For those who prefer rivers to oceans, Cobram is a great destination. Located right on the Murray, the land here has been cultivated to produce everything from olives to strawberries to wine, not to mention a healthy patch of premium golf courses.
Cobam is a great location for family holidays, especially for those with a penchant for caravanning. The town is well positioned to explore some of the region’s best tourist attractions like Cactus Country, Murray Paddlesteamers and Byramine Homestead, while also offering opportunities to relax at the local river beaches.
Fun fact: Thompsons Beach in Cobram is said to be the biggest inland beach in the southern hemisphere.
The Great Ocean Road officially ends at Warrnambool, but it’s worth continuing on to Port Fairy if you can. The annual Port Fairy Folk Festival is the biggest drawcard for the town, with around 40,000 punters flocking to the region every March for the music event.
There’s still plenty to explore in and around Port Fairy outside of the festival, however, and considerably fewer tourists as well. This is Victoria’s volcano country, with extinct volcanoes like Tower Hill and Budj Bim (which is also a UNESCO World Heritage listed Gunditjmara aquaculture site) easy drives from Port Fairy. Guided tours are available at Budj Bim too, including the Kooyang Yana full day walk and the Tungatt Mirring half day tour.
Drive an hour further west to Portland and you can discover the strange Martian landscape of the Petrified Forest as well as trek part of the Great South West Walk (spot the sizeable seal colony from the top of the cliffs).
Within Port Fairy itself there are beaches, galleries and boutiques to explore, plus nearby wineries and breweries to imbibe at. Pea Soup and South Beach is the town’s more gentle beach, while East Beach features more rips and is more suited to surfers (always stay between the flags no matter where you’re swimming).
Fun fact: Port Fairy forms part of the Great Ocean Road’s ‘Whale Trail’ with sightings of southern right, humpback and blue whales possible from May to September.