Local Attractions

You can walk to Cape Bridgewater directly from the beach in front of the house. A well maintained walkingpath leads you along the Bridgewater Headland. With 120m sheer cliff face this is the highest clifftop on the Victorian Coastline. It is an easy walk to the viewing platform to view the resident seal colony and whales that frequent the shores. If you are not into walking take a boat trip to view the seal colony at water level. "Seals-by-sea" is a 45min tour that takes you alongside rock platforms and into the mouth of a cave where you can get close up views of the hundreds of seals entertaining visitors.

Eat drink and relax at the Cape Bridgewater Beach Cafe just across the road. Great meals, friendly staff and live music almost every sunday afternoon.

The Petrified Forest on top of Cape Bridgewater is an easy walk from the car park about 4km away from Abalone Beach house - or a 3 hr walk via the Cape. Thousands of years ago an ancient forest was smothered by a large sand dune. The wood eventually rotted away leaving a hollow centre.

Also a short walk from the car park are the Blowholes. These were formed by the sea eroding tunnels into the soft layers of scoria rock found in the area. Large waves crash into the tunnels and shoot a spout of water high into the air, creating a spectacular sight. Freshwater springs flow from the cliffs on the west coast of Cape Bridgewater forming freshwater rock pools. To see the springs, walk past the blowholes - the striking scenery makes is well worthwhile.

Bridgewater's Freshwater Lakes add another dimension to the area. They are an ideal place for canoeing, fishing, water skiing, picnicking or just soaking up the atmosphere. Limestone caves opposite the entrance to Bridgewater Lakes are home to many bats and provide excellent views across Discovery Bay.

Explore the Historic Shipwreck Trail along this scenic southern coastline; look for the road signs that lead to information plaques. Several of the wrecks are near the shore. Local scuba diving businesses can take you out diving and snorkelling.

The Great South West Walk passes by the beach directly in front of the house between Cape Bridgewater and Cape Nelson. The 250 km long Great South West walk provides an excellent opportunity to explore the fascinating variety of scenery and wildlife in South West Victoria. The walk is not solely for hardy, long distance walkers who carry everything on their back and complete the whole 250 km in one go. Most people use the track for short walks.

Lovely coastal views and tranquil surrounds make Cape Nelson State Park a perfect destination for art / photography studies, nature / culture field studies and picnicking. The Cape Nelson Lighthouse offers guided tours and there are many opportunities for walking, wildlife watching and scenic drives.

Enjoy the unspoilt beauty of Discovery Bay Coastal Park which is known for its lakes, dune areas and long sandy beaches. Vehicle access is provided at several points - driving on the dunes and beach is prohibited. The unruly tides of the ocean make this beach area an unsafe place to swim and limited access to the Park makes it all the more isolated. You can walk for kilometers beachcombing, try your hand at surf fishing, or just marvel at this amazing expanse of shifting sands.

Explore the untouched Mt Richmond National Park. Over 450 plant species occur in the park. 50 Orchid species have been recorded. Look out for Emus, Rosellas, Gang-Gang Cockatoos, Honeyeaters, Wattlebirds, Blue Wrens and you may even see a rare Rufous Bristlebird.

Take in the serenity of Lower Glenelg National Park which stretches from the mouth of the Glenelg River inland, encompassing 27,000 ha of bushland and winding river flanked by spectacular limestone cliffs. The river area provides opportunities for a wide range of activities. There are canoe hire facilities as well as river cruises available to enjoy the area from the water. There are also several car access points for fishing and for that BBQ fire….

The crystal clear water of the 85 metre deep Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park are renown worldwide for diving and snorkelling and have been featured by many national and international TV shows. There is a jetty and a walking trail to explore the ponds and its surroundings. Please contact the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Mt Gambier regarding snorkelling and the Cave Divers Association of Australia for access details on scuba diving.

Explore the Princess Lady Margaret Rose Caves and see the stalactites and stalagmites, sometimes joined into pillars, the wayward helictites, the breathtaking shawls, blankets and chandeliers, the rare cave coral all appear in seemingly liquid crystalline structures whose many hues come from minerals washing down from soil above.

Mt Eccles National Park is a popular destination for visitors wishing to explore its volcanic landscape. Take flash lights to explore the small volcanic caves.

The Food, Wine & Roses Festival is held each February in Heywood and draws over 4,000 visitors. Activities include wood chopping, local food and wine tasting, parades, carnival rides, market stalls, fireworks, floral art, photography, painting, live bands and family entertainment.

You may also choose to step by the friendly staff at the Portland Visitor Information Center on your way if you coming via Portland.