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Mount Hawthorn

    Mount Hawthorn, Perth (north)

Rent: Rents range from affordable to expensive

Vibe: Life is good

Location: Parks, 5-10km from city centre

Perth gives Mount Hawthorn the thumbs up. Why? This suburb is just 6km north of the city centre and is one self contained living hotspot. It has great schools, leafy streets, plenty of parks, friendly neighbours, and a good cafe culture. Mount Hawthorn has a few pubs, the popular and upmarket Mezz shopping centre, and there's a small live music scene here - including the cool Jazz Cellar which you enter through an old red phone booth. On weekends, expect to see families doing their thing, and joggers hitting the pavement. As with most Perth suburbs having a car comes in handy, but you don't really need one in Mount Hawthorn because public transport is good. It's only a 10 minute train ride away from the city centre.

 

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4. GREAT OCEAN ROAD Print E-mail

day-trip-to-Manly.jpg
The Great Ocean Road is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Victoria  offering spectacular coastal scenery. Here you will find water crashing up against towering cliffs, some of the best surf beaches in Australia, popular holiday destinations, and plenty of other things to point your camera at.

The road is about 240km long stretching from Torquay to Allansford – near Warrnambool. Work on the road started in 1918 as a memorial to soldiers killed in World War 1.
It employed returned soldiers and took 14 years to complete.
www.greatoceanrd.org.au/



BEACHES

The beaches vary from wild to scenic and offer plenty of surfing, swimming, walking and fishing opportunities. It’s always best to swim at patrolled beaches and between the flags because the waters around here can be very rough. Water temperatures are warmest in summer and autum.

The Great Ocean Road is where you will find the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, migrating southern right whales, and The Otways.



GREAT OCEAN WALK

This is a relatively new offering of around 100km of walking path built by Parks Victoria. It stretches from Apollo Bay to the 12 Apostles and takes you through grassland, pristine beaches, native bushland and native heath. You can do the 8-day walk in its entirely or in shorter bursts. The track has been designed so you can do a self guided walk. Camping grounds with water tanks and composting toilets have been built.
www.greatoceanwalk.com.au

If you want a bit more comfort, you can opt to stay at local lodgings, or go high brow and do a guided walk with a company called Both Feet, which also offers luxury accommodation. www.bothfeet.com.au

It's recommended that you begin the walk at Apollo Bay and head west, finishing up at Glenample, just before the 12 Apostles.

Warning, there are snakes along here in the warmer weather so heavy canvas gaiters are advised to protect your feet and lower legs.



12 APOSTLES

The 12 Apostles is a stunning geographic feature best seen in the early morning or at dusk. You can do flights over this part of the coast.
www.TheEdgeHelicopters.com.au
www.tigermothworld.com


It is possible to do the 12 Apostles in one day from Melbourne, but it will be a long day. You can do a bus tour from Melbourne.
AAT Kings has daily services. Ph: (03) 9663 3377 www.aatkings.com



TORQUAY, AIREY'S INLET, LORNE, APOLLO BAY

There are some great towns to visit and stay at.

Torquay is a great surf beach with a growing population. It's the home of Quicksilver and Billabong surf gear.

Airey’s Inlet is a great beach for surfers and families. There is also a lighthouse at Airey’s Inlet and a couple of coastal walking tracks. Between the inlet and Lorne are a number of beaches popular with locals and surfers.

Lorne is an accommodation and food hub with plenty to offer. A few kilometres past Lorne you may see koalas in gum trees near the roadside.

Apollo Bay is a popular destination with families during summer. Further down from Apollo Bay is a big tourist drawcard - the 12 Apostles.

Port Fairy is another popular holiday destination and the setting for a huge folk festival in March. It's fairly close to the 12 Apostles. and has an appealing port feel with well preserved Victorian architecture.  www.portfairy.com.au



  LEARN TO SURF

Learn to surf on the Surf Coast. Drive to the Bellarine Peninsula, about 90minutes south west of Melbourne near Geelong. For a surf lesson, or game of cricket on the beach, head to Ocean Grove. There are two surf schools in the area:
Westcoast Surf School (03 5261 2241) which offers lessons at Ocean Grove, Torquay and Anglesea.
www.westcoastsurfschool.com/

Go Ride a Wave Surf School (03 5263 2111)
www.gorideawave.com.au/information/



BELLARINE PENINSULA

Barwon Heads, Portarlington, Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale have safe river beaches.
For some great surf beaches go to Thirteenth Beach at Barwon Heads, Point Lonsdale back beach, and Ocean Grove
There's also the Bellarine Peninsula steam train from Queenscliff to Drysdale. www.bpr.org.au


BARWON HEADS

Barwon Heads which was the setting for one of Australia’s best TV shows, a quirky series called Sea Change. The Heads Kiosk, next to the carvan park, has great food and very relaxing views of the river and beach. Fans of the show may recognise the shack attached to the kiosk. It was Diver Dan’s home. Walk along the beach, or the small main street. Further down are Torquay and Bells Beach, both world famous world surf beaches. Jan Juc is where Point Break, starring Keanu Reeves, was filmed