One of the things I love about the reserve is the interpretive signage. Each sign provides information on the history of the area and its people. One of the interesting facts that I learned was that the lookout was previously referred to as "Bald Hill" due to its lack of vegetation (a surprising piece of information given that the site today has some beautiful native trees and plants, and the dunes are covered in dense vegetation).
Interpretive signage at Lookout Reserve - From Left: First Nation People; Grant's Lookout; Arrival of European Settlers.
The Lookout Located just across the road from the playground, Ocean Grove Lookout is a great place to take some photos, get out the binoculars and do some ship-watching, or sit and eat lunch while taking in the views.
When you arrive at the lookout, there is an unmarked gravel carpark area, with rubbish bins and seats, and a pathway leading to a small grass area overlooking the beach.
On the grass area next to the carpark, there's a monument displaying a directional finder. The signage located near the playground outlines the history of the lookout and directional finder, describing how a local resident, Mr Thomas Grant built a wooden tower at the site in 1925.
This building was known as both "Grant's Lookout" and "The Tower", and after falling into disrepair, it was fixed and maintained by Charles Stevens, a man from Melbourne who moved to the area. Stevens installed the bronze directional finder on a platform in The Tower, and it remained there until the Bellarine Council demolished the construction in the 1990s.
The directional finder was then re-installed into its current position by the Rotary Club of Ocean Grove in 2011.
Overall, it's a beautiful reserve, and well worth a visit. I'd recommend it for those who enjoy taking photos, are interested in the history of the area, are looking for a place to have a picnic, or who just want to let the kids have a play at a playground.
Getting there: There are two ways to access Lookout Reserve:
By road: Drive along Orton Street and turn into Lookout Road (it's signposted). Keep driving a short distance, until you reach the loop at the end of the road.
On foot: From the foreshore walking track, head up the hill via the wooden steps.
The steps from the walking track to Lookout Reserve. When I visited, there had been an overnight dew and the steps were a bit wet and slippery.
Toilets: No. The nearest toilets are located at the end of Hodgeson Street.
To get there, it's either 2 minutes by car (drive back down Lookout Drive, turn right into Orton Street, then right again into Hodgson Street), or a 250m walk (go down the wooden steps towards the beach, then head east along the walking track)
Rubbish Bins: Yes, there are bins at the playground, picnic area and lookout.
Picnic Facilities: Yes, there are picnic tables and seats. If you're looking for public barbecues, try the Surf Beach Road BBQ and Picnic Area, which is just a short distance away.