04 August 2012

Lorne - Lookout, Waterfall, Bridge

Teddy's Lookout

Our first look at the surroundings outside of Lorne, sort of, was to Teddy's Lookout, named after a local ranger who would often go there to round up stray cattle. As it was looking like the day would rain, we opted to take the short drive up George Street to Teddy's Lookout instead of walking the trail up to the top. As we drove up the hill, we were glad that decided to drive up. The road up to the top was pretty steep.

From the car park, to the right we walked a short distance on newly constructed walkways to the lookout platform. There we took in the breath taking view of the Great Ocean Road coastline and the Saint George River that flows into the sea. It is also the perfect spot to look out for whales, except that, we were at the wrong season for whale watching.

On the lower platform to the right, the views change to mountainous peaks and the Saint George river winding itself into fern covered valleys and gorges. A truly scenic views. There is walking trail connecting Teddy’s Lookout with two other lookouts, and takes about 30 minutes return.

There are also a few picnic tables near the top to enjoy the day or for others to rest from the walk up the hill.

Eskine Falls

Next stop is the Erskine Falls, one of the most popular falls in the Otways and is easily accessible. Erskine Falls is a short drive, 9 - 10kms from Lorne at the end of Erskine Falls Road, of course.

From the car park, the first viewing point above the falls is about 150m. The second viewing point at the base of the falls, is another 200m; total up a short walk of 350m one way. It was drizzling on the day, so the walking track, steep in some places, to the base of the falls was wet and slippery at some parts of the track. However, the air was cool and crispy. Refreshing!

The falls cascade over one of the highest drops in the Otways, into the fern-lined valley of the Erskine River. From the base of the waterfall, we were able to get a frontal view of the falls and it is an impressively tall and slender 30m waterfall.

There are two more falls downstream; Straw Falls, a further 400m and Splitter Falls as part of the Erskine River to Lorne 7.5km away, a good 3 hours plus walk for experience walkers.

Not a good day of us to explore Straw Falls and a good pair of walking shoes is recommended.

Swing Bridge

On the outskirts of Lorne, on our entry into Lorne from Melbourne we spotted an ancient looking (read as, historic) footbridge over the mouth of the Erskine River where the river meets the sea. It is the historic Lorne Swing Bridge, built in 1934 and is one of Lorne's best places to visit. It provides pedestrian access to Lorne beach from the Great Ocean Road.

That evening, after Erskine Falls, we decided to walk from our hotel to Swing Bridge. We walked along the main road we used to get into Lorne, passing Lorne's Tourist Information Centre to the pedestrian boardwalk along the river from the caravan park opposite the IGA supermarket.

It was a leisure walk for it was a beautiful evening after the rain. See photos below.

Next to the bridge at the beach side of the bridge is a cafe, the Swing Bridge Café, with paddle boats for hire. The cafe has easy access to the surf beach with a family-friendly river and estuary beach where paddle boats can be hired allowing the adventurous or young at heart the opportunity to explore the estuary between the Swing Bridge and the caravan park.

This bridge is certainly worth a visit, if not for the cafe then for the 'excitement' of the place. It's the sort of place where you never know what may happen.

Guess who dropped in as we walk towards Lorne beach from the cafe.

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