Narana Creations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Narana Creations is an Australian Aboriginal Cultural Tourism and Educational Centre that welcomes visitors in a warm and friendly way. Situated in Geelong, just 1 hour travel from Melbourne, Narana Creations fits well into a Great Ocean Road tour, and is a significant regional attraction in this area. The inviting gallery and retail area displays a wide range of Aboriginal arts and crafts, and Narana staff are always interested to share their extensive knowledge of history and culture.

 

Visitors can also be treated to an exhilarating didgeridoo performance, learn the art of boomerang throwing,  or stroll leisurely through the extensive native gardens abundant with local bird-life. Narana is proud to have been inducted into the Victorian Tourism Hall Of Fame, and provides a high quality Victorian Indigenous tourism experience tailored to the client’s requirements and timeline. Entry to Narana is free, and visitors will be made to feel very welcome, even if just for a short visit.

 

Open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm; Saturday 10am-4pm

Closed Sundays, Good Friday and Christmas Day

 

Contact Details

 

Address: 410 Torquay Rd, Geelong, Victoria 3216

Phone: 03 5241 5700  |  Fax: 03 5241 5711

Email: narana@vic.uca.org.au

Web: www.narana.com.au

 

Worn Gundidj – Tower Hill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erupting 32,000 years ago Tower Hill’s volcanic

formation is the largest example in Victoria.  The area was a rich food source for Koroitgundidj people whose descendants retain links with this country.

 

Experience Australian wildlife in a dormant volcano, guided walks give an Aboriginal perspective about flora, wildlife, volcanic formations, bush existence and medicinal practices. Personalised fun-filled activity or educational programs are available from our exciting range of interactive exercises: traditional dancing, games, language, music or make and use hunting tools. Corporate, school and tour groups of all ages are catered for. Purchase handcrafted merchandise exclusive to Worn Gundidj complete with registered trademark and Authenticity Certificate. Free BBQ and picnic facilities.

 

Contact Details

 

Tower Hill, Great Ocean Road

15Kms from Warrnambool, Vic 3283,

Phone +61 3 5565 9202,

web www.wgenterprises.org.au

email: THE GROOVIEST OPERATOR IN TOWN!

 

The grooviest tour operator in town is Groovy Grape Tours. A small, independent company, its heart and soul is in the backpacker market. Groovy Grape only travels in small buses with small groups, ensuring a relaxed, friendly atmosphere during their tours. All tours are designed to be active, informative and above all, lots of fun.

 

 

Great Ocean Road & Grampians

Without doubt, this is one of the world’s great drives. A fantastic trip at any time of year and high on the list of “must see” destinations for backpackers. Groovy Grape’s three day tour gives you plenty of time to explore the very best this magnificent coastline can offer, plus the chance to enjoy some spectacular walks and stunning scenery in the Grampians National Park. The tour operates at least weekly in both directions from Adelaide and Melbourne at meals, accommodation and park fees

inclusive price of $425.

 

What: Great Ocean Road & Grampians, tour

Price: See above for details.

Book: Call: 1800 66 11 77

Details: www.groovygrape.com.au,

Open 9am – 5pm Monday – Friday

10am – 4pm Saturday, Sunday

& Public Holidays

 

 

THE GROOVIEST OPERATOR IN TOWN!

 

The grooviest tour operator in town is Groovy Grape Tours. A small, independent company, its heart and soul is in the backpacker market. Groovy Grape only travels in small buses with small groups, ensuring a relaxed, friendly atmosphere during their tours. All tours are designed to be active, informative and above all, lots of fun.

 

 

Great Ocean Road & Grampians

Without doubt, this is one of the world’s great drives. A fantastic trip at any time of year and high on the list of “must see” destinations for backpackers. Groovy Grape’s three day tour gives you plenty of time to explore the very best this magnificent coastline can offer, plus the chance to enjoy some spectacular walks and stunning scenery in the Grampians National Park. The tour operates at least weekly in both directions from Adelaide and Melbourne at meals, accommodation and park fees

inclusive price of $425.

 

What: Great Ocean Road & Grampians, tour

Price: See above for details.

Book: Call: 1800 66 11 77

Details: www.groovygrape.com.au

The Great Ocean Road

 

The end of WW1 not only meant an end to bloodshed, but it also heralded the construction of one of Australia’s iconic landmarks. Built by returning soldiers in memory of their fallen comrades, the Great Ocean Road (GOR) has more hair-pins than a Milan fashion show. It slinks its way past sandstone cliffs, dramatic beaches, hidden shipwrecks, fishing villages and a host of limestone rock formations.

 

Just before the road begins, you’ll pass through Barwon Heads where the HMAS Canberra, a decommissioned frigate, was scuttled. The Great Ocean Road actually starts in Torquay, the hub of Australia’s surf industry, and passes Bells Beach – home of the annual ASP Championship Tour, one of the most prestigious events on the surfing calendar. The tall volcanic cliffs and tidal rock pools at Airey’s Inlet are worth exploring and the lure of fish and chips on Lorne pier makes this trendy seaside town an appealing lunch stop.

 

Between Lorne and Apollo Bay the road hugs the coastline before diverting inland. Apollo Bay is surrounded by green hills and is a picturesque place to spend the night. It’s also the gateway to the lush Great Otway National Park where the GOR heads inland.

 

At Princetown the road hits the coast again to meet some ferocious waves. Limestone formations and plenty of shipwrecks are scattered along this section – also known as the Shipwreck Coast. The Twelve Apostles (formerly called the Sow and Piglets) are the major attractions, although the incessant ocean is eroding their fragile bases and they’re collapsing one by one (there were never actually twelve in the first place).

 

The GOR finishes up in Warrnambool. What makes a splash around here are the southern right whales, which come in very close to Logan’s Beach during winter to give birth. The sight of them teaching their little ones to swim is amazing (babies are born at around five to six metres in length). May-July is the best time to spot these gentle giants.

 

Pete’s Primo Pastimes

 

Horse riding is a relaxing way to explore the beach or forests inside the Otway Ranges. Blazing Saddles are located at Lot 1, Bimbadeen Dr (between Anglesea and Lorne). www.blazingsaddlestrailrides.com; 03 5289 7322.

 

The gold rush brought prospectors from all over the world to Australia, although a lot of them found rock instead of gold. Between 1830 and 1930, two ships a year (on average) carrying these fortune seekers smashed against the rocks along the GOR’s coastline. Hear about the ghosts and horror stories on an Otway Shipwreck Tour. www.greatoceanwalk.asn.au/markstours

If ships aren’t your thing, then why not fling yourself out of a plane? Australian Skydive (325 Blackgate Rd, Torquay) offers tandem skydives over Bell’s Beach. www.australianskydive.com.au; 1800 557 101.

 

Still up in the air, the Otway Fly (360 Phillips Track, Weeaproniah) is a 25-metre-high walkway through cool temperate rainforest. The walk is a 1.9km round trip and takes just less than an hour. The highlight is a 45-metre-high viewing platform at the top of a spiral tower. Opening hours are 9am–5pm. www.otwayfly.com; Ph 1800 300 477.  The GOR is a great place to have surfing lessons. Numerous operators are found in Torquay with many hitting the waves 9am–5pm in summer. Drop into Torquay Visitors Centre (Surf City Plaza, along Beach Rd) for a list of operators

 

There are many walks of varying length along this coastline (see the nearest visitor information centre for maps). Two of my favourites are: Surf Coast Walk – a 30km, eleven-hour hike from Jan Juc Beach car park ( just outside Torquay) to Moggs Creek. It’s an easygoing walk with long sandy beaches and gravel tracks. www.surfcoast.vic.gov. au/walkingtracks.htm.

 

The Great Ocean Walk – a 104km multi-day trek which hugs the coast from Apollo Bay all the way to the Twelve Apostles. En route you’ll pass Wreck Beach which has two giant anchors from shipwrecked vessels rusting on it. www.greatoceanwalk. com.au.

Between Princetown and Peterborough there are numerous limestone formations

protruding from the ocean. As well as the Apostles, look out for the Razorback, the Arch, the Crown of Thorns and the Grotto. London Bridge used to be connected to the mainland but collapsed in 1990, stranding a couple of tourists on the newly formed island. (They were eventually rescued by helicopter.)  Talking of helicopters, one of the best ways to see the Twelve Apostles is from an aerial perspective. Various operators are located near the display centre and offer short flights.

 

The fate of the Loch Ard is one of Victoria’s most infamous naval disasters. There were only two survivors of the shipwreck: a male crew member and a woman who clung onto a chicken coop for five hours until she was pulled to safety by the man. Loch Ard Gorge (just after the Twelve Apostles) is a tiny beach where they were washed ashore. Divers can explore the wreck. Head into Port Campbell Marine Services (32 Lord St, by the Mobil servo; 03 5598 6411).

 

Worn Gundidj (1-3 Rooneys Rd, 15km from Warrnambool) is situated in Tower Hill and is your chance to walk through a dormant volcano. Learn how to collect and prepare Aboriginal bush tucker and visit an indigenous art gallery. www.worngundidj.org.au; 03 5561 5315.

 

Numerous tour companies offer small group tours along GOR including Groovy Grape

(www.groovygrape.com.au 1800 66 11 77),and Bunyip Tours (www.bunyiptours.com); 1300 286 947), 1800 009 858 and Wildlife Tours (www.wildlifetours.com.au): 1300 661 730 Autopia Tours (www.autopiatours.com.au; 03 9391 0261)

 

Beyond the Great Ocean Road:

The Discovery Coast

 

Just because you’ve finished driving along the GOR doesn’t mean that should be the end of your trip. Beyond Warrnambool lays a series of small harbour-side towns, rugged capes and national parks. Here are my top destinations on the Discovery Coast.

 

Portland is the main town in the region and was the site of the first permanent European settlement in Victoria. There are over 200 registered historical buildings here, and it’s a great place to fish and use as a base to explore the petrified forests and coastal cliffs of Cape Bridgewater. Once a volcanic crater, today there’s no lava in sight and you can walk along the Seal Colony Walk, a 2.5km walk that takes you to a 650-strong seal colony. There’s also a 6km walk to the blowhole. Bridgey Bay is also a great spot for surfing.

 

Around Cape Bridgewater and Cape Nelson in the summer months you may spot the world’s biggest mammal, the blue whale, and in the winter the southern right whales come close to shore. To get a good view of the big blue from the air you can charter a helicopter.

 

The Great South West Walk is a 250km blister-bash through forests, rivers, sandy bays and rocky capes, and traverses several national parks and state reserves. It begins and ends at Portland; hopefully you’ll still be alive when you finish. If you’re not up for walking the whole way then you can tackle sections of the track. www.greatsouthwestwalk.com

 

To fully appreciate Discovery Bay try getting really lost before you go there – although this 50km coastal composition of dunes, lakes and Aboriginal middens is hard to miss.

It is good for walking, scenic driving and surfing.

 

Grab a paddle and head to the Glenelg River, a 400km heritage waterway – part of which runs between the sleepy towns of Dartmoor and Nelson. Seventy-five kilometre canoe trips run between these towns and are a great way to see the landscape which includes undulating bushland and a limestone river gorge. Bring a change of pants and a cushion. www.nelsonboatandcanoehire.com.au

 

Just fifteen minutes from Nelson is the Princess Margaret Rose Cave. Don’t worry, we haven’t kidnapped any English monarchs and imprisoned them underground, although this is a limestone palace where you’ll find cave coral, rimstone pools and helictites. Forty-five minute cave tours are available.

www.princessmargaretrosecave.com

 

Where to Crash

 

Great Ocean Road Cottages and Backpackers YHA – 10 Erskine Ave, Lorne;

Ph 03 5289 1070 A two-storey timber lodge nestled in the bush by a river. www.yha.com.au

 

Ocean House Backpackers – Cairns St, Port Campbell; Ph 03 5598 6492

This place overlooks the main beach and has an open fireplace.

 

Johanna Beach – Johanna; Ph 13 19 63

This free campsite has an ablutions block and is set amidst grassy dunes and rolling hills. www.parkweb.vic.gov.au

 

Eco Beach YHA – 5 Pascoe St, Apollo Bay; Ph 03 5237 7899

This eco-friendly, modern hostel has some of the nicest staff in town and all the inside knowledge about the area. All that plus a solar design, spacious lounges, outdoor balconies and comfortable rooms. it even has it’s own Bocce ball court, a fantastic place to stay.

www.yha.com.au

 

Apollo Bay Backpackers – 47 Montrose St, Apollo Bay; Ph 1800 113 045

Situated near the beach, this place includes breakfast in its tariff. Can assist with finding local work. apollobaybackpackers.com.au

 

Apollo Bay Backpackers Lodge – 23 Pascoe St, Apollo Bay; Ph 1800 157 280

This place has the Internet, free parking, spas and a travel desk. Can assist with finding local work. www.apollobaybackpackerslodge.com.au

 

Bellevue Backpacker – 133 Sheoak Portland Rd, Portland; Ph 03 5523 4038

Located at the end of the GOR, this place is near the Great South West Walk, the Enchanted Forest and Discovery Bay Coastal Park. bellevue@hotkey.net.au

 

Henty Bay Van and Cabin Park – 342 Dutton Way, Portland; Ph 03 5523 3186

Located 5km from Portland, this place has campsites, Internet, camp kitchen and undercover BBQ facilities. www.hentybay.com.au

 

Surfside Backpacker – Cnr Great Ocean Rd & Gambier St, Apollo Bay;

Ph 03 5237 7263

Looking out over the ocean, these guys are located opposite a surf beach, have BBQ facilities, a courtyard and Wi-Fi in all rooms. Relax on a comfy lounge or tee off at the nearby golf course. www.surfsidebackpacker.com

 

There’s a free campsite at Fort O’Hare on the banks of the Glenelg River just out of Dartmoor. There are nine campsites along the river between Nelson and Dartmoor with rain fed water-tanks, toilets and fireplaces. Forest Camp South is one of the nicest.

 

Which way, cobber?

 

Public Transport

V/Line runs frequent train services from Southern Cross Station to Geelong Station. From Geelong, buses run along the Great Ocean Road with regular stops right through to Warrnambool. Check out vline.com.au for more information.

 

By car - From Melbourne, head to Geelong along the M1. From here join the B100 which turns into the GOR. Torquay, the entrance to the Great Ocean Road, is just under one and a half hours from Melbourne.