Ideas for gala time with family in regional Victoria

Khush Gupta shares her extraordinary family holiday ideas and experiences at the Great Ocean Road, Bellarine, and Geelong

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As a Melbourne mum to two kids and a digital creator, I love sharing daily glimpses of my life on Instagram page @khush_mum.n.more. I recently travelled on an unforgettable regional holiday in regional Victoria with my family to celebrate my son’s second birthday. I hope you enjoy my suggestions for a family holiday this summer.

The Great Ocean Road, one of the world’s leading coastal drives.

This Great Ocean Road itinerary covers the beauty of regional Victoria— from scenic views, to spotting wildlife while enjoying a little bit of history.

On the first day, we drove from Melbourne to Port Campbell (3 hour drive), which is a coastal town on the Great Ocean Road. We stayed at the Southern Ocean Villas which is ideally set on picturesque Port Campbell National Park and offers comfortable family stay options. We took a scenic drive to see the wondrous Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge, which were only few minutes away from the accommodation. There were so many lookouts but our favourite has to be the Castle Rock lookout to witness the beauty of Apostles, where we also captured some epic family shots. I cant wait to frame them once I get home in Melbourne.

Regional Victoria
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In the evening, we took a stroll with the kids in the Port Campbell town centre and enjoyed pizzas at the Real Pizza Pasta salads. The kids loved designing their own pizzas with their favourite toppings.

So much to discover at Port Campbell

Next morning, we woke up to enjoy early morning views at the Port Campbell Foreshore and did the Port Campbell Discovery Walk to absorb some unforgettable panoramas of Port Campbell. We then had a wholesome breakfast at the Waves café in the town centre and drove to see the Cape Otway Light station (1.5 hour drive) which is the oldest surviving lighthouse. The views from the light house were truly splendid and worth the drive. I would highly recommend trying the famous homemade lighthouse scones at the Lightkeeper’s café, which is in the centre of the Lightstation Heritage Precinct overlooking the Lighthouse. We loved them with a dollop of fresh cream.

Our next stop was the Wildlife Wonders a spectacular Australian bushland wildlife sanctuary which was only 5 minutes away from Apollo Bay. We did a guided nature walk as a family. Kids loved spotting Koalas, Wallabies and Pademelons while enjoying a walk on the wild side of Great Ocean Road.

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We stayed at the Family Marengo Caravan Park in Apollo Bay, which offers spectacular views of the ocean and offers comfortable cabins for staying with kids. There were so many options to eat in the Apollo Bay town- few of our favourites are Chopstix, Dooley’s Ice creamery and Café 153 for a traditional breakfast.

Discovered the beauty of Geelong and Bellarine

We drove from Apollo Bay to Queenscliff (2.5 hour drive) and checked into the Big4 Ingenia Holidays Queenscliff Beacon, which offers comfortable family stay options. They had an indoor heated pool and both my kids enjoyed a splash in the water. I took a yoga session which was complimentary with the stay and helped me unwind and relax.

Later we drove down to the historic Hesse Street of Queenscliff, which is famous for its display of heritage architecture, art galleries, shops and enjoyed a family lunch at the Yard 58 café which had a gorgeous garden setting. We did some great family shots at the Hesse street with the majestic Vue Grand Hotel in the background.

My daughter is quite fond of Mini Golf, so we drove to check out The Bellarine Adventure Golf, A Mini Golf set up amongst beautiful gardens, featuring creeks and waterfalls. We enjoyed some games there and had so much fun. In the evening we drove to the Queenscliff Harbour, a bustling marina and booked us a table at the 360Q restaurant for a dinner with magnificent views.

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Next day, we drove to Geelong (35 min drive), a town buzzing with so many things to do. We arrived at the Wharf Shed Café, which is housed in an old wharf storage, and enjoyed a scrumptious breakfast.

There were so many activities to do at the Geelong Waterfront. We enjoyed a stroll at the Geelong Baywalk and also saw the bollards that make up the Geelong Baywalk Bollard Trail. Kids loved a ride on the Ferris Wheel, which offered spectacular views of the Geelong beachfront and Corio Bay. They also had a magical time at the beautifully restored carousel located at the waterfront.

If your kids are a book lover, I would highly recommend visiting the Geelong Library which was breathtakingly impressive. We also visited the vibrant National Wool Museum where history, wool, science, fashion, handcraft and art come together. The more you explore Geelong, the more there is to love.

Read More: Go Beyond Melbourne

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