Planning a day trip to Lorne? This guide is the key on how to spend the ultimate day in this charming Victorian town.
Where is Lorne?
Lorne is located a two-hour drive away from South-West Melbourne.
The 2016 census showed a population of 1,114. But in the summer months, expect flocks of tourists to swarm the area.
What’s it all about?
Beautiful surf and hinterland.
Best months to go?
May to October is prime time for a visit down to Lorne.
Lorne is a seaside retreat of Melburnians. A quick weekend down the coast with beaches, vibes and a close proximity to the Otway Ranges.
Head over to Health and Hire (HAH), Lorne’s local lifestyle café. Owned by resident Katie Walker, this café is only five short steps away from the local beach and boasts jaw-dropping views of the area. In summer, head up to order brekkie after your surfing session, but in winter, grab a morning hot chocolate and watch the whales play in the bay.
The best thing on the menu here is the acai power smoothie bowl, topped with the freshest seasonal fruit, sided with a slice of freshly baked banana bread drizzled in locally-produced honey. Everything at HAH is sustainably sourced and eco-friendly.
After you’ve licked your bowls clean and mopped up all the crumbs, it’s time to head out for a quick cycle. The good thing about HAH is that you can hire out bikes, stand-up paddle boards and surfboards straight from the café. Cycle out until you reach the beautiful beach path to Lorne Pier. Wave hi to the fisherman as you cycle pass and don’t forget Sammy the Seal, Lorne’s resident seal.
Lorne is known for their boutique shops, so take a wander down Mountjoy Parade to check out all the awesome little stores. La Sirena, Vic and Bert and Lorne Beach Books have all set up shop in this coastal town. Search along the strip to find rare antiques, quirky homewares and of course a souvenir or two.
You must be starved after all of that retail therapy. Luckily, Lorne has a whole heap of epic eateries around for you to choose from. It may not look it, but QDOS Arts (two minutes behind Lorne) is home to an art gallery and cute café. Set amongst bushland, enjoy slices of the tastiest wood-fried pizzas or if you have more of a sweet tooth, try their home-made pastries under the sun. After lunch, take a look through the grounds to search for hidden sculptures and artistic gems.
If art isn’t your style and you’re in the mood for an Aussie greasy burger, The Bottle of Milk along Mountjoy Parade will satisfy your cravings. Known grilling up the best burgers in the state, this place has quite the reputation. Situated right across from Anzac Park, ask for takeaway and have a picnic on the grass.
Now is the time to work off that over-filling lunch and what better way to do that than a brisk walk around the best areas in Lorne’s hinterland. Depending on how far you want to walk, Lorne has got a heap of tracks for you to stroll down.
But the locals all swear by the St Georges River Walk. A 5 kilometre walk through the beautiful apple orchards of Allenvale and up to Phantom Falls. This area is home to the tallest eucalyptus trees in Australia. And where the trickle of St George River meets the falls, it feels like you’ve entered a different tropical world. Surrounded by shady fern gullies, revel in the rocky pools to cool off.
Take a visit to the Lorne Sea Baths to de-stress. With a mix of activities and wellness sessions you won’t be able to pull yourself away. Mini Golf, Bumper Boats and Aqua Orbs are available if you’re up to the challenges.
Otherwise, head into Lorne Salt therapy for a detoxifying appointment. The rooms are fitted out with reclining chairs and a television, and most importantly a fresh air filter to assist in the elimination of airborne particles. During your session, a halo-generator machine will grind up the salt to a fine dust, allowing it to be absorbed through the skin.
To finish off what has already been a pretty spectacular day, make a booking for the town’s favourite Greek establishment, IPSOS Restaurant & Bar. Bringing a traditional Greek menu to the table, feast on Kalamata olives, chargrilled octopus and slow cooked lamb shoulder all night long. Grab a seat on the outside deck and enjoy a shot of Ouzo under the stars.
Planning to stay?
If you’re planning on staying in Lorne, that’s a wise choice. Accommodation in the area is really affordable considering you’re basically getting million-dollar views wherever you stay.
Three minutes away from the town centre, you’ll find a hideaway cabin that is perfect for making you feel a million miles away from civilisation. Check out our review of Allenvale cottages in Lorne.