MY FAVORITE PLACES TO RECENTRE AND COMMUNE WITH NATUREby SHERYL ALLEN
So, when it was time for me to clear the cobwebs, I ventured into this part of regional Victoria to explore, commune with nature and re-centre myself.
Here's what I discovered along the way:
There's lots of operators to help you try surfing, paddle boats or canoeing.
Check these out:
Wondering where the wild things are? At Anglesea Golf Course, there are dozens of kangaroos grazing on the greens. Take a 30-minute Kangaroo Tour and get amongst them.
2. The Otways
Deep in the Otways, an unexpected plantation of Californian redwoods stretch 60 metres into the sky. Wandering among them, you’re dwarfed by nature, yet very much at one with the world.
3. The 12 Apostles area
The 12 Apostles
I call it “eye candy” because it’s my sweetspot for re-energising – standing among nature’s beauty. You’ll find it here in all its glory.
Great Ocean Walk
The stunning, slow reveal of wave-crashed rock stacks as you round the clifftop is unforgettable.
Spring evenings are made for torch-light treks on the Melba Gully Loop Walk (near Lavers Hill). Allow around 45 minutes for a secret after-dark exploration of Anne’s Cascades, soaring trees alive with nocturnal critter chatter, and fern gullies sparkling with glow-worms.
Wander along the Princetown Boardwalk to spy intriguing birdlife and kangaroos grazing on the Gellibrand River’s estuarine flats. Visit at dawn or dusk and experience the spiritual beauty of this natural environment. Follow-up with a visit to nearby Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park and get ticking off your list of Aussie animal must-meets.
4. Tower Hill
Tower Hill’s volcanic landscape is an other-worldly place of crater lakes, cones and spheres, all fringed by thriving vegetation and wildlife habitats. The look-out view is magical.
At Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve (Koroit) get close to some of Australia’s most iconic feathery and furry creatures including emus, koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, reptiles, wedge-tail eagles and magpie geese. It’s a sublime setting for authentic close-range viewing of wildlife in natural habitat. Explore on your own or opt for a guided tour (day or twilight).
5. Cape Bridgewater
Just 20 minutes west of Portland is the Petrified Forest at Cape Bridgewater. It's actually not a forest at all, but rather nature's trickery - tubes of limestone, some up to 20 metres tall, eroded by millions of years of rainfall.
Where to stay
It takes me a good couple of days to get a feel for spring, the longer days, the glorious sunsets, the pre-breakfast sojourns. Why rush? This region boasts a plethora of close-to-nature places to stay.
- Serenity Torquay Holiday Rentals offer stunning ocean views. Relax and wake up in a luxurious beachside getaway, just a stone’s throw from long walks on the beach.
- Hearn’s Port Fairy Accommodation for a holiday home or studio with absolute beach frontage – see (and hear) the waves as you re-set to nature’s rhythm. Sigh.