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How to nail an epic road trip to Falls Festival

With 2018 just around the corner, Falls Festival is so close you can almost taste the warm, mid-strength beer. 

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We know you’re probably itching to get to the festival but really, what’s the rush? It’s probably a safe bet that you don’t head out to Lorne that often, so we’ve put together a little travel itinerary to ensure you make the most of your experience. Gather your mates, pack up the car, head along the Great Ocean Road and take in the sights – there’s no need to rush.

Bells Beach

Whether you’re looking to catch a few waves, soak up the sunshine or just take in some coastal views, Bells Beach is the place to go. Located within the Great Ocean Road region and a stone’s throw from Torquay, Bells is renowned for its waves which bring in the pros from all over for the annual Rip Curl Pro Surfing Comp – so it’s highly recommended you make room for your board. If you’re not much of a surfer, have a dip and wander around, there are plenty of vantage points offering unbeatable views of the cliffside beach.  

Captain Moonlite

After working up an appetite in the surf, fill up your tank at Captain Moonlite. Perched on the edge of a coastal cliff, the venue is in prime position for gazing out at the seaside landscape while you munch away. Graze on share plates of cured meats and pickles or cheese and crackers, or dig into something heartier with their selection of European-inspired summery dishes, like the grilled snapper with golden raisins and lemongrass. Eat up, you’ve got a big weekend ahead of you.

Aireys Pub

All that food, driving and anticipation has probably sparked your thirst, but don’t settle for any old pub, pull in for a pint at Aireys. There are craft beers aplenty on tap so you can take your pick of pale ales, lagers or golden ales. If you’re chasing something a bit different, try Aireys’ Ink Stout, infused with roasted coffee to create a rich taste and give you the buzz you need to power through the rest of your trip. Sometimes passengers get to have all the fun.

Erskine Falls

You’re en route to Falls, so it’s only fitting that you make a pit stop at one of Lorne’s most beautiful waterfalls. Depending on how much time you have on your hands (and your level of fitness) you can take a five-minute stroll to the upper lookout or opt for the more adventurous path and trek down the 240 steps to the base of the falls. If you’re really keen on getting your nature fill, there’s a 7.5km walk along the Erskine River Track which passes by Straw Falls and Spitter Falls with your name on it.

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Bottle of Milk

Chances are your stomach is grumbling again. Take it from us, you don’t want to be setting up your campsite on an empty stomach. Now’s the time to make one last stop at Bottle of Milk. They’re well known for their burgers, and with menu options like their prime beef and blue cheese burger or marinated grilled tofu burger with salad, satay and homemade chilli paste, it’s pretty easy to see why they’ve got such a solid reputation.  

Arrive at Falls

You’ve arrived at Falls so we can leave you to your own devices for now, just make sure someone’s good to drive on the way home because this road trip isn’t over yet.

Home Time

The festival is over, but it’s not quite time to face reality yet. Make a day of your trip home and take the inland route, we promise it’ll be worth your while and it’s guaranteed to qualm that post-festival sadness. And hey, you’ve already got all your camping gear in the car so you can take all the time you want.

Lake Elizabeth

After days of sleeping in a sweaty tent, dancing among thousands of tightly-crammed bodies and probably not showering as often or vigorously as you should have, a splash around in some fresh water is exactly what you need. Lake Elizabeth – hidden deep in the Otways – is a pretty phenomenal sight too – the lake formed 50 years ago when the area flooded, meaning it’s sprinkled with protruding dead tree trunks remaining from the forest that once stood there. Bonus points for sighting the ever-elusive platypus.

Forrest Brewery

Housed in the former Forrest general store, Forrest Brewery offers a huge selection of carefully crafted microbrews that’ll taste even better after a weekend of half-strength festival beers. Give yourself the palate cleanser you deserve and spring for the likes of Forrest Brewery’s Irish Red Ale with a balance of earthy malt and spicy hops, or their oatmeal stout for a creamy, smooth refreshment. They’ve got a pretty mouth-watering food menu too, offering meaty, vegetarian and vegan options all with recommendations on which brew to wash it down with.

Trees Adventure, Otway Park

Otway Park’s Trees Adventure is basically the Australian wilderness’ version of a theme park but without the long lines and overpriced tickets. Over the course of two hours, you can climb, tightrope walk and zip-line your way through the outback adventure park of your childhood dreams. Plus, the course is colour coded to indicate the varying levels of difficulty, so if your hangover hasn’t subsided yet you can stick to the less extreme stuff. Who said adventure has to result in breaking a sweat anyway?

Sweet Thyme Café

Nestled in a refurbished heritage building in Winchelsea, Sweet Thyme Café is the last must-stop spot on your journey. With a menu catering to most dietary requirements and the promise of locally sourced produce, Sweet Thyme is guaranteed to trump whatever sad takeout joint you were planning on making your lunch destination by a long shot – but we’ll let their quinoa crusted veggie tart with Meredith cheese or pulled pork sliders with house pickled onions and Asian slaw do the convincing for us on that front.

Falls Festival goes down from December 28 - December 31 in Lorne.