Apollo Bay? You’re spoilt for choice!
Relaxing on the beach, exploring the Otways, going on a wildlife adventure, or sampling local produce at some of the best small businesses and markets are just some of the contenders for how to spend your time in this Great Ocean Road town.
Whether you’re staying at the luxurious Point of View Apollo Bay Villas or somewhere a little closer to town, these Apollo Bay attractions are all easy to get to but some will require a car.
Here are 31 of the best things to do in Apollo Bay to add to your itinerary whether you’re travelling for 1, 2, or 3 days along the Great Ocean Road.
1) Swim, Surf, And Kayak At Apollo Bay Beach
One of the best things to do in Apollo Bay is to spend a day at the beautiful 3 km stretch of sand at Apollo Bay Main Beach – one of the most beautiful beaches on the Great Ocean Road.
The south end of the beach near Point Bunbury is a great spot for families and is patrolled by lifeguards during the peak periods so it’s a safe area for swimming, while the northern end is popular for surfing, kayaking and boating.
Apollo Bay Beach is easy to get to and has plenty of amenities to spend the whole day on the sands.
It’s one of the top Apollo Bay places to visit for relaxing and spending time with family.
2) Get Spectacular Views At Marriner’s Lookout
There are plenty of free things to do in Apollo Bay, like the scenic Marriner’s Lookout. Best at sunset, it’s a great spot to get an overview of the town.
The Apollo Bay lookout offers pretty impressive views across the bay, beach, and ocean as it’s one of the highest points in Apollo Bay.
This makes it quite a steep drive to get to, but it’s just a 300-metre walk from the small car park so is easily doable with small children – our 3-year-old grandson had no trouble with it.
You can also hike 2 km up from the base of the hill if you don’t have access to a car.
Where: 155 Marriners Lookout Road, Apollo Bay 3233
When: Every Day 6.00 a.m – 10.00 p.m
Entry: Free but there’s a donation tin to help maintain the track
3) Explore The Great Outdoors On A Wildlife Walking Tour
Take a wildlife nature walk with a conservation guide on a guided tour of the Great Otway National Park.
You will be supplied with binoculars and headsets as you search for wildlife and learn about the birds that call this area home.
I really like the headsets as it makes it easier to hear the guide, and you’re less likely to disturb the wildlife. Although, my footsteps can be heard a mile away!
The 1.4 kilometre (0.8 mile)path will give you an insight into the ecology of the area as it leads you through grassland, forests, bushland, and tree fern gullies.
Wildlife you’re likely to encounter include emus, kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, and the elusive bandicoot. Beautiful birdlife is in abundance.
You will also get to visit the Conservation Ecology Centre Research Hub and make a stop at the cafe for a light lunch and refreshments.
This tour is suitable for all abilities and is a fun activity the whole family will love.
- Price: A$59.00
- Wheelchair and stroller accessible
- Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
4) Go On A Dusk Discovery Great Ocean Road Wildlife Tour
Another great wildlife tour in Apollo Bay is the Guided Dusk Discovery Tour.
Explore the wildlife sanctuary and learn the secrets of the bush from a local conservationist.
This small group tour takes in the stunning landscapes that overlook the ocean, allowing you to spot elusive Australian wildlife as it emerges for the evening.
These elusive nocturnal animals are usually hard to spot and photograph, but it’s a lot easier with a professional guide.
Along with the more well known local fauna such as koalas, emus, and kangaroos, on this tour, you will also get the chance to see cute potoroos, bandicoots, and pademelons.
A mezze plate of local produce is also included in the tour, accompanied by a beer or wine – always appreciated!
But the best part is that 100% of the profits from the tour go back into supporting local conservation and research projects.
- Price: A$95.00
- Wheelchair and stroller accessible
- Duration: 2.5 hours
5) Spend The Afternoon At Apollo Bay Foreshore Reserve
Right next to Apollo Beach is the Apollo Bay Foreshore Reserve. It’s one of the best places to visit in Apollo Bay for families.
Take food for a BBQ and make use of the public benches, picnic tables and easy beach access.
There’s also a playground for the little ones that will keep them amused for hours.
6) Go Big Or Go Home On The Great Ocean Walk
The epic 96.1 km Great Ocean Road Walk is a bucket-list-worthy achievement.
Starting from Apollo Bay the trail traverses west to the Twelve Apostles with an elevation gain of 2,839 metres.
Overnight stays are held in campgrounds, often right next to the beach, and it usually takes between six to eight days to complete in full.
If you don’t have that much time (or the energy!) you can break the walk down into more manageable day hike sections.
7) Make A Stop At Carisbrook Falls
Carisbrook Falls is just a 15 minute drive east from Apollo Bay along the Great Ocean Road.
It’s one of the easiest Otways falls to get to so definitely worth a visit while you’re hitting the Apollo Bay tourist attractions.
The Carisbrook waterfall is around 50 metres high with crystal clear water cascading down into a pool surrounded by lush plant and animal life.
The 300 metre hike to the falls is relatively easy, taking around 10 minutes – it can be completed by people of all ages.
Where: Great Ocean Road, Grey River 3234
When: Always Open
8) Catch Waves On A Seal Kayak Tour
For a chance to spot local Australian fur seals head out on a Seal Kayak Tour of Marengo Reef Marine Sanctuary.
You will get to learn about the lifestyle patterns of fur seals and maybe even catch a wave or two on the way back.
The tour includes a wetsuit, life jacket, helmet, a local guide and kayak hire, and departs from the Marengo Car Park, 1.5km west of Apollo Bay.
- Price: From A$90.00 per person
- Children must be over 12
- Duration: 1.5 hours
- Book here: Apollo Bay Surf & Kayak
Learn all about local shipwrecks, the construction of the Great Ocean Road, and the history of Apollo Bay township at the Apollo Bay Museum.
Apollo Bay Victoria was founded in the 1840s, when a whaling station was established at the western end of the bay at Point Bunbury.
The name comes from Captain Loutit’s boat, the Apollo, that sheltered in the bay during a storm in 1845.
Admission costs $5 for adults and just $1 for children, the museum is open Saturday afternoons from 2 pm – 5 pm, and Sunday mornings from 10 am – 1 pm.
Apollo Bay Museum
Where: 6250 Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay 3233
When: Sat 2.00 p.m – 5.00 p.m, Sun 10.00 a.m – 1.00 p.m, or by appointment
Entry: Adults $5.00, Chilren $1.00
Phone: 0434 820 473
The Apollo Bay Farmers Market is on the 3rd Sunday of every month, offering fine wine, fresh fruit and veg, delicious meats and local honey.
It’s a great place to try local produce from in and around the Otways and a unique way to get to know the locals face to face.
The Apollo Bay market is open from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and is located at the Youth Club Hall, Moore Street, Apollo Bay 3233.
Apollo Bay Farmer’s Market
Where: 19 – 21 Moore Street, Apollo Bay 3233
When: 3rd Sunday of the month 9.00 a.m – 1.00 p.m
11) Ride In Style At 73MOTO Great Ocean Motorcycle Rentals
One of the most adrenaline-fueled Apollo Bay activities is heading out onto the open road on two wheels.
73Moto rents out 1970’s style motorbikes. Options include a Royal Enfield and a Triumph Street Scrambler.
Where: Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay 3233
When: 7 Days 9.00 a.m – 6.00 p.m
Phone: 0467 528 800
12) Visit The Cape Otway Lightstation
Another one of the interesting things to do near Apollo Bay is the Cape Otway Lightstation.
It’s the oldest surviving lighthouse on mainland Australia having been built in 1848.
The lighthouse is known as the ‘Beacon of Hope,’ and offers views out over the Bass Strait.
Pre-booking tickets is not required.
Cape Otway Lightstation
Where: Lighthouse Road, Cape Otway 3233
When: 9.30 a.m – 5.00 p.m 7 Days
Entry: Adult $19.50, Children $7.50, Family $49.50, Concession $17.50
Phone: (03) 5237 9240
13) See The Twelve Apostles At Port Campbell National Park
One of the most unmissable things to do around Apollo Bay is to visit Port Campbell National Park.
Drive west from Apollo Bay for just over an hour along the Great Ocean Road toward the town of Port Campbell, along the way you’ll see Gibson Steps, Loch Ard Gorge and the unmistakable Twelve Apostles.
14) Go Whale Watching In Apollo Bay
One of the more unusual things to see in Apollo Bay is whales.
From May to October Southern Right Whales can be seen along this stretch of coast all the way Portland in the far west.
You may also spot Humpback Whales, Blue Whales and Killer Whales (Orcas).
Whale watching is one of the fun things to do in Apollo Bay in winter.
If you’re looking for a tipple, Apollo Bay is the place to be. In fact, it has the only gin distillery on the entire Great Ocean Road.
The Apollo Bay Distillery produces exotic handcrafted gins using local botanicals onsite.
Grab a wood fired pizza made with the finest seasonal produce, and try some amazing gins straight from the source. It’s one of the most laid back things to do at Apollo Bay.
Apollo Bay Distillery
Where: 23 -27 Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay 3233
When: 7 Days 11 a.m – 8.00 p.m
Phone: (03) 5237 7165
👉 Don’t forget to join our Great Ocean Road Travel Planning & Tips Facebook Group to have all your questions answered.
Another one of the favourite hangouts in town is the Great Ocean Road Brewhouse.
With a dog-friendly beer garden, craft beer, local wines and produce, the Great Ocean Road Brewery is the perfect spot to relax with friends.
It’s also family friendly and plays live sports.
Great Ocean Road Brewhouse
Where: 29 – 35 Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay 3233
When: 7 Days 11.00 a.m – Late
Phone: (03) 5237 6240
17) Marengo Beach
Just south of Apollo Bay, Marengo Beach offers a quieter spot to soak in the rays in the summer months.
Head to Marker Beacon Lookout, or take a towel to Shelly Beach to enjoy the lack of crowds and wild landscapes.
Just offshore of Marengo lies Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary. It contains 12.5 hectares of protected reef system known as Little Henty Reef.
The area is packed with sea-life like the Australian fur seals we mentioned earlier. Grab a kayak or take a snorkel to fully explore the area.
19) Make A Trip To Split Point Lighthouse
To the east of Apollo Bay in Aireys Inlet is Split Point Lighthouse, famous from the TV show ‘Round The Twist’.
Take a tour of the 136 stairs to the top to take in the sights of Airey Inlet and Fairhaven.
This Great Ocean Road lighthouse is a popular spot to stop on a Great Ocean Road, road trip as it offers 360 degree views.
Split Point Lighthouse
Where: 13 Federal Street, Aireys Inlet 3231
When: Mon – Fri 10.00 a.m – 2.00 p.m, Sat – Sun 10.00 a.m – 3.00 p.m
Entry: From $10.00
20) Maits Rest Rainforest Walk
Take a self-guided tour along the wooden boardwalk at Maits Rest.
The Maits Rest Rainforest Walk is a 30-minute loop through dense rainforest habitat. The elevated walking track was introduced to protect the fragile rainforest floor ecosystem.
At night you can head out on the Maits Rest Glow Worms Trail to spot bioluminescence in nature.
Where: Great Ocean Road, 15 minutes west of Apollo Bay
When: Always open
21) Triplet Falls
Although Triplet Falls is a little further away than Carisbrook Falls, it’s a stunning cascade that’s well worth the hour’s drive from Apollo Bay.
Combine it with a trip to Otway Treetop Adventures, or hit three Apollo Bay waterfalls on a trip to Triplet Falls, Hopetoun Falls and Beauchamp Falls.
Where: Phillips Track, Wyelangta 3237
When: Always Open
22) Hopetoun Falls
Hopetoun Falls is the most popular of the three waterfalls. In a fern-covered opening the water plummets straight down for 30 metres into the Aire River.
The top viewing platform is easy to get to but the lower viewing area has 200 steep steps that are not accessible for prams or wheelchairs.
Where: Hopetoun Falls Road, Beech Forest 3237
When: Always open
23) Beauchamp Falls
Beauchamp Falls is a little harder to get to with steep return steps that require reasonable fitness levels.
The three-kilometre path leads to a 20-metre waterfall that collects in a large pool, expect to walk for around an hour (return trip).
Where: Beauchamp Falls Road, Beech Forest 3237
When: Always open
24) Walk Amongst Giants At The Redwoods Otways
Close to Hopetoun Falls are the Redwoods Otways, a forest containing the world’s tallest tree species, the Californian Redwoods.
The Redwoods Otways were planted in 1936 by Victorian foresters and have since thrived in the climate.
Take the 500 metre return pathway through the Otway Redwoods to marvel at their grandeur.
Where: Binns Lane, Aire Valley 3237
When: Always open
25) Go On A Family Day Out At Otway Fly Treetop Adventures
Otway Fly Treetop Adventures is easily one of the best things to do in Apollo Bay for families.
Go on the 30 metre high Otway Treetop Walk, or head to Otway Fly where you will zip through the leafy treetops of the beautiful Otway Ranges from one ‘Cloud Station’ to another.
For smaller adventurers, there’s also an Enchanted Forest with tiny homes and their magical inhabitants.
At around an hour’s drive from Apollo Bay it’s best to book before you go.
Otway Fly Treetop Adventures
Where: 360 Phillips Track, Weeaproniah 3237
When: Thur – Mon 10.00 a.m – 5.00 p.m, Open every day in school holidays
Entry: Adult $27.50, Child $21.50, Family $80.00
Phone: (03) 5235 9200
26) Be Mesmerised By The Melba Gully Glow Worms
See if you can spot the Melba Gully glow worms by visiting the Madsen’s Track Nature Walk – just off the Great Ocean Road.
Take the level 1.5 kilometre rainforest walking track to see the area come to life at night.
Banks alongside the track light up with bioluminescence, creating a magical natural spectacle.
Where: 5 Melba Gully Road, Lavers Hill 3238
When: Always open
27) Book A Trip With Apollo Bay Aviation
If you’re looking for what to do in Apollo Bay for a special occasion, why not head out on a Great Ocean Road helicopter tour?
Take in some of the best sights in Victoria by air on a 50 minute flight to the Twelve Apostles.
Highlights include Great Otway National Park, Aire Valley, Princetown, views over the Shipwreck Coast, and Cape Otway Lightstation.
Flights start at $520.00 per person (minimum two passengers).
Apollo Bay Aviation
Where: Apollo Bay Airport, Telford Street, Apollo Bay 3233
When: Various times
28) Enjoy One Of The Apollo Bays Festivals
Apollo Bay Seafood Festival
Held each year in February since 2011, the Apollo Bay Seafood Festival and Local Produce Festival is full of fresh food, celebrity chefs, live entertainment, and loads of interesting market stalls.
Apollo Bay Seafood Festival
Where: 1 Breakwater Road, Apollo Bay 3233
When: February – to be announced
Winter Wild Festival
On the last weekend of winter in August each year, the Winter Wild Festival hosts three days of music, art, and food with events across Apollo Bay.
Winter Wild Festival
Where: Various venues across Apollo Bay
When: 25-26-27 August 2023
Entry: Various prices
Great Ocean Road Running Festival
The Great Ocean Road Running Festival attracts athletes from all over the world in May each year.
There are many events to participate in or get involved in the other activities across the two-day event like; live performances, free beach-side Yoga, an inflatable sports park for kids, and a high-flying kite festival.
Great Ocean Road Running Festival
Where: Various start points between Apollo Bay and Lorne
When: 18 – 19 May 2024
Entry: Free for spectators
Chris’s Beacon Point Restaurant is one of the best places to eat in Apollo Bay – but you’ll need to book a table in advance as it’s popular with locals and visitors.
Expect modern Australian cuisine, with some Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influences.
The hillside location also offers jaw-dropping views over the coastline and the stunning Otways, making the perfect evening out for a special occasion.
Chris’s Beacon Point Restaurant
Where: 280 Skenes Creek Road, Apollo Bay 3233
When: Thur – Mon from 6 p.m, Closed Tuesday & Wednesday
Phone: (03) 5237 6411
30) Try Apollo Bay Fish And Chips At The Apollo Bay Fishermen’s CoOp
Don’t panic if you can’t get a table at Chris’s, Apollo Bay Fish and Chips are another fantastic option when it comes to places to eat in Apollo Bay.
The Apollo Bay Fishermen’s Co-Op has been around for 70 years.
They serve up fresh seafood platters and proudly represent the last working fishing harbour on the Great Ocean Road.
Apollo Bay Fishermen’s Co-Op
Where: 2 Breakwater Road, Apollo Bay 3233
When: Tue – Sun 11.00 a.m – 7.00 p.m, Closed Monday
Phone: (03) 5237 1067
31) Refresh At Dooley’s Ice Cream Shop
Dooley’s Premium Ice Cream is an experience you can’t miss on a hot summer’s day in Apollo Bay.
With ice creams, sundaes, thick-shakes and milkshakes, it’s safe to say that you won’t be left feeling hungry after a Dooleys ice cream.
Dooley’s Premium Ice Cream
Where: 89 Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay 3233
When: Mon – Sat: 11.0 a.m – 5.00 p.m, Sunday 11.00 a.m – 4.00 p.m
Phone: (03) 5237 7581
Apollo Bay Things To Do Map
On the map below you’ll find all things to do in Apollo Bay that we’ve listed here.
Best Places To Stay In Apollo Bay
Point Of View Villas is the perfect Apollo Bay accommodation for couples looking for that special place to stay.
Each of the 5 architect designed villas offers incredible views over Apollo Bay and the Southern Ocean, and accommodates two people.
Here you can indulge in luxury amenities such as the large therapeutic spa, double shower, and plush King bed.
The villas are stocked with spa beauty products, speciality teas, Nespresso coffee, and milk.
Fully self-contained, you can cook up a storm in the full kitchen, or outside on the barbecue.
Easily accessed along the Great Ocean Road, the Coastal Motel is located in the heart of Apollo Bay within easy walking distance to shops and cafes, and the beach is right across the road.
Rooms here are well designed with fresh coastal styling and have everything you need for a great stay.
Choose from a range of deluxe king, twin, and family rooms, complete with either a kitchenette or full kitchen facilities.
It offers good quality free wifi and as with most motels, there is complimentary onsite parking.
This is an affordable motel that offers value-for-money and receives consistently high reviews.
With its stunning views, modern amenities, and fun kids’ activities, Big4 Pisces Holiday Park is ideal for families.
Kids are kept entertained with the heated swimming pool, games room, adventure playground, and undercover jumping pillow.
You can choose from deluxe cabins with sleeping for up to 6 people, a beach house, as well as glamping options.
This well-cared-for caravan park is located across the road from the main beach in Apollo Bay and is just a short walk into town.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Apollo Bay known for?
Apollo Bay is known for its beautiful beaches, fresh seafood, and proximity to the Otway National Park waterfalls and walking trails. A number of festivals are held here every year including the Apollo Bay Seafood Festival, the Winter Wild Festival, and Great Ocean Running Festival.
What is there to do between Apollo Bay and Port Campbell?
Things to do between Apollo Bay and Port Campbell include stopping at lookouts, visiting waterfalls, and hiking through lush rainforests. You can spot glow worms at Melba Gully, walk amongst the treetops at the Otway Fly, and see giant trees at the Redwoods Forest before stopping to admire the world famous 12 Apostles in Port Campbell National Park.
Is Apollo Bay Good For Kids?
Yes, Apollo Bay is good for kids. It offers safe swimming beaches that are patrolled in summer, a grassy foreshore reserve with a kids’ playground, and other child friendly activities. Nearby Maits Rest is an easy nature walk where kids enjoy looking for wildlife. And there are plenty of child friendly accommodation options and places to eat.
What is there to do in Apollo Bay in winter?
Things to do in Apollo Bay in winter include many that you can do all year round. Hike the Otways and discover gushing waterfalls, stroll the beach, or visit galleries and markets. Head indoors and sit by an open fire drink in hand at a great pub or brewery. Join the fun at the Winter Wild Festival held in August.
Can you see whales in Apollo Bay?
Yes, you can see whales in Apollo Bay. Each year from May to October whales migrate from polar waters to calve in the warmer waters of the southern Victorian coast. Southern Right Whales can come within 100 metres of the shore with their young and can reach up to 18 metres in length.
Why is it called Apollo Bay?
The town is called Apollo Bay after the ship that sought refuge in its sheltered waters. In 1845, Captain Loutit found safety for his vessel, the Apollo, during a fierce storm, he then bestowed the name Apollo Bay upon it.
Apollo Bay is one of the more popular towns along the Great Ocean Road, and with all the things you can do here, it’s not hard to see why.
I hope this post has answered the question of what to do in Apollo Bay and that you’ve found this list useful.
From scenic lookouts to waterfalls and walking trails, festivals and markets, I’ve listed all the best Apollo Bay tourist attractions.
I have no doubt you’ll love exploring Apollo Bay as much as we do.
By Audrey Chalmers
Audrey grew up in Victoria and travelled the world but she always called Victoria home. She loves nothing more than exploring her home state and sharing it here.