Ocean Grove is a beautiful seaside town on the Bellarine Peninsula, just half an hour from Geelong. It's a popular tourist destination and is well-known for its beaches and a relaxed holiday vibe. Here are 10 things to do when you next visit Ocean Grove:
1. Visit the Lookout
The view from the lookout
Ocean Grove Lookout is located just minutes from the main shopping area in old Ocean Grove and offers beautiful views of the ocean and coastline.
It includes a reserve area with a playground, picnic area, interpretive signage, directional finder, as well as stair access to the beach track below. It's a great place to take photos, have a picnic lunch, or sit and admire the view while enjoying some fish and chips.
2. Visit the Markets
The playground located at the Ocean Grove Lookout
Image Source: oceangrovepark.org.au
The markets are a popular feature of Ocean Grove and are enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. There are a couple of markets held every month, as well as several special market events. Some of the markets include:
- Held at Ocean Grove Park, on the first Sunday of every month, from October until April
Car Boot Sales
- These take place several times during the year at Ocean Grove Park, and are advertised on the Ocean Grove Park website, and on signage at the park entrances.
Barwon Heads Community Market
- Held just a short distance away, at the Barwon Heads Hall. This market is held on the last Saturday of the month (and every Saturday during December and January).
Other similar events to keep an eye out for include:
3. Go for a Swim
The White Elephant Stall at the Fresh Food Fair (Image Source: Surfside Fresh Food Fair Facebook Page)
Ocean Grove is well-known for it's beaches, and has a couple of good places to go for a dip:
This is the main beach in Ocean Grove and is a great place for swimming, surfing, and dog walking. It's a popular beach and is often packed during summer. The water can get quite rough here, so if you're unfamiliar with the area, it's a good idea to check when the beach will be patrolled and to swim between the flags.
This beach is located on Barwon River and is a popular place for families. It's more sheltered than the main beach, and is great when the tide is out, as you can walk out and explore the 'mini islands'. It's a good beach for kids, but the water does get deep fairly quickly in some sections (also keep an eye out for strong currents, which can carry swimmers and paddleboarders out towards the mouth of the river).
If it's overcast but the kids are still keen for a swim, the sports centre is an excellent choice. Located on Shell Road, Bellarine Aquatic and Sports Centre has a lap pool, small pool, splashdown area with slides, and a toddler pool. It also has a gym and indoor sports facilities, and cafe serving hot food, snacks, beverages and more.
4. Visit the Op Shops
Image Source: BASC Facebook Page
If you love to grab a bargain, then check out Ocean Grove's Op Shops. There are currently four stores located in Ocean Grove - two in the original Ocean Grove area, and two in the industrial area on Grubb Road:
The Wave Op Shop
- 28 Hodgson Street, Ocean Grove
The Dove Op Shop
- Corner of Eggleston Street and The Parade, Ocean Grove
- 18 Marine Parade, Ocean Grove
Salvos Thrift Shop
- 4/6 Marine Parade, Ocean Grove
All offer a range of clothing, books, toys, jewellery, homewares, furniture, and more. A detailed review of the stores, and what they each offer is available here
5. Bushwalking at Ocean Grove Nature Reserve
Image Source: The Wave Facebook Page
Ocean Grove Nature Reserve
Ocean Grove Nature Reserve is located just off Grubb Road, and is a fantastic place to go for a walk and to enjoy a picnic. There are several walking tracks throughout the reserve, and all of the walks are fairly easy and flat. The reserve is home to a number of native animals, including wallabies, possums and echidnas.
If you're into photography, Autumn is a great time to go to get some shots of the different varieties of fungi, whereas Spring is best if you're looking for wildflowers.
For more information, visit: https://www.weekendnotes.com/ocean-grove-nature-reserve/
6. Go for a Walk at Blue Waters Lake Reserve
Hidden away in the old Ocean Grove area, Blue Waters Lake Reserve is a lake and walking track that is home to a wonderful variety of birds, including ducks, pelicans, swans and more. There is an unsealed walking track around the lake, plus a number of seats and picnic tables.
Access to the walking track is from either Blue Waters Drive or Cuthbertson Drive.
On the opposite side of Blue Waters Drive, you'll also find a playground which has recently been upgraded and has play equipment for children of all ages, including a flying fox.
7. Explore the Maze and Play Mini Golf
If you'd like to have a game of mini-golf, or race your friends to see who can escape the maze first, head on over to Amaze N Games
on Grubb Road for a day of fun.
The maze is one of the largest timber mazes in Australia, and the aim is to collect each of the four coloured stamps hidden in the maze...and then find your way out again.
The mini-golf course is 24 holes, and if you're keen to keep playing, Bellarine Adventure Golf
is located just across the road, and includes two mini-golf courses.
8. Play Tennis, Golf, Lawn Bowls and more
Image Source: Amaze N Games
For those who enjoy sport, there are several clubs and sporting facilities in the area:
Ocean Grove Golf Club
- Located on the Barwon River, this is a 9 green course, and can be played as either 9-holes or 18-holes
Ocean Grove Bowling Club
- The club features 2 lawn greens and 1 carpet green, as well as a restaurant, bistro, and sports bar.
Ocean Grove Tennis Club
- The club is located on Asbury Street, and includes 5 mod-grass tennis courts and 2 plexipave public access courts. There are also 5 public access courts next to the Bellarine Aquatic and Sports Centre on Shell Road.
Image Source: Ocean Grove Golf Club
Located in Wallington, just 5 minutes drive from Ocean Grove, Adventure Park
is a popular theme park with rides and attractions for all ages. The park features both water rides and dry rides
Adventure Park is open from November through until April, however, opening days and times vary, so make sure you check the website
10. Take the kids to the Parks and playgrounds
Image Source: Adventure Park Facebook Page
Ocean Grove is home to a number of parks and playgrounds, and I've found that most have fairly new equipment and are well maintained.
Some of the playgrounds include:
Ocean Grove Park
- This park features playground equipment, two fitness areas, public barbecues and picnic tables.
- At the time of publication, this park was being upgraded, but it should be open by the end of 2019 and will feature a range of new and exciting play equipment for all ages.
There are also a couple of smaller, less well-known playgrounds
in Ocean Grove.
The new playground at Cuthbertson Reserve, Ocean Grove
...and if you're looking other things to do, why not try:
Barwon Heads is just across the bridge from Ocean Grove and is home to some fantastic playgrounds, cafes, shops, nature walks, a golf course, and more.
The Ocean Grove Library:
Ocean Grove Library is located on Presidents Avenue. It's a small library, but has a good collection of books, magazines and newspapers, public access computers and free wi-fi for library members. There are also a number of free events held throughout the year for both adults and children (especially during the school holidays).
Bellarine Horseriding Centre is located in nearby Wallington and offers lessons for riders of all abilities, pleasure rides for experienced riders, and pony rides for children aged under 6.
If you'd like to enjoy a day of wine tasting, there are several vineyards near Ocean Grove, including Oakdene on Grubb Road
, Banks Road Winery
, McGlashan's Wallington Estate
, Marcus Hill Vineyard
, and Ponda Estate
Fruit Picking in Summer:
Pick your own strawberries at Lomas Orchards
in nearby Wallington, or head on over to Tuckerberry Hill in Drysdale
to pick some blueberries and strawberries.