If you are looking for a coastal escape from Melbourne, yet don’t want to travel too far, Lorne is a perfect beachside town for a weekend break or longer holiday.   A thriving holiday spot for groups of friends and couples, Lorne is also a dream for families, with so much for kids to do in easy walking distance of the town.  We recently spent a long weekend in Lorne and found we could have stayed for much longer.  Here are some of our favourite things to do in Lorne with kids.

Visit the main beach

A beautiful wide sandy coast, this beach has the size to be able to handle the large crowds which Lorne attracts on long weekends and holidays over summer.  Yet if you are up early, you can still enjoy a walk or early morning swim without crowds.

Lorne Beachfront and Pier

Little Miss loved the idea of going paddleboarding with Daddy, but found the icy Victorian waters still a bit to cold in a short wetsuit, so they paddled in the shallows for her first beach SUPing lesson at Lorne beach.

Paddleboarding at Lorne

Trampolining at Lorne Sea Baths 

In the centre of town, just in front of the beach is a great complex called the Lorne Sea Baths.  The biggest drawcard here for us is the trampoline park where there are around 15 trampolines.  One of Miss 2’s favourite activities is jumping, so this is always a daily stop for us on the way to the beach, a restaurant or the nearby park.

Also at the Sea Baths is a mini golf course, water play area, large outdoor pool, toddler pool, spray jets and bumper boats for bigger kids.

Trampolines at Lorne Sea Baths Victoria

Foreshore Playground  

Next door to the Sea Baths and the beach, is a large playground with slides, swings and climbing equipment.  There are also picnic and BBQ facilities available nearby.  A perfect stop off before or after the beach.

Lorne Foreshore Playground

Explore nature

Surrounded by a spectacular coastline and bushland, Lorne is a great place to get kids out into some of Victorias beautiful natural environments.  On a windy day when the beach wouldn’t be much fun, we decided to take Miss 2 out for her first mini bush walk.

We chose to do the Nature Walk from the Sheoak Picnic Area in the Otway National Park, which is classified as an easy 30 minute circuit walk.  We didn’t take a pram with us and there did end up being a few steps and short inclines so it was a good choice to leave it in the car.  Miss 2 hitched a ride on Dad’s shoulders for a lot of the walk, but she loved the adventure of her first bush walk and is excited to go again.  There was a bridge crossing, some large hollow trees to play in and some information along the way about the things you see in the bush.

Lorne Sheoak Picnic Walk

Erskine Falls walk

If you have older kids who are used to walking then it would definitely be worth visiting Erskine Falls.  This walk has a lot of stairs down to view the waterfall and then back up again to the car park, but the falls are lovely and well worth the walk.  On this trip we didn’t have a backpack carrier with us, which we would have needed to transport Miss 2 up and down the stairs, but we will make sure to bring one on our next visit.

Where to eat in Lorne

We have loved visiting the Swing Bridge Cafe and Boathouse for many years and on this visit it was the standout meal for our weekend. It has recently been renovated and is cute, colourful and oh so tasty.  If you like Chai, make sure you try the brewed Love Chai tea they serve here.  The food is amazing and a perfect stop off for breakfast or lunch.

Swingbridge Cafe Lorne

For your Mexican fix, head to Mexican Republic where the tostadas and chargrilled street corn are both standout.   There are a few kids options available and Little Miss enjoyed her chicken and cheese tacos.

Although always super busy, the burgers at Bottle of Milk are pretty decent.  For kids they offer a plain small hamburger with cheese.

Good coffee and morning smoothies are at Moons Espresso Bar.

On our must do next time list is Pizza Pizza where you can watch the pizza chefs in action through the large glass window in front of the shop.  From our ogling through the window, these looked super tasty and worth a try on our next visit.

Where to stay in Lorne

We were lucky enough to have a lovely friend lend us their family beach house for our long weekend stay in Lorne, but if you don’t have a great friend who can offer the same, try either Great Ocean Road Realestate Holidays who manage many holiday properties in town, or Stayz to find a holiday house in walking distance of the township.

There are also quite a few hotels and apartment complexes which are very centrally located, but we often find hiring a house ends up being better value and includes all the facilities you want with kids.  Make sure you check the location of your accommodation carefully as Lorne is built around some fairly steep hillsides which can mean a seeming short walk may become a bit more of an uphill hike with kids in tow.

If you are flexible with dates, its probably best to avoid Lorne between Christmas and New Years Eve when it is bursting at the seams with visitors.  There is a large music festival on around 28 December – 1 January and traffic going to and from the event adds to the already super busy Great Ocean Road which is the only way in and out of town.  Outside of these times its much easier to get to and from town and access to restaurants and attractions will be easier.  There is one small IGA supermarket in town, but if you are looking to stock up on groceries on your way down the coast, try Woolworths in Torquay or the large supermarkets just of the Geelong Bypass in Waurn Ponds.

Stay tuned for more in our series of great weekend escapes in towns around Victoria.

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