It’s been a little while between posts, due more to slackness with uploading than lack of outdoor activity! To get back into the swing of things I thought I would report on our recent spontaneous weekend road trip down the Great Ocean Road to make the most of some fleeting sunny weather that is an infrequent occurrence during spring in Victoria.
We headed inland on Saturday afternoon in order to save some time and reach our intended camping destination with some sunlight remaining in the day. Johanna Beach campsite was our choice due to our dog accompanying us on the trip (bookings required, but we had no problem booking on the way). Dogs are permitted on-leash at the campsite and the adjacent beach.
Often it would be fair to assume dog-friendly campsites to be the less appealing of those available, but this is not the case here. Sites are set in grassy meadows behind the sand dunes which were perfectly framed by a light mist and some glorious afternoon sun inviting us to collapse into our picnic rug with some cold beers.
The beach itself is similarly picturesque and its relative isolation from major towns and border of dramatic cliffs means it is neither busy nor dirty. There are plenty of rockpools to explore and waves for our pup to chase.
After a pleasant night at Johanna, we drove through Great Otway National Park towards Apollo Bay then Lorne, where we parked at Allenvale Mill before taking the 5km return walk to Phantom Falls, which is also leashed-hound friendly. The walk follows St George’s creek before cutting through some easements on a pretty orchard onto a further riverside stretch that led to a fairly steep uphill access track, eventually descending down some steps to reach the base of the waterfall.
We soaked up the atmosphere amongst the rocks and enjoyed the refreshing spray from the falls before returning to the car.
From there we energised ourselves for the drive home with some lunch and a swim at the beach, capping off a perfect doggie weekend away, despite a total lack of prior planning!
- Book your stay at Johanna beach
- To access the starting point for the walk, from the Great Ocean Rd in Lorne turn into Otway St, drive to the roundabout and follow signs for Allenvale Mill carpark.
- Parks Victoria – Phantom falls
- Dog-friendly beaches in Surf Coast Shire