A weekend road trip along the Great Ocean Road should always include a pit-stop at the most popular city and meeting point along the south west coast, Lorne. A vibrant city that can be transformed into a weekend long festival, or to be simply enjoyed as a relaxng, surf coast town, we’ve included all the best things to do in Lorne in our 2023 guide right here
How to get to Lorne?
Exactly 2 hours west of Melbourne CBD is one of the best day trips from Melbourne under 2 hours.
Almost halfway between Melbourne and the 11 Apostles in Port Campbell national park, Lorne seems to be the meeting point for a lot of Melbournians needing a quick getaway for hiking, waterfall chasing or a sea-change.
Read Next >> BEST Things to do on the Great Ocean Road
Lorne Visitor information centre
If you really do want to know what the best things to do in Lorne are, then no better place to gather information, grab yourself a map and get started than by visiting the Lorne information centre.
There’s good reason to start at these places; a lot of the time the park guides are aware of certain road closures, planned road works and possible delays getting places.
You can visit their website here for more information.
The Best things to do in Lorne
Coffee and Brekky at Hah
What could be better than watching the sunrise, enjoying a great coffee, a delicious acai bowl with the Lorne surf in front of you? We’re hard pressed to think of anything else.
Enjoy the mild surf of Lorne front beach as you take in the views bordered by the Lorne, Queenscliff coastal reserve foreshore that runs all the way from the Lorne Information centre through to the Lorne Pier on the far southern side of the water.
Hah is a small-ish cafe-take away, dine in restaurant (when covid isn’t hanging around) that sits right on the coastal reserve on the corner of Grove Rd and Mountjoy parade opposite other interesting shops in lorne like the Jetty Road brewery, the Lorne theatre & Mexican republic.
Laura and I enjoyed a nice evening at Mexican Republic as an impromptu dinner for her 30th.
There’s a bunch of other cool restaurants to visit while you’re down here, check out the following
- Lorne Hotel – far southern side opposite the surf life saving club is a nice place for dinner
- Ipsos restaurant and bar – love Greek food? This is the place for you
- Raas Leela – A larger, Indian restaurant in the centre of town has delicious food
- Mexican Republic – very small, but intimate and authentic mexican dishes
The most well known of all the waterfalls of Lorne is Erskine Falls, a breezy 13 minutes up Erskine falls road, it’s also one of the easiest waterfalls to access.
A 5 minute stroll down concrete pavers with a steel railing all the way down to a boardwalk at the viewing platform of Erskine falls is a great little day hike.
There are essentially two viewing platforms here for waterfall admirer’s, the first is a little higher at 150 metres from the carpark, the second platform is another 200 steps down to the aforementioned viewing platform that gives you somewhat obstructed views of the waterfall through the ferns and overgrowth.
Read Next >> The Best waterfall of the Great Otway national park
Whilst these waterfalls aren’t technically within the Great Otway region, they are nonetheless spectacular and make for a perfect day trip from Lorne.
If you need more waterfalls in your life then we’ve included a few more that this region has on offer:
Sheoak Waterfalls– hike up from the great ocean road to get to this beauty
Kalimna falls– a two for one deal with upper and lower Kalimna falls
While you’re here, if you need somewhere to stay then the Cumberland river holiday park sits at the foot of both these magnificent waterfalls.
Live Wire Park –
On your way up to visit Erskine Falls, a must-do Lorne attraction on your way should be to stop at Lorne Live Wire park, Australia’s most extreme zip line park. With over 5 different courses to choose from across the entire park this is one of the best things to do in Lorne.
A standard admission ticket for adults sets you back $18 and $14 for children granting you access to two of the 5 zip line courses. Other additional attractions will set you back anywhere from $52 to $91 for the super circuit and zip coaster combo.
Official website: LiveWirepark.com
Surf and SUP
If keeping your feet planted firmly on the ground is important to you then why not try your hand at surfing for the first time. Because the surf isn’t as rough and tumble as the waves down in Bells Beach, it’s one of the best things to do in Lorne for the beginner surfer and those in need of some ocean R & R.
If you’ve never been on a stand up paddle board (SUP) then you haven’t truly experienced floating on water. It’s basically a floating surfboard with a paddle, and you stand up on it. See how easy that was!
New Year’s Eve brings in Falls Festival, an eclectic music and arts festival held over the christmas and new years period in Lorne, Byron bay and Marion Bay every year. This year will mark the 28th year Falls has been running and attracts tens of thousands of guests each year.
Tickets normally sell out quickly so if you’re interested you can visit their website and sign up for their mailing list to be notified right now.
Read Next >> A tree lovers guide to the Great Otway National Park
Other great things to do around Lorne
Spot wild Koalas
Scattered all across the great Ocean road are Eucalyptus trees, and that means Food for Koalas. We don’t recommend slamming the brakes on everytime you see a Koala on the side of the road, but if you can safely pull off and admire these furry little legends then it is well worth the time.
Kennet River is the best place to spot them, hidden between Skenes Creek and Lorne trekking along the Grey River road that travels inland coming to a head at Grey River campgrounds and picnic area. Drive for a kilometre or so to escape the crowds and chances are you will see these guys everywhere.
Sunset at Teddy’s Lookout
Arrive just before sunset and be greeted with spectacular views of the Great Ocean Road and the coastline of the southern ocean. A truly awesome vantage point and one of the best things to do in Lorne by virtue of being able to safely pull to one side of the road, and take your time soaking it all in without holding up traffic in any way.
You have just 243 kilometers of Great ocean road to cover, why not start here? One of the world’s most iconic coastal drives in a scenic location, just hitting the pavement and following the road as it hugs the cliffs and winds around the rolling hills of the otways and beech forest is for sure a highlight of your trip and definitely one of the best things to do in Lorne.
Go coffee hunting
If you love coffee as much as we do, then you need to try a few more places after Hah, like Bottle of Mylk..a great drop of caffeine here with super friendly staff.
Once you’ve tried Mylk then we would suggest the Lorne Coffee Truck coffee shop that looks like the front of a car. It’s not actually a car but looks more like a truck; a fairly recent addition to the Lorne main st addition.
Places to stay in Lorne
We normally stay at some fairly budget friendly places along the way like the The Sandbridge motel in Lorne, leaving room for activities but there are fantastic options of varying prices in Lorne.
The Cumberland resort – Incredible beach views over Lorne foreshore from villa-style apartments
The Mantra on Lorne– the most well known of all accomodation chains here, the mantra is a luxury, premium style accommodation right on the beach