Stay close, go further

Join the migrating whales along Victoria's coastline this winter. There's plenty more to do and see, too. Follow our tips for a cosy coastal escape along the Great Ocean Road.

1. Whale watching

Pop on a thermal and head for Logans Beach Whale Viewing Platform, the perfect spot to see Southern Right Whales returning home from antarctic waters to give birth and raise their calves. Watch these incredible creatures frolic and play before your eyes.

For a closer look, visit the Maritime Discovery Centre in Portland where you can step inside the skeleton of a 14 metre Sperm Whale. The nearby viewing platform is Portland's prime whale-spotting vantage point.

2. Hot springs

Shake off the winter cold with a twilight session at Deep Blue Hot Springs in Warrnambool.

Take to the waters at the bath house, immerse yourself in the naturally therapeutic geothermal mineral water with health restoring minerals, salts and heat. Indulge with a relaxation massage and organic skin and body spa therapies.

3. Top-class food and drink

Enjoy restorative fare in the Nourish Dome within Deep Blue Hot Springs, where 'nutrient-dense' gets its own section on the menu. In Port Fairy, the Oak and Anchor is serving up refined meals in a stunning heritage-listed setting.

For something more indulgent, order a pint and the local abalone wontons at Noodledoof Brewing Co or meet up with the locals for burgers, craft beers and cocktails at GROKE in Portland.

After dinner, nab a spot at the bar at Merrijig Kitchen for a warming after-dinner cocktail and a debrief on the day.

4. Boutique shopping in Port Fairy

Port Fairy is well-known as a style village. It's fun, colourful and a bit quirky. Browse up and coming labels, known brands and eclectic styles all curated and created by passionate traders.

Be inspired with a wardrobe upgrade or a piece of bespoke jewellery, discover your next favourite book or bring back a one-of-a-kind gift for a loved one.

5. Coastal walks

Take on the elements with one the region's stunning coastal walks.

Start on the western side of Cape Bridgewater for 'The Blowholes' lookout and walk, which provides panoramic views of vast ocean and brilliant white sand dunes. Continue on to the petrified forest, a gnarled formation of trees up to 1.5 metres high buried under sandstone. If there's still time, carry on and take a cliff-top walk to the seal colony viewing platform. Look for the seals lying on the rocks below, and watch out for echidnas and wallabies on your walk.

Explore Griffiths Island, a sanctuary for plants, birds and animals adjoining Port Fairy. Wander the many winding pathways on your way to the spectacular lighthouse at the eastern tip.

Meet koalas, emus, kangaroos and many species of waterbirds roaming freely in Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve, which sits inside an extinct volcano formed some 30,000 years ago.

6. Accommodation

All along the Great Ocean Road you'll find stunning accommodation with coastal views, spas and delightful little touches to make your winter road trip luxurious.

Warrnambool Retreat's exclusive two units are exceptionally styled with everything you need for a relaxing and indulgent stay, including a log fire and a beautiful big bathtub.

Relax, rejuvenate and replenish at Deep Blue Hotel and Hot Springs, Victoria's first hot springs hotel with over 80 guest rooms, ocean view suites and four penthouse apartments with magnificent ocean vistas.

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