Last Easter I had a wonderful long weekend along the GOR (Great Ocean Road). Apart from the unusual gorgeous scenery, surf (or lack of; at Apollo Bay) and tourist-y attractions, there are a few things to do/see that are not in the tourist brochures.
Cape Patton Lookout
It is easy to miss this one if you are driving toward Lorne because the sign is covered by dozens of stickers from all over the world. It is a tourist-made tourist attraction. The lookout view itself is spectacular, but the sign is an artefact in its own right. It is easier to see coming the other way, the sign is still intact!
Breakfast at La Bimba, Apollo Bay
Easily the best breakfast I have had for years. Generous and authentic. You don’t get the standard sliced smoked salmon; you get chunks of smoked trout, artisan bread etc. Coffee is great (ask for a mug – the huggable mugs are gorgeous on a cold day), the view (if you get a veranda seat) is cosmopolitan and the cakes looked super divine and are combinations that you wish you had thought of (pity I was too full from breakfast to go back for cake later!).
There is a market upstairs from one of the main street shops which is made up of un-manned stalls. Sellers put up their wares in a designated space and one person at the front of the shop runs all the stalls. The wares range from the run of the mill Indian/Balinese imports to local-made produce, art works (good and not so good), second hand goods, clothes and jewellery. Great for a browse.
Down near the river at Anglesea
If you go for a wander near the river at Anglesea there are a couple of shops almost on the river bank itself, near the foot bridge. There’s a little restaurant where you can watch the overseas tourists wander around with their backpacks, a lovely little organic grocer-come-deli with local produce and bread and a kitch but expensive homewares-type store.
Speaking of local produce, though this is not technically part of the GOR, around the back near the Coles supermarket in Ocean Grove is a great little fruit shop called ‘Elvis Parsley and Grapesland’. True! Great name! Great quality fruit and veg with some organic choices too!
There was a shop with a similar name ‘Grapes land’, in Woodford, where the owner used to sing “Suspicious Limes” and “Viva Las Vegies”.... in Elvis gear no less. Unfortunately it has closed ... but I would have loved to see that!
Do you have any hidden GOR treasures for me to explore next time?