Cumberland River, the secret seaside spot where you can tune out or take in all that Lorne has to offer.
Located just 7 minutes past Lorne, Cumberland River is a tranquil riverside getaway that makes you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere – with the luxury of Lorne just around the corner. The dramatic cliffs that flank Cumberland River Holiday Park not only creates one of the prettiest campgrounds in Victoria but also a wi-fi free hideaway. Who needs a device when the peaceful pools, rippling waterfalls and the nearly private surf beach are your playground, all with in metres of your riverside campsite or cabin. Offline may just be the new luxury… but if you’re looking for the ultimate in seaside sophistication nearby Lorne serves up some of the finest dining, shopping and experiences on the Great Ocean Road. Best of both worlds!
As we made our way to Cumberland River, locally dubbed as the ‘wiggly bit’ of the Great Ocean Road we couldn’t help but be wowed by the sunset – vibrant streaks of pink, purple and orange paint the sky as mountains meet the sea. What a welcome!
Home for the weekend, we couldn’t be happier as we set up camp right beside Cumberland River’s popular swimming hole. The Cumberland River Holiday Park runs along the banks of the bumbling river, nestled between a lush green valley and dramatic cliffs – even though it was getting dark it was easy to see this is one of the most picturesque holiday parks in Victoria. The perfect place to not only connect with nature but reconnect with your loved ones too.
A great way to get sparks flying with your partner is by tackling Australia’s most electrifying zipline and treetop challenge – Live Wire Park. This elevated experience set in the towering treetops of the Otway’s is not for the faint hearted. The Shockwave Zip Coaster is the most extreme zip line in Australia, twisting and turning for 525 exhilarating metres through the towering treetops of the Otway’s. And the Super Circuit is the most challenging of the treetop trails with 53 mid-air trails, suspended bridges, tree scaling activities, Tarzan swing and a supercharged 10m QuickJump bungee – it’s not just a physical challenge but a mental challenge too!
Even the most frazzled nerves will be soothed by a seafood and champagne lunch at coastal chic, Coda Lorne. It started as a summer pop up at the Lorne Hotel and due to overwhelming success is now a permanent addition.
Lorne Hotel is fast becoming a dining Mecca on the Great Ocean Road – with MoVida on the ground floor, the pub in the middle and Coda now up the top! Ocean views and its prime main street location also seal the deal.
The Coda interior is as beautiful as the food itself. Relaxed and breezy, a celebration of local produce and people. This close to the ocean we couldn’t resist dining on the super fresh, flavour forward crispy prawn betel leaf, rock oysters with spanner crab and nam jim dressing, kingfish sashimi, Coda slaw and barramundi with jungle aromats. Bliss.
On your way from Coda back to Cumberland River there’s a great scenic spot that’s well worth a stop – Teddys Lookout. Located out the back of Lorne, the newly constructed walkway leads you to the viewing platform then …. tada!… the breathtaking, sweeping views of St George River. If you feel like a short walk to help work off lunch the lower platform will further reward you with views of the mountain peaks and St George river winding its way through the fern filled valley.
Then it was time to return to camp at our own beautiful Cumberland River. Where the biggest decision to make was where to swim – the family friendly natural rockpools right at your front door or the private 200m sandy surf beach where the river meets the Southern Ocean. Why not do both!
What better way to finish off a great day than relaxing riverside with a delicious BBQ dinner and a glass of wine. You can have your own fire at Cumberland River Holiday Park, they even supply you with your own purpose-built fire drum and hotplate, firewood can be purchased from reception.
Why sleep in when there’s so much to see! We woke at sunrise to some friendly local kangaroos enjoying their breakfast – the freshly mowed lawn of our campsite. We needed to work up an appetite before ours so we set off on the easy walk to Jebb’s Pools, located at the rear of the holiday park. You’ll follow the river valley through cinematic canyons, pebbled river crossings, tranquil fern gullies to the peaceful pools and cascading falls. It would be a great place for a dip on a hot summers day but on this Sunday morning it was an idyllic spot for a morning coffee.
It was sad to checkout of our Cumberland River campsite but the promise of coffee and breakfast at the iconic Swing Bridge Café and Boathouse perked us up. Located at the mouth of the Erskine River and beside the historic swing bridge this café is one of Lorne’s best kept secrets. Far away from the bustling hive of main street the Swing Bridge Café is the perfect place to keep the serenity of a seaside Sunday intact.
It was far too early to call a wrap on this great weekend so we headed to the fern lined pool of Kalimna Falls. The gentle 3km walk from the Sheoak Picnic Area to the pools follows a historic timber tramway route, you can see some of the original sleepers used to build it along the way. The tranquil trail follows a creek valley filled with ferns and huge blue gums all the way to Lower Kalimna Falls. Whilst not the biggest waterfalls in the Otways, Lower Kalimna Falls comes with its own unique charm. Water trickles from the overhanging rock ledge leaving a large cave behind the falls – an idyllic spot to explore or take in the view of the large plunge pool, mossy rocks and surrounding ferns. The brave can even freshen up in one of nature’s most scenic showers.
Cumberland River Holiday Park is located on the Great Ocean Road at Cumberland River, 7km south west of Lorne, approx. 3.15h from Melbourne.Follow the Princes Highway (M1) from Melbourne to Geelong, then take the Great Ocean Road (B100) through Torquay to Cumberland River. Or follow the Princes Highway (M1) from Melbourne to Geelong to Winchelsea (A1). Then take C151 via Deans Marsh to Cumberland River.
Camping right beside Cumberland River, device free!
The luxury of Lorne only 7km away
The physical and mental challenge of Live Wire Park
Having your own private beach only metres away from camp
Scenic waterfalls walks starting from the campground
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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawuurung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Ancestors, past present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.