BIG NATURE TRAIL

Peterborough To Macarthur

Take the trail beyond Port Fairy to discover an idyllic escape to nature and even more Great Ocean Road natural wonders. Experience a rich cultural landscape formed by powerful ancestral creation forces. Eyeball native wildlife in natural habitats: kangaroos, emus, koalas, kookaburras and shorebirds. Let a magical day unfold in Aussie bushland with a waterfall backdrop. Forest get-aways, secluded coves, ocean adventures, picnic perfection and everyday surprises.

3 Days
100 Km

DAY 1

PETERBOROUGH TO PORT FAIRY

Peterborough to Port Fairy

Bay of Islands

Pounding seas and fierce winds have sculpted the Bay of Islands coastline over thousands of years. Standing on a clifftop puts you front and centre in one of Australia’s most impressive and evolving natural sights. The scale is awe-inspiring – towering rock stacks, arches and islands carved from the cliffs by rain, wind and ocean.

Childers Cove

Uncrowded and uncomplicated, this quiet cove offers wonderful seascapes in peaceful isolation. It’s easy to reach and easy to love –refreshing sea and surf, majestic Iimestone stacks and multi-hued limestone cliffs. Chill out and fill your soul with fresh salty air. Wander the beach and enjoy the rare coupling of seclusion and awe at nature’s powerful beauty.

Ralph Illidge Sanctuary

A special place to get up close with some of our quirkiest and quaintest native creatures, including the long-nosed Potoroo, the Powerful Owl, the Rufous Bristlebird and the White Goshawk. Everything abounds in this 40-acre volunteer-managed sanctuary: walking tracks criss-cross the bushland, native flora thrives and rare wildlife finds refuge. Pack a picnic and immerse yourself in stunning natural surrounds.

Hopkins Falls

Hopkins Falls are a sight to behold in any season, and a dream location for painters or picnickers. At an impressive 90 metres across, they are Victoria’s widest falls. In winter or after heavy rainfall, the water tumbles wildly down over the rocks. And, for a few days each summer, you can witness baby eels migrating upstream and over the falls.

DAY 1

PETERBOROUGH TO PORT FAIRY

Peterborough to Port Fairy

Find Accommodation

Peterborough   Port Fairy

Things to do

Peterborough   Port Fairy

DAY 2

DISCOVER PORT FAIRY

Port Fairy to Port Fairy

Tower Hill State Game Reserve

Discover the mystery and majesty of an ancient volcanic landscape. Nestled in a dormant volcanic crater, this wildlife haven showcases enthralling local indigenous culture, authentic Aussie bushland and eye-popping scenery. Commune with nature in a landscape brimming with iconic native birds and creatures including emus, koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, black swans, wedge-tail eagles, magpie geese and reptiles.

Belfast Coastal Reserve

Fringing the coast from Warrnambool to Port Fairy, this reserve offers surprises at every turn – rocky reefs, sandy beaches, coastal dunes, salt marshes, estuaries and rare creatures such as the Orange-bellied Parrot. Wander and keep watch for wild things thriving here: on the beach, Victoria's largest population of Hooded Plovers, and in the ocean, southern right whales and dolphins.

Griffiths Island

Nature’s glory – the daily sunset arrival of tens of thousands of mutton birds (or short-tailed shearwaters) is an unforgettable sight. Each year, the birds journey from the northern hemisphere to raise their young on Griffiths Island. Take position on the viewing platform between late September and mid-April and watch swarming birds return to their island burrows at dusk.               

 

DAY 2

DISCOVER PORT FAIRY

Port Fairy to Port Fairy

Find Accommodation

Port Fairy   Port Fairy

Things to do

Port Fairy   Port Fairy

DAY 3

YAMBUK & MACARTHUR

Port Fairy to Macarthur

The Crags

Come for the remarkable views of rocky, limestone cliffs and stay for the wonder of ancient sacred land. With Aboriginal cultural sites this area is part of the traditional homelands of the Peek wurrung speakers and has spiritual connections with Deen Maar (Lady Julia Percy Island). For many thousands of years indigenous people gathered here for ceremony and feasting.

Yambuk Lakes

Relax and recharge in a diversity hotspot. This extensive wetlands system features a host of habitats: freshwater meadows, tracts of reeds, semi-permanent saline marshes and saltmarsh communities. Birdlife teems all around. While away an afternoon wandering the walking trail, bird-watching and soaking up spectacular views of Lake Yambuk, Lady Julia Percy Island and the Southern Ocean.

Budj Bim National Park

Imagine the powerful ancestral forces that created this rich cultural landscape. Stand on a crater rim to ogle scenic Lake Surprise. Pack a torch and pick your way through the darkness of a prehistoric tunnel cave. Explore an ancient lava canal and settle into the stillness and await the sights and sounds of parrots, honeyeaters, kookaburras, hawks or eagles.

Recommended Accommodation

Edge17 Cottage

Fall in love with the charming historic cottage at Edge 17. Enjoy a peaceful stay in a tranquil setting in Port Fairy, complete with your own private pathway down to...

Great Ocean Road Tourist Park

On the Great Ocean Road, next to the bridge and opposite the hotel. Very popular for estuary and surf fishing, cray fishing, diving and swimming.

Harmony at Tower Hill

Immerse yourself at Harmony at Tower Hill in an environment perfect for personal rejuvenation or romance with a well-earned break with someone special.

Recommended Eat & Drink

Basalt Wines

Basalt Vineyard is located along the Great Ocean Road, only minutes from Port Fairy and Warrnambool.

Driftwood Coffee & Eatery

With all the old classic favourites as well as many vegan and vegetarian options while using fresh local produce. Take a seat in our indoor or spacious outdoor dining, take away also available.

Mickey Bourkes Koroit Hotel

Mickey Bourkes Koroit Hotel EST 1853 has retained its Irish integrity and character. Take pleasure in a good yarn with a local over a smooth Guinness on tap.

DAY 3

YAMBUK & MACARTHUR

Port Fairy to Macarthur

Find Accommodation

Port Fairy   Macarthur

Things to do

Port Fairy   Macarthur