By: Karlijn Sas, updated December 2023
Make the most out of your Apollo Bay school holidays with the kids!
Are you looking for the perfect school holiday with your kids in Apollo Bay? Looking to see exactly what’s on these school holidays in the Otways? Don’t know where to start looking for things to do while holidaying with your kids in Apollo Bay?
Do not worry, we have compiled a list of all the great things you can do with your kids these school holidays. No matter the age of your little ones, we have something for you. We even have a special section on what to do in case of rain. This comprehensive guide will make your life much easier these school holidays.
1. Go for a (kid friendly) surf at Mothers Beach, Apollo Bay
The locals lovingly call the section of beach right next to Apollo Bay harbour ‘Mothers Beach’ as it’s a spot in which many families hang out. With nearby toilets and the main street right around the corner when someone gets peckish, it is the ideal spot to hang out with kids. The harbour wall makes for a friendly beach break, and will provide for hours of fun on a board. And if you didn’t bring your own board, foam boards and bodyboards can be hired close by at Apollo Bay Surf and Kayak.
2. Walk through rainforest to a waterfall
The Otways are full of stunning waterfalls, often surrounded by cool temperate rainforest filled with ferns, beautiful birds, mushrooms and if you are lucky, you can even see the Otway Black Snail. This snail is a species of carnivorous air-breathing land snail that is the only species endemic to the Otway Ranges.
Our favourite waterfall is Beauchamp Falls. The 3km return walk to this 20-metre high waterfall takes around an hour but it’s definitely worth it. It is suitable for those with reasonable physical ability & fitness, so maybe more suited to the older kids.
There are so many waterfalls in the Otways though. Chat to one of the friendly locals at the Great Ocean Road Visitor Information Centre in Apollo Bay to find out which ones are the most suitable to visit with your family.
3. Visit Maits Rest Rainforest Trail
This is one for kids big and small. To get into another day exploring with your kids, you may need a good coffee first – and for this, we have you covered! Make a stop at Wildlife Wonders for a great coffee using our own blend of beans from the local brewers. Anyone can visit our cafe, and bonus if you get to see the resident emus or koalas while you’re there! Your stop also splits up the drive to Maits Rest Rainforest Trail.
You will find a walk suitable for all ages and abilities as you take the winding boardwalk through centuries-old towering trees and stunning ferns. Not only does the boardwalk protect the fragile ecosystem of the area but offers unique views across the forest. Maits Rest is a 20-minute drive from Apollo Bay, and at only 800m (around 30 minutes return) it is ideal for little ones and grown-ups alike. It’s a magical place.
4. Come for a tour with us at Wildlife Wonders
During the holidays we have a range of tours running daily, with our most popular being our Walk with Wildlife Tour that is suitable (and stacks of fun) for the whole family, young and old.
Immerse yourself in nature with a 75-minute Walk with Wildlife nature tour through our magical Otways bushland, where you’ll discover lush tree fern gullies, explore eucalypt woodlands and marvel at spectacular ocean vistas. We also run special tours at dawn and again at dusk. You can see all of our tours on offer these holidays here.
Along the tour your conservationist guide will share with you the secrets of the bush and help you spot plants and animals who call Wildlife Wonders home.
Our sanctuary is protected by a fox and cat proof fence, so it is free from feral predators. This means you’ll be able to enjoy a thriving Otways ecosystem that presently cannot be found elsewhere. It’s a very special experience.
5. Around Apollo Bay on a Thursday or Saturday? Come to one of our FREE kids sessions at Wildlife Wonders.
Get your kids involved in one or both of our weekly free kids sessions here at Wildlife Wonders.
Every Thursday at Wildlife Wonders at 10:30am, a wonderful kids book gets read as part of our free Storytime for Preschoolers session. These sessions are best for kids 5 and under. Come and share the delight of stories, songs and picture books with your child at the kids’ corner in Wildlife Wonders, while you have a moment to savour a wonderful cup of coffee made with locally roasted Hello Coffee beans. You can book your free Preschoolers Storytime session here.
On Saturday mornings at 10.30am, join us for our Kids Animal Talks, best for kids between 5 – 10 years old. Come and hear one of our conservation guides talk about one of our animals. Your kids will hear all about their habitat and role in the environment right here in the Otways, and they might get to meet them too! You can book your free Kids Animal Talk session here.
6. Kayak to the seal colony.
This is an awesome experience and the only Kayaking Seal Tour on the Great Ocean Road. This rocky seal “haul-out” platform is teaming with seals (too many to count but we guess there are at least 150!) They are very inquisitive characters and love swimming, duck-diving and playing in the surf. It’s wonderful just observing them in their own enviroment and listening to their barking calls. This is one for the older kids.
7. Explore the rock pools at Marengo.
The rock pools at Marengo will provide you with endless hours of beach holiday fun, any time of year. Clamber over rocks to discover mini eco systems and secret marine worlds: crabs incognito in crevices, molluscs moulded to the edges, tiny schools of fish darting from class to class. Go to Marengo to entertain your mini marine biologists and adult beach-goers alike and take this guide with you to help you feel like an expert and put a name to what you can find. Just remember that the rock pools are their home, so be sure to leave them where you found them.