GREAT OCEAN ROAD – WINTER 2014 EVENTS

Just because the warm summer weather is behind us doesn’t mean the villages of the Great Ocean Road have gone into hibernation. There is still plenty to get excited about in coastal Victoria, which means plenty of reasons to plan your next getaway. Here are just a handful of area events happening in the coming winter months.
 

Festivals

There is culture a plenty beyond the big smoke. From the 23 to 30 of May, the ‘Connecting to Culture’ Aboriginal Arts Festival is on in Torquay, highlighting the Wathaurong community’s deep spiritual connection to the Surf Coast. Through guided walks, art workshops, and opening and closing ceremonies showcasing indigenous dance and music, festival goers can get a deeper understanding and appreciation for the spectacular Surf Coast, through the eyes of its longest inhabitants.
Located north of the Great Ocean Road, along the tip of the Bellarine Peninsula, Port Arlington will play host to the National Celtic Festival from 6-9 June. Perhaps the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere and growing every year, the festival offers everything from Celtic music and dance performances (including a traditional Ceili), workshops, craft and food stalls, even a Celtic cruise across the bay on the Enterprize tall ship.
Come with a big appetite to Geelong’s 2nd annual Extravaganza- Eat, Drink, Discover on 13 July. The event, located on the Deakin waterfront, will highlight the best wine, beer, produce, and other artisan foods from diverse regions across coastal Victoria, including the Bellarine, Surf Coast, Otways and more. With cooking demonstrations, live music, and entertainment for the children, it’s an event the whole family can enjoy.
 

Sporting Events

Deemed “Australia’s most stunning” marathon, the Great Ocean Road Marathon runs from the coastal communities of Lorne to Apollo Bay and includes much more than one 26.2 mile-long-race. The event, attracting approximately 6,000 people, is part of the two-day Festival of Distance, which includes activities for all ages and abilities. The marathon celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and will be held from 17-18 May.
Missed this year’s Rip Curl Pro? Another opportunity to witness an impressive—and culturally significant—surfing event at world-famous Bells Beach comes on the 25-31 May with the Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles. Witness as the local Wathaurong community welcome competitors from all over the country in the opening ceremony, also tied in with the Aboriginal Arts Festival.
 

A Winter Roadtrip

Looking for nothing more than a nice road trip? You don’t need an event on the calendar as excuse to visit the Great Ocean Road in winter. The warm rays of summer may be behind us but the stunning splendour of the Southern Ocean coastline is still here. Winter brings a new perspective, its own unique charm, to the famous Australian landmark. It’s also the best time for whale sitings along the whole stretch of coast, particularly at Logan’s Beach in Warrnambool. Think abandoned beaches, rugged coastal cliffs, revitalizing hikes, no traffic, and after a long day of site seeing, curling up in front of a toasty fire at a relaxing B&B. We always have one roaring at Whitesbeach Guesthouse!
Stay warm, friends. Hope to see you soon.

  

GREAT OCEAN ROAD – WINTER 2014 EVENTSStephen Handley
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