With its Mediterranean feel and picture-postcard scenery, the Victorian seaside town of Lorne has been attracting visitors for more than a century, and for good reason.
Mild weather, caf? culture, shops, boutiques and galleries, pristine beaches and proximity to the Great Ocean Road hinterland are all perennial drawcards to the charming town, set between the waters of Loutit Bay and the cool Otway forests.
Over 100 years ago the Victorian government declared Lorne an area of 'special significance and natural beauty' and visitors continue to flock to witness the same natural features. The sheltered two-kilometre beach is ideal for families and bordered by lawn, gum trees and picnic and barbecue areas.
Sipping on a cold beer at the local pub or on the pier as the fishing fleet unloads its catch are both iconic Lorne pastimes. Snap up fresh locally caught seafood at the local fishing co-op.
January's Pier to Pub Swim and Mountain to Surf Run attract large numbers of competitors and ensure a carnival atmosphere. The Great Ocean Road Marathon kicks off in May and the Lorne Adventure Race in December gets the blood pumping.
For those who prefer to get their thrills from the raw energy of rock music, The Falls Festival, held over New Year's Eve, is an essential experience. The Festival of Performing Arts is a weekend of culture by the sea in September.
Head into the Great Otway National Park and witness the Erskine Falls cascading into a beautiful fern gully. The scenery is picturesque at Cumberland River, a few kilometres south of the town, with dense bush, a rugged cliff face and an idyllic grass camping and picnicking area.
Lorne is 140 kilometres south of Melbourne, approximately a two-hour drive along the unforgettable Great Ocean Road.