Lorne, Victoria

Things to do in Lorne

Lorne is one of the most popular destinations on the Great Ocean Road and a perfect town for a weekend city escape.

With a permanent population of just over 1000, the town explodes over the summer months with holidaymakers and Melbourne day-trippers. It is little wonder that Lorne is so popular as the beach is gorgeous, the town has plenty of awesome cafes and restaurants, plus visitors can park their car and not need to drive anywhere with so many walking trails starting from the town.

Most visitors to the region stop in Lorne, even if just briefly on their way to see the 12 Apostles. Winter is the quietest time to visit, perfect for bushwalks and long lazy meals in a local cafe.

There are so many things to do in Lorne and the surrounding area, spend a few days exploring the town, relaxing on the beach, exploring the Otways and perhaps do some waterfall walks.

Melbourne to Lorne

Images from near Lorne on the Great Ocean Road - Horse riding on the beach, Kangaroo on the Angelsea Golf Course, Bells Beach
Horse riding on the beach, Bells Beach & Kangaroos on the golf course.

How long does it take to drive from Melbourne to Lorne?

  • It takes just over 2 hours / 142 km (88 miles) from Melbourne via Torquay and Aireys Inlet.
  • From Melbourne to Lorne via the inland route, it is also just over 2 hours, though slightly further at 159 km (99 miles) and you will miss the awesome beginning of the Great Ocean Road.
  • There is also the option to drive down the beautiful Mornington Peninsula and cross from Sorrento to Queenscliff on the Searoad Ferry.
Map of the drive from Melbourne to Lorne along the Great Ocean Road, Australia.

How to get to Lorne from Melbourne: Car hire or Public Transport?

  • Car or campervan rental from Melbourne: Search the best deals for a hire car to self-drive to Lorne.
  • Public Transport: Take a train from Melbourne to Geelong where you can then connect on a V Line bus to Lorne. The journey takes about 3 hours 10 mins with regular departures. Plan your journey on the Public Transport (PTV) website.

What is there to do on the way to Lorne?

  1. Stop at the waterfront area of Geelong to ride an old-fashioned carousel and see happy, painted bollards…
  2. Visit Torquay, home of surf gear outlet shops, National Surf Museum, a great beach, and the nearby award-winning Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre.
  3. Check out Bells Beach, famous for the Rip Curl Surfing Classic, held annually since 1963.
  4. Indulge at the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Icecreamery!
  5. Visit Point Addis and the Koori Cultural Walk.
  6. Rock up to the Angelsea Golf Club and take their tour of the course to see kangaroos!
  7. Tour Split Point Lighthouse in Aireys Inlet.
  8. Ride a horse at Blazing Saddles trail riding center.
  9. Learn to SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) with Eco Logic.
  10. If you have a dog with you, take it for a run on one of the dog-friendly beaches.
  11. Great Ocean Road sign and historical information. The wooden arch over the Great Ocean Road has suffered from bushfires over the years but was rebuilt and is an icon along the road. Stop in for a selfie, take a walk on the impossibly long golden beach…
Memorial Arch, Great Ocean Road, Australia
Memorial Arch, Great Ocean Road

Lorne Map

We have compiled a complete Great Ocean Road map with 50 of the best places to see and things to do.

  • Use the map below to explore Lorne and the surrounding area.
  • Click the ‘ View larger map ‘ link to open in a new tab.
  • Zoom in to see more details.
  • Left-click and drag the human icon in the lower right corner of the larger map to any point you want and see the town from street level.

What to do in Lorne

  1. Sea baths & Lorne Beach Pavillion
  2. The Lorne beach area is perfect for all visitors, safe swimming areas for kids, rock pools to explore at low tide on both ends of the beach.
  3. Let the kids play on the in-ground trampolines (cost) and playground.
  4. Historical display at the information center
  5. Shops – Boutique designer shops, gift shops… almost anything you need can be found in Lorne…
  6. Lorne Cinema & Theatre
  7. Lorne Country Club – Golf, Tennis and a Bistro
  8. Surfing, bring your own board, hire one from H.A.H or learn to surf with Go Ride A Wave, SUP (stand up paddle boarding) kayaking: Watch the Lorne Surf Cam for water conditions and get surf report updates.
  9. Lorne Pier – Stroll to the end of the pier, do some fishing, or dine at the seafood restaurant. Watch out for the local seals at play.
  10. Fishing – from the pier or off the rocks.
  11. Livewire Park – Ziplines and tree canopy walks, close to Lorne.
Aerial image of the pier in Lorne on the Great Ocean Road
Aerial image of the Lorne Pier

Otway Harvest Trail

Lorne is an excellent base for visitors following the Otway Harvest Trail. The cool temperate rainforest and farmlands of the Otway Ranges are the perfect setting for this gourmet food trail.

The Otway Harvest Trail is a celebration of the seasons that bestow their rich bounty on a luscious part of Victoria.

Read more… Otway Harvest Trail

Lorne Waterfalls & Bushwalks

Image of Lower Kalima Falls, Lorne, Great Ocean Road, Australia
Lower Kalima Falls

Gorgeous waterfalls and bushwalking tracks are plentiful around Lorne. Hike the 15 km return track from the town to Erskine Falls (or you can drive). Find more waterfalls near Lorne, here.

Hike up to Teddy’s lookout from Lorne for views down along the Ocean Road, Cumberland River, and the forest.

Image looking down from Teddy's Lookout in Lorne, Australia
View from Teddy’s Lookout

Hiking trails cover the hills of the Otways behind Lorne for miles, fill your day pack with snacks and head off for the day, maps and trail notes can be sourced from the local information center. For the more seasoned bushwalker, pack for an overnight hike and stay at Allanvale Mill Campground…

Erskine Falls Lorne Great Ocean Road Victoria Australia
Erskine Falls

Lorne Restaurants

A wide choice of restaurants can be found in Lorne, there is something for everyone from fine dining to pizza, fish and chips, even a noodle bar. Our favorite breakfast spot is the Swing Bridge Cafe. It is away from the main shopping area and has a lovely vibe, situated alongside the inlet to the Erskine River.

The list below is not the complete range of eateries in Lorne, come explore the town and browse all the restaurants, cafes, ice creameries, bakeries and coffee shops.

  • Swing Bridge Cafe & Boathouse – One of our favorite cafes, a fabulous breakfast, brunch and lunch menu!
  • Grand Pacific Hotel – A gorgeous, historic building with great food and a family-friendly atmosphere. The Grand Pacific overlooks the bay up near the pier in Lorne.
  • HAH Lorne Beach ‘Gourmet, Sustainable Cafe’- The perfect location, right on the beach-front plus delicious food! It is hard to fault this little gem. Holiday-makers can even hire bikes, surfboards, and SUP’s (stand up paddleboards). Another one of our favorite brunch spots!
  • Cuda Bar & Restaurant – Indoor and outdoor dining on their deck area overlooking the main street of Lorne and Louttit Bay. Highly rated and an excellent menu.
  • The Bottle of Milk – American inspired cafe with awesome burgers – our kids loved this place on our last weekend visit to Lorne!
  • Pizza Pizza – The cutest little pizza shop in the country, in our opinion. Stuffed crust, thin-crust… delicious pizzas!
  • Moons Espresso Bar, Lorne – Great coffee, fab food and vegetarian/vegan options too.
  • Kafe Kaos – This has been a longtime favorite place to have lunch… since the 90s in fact when I used to operate a backpacker tour company! My fav was always the Thai Tofu Burger… but there is so much to choose from with plenty of vegan and vegetarian food.
  • Ipsos Restaurant and Bar – Greek food with vegetarian and vegan options too.
  • Lorne Central – Cafe, Deli and Bar. Great food with vegetarian and vegan options, open all day and rated 4.5 * on Trip Advisor.
  • Lorne Hotel Bistro – Overlooking the bay and life-saving club, the open deck area is perfect on a sunny day. The food is delicious and well-presented, not a budget-friendly choice perhaps, but a great location.
  • Grandma Shields Bakery – Situated at the top end of Lorne in the Cumberland Resort Plaza, this bakery is awesome. It has been established since, well, last century and is another favorite go-to for lunch and delicious bread. A great place to buy lunch to take across the road to eat by the seaside!
Image of the Swing Bridge Cafe & Boathouse in Lorne, Australia
The Swing Bridge Cafe & Boathouse

Monthly & Annual Events in and around Lorne

Accommodation in Lorne

With so many accommodation choices, Lorne has something for every budget and taste. Have a look at our list of unique and quirky stays along the Great Ocean Road on Air BnB for more inspiration too.

Luxury Boutique & Resort Accommodation

  • La Perouse, Lorne. The rooms are beautifully furnished with a touch of luxury that will please even the fussiest of guests. Read more about La Perouse and find the best prices.
  • Mantra, Lorne. The Mantra hotel resort has been established as one of the best accommodation choices along the Great Ocean Road. Located by the beach with an onsite restaurant, tennis courts, a gym and easy access to everything Lorne has to offer. Read more and find the best prices to stay here.

Luxury Home Rentals

  • Lorne Luxury – The owners of this spectacular home on three levels have thought of everything to ensure guests are happy. Three bedrooms with balcony views to the ocean, a private bbq area, and a short walk to the center of Lorne. Find out more and get the best price to stay here.

Lorne Cottages & Cabins

  • Great Ocean Road Cottages offer a special place to stay, very close to the action in Lorne and yet secluded at the same time. Each cottage is fully equipped with everything needed for a holiday, accommodating up to 5 guests. Find out more and get the best price.
  • Lemonade Creek Cottages, set in the forest behind Lorne and with a good hiking track to visit the beautiful Erskine Falls, these rustic cottages are really cute. Find out more and check prices.
  • Banksia Lake Cottages, located behind Lorne in the Otways and close to Erskine Falls. Find out more and get the best price.

Lorne Motel Rooms

Hotels in Lorne

Eco Retreats

  • Lorne Bush House Cottages and Eco Retreats offer a great family stay with a playground, loads of wildlife, as well as being a 5-minute drive to the Great Ocean Road. Safari tents can also be booked for a real glamping experience. Find out more and book your stay.

Lorne Hostel Backpackers & Budget Accommodation

  • Great Ocean Road Cottages, one of our favorite places to stay in Lorne. Each one is set in a gorgeous bush environment and the hostel cottages come with linen provided, shared dorms and one of the best backpackers accommodation choices in Victoria. Find the best prices and more details to book your stay.
Image of backpacker cottages in Lorne on the Great Ocean Road, Australia
Lorne Cottages & Backpackers Hostel

Funky and Unusual Accommodation

  • Lorne World tops our list of somewhere funky to stay in Lorne. Each of the apartments boasts a different theme – stay in the Malibu Surf Studio, the Lorne Morocco, or the Santorini Studio. More than 10 different themed rooms for singles, couples, and families. Lorne World has earned a rating of 4.5 stars from Trip Advisor! Find the best price for your stay.
  • Love is in the Airstream. A 30 minute / 26km drive out of Lorne and into the hinterland is the perfect escape, staying in a refurbished airstream caravan. Enjoy both the convenience of visiting Lorne and the tranquility of the Otways. Otway Escapes offer 4 very different properties for guests.

Air BnB Lorne

A lot of properties in Lorne can be rented through Air BnB. If you are not an Air BnB member, sign up with this link to receive a credit of around $40 to use on your first stay.

Lorne Camping & Caravan Park

The Lorne Caravan Park is managed by a committee, there is not a Big 4 caravan park in the town, the nearest one is in Wye River.

The caravan park is divided into sections with two parks that are used during peak season only. Queens Park at the other end of town, past the pier. It is used during peak times only.

During off-peak times, dogs are allowed in restricted sections of the camping park, check with management when booking.

  • Cabins – The foreshore caravan park has some really nice, self-contained cabins that are suitable for anyone including families. Read reviews and get the best price.
  • Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park – Set on the banks of the Erskine River, the main caravan and camping park is really pretty. Book direct for caravan sites and camping in Lorne.
  • Queens Park & Top Bank Park – Used during peak holiday times, sites can be booked through the link above.

Free Camping near Lorne

There is a free campsite not too far from Lorne, read more about free camping on the Great Ocean Road here.

Pet-Friendly Accommodation

Dog-friendly accommodation can be found in and around Lorne, with some fantastic beaches that are pet-friendly too, there is no real reason to leave your dog at home.

Lorne to Apollo Bay

1 HOUR / 47 KM

View from the Great Ocean Road to Mt Defiance Lookout.
View towards Mt Defiance Lookout on the way to Apollo Bay.

The drive between the two largest towns along the Ocean Road, Lorne, and Apollo Bay, takes approximately an hour and has some amazing views and reasonably quiet beaches.

Stop in at Kennett River and follow the Koala Walk, seeing Koalas in the wild is a special experience. Colorful Rosellas and King Parrots are plentiful too.

Great Ocean Road Drive, Australia.
Between Lorne and Apollo Bay

Lorne to Port Campbell & The Twelve Apostles

2 HOURS 25 MINS / 142 KM

A day trip to see the 12 Apostles is possible from Lorne, but it is a long, mostly winding road. An ideal solution would be to stay overnight in Port Campbell and enjoy the drive with plenty of time to relax and explore.

Discover what there is to see and do at the 12 Apostles and Port Campbell National Park.

The 12 Apostles, Port Campbell National Park, Australia
The world-famous 12 Apostles!
Photo of Swing Bridge Cafe in Lorne, Australia
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