The Top 10 Things to Do and See in Apollo Bay
Apollo Bay is a stunning coastal town located on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. It is a popular tourist destination due to its beautiful beaches, incredible scenery, and range of activities and attractions.
In this blog, we will explore the top 10 things to do and see in Apollo Bay, to help you plan your perfect visit. From beach recommendations to outdoor activities, we’ve rounded up activities for every type of traveler. So whether you’re interested in beach days or long hikes, look no further!
At Walk91, we enjoy sharing the beauty of Victoria with visitors on our self-guided walks of the Great Ocean Road. Varying in length and ability, our Great Ocean Walk tours take in the highlights of this epic trail meaning you can enjoy this magnificent ‘shipwreck coast’ while we take care of the planning.
To learn more about our variety of walks, get in touch! Our local husband-and-wife team knows the trail like the back of their hand and will be more than happy to help you curate your perfect hike along the Great Ocean Walk. But, for now, let’s look at Apollo Bay’s best activities.
1. Explore the Beaches on Your Visit to Apollo Bay
Apollo Bay is renowned for its beautiful beaches, which are perfect for swimming, surfing, or just relaxing in the sun. The most popular beach is Apollo Bay Main Beach, which is patrolled during the summer months and has plenty of facilities, including a playground, barbeque area, and public toilets.
Other popular beaches include Marengo Beach, Skenes Creek Beach, and Wild Dog Beach (known to locals as Pirates Cove), which are all stunning in their own right.
Make sure you check the swimming conditions before you head into the water on these beaches as they are not patrolled. Why not try and visit them all whilst you are in ‘the Bay!’
2. Visit the Great Otway National Park & the Great Ocean Walk
The Great Otway National Park is a must-see for nature lovers, with its stunning waterfalls, lush rainforests, and abundant wildlife. The park is home to the famous Otway Fly Treetop Walk, which allows visitors to walk amongst the treetops and experience breathtaking views of the surrounding forest.
Check out our Accommodation Guide for Cape Otway holidays for details about where to stay when you visit this area.
The Great Ocean Walk is, of course, the most popular trail to explore, ranging from short easy walks to more challenging hikes. The walk sections vary from 8.5km to daily hikes of approximately 20kms or more, depending on how far you feel like walking.
3. See the 12 Apostles Near Apollo Bay
The 12 Apostles are one of Australia’s most iconic natural wonders and are located along the Great Ocean Road past Apollo Bay. These towering limestone stacks rise up out of the ocean and are a must-see for anyone visiting Victoria and the Great Ocean Road region.
There are several viewing platforms and walking trails to explore, which offer stunning views of the coastline and the 12 Apostles themselves. This iconic landmark makes the perfect day trip from Apollo Bay, which visitors use as their base whilst visiting.
For an in-depth look at where to stay when visiting this beautiful natural landmark, take a look at our Accommodation Guide to the 12 Apostles blog.
4. Discover the View at Marriners Lookout Near Apollo Bay
The Great Ocean Road is famous for its stunning coastal views, so taking a scenic drive to Apollo Bay is an amazing experience in itself! The road winds its way along the coastline, offering breathtaking views of the ocean and the surrounding landscape.
If you want to see the Great Ocean Walk’s starting point in Apollo Bay, Marriners Lookout is a must-visit spot. It’s an easy 10-minute walk from the car park at the top of Marriner’s Lookout Road to this spot, but if you are arriving here by bus (or don’t have a car) don’t fret.
You can take a pleasant walk from Apollo Bay along the beach or the Great Ocean Road footpath, which lasts about 1.5 kilometres north. It ends with a climb up a steep hill along a surfaced road for another 1.5 kilometres to the Lookout track.
5. Visit Apollo Bay Harbour
The Apollo Bay Harbour is a beautiful little working fishing port that is well worth a visit.
Stroll along its long pier and two smaller jetties to watch the local fishermen bring in their catches of salmon, trout, and snapper. Anyone can fish here — providing you have a license! — so why not try your luck at snaring your own supper?
If you’re not a fishing fan, you can always buy some fresh fish at Apollo Bay Fishermen’s Co-Op! As you eat, keep your eyes peeled for sting rays and seals that also frolic in the harbour.
6. Experience the Environment at Maits Rest Rainforest Walk
This 800m rainforest walk is only 17 km from Apollo Bay, and even if you’ve trekked the whole 104 km of the Great Ocean Walk trail, we highly recommend a visit if you’re near Apollo Bay and have a car.
Maits Rest rainforest walk has a well-marked circuit that takes roughly 30 minutes to walk. Its fragile ecosystem is a perfect example of a cool-temperature rainforest and is a rare, accessible pocket of ‘unlocked’ forest in the Otway Ranges.
For an in-depth look at this wonderful loop walk, take a look at our guide to Mait’s Rest Rainforest Walk.
7. Explore the Apollo Bay Market and Grab a Bite
The Apollo Bay Market is held at the Apollo Bay Foreshore every Saturday from 9am to 1pm (depending on the weather) and is a must-visit for anyone looking for unique souvenirs or locally made products.
The market features a range of stalls selling everything from handmade crafts to fresh produce and is a great place to pick up a bargain or two or stock up ahead of your walk on the Great Ocean Road.
This location is the start of the Great Ocean Walk trail, where the trailhead is located, so make sure to stop and take a photo before you start walking. You can also stop and enjoy the local sculptures scattered along the Apollo Bay Foreshore.
8. Take a Surfing Lesson or Seal Kayak Tour in Apollo Bay
Apollo Bay is a popular destination for surfers, with Apollo Bay Surf and Kayak offering lessons for beginners and more experienced surfers. If you’ve always wanted to try surfing, this is the perfect place to learn!
In Apollo Bay, the waves are generally smaller and gentler than other surf spots along the Great Ocean Road, making the sheltered waters a great place to learn to surf and kayak.
If you want to see Australian fur seals up close and personal, why not try a seal kayaking tour at Haleys Reef in the Marine National Park? Located just off of Marengo, next to Apollo Bay, your guide will paddle out with you to visit the colony. There are at least 100 seals out there so this is a truly unforgettable experience!
9. Discover the Cape Otway Lighthouse, near Apollo Bay
The Cape Otway Lightstation is located about a 30-minute drive from Apollo Bay and is a fascinating place to visit. The lighthouse was built in 1848 and was an important navigational aid for ships traveling along the Shipwreck Coast.
Today, visitors can explore the lighthouse and museum, and learn about the history of the area and the role of the lighthouse in keeping ships safe.
10. Meet the Locals at Wildlife Wonders Tour and Cafe
Finally, no visit to Apollo Bay would be complete without visiting Wildlife Wonders.
A trip to Wildlife Wonders not only raises money for local conservation, but it’s fun, informative, and a lovely place to walk around.
Only 5km out of Apollo Bay, it was created by Brian Massey — Art Director of The Hobbit and landscape designer of New Zealand’s award-winning Hobbiton experience.
The centre’s guided nature tours will take you through the Otway landscape, where you may spot koalas, echidnas, and more! And if you don’t feel like a guided tour, it’s also a great place for a coffee. Make sure to check out the wonderful bookshop, too!
Apollo Bay is a beautiful coastal town with plenty of activities and attractions to keep you entertained. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday or an adventurous outdoor experience on the Great Ocean Road, there is something for everyone in Apollo Bay.
So why not plan your visit today and discover all that this stunning part of Victoria has to offer? If you have any questions, just drop us a line! We’ve been helping visitors to enjoy this beautiful part of the world since the early 2000s and can help curate your ideal vacation.