About The Bellarine
The Bellarine Region is just over an hour’s drive from Melbourne, making Ocean Grove & Barwon Heads very desirable holiday locations. Activities on The Bellarine include all the water-based sports and pleasures you can think of – snorkelling, jet-skiing, swimming with dolphins, surfing, kayaking, fishing, marine sanctuaries, sailing and more.
World class wineries are peppered throughout the area, as are superb restaurants, quaint cafés, fresh local seafood and Sunday markets.
For families and those looking for some fresh air, there are cycling trails, picnic and barbecue areas, playgrounds, golf courses and tennis courts in each township. There is also a great selection of entertainment for children including mini-golf, mazes, and a steam train. For an adrenaline burst plan a visit to Adventure Park, a state of the art water park featuring giant water slides and activities.
The Bellarine - A Must in Colder Months
The Bellarine doesn’t stop being a tourist destination just because it’s not swimming weather. Ask any local and they will tell you that the beaches are a place of peace and relaxation on those brisk winter mornings. Skydiving, scenic flights dolphin watching, golf, wineries, sightseeing, nature parks, bike riding, the abundance of restaurants, day spas, cafes and boutique shops, indoor swimming adventure pool (Bellarine Acquatic Centre, Ocean Grove), Blues Train, and retail therapy are just a few of the activities on offer. So why not take the plunge and book a winter holiday.
Whatever the reason for your visit, or the season, you will be warmly welcomed into friendly communities, see beautiful villages and take home happy memories.
Ocean Grove is the largest town on The Bellarine, covering about 20 square kilometres to the east of the Barwon River mouth and enjoys a range of river and ocean activities. A bustling shopping centre is located in The Terrace. The long foreshore reserve features beautiful, wide beaches on one side, and across the Barwon Heads Road, the sandy river mouth of the Barwon River offers sheltered days on the beach.
With a beautiful, wide surf beach, flourishing nature reserve and upbeat shopping precinct, Ocean Grove is a fantastic place to enjoy the summer sun.
Barwon Heads "Golf Village by the Sea"
Barwon Heads is the sister town to Ocean Grove, separated by the Barwon River. The streets of Barwon Heads are bordered by seaside grasses and ti-tree. Barwon Heads is a popular seaside community, offering a diverse variety of coastal attractions from the shallow and sandy shoreline of the Barwon River to the windswept surf beaches which front Bass Strait along 13th Beach Road. Some roads are still unsealed. The town is smaller than Ocean Grove and still retains an older charm. The town area is low-lying, protected by a levee bank from flooding.
Beaches along the river are safe and popular swimming spots. On the ocean beach, high hummocks shelter one of Australia’s best links golf courses. Nearby 13th Beach is loved by surfers. The commercial centre of Barwon Heads includes the town's major hotel just near the river bridge and a strip of shops including cafes and restaurants along Hitchcock Avenue.
The main street ends near Barwon Heads Village Park with facilities for most sports, including a state of the art Skate Park (built 2010). The wind and water-swept river mouth make Barwon Heads a great place for water sports of all sorts. Just north of Barwon Heads is the expansive waterway of Lake Connewarre and surrounding wetlands which make an ideal spot for fishing and bird watching.
Geelong is a vibrant regional city just down the road from Melbourne featuring a stunning waterfront and a fabulous wine region on our doorstep. Geelong is Victoria's second largest city, located on Corio Bay, and within a short drive from popular beach-front communities on the Bellarine Peninsula as well as being the gateway to the famous Great Ocean Road.
The city itself boasts a large commercial centre which extends down to the foreshore, offering visitors the chance to explore popular beach-front attractions such as Eastern Beach with its swimming enclosure, the Steampacket Gardens, the dining options available on Cunningham Pier, and several coastal walks, dotted with collections of bollards depicting historic characters. Elegant architecture, colourful gardens and parks, and the backdrop of Corio Bay are all symbolic of what locals refer to as the "city by the bay".
Locations of interest for visitors include the National Wool Museum, the Old Geelong Gaol, the Ford Discovery centre, the Botanic Gardens at Eastern Park, and a number of other museums, galleries and historical buildings.
And there is so much more. Geelong has an amazing mix of dining and entertainment options.
The beautiful Barwon River winds its way through the city past lush parks and gardens. Walking trails are everywhere so its very easy to explore.
Geelong has a colourful history which you can discover via many of the local attractions, museums and galleries.
Otways & The Great Ocean Road
The Otway Ranges is a spectacular, lush rainforest found within the 12,876-hectare Great Otway National Park and is about 1.5 hours drive from Barwon Heads. It is an unforgettable place with spectacular sunsets and where the national park meets the ocean. Frequently sighted animals and birds include koalas, eastern grey kangaroos, swamp wallabies, possums, blue-winged parrots, sulphur-crested cockatoos, galahs and kookaburras. Many other species are seen on occasion and require more discreet observation such as feathertail gliders, long-nosed bandicoots, platypus and long-nosed potoroos. There are also a number of rare and threatened species surviving in the area such as the spotted tailed quoll and rufous bristlebird.
The Great Ocean Road technically begins at Barwon Heads, but is more widely recognized to start near Torquay which is a 25 minute drive away. Spend a full day travelling from your home to the must see Great Ocean Road and it’s many towns along the way. Attractions in this area include the Otway Fly, Turtons Track, The 12 Apostles, the Great Ocean Road drive, the township of Lorne, and nature walks in the Otway Ranges.
Accessible Attractions, Services & Eateries - The Bellarine Peninsula & Geelong
The Beach House. Barwon Heads
Once the old Fire Station, BeachHouse Barwon Heads showcases some of the Bellarine Peninsula's fine produce, wine, cider & beer. The Beach House serves up a modern Australian cuisine for breakfast, lunch & dinner and all times in between.
There is ramped access to the main double doors at the front of the restaurant, with generous space between tables.
Phone: 52 543376 http://www.beachhousebarwonheads.com.au/
At The Heads. Barwon Heads.
At The Heads is perhaps the most photographed and iconic restaurant on The Bellarine Peninsula. The restaurant is located on the riverfront and has beautiful views of the water from just about any table. There is ramped access to the restaurant and a viewing platform around the edge of the restaurant which leads to a concrete walkway alongside the river which leads to the bluff.
Phone: 52 541277 www.attheheads.com.au
Testimonial: "Access from the car park to the restaurant is very good, with a ramped entranceway. The tables are spread out and plenty of room towards the rear of the restaurant to move about. The bathroom facilities are appropriate for wheelchair users"
The Dunes Restaurant. Ocean Grove
The Dunes has world class view sweeping out to sea. Look west and you gaze at the Barwon Heads bluff and around to the Great Ocean Road; look east along the crescent of the beach to the Point Lonsdale lighthouse and beyond to Cape Schank. People surf and swim all year, and in winter the whales usually join them.
At the Dunes we open all year round, 7 days a week, starting at 6.30am. Breakfast leads into morning coffee and cake which rolls us into lunch and on to afternoon tea. Then, as the sun sets it is time for a glass of wine before everyone settles in for dinner. You can sit inside and look out through large panoramic windows, or outside under the umbrellas on the deck.
Testimonial: "Tables are quite cramped inside however there is good access to tables outside, which offer amazing views. The toilets are accessible and are located outside the restaurant".
Phone: 52 56 1944 www.dunescafe.com.au
Napola. Ocean Grove
Napona aim to provide Ocean Grove and the Bellarine with a new, quality and exciting experience. Expect to find fine food featuring both Asian and Mediterranean influences in a relaxed atmosphere with exceptional service.
"Plenty of parking, friendly service and and a bright sunny north facing deck"
Phone: 52 563153 www.napona.com.au
Flying Brick Cider House. Wallington.
The Flying Brick Cider House is all about fabulous food without the 'fancy'. Executive Chef, Dwayne Bourke, has created a contemporary and distinctively different menu designed to inspire, share and indulge. local produce and community group partnership are both key features. Think innovate space, a spectacular al fresco and lawn area, a tasting paddle of ciders, great food, the best Bellarine wines around, a solid selection of beer, fair trade coffee. . .
Phone: 5250 6577
Great Ocean Air
Great Ocean Air operate from the Barwon Heads airport and offer luxurious air conditioned Airvans seating 7 passengers in spacious cabins with panoramic windows. Choose from a variety of private flights and tours, charter flights, and half day scenic tours. The Airvans have a 1.2 metre wide side door, and offer ramped access and for those wishing to avoid steps into the aircraft. Airvans have extra large windows to capture all that our beautiful region offers. Make your journey part of the destination. Experience Great Ocean Air. Live the dream. Phone: 0418 643 401
Click HERE for more info or go to Facebook at www.facebook.com/greatoceanairflights
Marine Discovery Centre. Queenscliff
The Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre (MFDC) provides education services that create awareness about the importance of commercial and recreational fishing and the marine and freshwater environments.
Located on the shores of Swan Bay in Queenscliff approximately one and half hours from Melbourne, the MFDC provides curriculum-based education for early childhood, school and tertiary groups as well as specialised programs and programs for the general community.
Our facilities include a visitor's aquarium, student laboratory and classroom as well as being surrounded by a diverse range of habitats, ideal for field activities such as rock pool rambles and mudflat activities within our intertidal zones.
Disabled Surfers Association. Ocean Grove
The Ocean Grove DSA is all about putting Smiles on Dials ! Their goal is to provide an inclusive experience for all people with any disability to experience the rush of riding a wave. They have world class beach facilities that help make your experience as inclusive as possible. This includes –
- Special needs changing/amenities
- Wheelchair ramp access from the carpark all the way to the sand
- Specialised Beach Wheelchairs (to suit adults and children)
Their Specialised Beach Wheelchairs are available for use along the Bellarine and Surf coast free of charge by the community at any time by arrangement. This enables a person with special needs to experience the beach at any time with family and friends all year round.
Adventure Park. Wallington
Victoria's biggest water park/theme park is chock full of fun activities and opens in October each year. As well as many water sports, there are also plenty of non-water activities such as train rides, archery and mini-golf. Tracks in the park are paved.
Phone: 52507200 http://www.adventurepark.com.au/
The Bluff, Barwon Heads
The Barwon Heads bluff is the south eastern most beach access in the town. Access to the bluff requires vehicle access but once you reach the top there are lovely wooden deck areas and designated unpaved tracks so you can see the beatufiful view as far to the east as the Mornington Peninsula, and Torquay to the west. Walking/riding tracks meander through beach and reserves for many kilometres, and go straight past The Dunes restaurant in Ocean Grove which is accessible and best of all - has amazing beach views. The Barwon Heads Bridge (right) offers a fully accessible pedestrian bridge and with continued access along the beach and into the Barwon Heads shopping strip.
Bellarine Acquatic Centre
Welcome to the Bellarine Aquatic & Sports Centre (BASC). Previously known as Surfside, this centre has been serving the Bellarine Peninsula for many years. The centre provides the opportunity for life-long involvement in sports or community activities for all ages.
BASC has something for everyone, including a hoist system. The team at BASC invites you and your family to visit their centre to see all it has on offer. P: 52562111. Shell Road Ocean Grove. Centres also in Norlane, Whittington and Belmont. Follow the link for further info: Bellarine Aquatic Centre
Observation Tower - Queenscliff
Catch a lift or walk the stairs to the top of the Queenscliff Harbour Observation tower which soars 40 metres into the air and has spectacular 360 degree views of Queenscliff and its surrounds.
From the lookout tower, you could spend hours soaking up the incredible views or watch the pilot boats return from their trips through Port Phillip heads.
The view of the boats and beyond to the Queenscliff boatyard , where a crane capable of lifting craft up to 150 tonnes out of the water for service or maintenance, is breathtaking.
Operating hours are 7 days per week 9am till 4:30pm. Visit Queenscliff Harbour or call (03) 52 585459 for more details.
Welcome to the Geelong Library & Heritage Centre (the Dome). This magnificent building has been designed for the enjoyment of the region's community and visitors - local, national and international. Inside, this impressive and digitally-advanced space is the perfect platform for innovative and world-leading library and information services.
Set in the heart of Geelong's Cultural precinct, this iconic architecture houses a future-ready sphere of reading, learning and fun that will change the way you think about libraries.
Designed to be an inspiring, multipurpose space, the centre will be many things to many different people: a place to meet and socialise; to read and study; to attend events; and use new technologies. Each level is unique with gathering places, reading spaces, the latest technology, spectacular collections, children's and youth hubs, function zones, café and more.
Under the domed roof of this classically-inspired space, the past and future coexist effortlessly. As the new home of the Geelong region's vast collection of heritage archives, the Dome provides a tangible and extremely important link to the history of the area.
Simultaneously, the innovative and technology-rich facilities steer us boldly towards the future.
Our library corporation is immensely proud to be able to deliver services from this flagship in the corporation's network of 16 libraries and 2 mobile libraries. Situated in Geelong, it is the central library for the four municipalities which our corporation serves and sets the benchmark for service delivery excellence, and provides a training ground for staff in the use of new technology and innovative customer service initiatives. Click HERE to view their website.
The Geelong Waterfront is one of Australia's most stunning waterfronts. Having started from humble beginnings when Geelong was founded as a port in 1836, the Waterfront has now attracted a series of prestigious awards. The cosmopolitan and vibrant area is a hive of activity with restaurants and cafes, beautiful landscaped gardens, attractions and public art, all with amazing view of Corio bay. There are plenty of possibilities to explore and view the Waterfront: take a ride on a Harley Davidson motorcycle, or the trackless train if you prefer a more leisurely look around check out the view from the air in a helicopter or take a boat cruise along Geelong's spectacular Waterfront. When the weather heats up, cool off on the Waterfront at the Eastern beach swimming promenade. Children's pool, enclosed sea baths, diving platforms, all patrolled by lifeguards on duty during the summer months. Click HERE for more info.
Otway Fly Treetop Adventures
Otway Fly Treetop Adventures offers a whole host of experiences with the two core activities being The Treetop Walk and The Zipline Tour.
The Treetop Walk is a 1 hour rainforest walk experience that is approx 2km in total and features a 600mt long and 30mt high steel structured treetop canopy walkway that takes you right into the treetops. It's the longest and tallest walkway of its type in the world and includes a thrilling cantilever.
The Zipline Eco-Tour is a 2.5 hour, fully guided experience and including training and simulation, 8 cloud stations, 6 flights and 2 suspension bridges. The ticket price also includes the world famous Treetop Walk. This Zipline Tour is the only Zipline Tour for Victoria!
Less than 3 hours away from Melbourne (via Princes Hwy inland route) and 1.5 hours from Geelong (via Princes Hwy) makes us the ideal destination for a day trip. To truly experience this great region we recommend that you stay and play longer in this spectacular part of the world. For full details visit www.otwayfly.com or call (03) 52 359200
Carrying more than 700,000 people every year, Searoad Ferries is Australia's favourite car and passenger ferry.
It began crossing Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay with a single vessel in 1987, capable of transporting up to 300 passengers and 30 cars. Just a few thousand visitors and vehicles then travelled each year between Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula and Queenscliff on the Bellarine Peninsula.
The spectacular journey soon boosted the ferry's popularity, and the 60-metre all-weather MV Queenscliff was introduced in 1994, carrying up to 700 passengers and 70 vehicles. In 2000, the new MV Sorrento doubled capacity and enabled hourly departures from both ports. There is a lift on the boat.
The Queenscliff Sorrento Ferry is now a 'must do' attraction at both historic villages, and a highlight of the Victorian coastal travel experience.
Ferries depart both Queenscliff and Sorrento every hour, on the hour from 7am to 6pm daily. An extra twilight service operates at 7pm from 26 December to 31 January, every day; in February and March on weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sundays) and on Public Holidays as well as the Easter Long Weekend (Friday – Monday). Visit www.searoad.com for bookings.
Feel Human Again. Liza is located in Ocean Grove and has enjoyed her role as in house massuse to our guests for many years. Liza specialises in deep tissue and relaxation therapy and in reconnection. "Healing takes place at a cellular level, while bringing the mind, body and spirit into balance" says Liza, who is passionate about her craft.
For bookings and general enquiries please call Liza on 0408361322
Pictured to the left with author, Christine Smith.
Aida Care Health Care Equipment
Aida Care are the leading provider of ward based equipment and hire products in the region. There is an office in Fyans Street Geelong, where products can be hired. But be sure to contact us at Great Ocean Stays first because we do stock a lot of mobility aides at our properties - all of which are included in room tariffs. Aida Care can be contacted on 1300 133 120. Or Click HERE to view their website.
Karingal is a not for profit organisation prodiging a range of services for people with a disability or mental illness, older Australias and those who are disadvantaged. Services include individualised support and activities and community support. Karingal can be contacted on 03 52 498900 or click HERE to view their website.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this website is correct at the time of publication. You should conduct your own research on each of the businesses to ensure accuracy, content and tp satisfy your requirements that accessible features have been maintained, eliminated or improved.
This list is by no means exhaustive, we intend to be a sample only.
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Great Ocean Air operate charter flights for sightseeing and travel from Barwon Heads Airport, at the beginning of the Great Ocean Road.
We have a range of aircraft to suit most needs from our fast twin engine 10 seat Piper Chieftain, our beautiful 8 seat Airvan with huge windows and high wing - perfect to see the 12 Apostles, or several smaller single engine Diamond or Cessna aircraft - just right for 1 to 3 passengers.
In addition to flights along the Shipwreck Coast, 12 Apostles and King Island (pic), we operate across Victoria and Australia with Outback tours and business travel. We can collect you from Melbourne (Essendon Airport) or anywhere else to suit.
We can take you on a memorable adventure to just about any destination Australia wide. We know many great places to visit in the Flinders Ranges or perhaps a visit to the famous Birdsville Pub? Or maybe the recently discovered Painted Hills in South Australia (pic).
If you need a little assistance with access friendly aircraft and people then we have the charter flight for you. We have a selection of wheelchair friendly aircraft, ramps and staff. We will love to see you enjoy your special trip with us.
To provide ongoing excellent customer service by continually improviing and updating services.
To create a region that is inclusive of all people, to inspire other tourism operators to think about their own businesses around accessible travel, and to encourage everyone to embrace sustainable change.
Passion. Teamwork. Consistency. Honesty. Reliability.
Great Ocean Air Service Area Map
Experience something different.
Great Ocean Air specialise in offering adventure getaways, private charter flights & scenic day flights.
Choose from any of our standard flight routes or plan your own private getaway.