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Looking for sleepy Beach town max 3 hrs drive from Melbourne

london
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Looking for sleepy Beach town max 3 hrs drive from Melbourne

We are visiting my father this Christmas holiday (2010-11) who lives in Melbourne.

For Christmas itself we are looking to take a week long rental house for myself and my wife plus 3 boys (7,4,2) as well as my father and his wife.

Apollo Bay seems the natural choice but is there anywhere more off the beaten track or somewhere less well known?

3 hours drive from Melbourne. seafood, not too touristy and a good beach are the main requirements !

Melboune
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1. Re: Looking for sleepy Beach town max 3 hrs drive from Melbourne

Although there are other options, I think Apollo Bay will meet your needs. The other options are the Mornington Peninsula (probably a bit more "touristy"?) or the Inverloch area. However, at that time of year, there will be many holiday makers (mostly Victorians) at all these resorts, especially at New Year. If that makes them "touristy", then that's inevitable!

But I suspect that the main factor will be availability of a house. Although there are a reasonable number of rental properties, many are booked from year to year. You may find that the agents will only have a limited number of properties available, after giving the previous tenants a right of first refusal, which typically occurs mid-year. Hence, you'll probably need to be a bit flexible, so as to get the right balance between factors such as the style of house (eg, how many bedrooms? is a view important?)/town/location within the town (how important is it to be able to walk to the shops/beach?)/price (these places can be expensive!).

Phillip Island...
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2. Re: Looking for sleepy Beach town max 3 hrs drive from Melbourne

There are quite a few coastal areas that are within 3 hours of Melbourne - West Coast (Great Ocean Road), Bellarine Peninsula, Mornington Peninsula, Wilsons Prom (least I think it is around 3 hrs) and the Phillip Island/Westernport area;

Personally, I wouldn't describe too many of the coastal towns in these areas as sleepy or not too well known. Plus, you will be visiting these areas at one of their busiest times (Xmas/New Year). I can't even begin to describe to you how busy it gets for us down here on the island from Boxing Day onwards as is the same for all the other coastal areas. It's mind boggling. :-)

When it comes to lesser known / off the beaten track coastal towns - well I guess it depends just how far off the beaten track you want to go. I could think of a few places, but I don't think they'd fit your requirements as most don't have facilities like shops/restaurants - just a few houses to rent.. Such as Johanna Beach along the GOR. It's a beautiful area - gorgeous area - that is very well known by the surfing fraternity. But not so much by others.

Personally, I'd classify the following areas as being *closest* to your requirments for sleepy / off the beaten track / less well known spots:

* Wilsons Prom area - spectacular beaches, great trails to walk, lots of solitude if that's what you are after and nature/wildlife.

* Venus Bay - one of my favourite smaller coastal towns on the way to the Prom;

* Kilcunda - a small town about 10 mins past the Phillip Island turnoff with spectacular ocean views towards Wonthaggi and a great local pub. Plus it is only 20 mins or so drive to Phillip Island where you could visit the Penguin Parade and other attractions if you wanted to etc;

* Rhyll or Silverleaves on Phillip Island;

* Wye River, Kennett River/ Separation Creek, Port Fairy area (Great Ocean Road) - Wye River being the stand out for me. We spent many years growing up holidaying at Wye. It has such a lovely feel to it, you can hear the ocean, smell the bush. It's very relaxing. Plus it has a great pub (The Rookery Nook) and a very quaint shop. That's it. But, that's it's appeal to me. Still fairly untouched....

* Point Lonsdale, Barwon Heads (Bellarine Peninsula);

I guess pretty much most of the places I've mentioned are still quite well known. Especially Wilsons Prom :-) But, I thought I'd mention them in case they appeal to you. Who knows....

If not, I'm sure you'll love Apollo Bay. It's a very popular town with us Vics. Just be prepared for it to be busy - very busy from Boxing Day onwards.

Hope this helps :-)

Australia
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3. Re: Looking for sleepy Beach town max 3 hrs drive from Melbourne

Maybe not off the beaten track but how about Torquay, absolutely beautiful little spot..

Rene

East Gippsland
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4. Re: Looking for sleepy Beach town max 3 hrs drive from Melbourne

Well 'woolamai' has just about covered it.

I was thinking Johanna, Princetown, Glenaire, Motts Beach,Childers Cove closer to Warrnambool

Even towns around Port Phillip Bay would not be "touristy" Chelsea, Carrum, Brighton, Frankston. Past Frankston becomes very busy and "touristy' Not sure about the western Port Phillip beaches.

Cape Schank Lighthouse, Waratah Bay, Golden Beach,Marlo(maybe

a bit too far) definitely Wilsons Prom.

But for the National Park itself there is a ballot system through Parks Victoria and limited accom.

Otherwise - contact www.promcountry.com.au

www.promaccom.com.au

Melbourne
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5. Re: Looking for sleepy Beach town max 3 hrs drive from Melbourne

With three young boys I would be thinking of somewhere with a quieter sort of beach & although it does get crowded Torquay could well be the spot. Has a calm front beach perfect for young kids with just gentle waves and also a surf beach that is patrolled by life savers over summer with flagged areas for safe swimming. Watching three kids in the surf can take a bit of doing.

I would also consider Queenscliff as it meets many of your criteria. Nice safe beach, great pubs/restaurants, a seafood market/boat that sells all sorts of seafood straight of the boat at good prices. Has the option of the ferry across the bay & possible seal sightings and is close to other nice beach areas like Point Lonsdale & Ocean Grove. Both of the above are about 2 hours from Melbourne. Has an historic steam-train that runs daily over summer that your boys may enjoy.

East Gippsland
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6. Re: Looking for sleepy Beach town max 3 hrs drive from Melbourne

AussieJohn has a good point about the patrolled beaches and quieter water.

And really Christmas around Melbourne can be jolly cool/cold so bring some jumpers/jackets as well as the togs and sunscreen. The train trip would be great for a cool day but probably doesn't run every day so you will need to check the days and time. .

7. Re: Looking for sleepy Beach town max 3 hrs drive from Melbourne

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