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Lorne, Victoria

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With its seaside lifestyle and picture-postcard scenery along with its buzzing arts community and the nearby Otways, Lorne has been attracting eager holidaymakers for more than a century. Visit the Lorne surf beach, the only patrolled beach in town. The sheltered two-kilometre beach is ideal for families and bordered by lawn, gum trees and picnic and barbecue areas. Cool off in the sparkling waters of Loutit Bay or take a stroll up to Shelley Beach to explore the rock pools. The nearby Great Otway National Park is a nature lover's playground with misty waterfalls, giant ferns and ancient forest. Discover the Erskine Falls cascading into a beautiful fern gully, one of ten waterfalls within ten minutes of town. Hit the Surf Coast Walk to see the rich ochre cliffs of Bells Beach and the leafy green eucalypts lining the coast of Bass Strait. Sipping on a cold beer at the local pub or on the pier as the fishing fleet unloads its catch are both iconic Lorne pastimes. Snap up fresh locally caught seafood at the fishing co-op or reel in your own by casting a line off the pier. Keep an eye out for migrating whales between May and September. Take time out to wander down Lorne's main shopping strip filled with boutique gift stores, cellars, eateries and galleries. Grab a coffee at a sidewalk cafe, picnic under the trees on the foreshore, or enjoy a seafood feast at a local restaurant. January's Pier to Pub Swim and Mountain to Surf Run attract large numbers of competitors and ensure a carnival atmosphere. The Great Ocean Road Marathon kicks off in May and the Lorne Adventure Race in December gets the blood pumping. For those who prefer to get their thrills from the raw energy of rock music, The Falls Festival, held over New Year's Eve, is an essential experience. The Festival of Performing Arts is a weekend of culture by the sea in September. Lorne is 140 kilometres south of Melbourne, approximately a two-hour drive along the unforgettable Great Ocean Road.

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