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Barwon Heads, Victoria

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Nestled at the mouth of the Barwon River on Victoria's Bellarine Peninsula, the seaside hamlet of Barwon Heads is the ideal place to slow down. Soak up the coastal scenery all year round, rejuvenate in friendly cafes, and find a beach for every occasion, from renowned surf breaks to calm beaches and snorkelling grounds. Stay a while and be greeted by quiet river beaches on your doorstep, a main shopping strip featuring quirky boutiques, cafes and produce stores, and a large hotel to accommodate locals and the summer influx of visitors. Studded with superbly sculpted, five-star courses, Barwon Heads is home to three of Australia's Top 50 public access courses, as voted by Ausgolf magazine. Choose from two renowned courses at Thirteenth Beach – the Creek Course, designed by six-time major winner Sir Nick Faldo, or the Beach Course, designed by Tony Cashmore. Barwon Heads Golf Club with its National Trust and Heritage Victoria listed clubhouse is another favourite. The wide and picturesque river estuary is perfect for year-round water-based fun, including swimming and fishing. Enjoy safe swimming along the sandy river foreshore at the river mouth and lively surf action over the Bluff at Thirteenth Beach. Cross Victoria's longest wooden bridge (built 1927) to reach Ocean Grove, where you'll find an impressive sweep of beach. From the heads at Point Lonsdale, the unbroken stretch of sand reaches out to the mouth of the Barwon River many kilometres away and it is one Victoria's most popular ocean beaches for surfing and swimming. Barwon Heads is 95 kilometres south-west of Melbourne, or about 90 minutes' drive, on the Princes Highway and Barwon Heads Road.

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