The second largest town on the Bellarine Peninsula next to Geelong, Ocean Grove offers a plethora of sights and activities. Brush up on your surfing skills at Ocean Grove Beach, take a nature walk through the Ocean Grove Nature Reserve near the Barwon River, or sample some wine at one of Ocean Grove’s iconic wineries.
Whether you are looking for excitement or relaxation, there is something for everyone in Ocean Grove, Victoria!
Where Is Ocean Grove?
Ocean Grove is located on the Bellarine Peninsula just 19km (12 miles) from Geelong, the second-largest city in the state of Victoria. From Geelong to Ocean Grove it is just a 21 minute drive, or 56 minutes by bus if you want to take public transportation. Surf Coast Shire, another nearby attraction along the Surf Coast, is just 55 km (34 miles) away.
How Do I Get To Ocean Grove From Melbourne?
Although there are 96.5 road kilometers (60 miles) between Melbourne and the town of Ocean Grove, there are still several options for travel between the two.
By car or taxi, the trip will take just an hour and 15 minutes. The drive is very straightforward. From the center of Melbourne take State Route 30 to the M1. Follow the M1 to Princes Highway/A10 in Corio. This will take you the rest of your journey to Ocean Grove
If you don’t have a car, or aren’t looking to rent one, there are public transportation options for travel to Ocean Grove. To take the easiest route, hop on the V Line train in the center of Melbourne to Geelong then take a bus to Ocean Grove.
Things To Do In Ocean Grove
No Victoria town would be complete without a slew of exciting activities to occupy travelers and locals alike. No matter what you like to do, be it surfing, skydiving, or communing with nature, you’re sure to find something to enjoy in the seaside town of Ocean Grove!
Surf, Swim, or Sunbathe on the Beaches in Ocean Grove
The main beach in Ocean Grove is a two kilometer long stretch of golden sand, situated in the middle section of the coastline that runs between Point Lonsdale and the mouth of the Barwon River.
It is a family friendly spot, perfect for your favorite choice of beach activity. The beach is suitable for swimming, though bathers should be cautious of the wind and strong riptides.
During the summer, Ocean Grove Main Beach is under the supervision of the Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club. They provide lifeguards throughout the bathing season. Dogs are allowed on the beach, but a leash law is in effect.
Amenities available at the beach include a kiosk, picnic area, barbecues, and a car park. There are many cafes lining the esplanade along the beach for a bite to eat or refreshments.
Further up the coastline, the beach is an iconic surf spot . If you would like to learn how to surf, there are several surfing lessons available in the area both for adults and children!
With nine and a half kilometers of coastline between the mouth of the Barwon River, and Point Lonsdale, the Main Beach in Ocean Grove isn’t the only one to choose from. Other nearby beaches include Raffs Beach, and Collendina beach.
Visit The Adventure Park
Though technically in the nearby township of Wallington, at just an 8 minute drive from central Ocean Grove, The Adventure Park is an easy day trip away. It is a 2019 Victorian Tourism Awards gold winner which will provides thrills for the whole family.
The Adventure Park is an exciting mixture of water park and theme park attractions. Waterslides, action rides, and events abound. Take a ride through the Tsunami, or go for a relaxing float down the lazy river! The park offers cabanas for rent that will provide you with a place to relax, and a home base for your adventures throughout the day. The park is family friendly and has rides and activities for all age groups.
The Adventure Park is open throughout the summer from the 26th of November, to the 26th of March. The park is also host to many community events, including the incredible Christmas Festival of Lights which is Victoria’s largest Christmas lights festival.
Go Birdwatching and Explore The Nature Trails
For bird watchers and nature lovers, there is plenty to find exciting in Ocean Grove and the surrounding area. There’s plenty of opportunities to take a hike, or simply commune with nature.
The Ocean Grove Nature Reserve is located in nearby Wallington, and offers a 3 km hiking loop that takes just over an hour to finish. The reserve is enclosed to keep the wallabies in, and is also home to possums, snakes, lizards. Birdlife in the reserve includes flame robins, rufous fantails, and silvereyes.
Begola Wetlands is part of a natural drainage system that runs for 7 kilometers behind the coastal sand dunes, through to Swan Bay. The Wetlands are a unique location because they sit between two different landforms and soil types.
With a name that means “place of many frogs”, the wetland is unsurprisingly home to many species of frogs, like the Eastern Banjo Frog, Southern Brown Tree Frog, and the Spotted Marsh Frog. Birdlife includes the Black Swan, Dusky Moorhen, and the Australian Wood Duck, which builds its nest in the grass or among the reeds of the marshy landscape.
For a slice of nature in the middle of Ocean Grove, visit Blue Waters Lake Reserve. The reserve simply consists of a small lake surrounded by a footpath and flanked by some houses. The lake is a popular stop for many waterbirds, such as pelicans, swans and ducks. Trees surrounding the lake provide plenty of shade to rest in and take in the views.
Visit the Markets in Ocean Grove
Everyone likes a good market, and there is no short supply in Ocean Grove. At the local farmer’s market you will find everything from vintage clothes to farm fresh food, artisan goods and lots of treats. It’s perfect for a morning out on the weekends – if you time it right.
Find the local Ocean Grove market the third Saturday of each month. In nearby Queenscliff, it takes place on the last Sunday of the month between September to May and the second Sunday of the month in Point Lonsdale.
Play a Round of Golf or Minigolf
For golfers, the Ocean Grove Golf Club consists of 18 tees and 12 greens. The course has been described as short but challenging, but can approached by players of all skill levels. It is not necessary to have a membership in order to play the course, just pay the green fee and take your shot.
The course at the Ocean Grove golf club boasts a number of water carries that will challenge golfers of any skill level. Due to the capture of storm water and its storage in dams, the course is completely water self sufficient. This means consistently green fairways and tees, even in severe drought.
If actual golf is too intimidating, why not take a stab at mini golf? The Bellarine Adventure Golf is situated in Wallington, just a few minutes drive North of Ocean Grove.
The mini golf centre provides two separate 18 hole courses. The Mill is perfect for beginners, winding its way around, up, and through the two-story pole building. The course is mostly covered, making it playable even in adverse weather conditions. The Mountain is set amongst lush gardens, and provides a bit more of a challenge for players who are looking to test their mettle. Both courses are intricately designed and feature all the hallmarks of classic minigolf courses, including sand traps and water hazards.
Mini golf is the perfect family activity for a memory making day out of town, or an ideal sport for friends or couples. The centre contains a playground to keep the children entertained, and a coffee shop so you wont go lacking for your morning or afternoon joe.
If everything else is just too boring for you, perhaps freefalling over Barwon Heads is just the ticket! Skydive Australia is based in Barwon Heads airport and offers unforgettable experiences for beginners and experienced skydivers alike.
Skydiving tours are available for groups of four as tandem jumpers, or you can jump solo if you are certified or have completed one of the center’s Accelerated Freefall courses. You will have incredible views over Ocean Grove, the Surf Coast and the Barwon River. Book your experience here, so that the staff are ready for you when you arrive.
Sample Some Wine, Beer, or Whiskey
Drink enthusiasts will have plenty to keep them occupied in the Ocean Grove area. The Bellarine Peninsula is home to several boutique vineyards that craft excellent cool-climate wines. Many of the vineyards feature stunning bay views, cafes, and restaurants so you can fully enjoy the experience.
Just north of Ocean Grove, Oakdene Vinyards will be a delightful stop on your Bellarine adventure. The vineyard is family owned and known for producing award winning wines. The wines are handcrafed and developed in limited quantities, having been described as “elegant and complex” by connoisseurs. More than just a vineyard, the property also features olive oil tasting, a restaurant set in a 1920s homestead, a cafe, and gardens filled with eclectic artwork.
If your tastes run more to beer rather than wine, you are still in luck. Ocean Grove features two breweries right in the centre of town that will surely hit the spot!
Blackmans Brewery Ocean Grove offers more than just something to wet your whistle. The bar/eatery features a “Beer and Burgers” theme, and offers laid back, coastal vibes. The pubs dozen taps provide an excellent choice of both seasonal and regular brews. Additionally, the bar offers 20 or more Barrel Farm ales for your enjoyment. This is their second location. The first is in Torquay.
BrewiColo is a family run brewery situated on Marine Parade. The establishment offers a range of brews with coastal inspired names, like the Barwon Heads Bitter, or the Wai-Koula – Golden Lager. Additionally the brewery offers burgers and Kranksy hotdogs, and hosts the occasional comedy night.
Finally, lovers of hard liquor will not be left out when it comes to Ocean Grove’s offerings. The Whiskery Bellarine and Bellarine Distillery are both housed under the same Drysdale roof. Inspired by a visit to Scotland, the Whiskery Bellarine was created to produce authentic scotch in the south of Australia. Later, Bellarine Distillery was formed, and it produces some of the finest quality gin to be found in the region. If your thirst hasn’t been quenched yet, consider visiting the Queenscliff Distillery. The distillery offers a wide range of gin options for every palette!
Indulge in Some Self Care
There are a number of lovely Ocean Grove spas to indulge in your own self care. Lon Spa has a heated indoor mineral water fed pool, steam rooms and stunning views of the ocean and coast. Choose for a pass to the pools or get access when you book a treatment or stay at the hotel.
Another option is Pinch Salt & Float. This unique wellness center offers infrared sauna, flotation pods, cold water immersion and so much more. You can book a package to combine treatments.
The Best Time To Visit Ocean Grove
Ocean Grove is first and foremost a summer beach destination. Therefore, the best time to visit Ocean Grove will be during the Australian summer months of December to February. It is at this time that the weather will be warmest and that the most attractions and events will be open.
Spring and fall are also nice times to visit Ocean Grove, as the beaches and cafes will not be as busy. However, the weather will still be pleasant. We break down the best time to visit the nearby Great Ocean Road area here.
Ocean Grove Events
Though only a small town, there are still plenty of things to do in Ocean Grove and the surrounding area. The Queenscliff Music Festival is hosted in the nearby Bellarine town of Queenscliff and attracts more than 10,000 attendees annually. The festival uses Queenscliffs iconic streetscape as a backdrop to live music, and is just a 13 minute drive from Ocean Grove.
If music isn’t your thing, perhaps you would like to visit the Barwon Heads Fire Brigade Open Day. The perfect event to bring your family to, open day provides an opportunity to learn some fire safety and put yourself into the shoes of a Barwon Heads volunteer firefighter. Inspect the trucks, spray some water, and enjoy the sausage sizzle!
A relatively small Australian town, Ocean Grove is still worth taking the time to see. With its beautiful scenery, close proximity to other exciting Victorian towns, and abundance of activities, you won’t regret putting Ocean Grove on your list of must-see Australian towns!