One in a long line of unaffected and modest towns along the Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay has everything, plus a few extras. On one side you’ve got a perfect beach that never gets too crowded, and on the other the magnificent cascading Otway Ranges. But it’s what lies between that puts Apollo Bay on our Top 100. Its 1700 unpretentious residents live cosmopolitan lifestyles, with cafes, restaurants, shops and fresh seafood direct from The Fisherman’s Co-Op, while surrounded by two stunning natural wonders.

It’s the starting point for the popular Great Ocean Walk and just 30mins away lie the Hopetoun Falls, set about by endless tracks and brief pools that are chilly but refreshing. Mariners Lookout is the best place to see Apollo Bay in its entirety, with its curving headland and cluster of moored boats.

“No drive (or ride!) is more memorable along the coast than this one. Red-roofed ’doll’s houses’ speckled among green pastures that roll out to the endless blue ocean . . . it really is like something from a fairytale.” – MyPOWER Team

There are ample ways to unwind here and it’s not hard to see why people who come for a weekend end up staying a lifetime.

“Natural beauty frames this picture-perfect Australian town,” says AT Reader Kim Hutchinson. “And at its heart is a community whose true spirit shines through with warmth.”

Where? // 186km (2.5hrs) southwest of Melbourne.

Did you know? // Apollo Bay’s first name, Krambruk, is Aboriginal for “sandy place”. In 1877 it became Middleton, then in 1898 it was named Apollo Bay after a schooner, The Apollo, sought refuge there.


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