25 Fun Things to do in & around Apollo Bay

Apollo Bay is an excellent base for exploring some of the Great Ocean Road’s best attractions. It has some beautiful walks and beaches, interesting history and fun shops. And from Apollo Bay you can do rainforest and waterfall walks, see the Redwoods and be at the 12 Apostles in just over 60 minutes.

Below we have listed off the things you can do both in and around Apollo Bay. We have separate guides on many of the attractions on this list, so if you want more detailed information click through.

Disclosure: Please Note That Some Links In This Post May Be Affiliate Links, And At No Additional Cost To You, We Earn A Small Commission If You Make A Purchase. Commissions Go Toward Maintaining The Curious Campers Website.

Things to do in Apollo Bay

Apollo Bay Beach

Explore Apollo Bay on Foot

Not only is Apollo Bay the start of the Great Ocean Walk to the 12 Apostles, but there are also lots of short, mostly easy walks, you can do to take in the coastal views.

From short walks along the foreshore through the sculpture park, to history trails and coastal walks between Marengo and Wild Dog Creek, there is a walk for every mood and interest.

Read our guide to the best walks around Apollo Bay.

Marriners Lookout
Marriners Lookout

Walk or Drive Marriners Lookout

If you want to get a bird’s eye view of Apollo Bay and neighbouring Marengo this is the spot. You can either do a solid 7.5km return walk from the visitor centre you can do what we did and drive there. From the carpark there is a moderate 700m walk to a hillside that is the lookout.

The views are sensational. You can see Apollo Bay Beach, the township, Marengo Reef and beyond. It won’t matter what the weather is like, the views will be amazing. There are no facilities here and dogs are not permitted.

Apollo Bay Beach
Apollo Bay Beach

Apollo Bay Beach

How do you enjoy a beach? Whether it’s going for a swim or surf, playing or relaxing on the sand or taking in the views you can do it all at Apollo Bay Beach. It is also a great whale watching spot. There are numerous access points along the Great Ocean Road to the water.

For the safest swim, look for the red and yellow flags over summer which is the area patrolled by surf lifesavers. The are lots of facilities along the beach including toilets, picnic tables and BBQ facilities, parking, showers, shelters, shops and cafes.

From December 24 to April 30 dogs are not permitted on the main part of the beach between 9.00am and 7.00pm.

Apollo Bay Surf & Kayak
Apollo Bay Surf & Kayak

Hire some gear from Apollo Bay Surf & Kayak

If you didn’t pack your surfboard or want to look around the sheltered waters at Marengo Reef Marine Sanctuary, grab some gear from Apollo Bay Surf and Kayak.

If you are not sure what you are doing surfing and kayak-wise, they also do surf lessons and run guided kayak tours around the reef. On the reef tours you can meet the Australian fur seals that live on the outer section of Marengo Reef.

We are kicking ourselves we didn’t get to do this on our trip, it is definitely on our list for next time. Don’t make the same mistake we did!

Marengo Reef
Marengo Reef

Marengo Reef Marine Sanctuary Snorkel or Kayak

If you enjoy snorkelling like we do, you can explore the Marengo Reef Marine Sanctuary. It is one of the more protected areas of reef along the Great Ocean Road so it’s a great chance to get in the water.

There is easy access to the reef from the beach and there is plenty to explore from rock ledges to kelp forests. As well as the abundant marine life, you might also catch a glimpse of one of the seals that live on the outer section of the reef.

Wildlife Wonders
Emus on the Wildlife Wonders Tour

Wildlife Wonders

Just a few minutes from Apollo Bay along the Great Ocean Road, Wildlife Wonders is a chance to see some of the flora and fauna in the Otway Ranges.

There are no enclosures here, the property is one large sanctuary, so it is potluck what you see. Fortunately, armed with binoculars, you walk through the property with a guide, and they are the experts at spotting things.

There are guided day tours which is what we did. On our 10.00am tour we saw wallabies, emus, koalas, kangaroos and a bunch of different birds. There are also dawn and dusk tours which is when the wildlife gets really active.

There were plenty of kids on our daytime tour and they had lots of fun and the guides are full of information which they pass on between sightings. It’s a fun experience and a good way to learn abut the conservation work being done in the local forests and bushlands.

Apollo Bay Museum
Apollo Bay Museum

Apollo Bay Museum

Housed in the old cable station, the Apollo Bay Museum is a must do for local history buffs. There is also information and displays on the Shipwreck Coast and the Great Ocean Road. It is only open on Saturdays (2 – 5) and Sundays (10 – 1) or by appointment. Parking is tight, you might need to find a spot on the opposite side of the road. There is a small admission fee for adults and children.

Apollo Bay Fishermans Coop
Apollo Bay Fishermans Coop

Great Fish & Chips from the Fisherman’s Co-op

We did the Harbour Walk and at the turn around point found the Apollo Bay Fisherman’s Co-op. As we watched the amazing meals come out, we decided to stop here for lunch. The food was sensational – and huge servings!

A highlight of any visit to Apollo Bay is a stop here. You don’t have to walk; it is also just a short drive from town. Kids will love looking around the harbour and breakwater too. There were a few flies and birds keeping us company, but it was all part of the fun.

Apollo Bay Foreshore Reserve
Apollo Bay Foreshore Reserve

Relax on the Foreshore Reserve

This fantastic precinct is nestled between the Great Ocean Road and Apollo Bay Beach. Kids will love the adventure playground, there is a skate park too. You can walk between wood sculptures. See the recovered anchor from the Speculant wreck, relax at one of the picnic shelters or you can take one of the many paths that lead to the beach for amazing ocean views.

The Visitor Information Centre is nearby and, as well as our guides, it is a great source of information. The Foreshore Reserve is also the starting point for several walks including the History Trail, Harbour Walk and walks to either Wild Dog Creek or Marengo.

Whale Watching – Where & Which Whales

From May to September, Apollo Bay is a good location for whale watching. You don’t have to go on a cruise, Apollo Bay Beach is a great vantage point for seeing them. Mothers and calves come into the sheltered water of the bay. Cape Otway Light Station is another highly regarded viewing point, but over winter you are a chance of seeing a whale from any elevated coastal vantage point.

Southern right whales are the most common whales in the area, but you could also see humpback whales and blue whales. The Apollo Bay Visitor Centre can provide you with up to date information on the latest sightings.

Fishing Charters

If you like to wet a line, get together with the team from Apollo Bay Fishing Charters. Their family charters are great for beginners and kids, or you can go deeper on their outer reef trip. Or for something from a more sightseeing point of view, they also off a sunset, seal and dolphin cruises.

Maits Rest Walkway
Maits Rest Walkway

Maits Rest Forest Walk

Less than 20 minutes from Apollo Bay along the Great Ocean Road, this is one of the easiest rainforest walks you can do in the area. With plenty of vantage points where you can stop and take in the forest, the Maits Rest walk is a great family activity or relaxing way to finish a day.

We loved our walk around here. Read more about it in our Maits Rest Walk Guide.

Apollo Bay Golf Club
Apollo Bay Golf Club

Have a hit at the Apollo Bay Golf Club

We know a few people that don’t go anywhere without their golf clubs.  If that’s you, or you just like having a swing when you are on holidays, there is a pretty 9 hole course in Apollo Bay. Looking out over Mounts Bay and Apollo Bay Beach and Harbour, you can enjoy the views even if your game is struggling!

Apollo Bay Scenic Flights
Apollo Bay Scenic Flights

Apollo Bay Scenic Flights

One of the good things about being so close to sites like the 12 Apostles, is that you can see them easily on a scenic flight from Apollo Bay. Based in Marengo, right next door to Apollo Bay, Apollo Bay Aviation offer plane and helicopter flights over the 12 Apostles and Bay of Islands, along the coast east of Apollo Bay or you can do a quick scenic flight over the town.

Shelly Beach
Shelly Beach

Explore the Rock Pools at Shelly Beach

The car park for the Shelly Beach walk is only 10 minutes from Apollo Bay near Wildlife Wonders. The 2km return walk takes you through the forest and down to this secluded beach. At low or mid tide, you can look around the rock pools and get fantastic views back up towards the forest. It is an easy to moderate walk, but kids will love looking around the rock pools.

Otway Herbs
Otway Herbs

Otway Herbs

We ended up here by accident after turning onto a road looking for a nature reserve. When we saw the signs to Otway Herbs we just kept going as the views just got better and better. Once we got to Otway Herbs, it was shut but if you have a green thumb or love your cooking it is worth making your way here for a look through the gardens. Just check the opening hours.

One word of warning. To get back to Apollo Bay, our navigation system told us to continue out of Otway Herbs on a loop drive back to the coast – don’t do it! You end up on a fire track that only a 4wd will get down. We eased our way down in low 4wd with very high heart rates. The track is steep and rough. Make sure you return to the coast the way you came!

Dooleys Ice Cream
Dooley’s Ice Cream

Where to Eat and Drink in Apollo Bay

To be honest, we are more at home on a walk, snorkelling or checking out some wildlife than we are giving food recommendations. That said…

We can say from firsthand experience that the Apollo Bay Bakery is excellent and Dooley’s Premium Ice Cream shop is out of this world. The only thing they have more of than flavours are awards! As mentioned, the fish and chips at the Fisherman’s Co-op was super yum and having a cold drink on the balcony of the Apollo Bay Hotel is pretty darn relaxing.

Highly recommended to us but not personally tested were the Great Ocean Road Distillery near the golf club, and the Great Ocean Road Taste of the Region done by the Brewhouse. A couple of people also told us not to be put off by the outside of Vault Chinese – the food is apparently fantastic.

And we just ran out of time to try Pit Stop Bros American Diner, but it looks like a lot of fun.

Day trips from Apollo Bay

One of the reasons we think Apollo Bay is a good place to stay on the Great Ocean Road, is that it is the perfect base for doing day trips to explore nearby attractions. Here are a few easy day trips you can do from Apollo Bay:

Cape Otway Lighthouse
Cape Otway Lighthouse

Cape Otway Light Station

30 minutes from Apollo Bay

From the drive through stands of towering Eucalypts to the history and views from the lighthouse, this is a fun half day activity to do from Apollo Bay.

Once you turn onto Lighthouse Road, keep an eye out for koalas and wallabies, especially first thing in the morning. And if you are here between May and September, the Light Station is one of the best places along the Great Ocean Road for whale watching.

Open daily from 9.30am, you can tour the light station and, usually, the lighthouse. We have done the lighthouse tour before, and the views are breathtaking. On our last visit, the lighthouse tours were not on following, of all things, an earthquake near Apollo Bay. So, check availability of these tours if you want to go up the lighthouse.

Lake Elizabeth Victoria
Lake Elizabeth

Explore the Walks & Wildlife at Lake Elizabeth

55 minutes from Apollo Bay

We love Lake Elizabeth – read our guide to Lake Elizabeth here. It is a stunning spot in the middle of the forest, and it is one of the best places in Victoria to see a platypus.

You can walk around the lake, the dawn or dusk platypus tour is one of the best wildlife experiences we have done, and you can explore nearby Forrest and have lunch at the Forrest Brewing.

The area is also a good base for getting onto the many mountain bike trails through Great Otway National Park.

The Otway Fly & Treetop Adventure
The Otway Fly & Treetop Adventure

Otway Fly & Treetop Adventure

56 minutes from Apollo Bay

For families or anyone who likes an adventure, there are two locations where you can zipline and get high into the treetops of the forest.

We had an awesome time at the Otway Fly zipping between trees and doing the forest skywalk. The fairy walk through the forest was fun too – and we didn’t even have our kids with us! The Otway Fly is 55 minutes from Apollo Bay near Triplet Falls, Hopetoun Falls and the Redwoods – a fun day out!

Treetops Adventure at Yeodene Park is also 55 minutes from Apollo Bay but is closer to Colac. You don’t get a sky walk here but there is mountain bike hire and segways but the highlight are the huge range of tree climbs and zipline courses suitable for all ages.

The Redwoods The Otways National Park
The Redwoods

See the Otway’s Redwood Forest

45 minutes from Apollo Bay

This is a rare chance to see the tallest trees in the world right here in Australia. This stand of Californian Redwoods was planted as an experiment, and they are now protected – and they are huge!

This is an amazing landscape – the enormous red trunks are quite a contrast to the green of the surrounding rainforest. It is an easy walk through the forest which you can read about in our guide to the Redwood Forest.

Hopetoun Falls is a couple of minutes up the road from here so make sure you check them out too.

Little Aire Waterfall
Little Aire Waterfall

Drive the Apollo Bay Waterfall Circuit

Allow a full day to see the waterfalls

From Apollo Bay it is a beautiful, but windy, drive to Beauchamp, Hopetoun, and Triplet Falls/Little Aire Falls. All the falls have water year round. You have a moderate 1km – 4.5km walk to each of the falls through beautiful rainforest so it is an active but rewarding day.

We have a guide to waterfalls around Apollo Bay and separate guides to each of the falls so you can plan your waterfall circuit drive day trip.

Melba Gully Paths
Melba Gully

Melba Gully Glow Worms

50 minutes from Apollo Bay near Lavers Hill

There are several places in the Otway Ranges you can see glow worms, Lake Elizabeth is another, but Melba Gully is one of the best known. You will have to be here at night to see them on the left at the start of the walking track.

If you are here during the day, there is a pretty rainforest walk you can do. The 1.5km loop is easy for the first half then has lots of steps and a steep slope to negotiate. The forest is stunning and smells great. We enjoyed the walk here (despite the 150 steps!), read our Melba Gully Guide here.

Kennett River Koala
Kennett River Koala Walk

Kennet River Koalas

30 minutes from Apollo Bay

This is the place to go if you have never seen a koala in the wild. Right across the road from Kafe Koala is the start of Grey River Road which is home to the Koala Walk. This is a great family activity.

It doesn’t matter how many koalas you have seen; they have off the scale cuteness and we loved walking along the road spotting balls of grey fur. You can read about exactly what to expect at the Koala Walk here. When you have finished with the koalas, make sure you also pop over to the river for the Kennet River Nature Walk which is also a nice stroll.

Great Ocean Road
12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road Sites

80 minutes from Apollo Bay to 12 Apostles

This is why we love Apollo Bay so much; in less than 90 minutes you can be at some of the Great Ocean Road’s best known attractions – the 12 Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge.

There is a stack of stuff to see on the road trip between Apollo Bay and the 12 Apostles. The 375 steps down to Wreck Beach was a highlight for us. Beautiful Johanna Beach is great for long walks, surfing and fishing too.

Make sure you stop at Gibson Steps to get down to the beach and get a ground level look at some of the 12 Apostles.

If you enjoyed this story you might also like:

Port Fairy Lighthouse Walk Things to do in Warrnambool | Apollo Bay Camping

Liked it? Pin it for Later…

Things to do in Apollo Bay (
Things to do in Apollo Bay
Things to do in Apollo Bay
Things to do in Apollo Bay
Things to do in Australia

Join our mailing list and receive our Free Top 500 things to do in Australia. If you love the Australian Outdoors download this list and keep it handy when you are planning a weekend away or a road trip around Australia.

Recent Posts

1 thought on “25 Fun Things to do in & around Apollo Bay”

  1. Exploring Apollo Bay’s vibrant offerings is a joy with these 25 fun activities! From scenic coastal walks to indulging in local cuisine, this list promises an exciting blend of adventure and relaxation. Whether it’s chasing waterfalls, enjoying beach picnics, or discovering hidden gems, there’s something for everyone in this coastal paradise. Get ready for a memorable experience in and around Apollo Bay


Leave a comment