Whether you are heading down the Great Ocean Road for a day trip, a weekend escape or a longer adventure, spending some time in Lorne is always a great idea. It’s an amazingly family friendly destination with things to see and do for kids (and grownups) of all ages.
I’ve rounded up our Top 10 recommendations for activities in Lorne with kids. If you are looking for fun things to do in Lorne, this is the list for you, all personally tried and tested by My Poppet’s resident junior traveller, Emma!
Great Ocean Road – Top 10 Things to do in Lorne with Kids
1. Hit the Beach
One of Lorne’s best draw cards, the main beach runs for 1.2km along the foreshore and is the perfect place to spend a summer’s day playing in the sand and cooling off in the water. Well patrolled by lifesavers on the weekends and through the Summer season, Lorne’s main beach is a relatively safe beach during average conditions. Facilities include ample free parking, toilet and shower blocks, kiosk and picnic areas with BBQ.
If it’s a bit cold to swim, you can always have some fun exploring the rock pools on the rocky outcrops as the beach turns south. It makes for a nice evening walk before dinner.
2. Go Surfing
If you’re feeling adventurous, learning to surf is one of the best things to do in Lorne. Sign the family up for surf lessons with Go Ride a Wave. Kids classes cater for ages 5 and up, whilst mixed classes (kids and adults) will suit ages 8 and up.
3. Take a Stroll along the Pier
Lorne’s brand new pier, built in 2007, is a popular spot for fishing enthusiasts. We always enjoy chatting to people fishing on the pier to see what’s biting and if you have a budding junior angler, the pier is a perfect spot to catch a snapper or some squid. Check out this Kids fishing Guide for handy tips on getting started. Kids do not need fishing licenses in Victoria, but an accompanying adult will. A Victorian fishing license can be purchased online or at most fishing tackle stores.
During May to September, keep an eye out for migrating whales. The pier is a perfect spot for whale watching on the Great Ocean Road, just make sure to rug up and take a thermos of hot chocolate as it can get pretty cold and windy out there during winter.
4. Take in the view at Teddy’s Lookout
Teddy’s Lookout has some of the best views along the Great Ocean Road and has to be one of my favourite Lorne attractions. It provides stunning vistas from its platform high above the coast where the St George River empties into a small cove.
How to get to Teddy’s Lookout Lorne: Drive up to the carpark at the end of George Street, then take a short walk (about 100m) through the bush to two different viewing platforms. Don’t miss the path to the lower viewing platform to the right, it has amazing views of the river and valley below.
5. Get close to Nature
Head into the fern filled forests of the Otway Ranges and breathe in some fresh air. There are walks to suit most abilities with the most popular destination being Erskine Falls. The falls are spectacular, especially in winter when there has been some rain and are the tallest in the region with a 30m drop.
Erskine falls always have large visitor numbers so visiting early will make securing a car park easier and hopefully help avoid the crowds. The walk down to the lower viewing platform is very steep and involves many many steps, allow extra time as small children may need to be carried.
If you are feeling a little more adventurous cross the creek for an even closer view, but be careful those rocks can be slippery.
My recommendation is a bush walk to the Cora Lynn Cascades. It’s a pretty walk that will take you through fern filled gullies with many fallen logs covered in moss and beautiful tree fungus. Walk starts from the Blanket Leaf Picnic Area carpark (on your left heading to Erskine Falls).
Download the Full map of waterfalls and walks around Lorne
If you are looking for other things to do near Lorne, the Otway Fly Treetop walk is breathtaking and takes you on a walk 30m above the Otway Rainforest Treetop Canopy. Get your tickets here. Try the Zip-Line tour if you are feeling extra adventurous!
6. Play some Beach Games or Go for a Ride
HAH – Heath and Hire, is a little cafe right on the beach where you can grab a delicious healthy smoothie and hire all sorts of active equipment to keep your family entertained for the day. Rent a bike, surfboards, standup paddle board, and games like beach cricket sets, Giant Jenga blocks, beach bocce or even a bucket and spade set.
It’s also the perfect chill out spot to watch the sun set.
7. Spot some Wildlife
Lorne and surrounds are full of bird and wildlife. You can find flocks of cockatoos hanging out near the Lorne playground and bbq area on the foreshore. If you are staying overnight you’ll likely see some on your balcony. The local cockatoo population numbers have swelled in recent years, which has become problematic. Please don’t feed them as it encourages them to hang around humans.
We spotted many types of native parrot breeds and some lizards on our walk to the pier. If you are luck you may catch a glimpse of a koala (apparently one hangs out near the Lorne visitor information center) and some wallabies.
8. Enjoy the Foreshore Playground
You can’t beat a good playground, and the Lorne playground will be a highlight for every family’s visit to Lorne or even if you are just stopping in town for a break from driving the windy Great Ocean Road.
The kids will love the large playground area on the Lorne beach foreshore. Themed to look like a pier with a real boat, it’s the perfect place to stop for a picnic lunch. A skate park adjacent to the playground area is a great place for older kids to burn off some energy. Don’t forget to bring along their scooters or skateboards to ride on the skate park in Lorne.
9. Have a Bounce on the Trampolines
No day out in Lorne is complete without jumping on the big blue trampolines on the foreshore, it’s a tradition. For only $5 for 10 minutes, who can deny the kids a bit of high bouncing fun. The trampolines are part of the new Lorne Sea Bath complex, which also has a mini golf course and pool.
10. Learn about the Great Ocean Road’s History
Stop at the memorial arch at Eastern View, where the original toll gates for the Great Ocean Road were located. Visit the exhibition in the new Great Ocean Road Heritage Centre, located in the Lorne Visitor Centre, which has interactive displays about the areas history. This is one of the fun things to do in Lorne when it’s raining, along with grabbing a hot chocolate at on of Lorne’s many great cafes. See my Where to Eat in Lorne recommendations.
How to get to Lorne
- Self-Drive – Lorne is approximately a 2 hour drive from Melbourne via Geelong. The scenic coastal section of the Great Ocean Road drive begins after Anglesea.
- Tour From Melbourne – If you’ve only got one day to see the Great Ocean Road, I recommend an organized tour with highlights that include The 12 Apostles, Otway Rainforest, and Surf coast towns – Book a Great Ocean Road tour here
- Public Transport – Buses to Lorne leave from Geelong 4 times a day. Trains from Melbourne to Geelong run every 30min. The trip can take around 3.5 hrs
Where to stay in Lorne
- We stayed at the Lorne Chalet Apartments – Read our full Lorne Accommodation review here
- There are many styles of family friendly accommodation in Lorne ranging from caravan park cabins, hotels, houses and apartments – Check out what’s available on Booking.com
Have you visited Lorne recently? Please feel free to add any further recommendations in a comment below.
My Poppet visited Lorne as guest of Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. Originally published Jan 2017, updated in Sept 2019