Lorne is one of Australia’s quintessential beach towns. Among the Great Ocean Road towns, Lorne has developed a reputation as a lively, diverse destination, and has caught the attention of both local and international crowds.
Main Street looks out onto the foreshore which is lined with towering palms and backed by Otway National Park. However, Lorne has more to offer than beautiful beaches and being the first stop on the Great Ocean Road marathon.
Lorne’s thriving surf culture, shopping possibilities, and food, music, and arts scenes are unparalleled along the Great Ocean Road. No matter what time of year you visit there will be lots of things to do while visiting Lorne, Australia.
Location of Lorne, Victoria
Lorne is located along Louttit Bay in Victoria along the Great Ocean Road. To get there it is just a 2-hour drive from Melbourne, and a 45 minute drive from Torquay.
The town is popular with tourists and backpackers due to its proximity to the Twelve Apostles, rainforests and beaches. It is about a three-hour drive to the 12 Apostles, which is the Great Ocean Road’s most iconic attraction and approx. 45 minutes to the koalas at the Kennett River.
Things to Do in Lorne
Whatever your interests are, surfing, nature, art, or just having a good time, Lorne has the perfect activity for you. These includes:
- Visit Main Lorne Beach
- Explore North Beach
- Visit Lorne’s Many Picnic Areas
- See Shelly Beach
- Go Surfing
- Visit the Great Ocean Road Heritage Centre
- Visit Teddy’s Lookout
- Go to Erskine Falls
- Visit Live Wire Park
- Hike to Cora Lynn Cascades
- Play Golf or Tennis at the Lorne Country Club
- Use the Facilities at Lorne Sea Baths
- Visit the Qdos Art Gallery
- Stroll the Lorne Pier
Visit Main Lorne Beach
If beaches are your happy place, then head to Lorne’s Main Beach. The white sand beach is suitable for swimming and sprawling, and is patrolled in the summertime.
It is located just opposite of Main Street in the crescent shaped bay. So you can nab a piece of sand and spend the day in and out of the water, and heading to and from Lorne’s shops and restaurants with total ease.
Local surfers also use Main Beach as a surf spot. It is great for beginners as a small swell builds at medium to low tide in some parts of the beach.
Explore North Lorne Beach
Located near the mouth of Erskine River, North Lorne beach is about 0.8 miles long and a hive of activity and relaxation. Visitors can bath in tidal pools, sunbathe or picnic, and fish along the ocean beach. Plus you can let your dogs off-leash here.
There are toilets, gas barbecues and sheltered picnic tables on-site making it a great spot for a barbecue. Surfing, however, is not advised due to the number of rocks in the water. Keep in mind you might face difficulty finding parking during the holidays at North Lorne Beach so plan to arrive early.
Visit Lorne’s Many Picnic Areas
With gas barbeques, public toilets, picnic tables and shelters Lorne’s BBQ spots have all the facilities you need to make your picnic a success.
Scotchmans Hill is located at The Point and has sweeping ocean views. Lorne’s Foreshore has many picnic tables and is conveniently located steps from Main Beach. While Blanket Leaf and Sheoak Picnic Areas are located in the bush on the outskirts of town.
See Shelly Beach
Despite its name, there are no shells at Shelly Beach. Rather it is a sandy ocean beach flanked by rocky outcrops. At low tide you’ll find tidal pools to explore.
Most people are bowled over by the beauty of the beach and choose to spend some time walking its length, enjoying a picnic at its facilities or sunbathing. However, swimming is strongly advised against due to the shelves full of rocks that line the shore.
Surfing is an undeniable part of Lorne’s cultural landscape and The Point is where you will find most people enjoying the waves. It is located between Main Beach and Lorne Pier.
If you are short on gear or need a rental head to Lorne Surf Shop. Lorne Surf Shop has been a Lorne institution since the early 1970s.
Lorne Surf Shop is an independent shop run by locals who understand the needs of local surfers. From wetsuits, soft boards, hardboards to bodyboards and skimboards, Lorne Surf Shop has it all. Plus, they stock Lorne Surf Shop memorabilia which make great souvenirs.
Visit the Great Ocean Road Heritage Centre
Explore and learn about the Great Ocean Road story and its inception by visiting the Great Ocean Road Heritage Centre, located inside the Lorne Visitor Centre. There you will find many interesting exhibits which explain how the Great Ocean Road became the world’s largest war memorial.
The road was built over a period of nearly 20 years, from 1919 to 1932, by soldiers returning from World War I. With little money and few resources, they used whatever materials they could find along the Great Ocean Road, including old timber and scrap iron to help build it.
Despite the difficult conditions, they managed to create a remarkable feat of engineering that has withstand the test of time. Today, the Great Ocean Road is a popular tourist destination, drawing visitors from all over the world to experience its unique beauty. To commemorate their efforts further, there is Memorial Arch near Airey’s Inlet which acts as a reminder of their efforts.
Visit Teddy’s Lookout
Teddy’s Lookout should be at the top of your list of things to do in Lorne, Victoria. It is located at the end of George Street in Western Lorne and encapsulates one of the Great Ocean Road’s most stunning views. Take the easy walkway from the carpark to enjoy the three-tiered look-out point which offers awe-inspiring views of Saint Gorge River and the surrounding mountain peaks and valleys.
You’ll also find there is a 45 minute loop you can walk from Teddy’s Lookout if you want something more challenging than the stroll from the carpark. Either way, keep your eyes peeled as koalas can often be seen snoozing in the trees above. It is no wonder Teddy’s Lookout is often touted as one of the must-visit Lorne attractions along the Great Ocean Road.
Go to Erskine Falls
Erskine Falls is one of the most stunning waterfalls in Otway National Park which is located just a 20-minute short drive from Lorne via a windy mountain road. The falls themselves are surrounded by tall Mountain Ash trees and the lush rainforest that the Otways are known for.
There are a number of waterfall lookouts located just a five minute walk from the car parking area. Visitors are invited to descend a set of steep steps to reach the bottom of the waterfall. However, they should be mindful that the steps can become quite slippery and wet at times.
Another way to reach the Erskine Falls is via the 7.5 km Erskine River Track from Lorne. The walk to Erskine Falls takes about 3 hours each way at an easy pace.
Hike to Cora Lynn Cascades
The Cora Lynn Cascades waterfall is a hidden gem and a great place to escape the holiday crowds. The loop to Cora Lynn Cascade starts from Blanket Leaf Picnic and takes about 2 hours to complete. Along the track will find beautiful tall trees, fungi, shrubs, and ferns. Sometimes koalas and wallabies can also be spotted.
The trail is not entirely paved so bring gumboots if you are planning to do the hike after a rainfall. Cora Lynn Cascades is located close to Erskine Falls and can be combined into one trip.
For more of a challenge, some avid hikers chose to complete the Phantom Creek, Cora Lynn Cascades, Lemonade Creek, and Erskine Falls track which is about 21.5 kilometers in length.
Visit Live Wire Park
Live Wire is a new adventure park in the area. It is great for adrenaline junkies, physical fitness lovers, or anybody who is looking to test their limits. One of their most popular attraction is the Super Circuit. This high-ropes course is comprised of 53 activities, including mid-air trails, suspended bridges, tree-scaling, and the exhilarating Tarzan Swing!
Due to the course’s high intensity and rigorous nature, it is recommended that patrons consider their own athletic capabilities before participating. However, for those who are up to the challenge, the 2-hour course will provide an exciting challenge of their endurance, agility, and problem-solving skills.
If you don’t think you are ready for the Super Circuit, the park also offers other activities, including the Short Circuit, Admission, and the Shockwave Zip Coaster, the most extreme zip line in all of Australia. To maximum your time, grab a ticket ahead of time here. You’ll be sure to find something your speed at the Live Wire Park.
Play Golf or Tennis at the Lorne Country Club
If you love golf or tennis then you should add the Lorne Country Club to your list of things to do in Lorne. The Lorne Country Club has 6 tennis courts and a 9-hole golf course which is open to the public. Lorne Country Club is located on a hill overlooking the bay and has a great restaurant, called The Peak which is open for lunch, dinner, and drinks in the summer.
Use the Facilities at Lorne Sea Baths
Another must-visit Lorne attraction, the Sea Baths are located at the eastern edge of the Lorne foreshore. Lorne Sea Baths offer a number of water and land activities suitable for both adults and kids.
Let your kids jump on the trampolines, enjoy the pool and cannonball blaster, pilot the bumper boats, or test their skills at Mini Golf. Adults are invited to enjoy the indulgent hydro baths, steam room, and partake in Salt Therapy. A pool and gym facilities are available on-site and regular yoga classes are offered.
Visit the Qdos Art Gallery
Qdos Art Gallery is part sculpture garden, studio, art gallery, and café. It is set within the natural Australian bush and a truly a unique stop on your list of places to visit in Lorne.
The art gallery is not very big but the exhibits are constantly changing, and there is a sculpture garden outside to explore. Pair your visit with a trip to the café, which serves tasty and reasonably priced food. You can also choose to stay the night at Qdos. They offer beautiful Japanese inspired accomodation which guest rave about.
Stroll the Lorne Pier
Walk the length of Lorne Pier, chat with local fishermen, or drop a reel yourself. The Lorne Pier is a local meeting spot, and a great place to stretch your legs and take in a unique view of the bay.
At just a 1km walk from the Lorne Surf Lifesaving Club in the town center, to the Lorne Pier along the Doug Stirling Walk, the pier is a lovely spot you wont be able to pass up!
Places to Eat and Drink in Lorne
When it comes time to refuel, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants located in Lorne serving up everything from healthy snacks to gourmet meals. For breakfast, you can’t go wrong with HAH. This health conscious cafe serves up sustainable coffee and cake by the beach.
If you’re looking for a quick lunchtime bite, the cafes on Mountjoy Parade offer a delicious selection of sandwiches, salads and pastries. In the evening, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from, including Italian, Indian and Chinese. We love Movida at the Lorne Hotel, Ipsos and Mestizo for dinner. As self professed foodies, we have created a list of the best restaurants in Lorne to try.
Located on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, the surf town of Lorne is a popular destination for both locals and visitors alike. With its stunning beaches, proud surfing culture and laid-back vibe, it’s easy to see why. Whether you’re looking to catch some waves, explore the scenic coastal walks or just relax and soak up the sun, Lorne has something for everyone.