Only 20 minutes from Portland, Cape Bridgewater is a picturesque and secluded.
The beautiful and secluded Cape Bridgewater was once a volcanic island. It is a pleasant 20 minute drive from Portland via Otway Street. The scenery enroute to the Cape offers a glimpse back in time, with stone ruins in paddocks – a testament to the area’s 1840s farming settlement. The round trip via Bridgewater Lakes and Cashmore Road is approximately 50kms.
This windswept bay comprises 4 kms of wide sandy beach, and is the hub of the town. Facilities include a beachside cafe, public toilets and great picnic spots. Bridgewater Bay Beach is patrolled by the local surf lifesaving club from the first week in December through until Easter on weekends and public holidays between 10am and 5pm
See some of the highest coastal cliffs in Victoria overlooking the deep-blue waters of Bridgewater Bay that stretches in a perfect crescent around the rim of a huge, ancient volcano crater.
Take a swim, stroll, or surf on the stunning Bridgewater Beach.
Take in the surreal landscape of the petrified forest which looks like a forest of tree roots turned into rock. Watch as the sea spray blasts metres skyward at the blowhole. See the large breeding colony of fur seals from a lookout above. Or sit back, relax, and enjoy a coffee while watching the ocean at Bridgewater Café
This area is called the petrified forest from an early theory that advancing sand engulfed an ancient forest of coastal trees that once covered the sea cliff, petrifying them for all time.
Actually the formation is a collection of hollow tubes of limestone called “solution pipes”, eroded by millions of years of rainfall. The process starts when water gathers in a shallow pan of sand and seeps downwards dissolving the limestone. The mineral saturated water then cements the sand, forming hard, trunk-shaped pipes. Most pipes around Cape Bridgewater are only three metres high, although some are as much as twenty metres.
The Petrified Forest is easily accessible from the car park at the end of Blowholes Road, Cape Bridgewater.
Formed from the lava flows of an extinct volcano the basalt (black) and scorpia (purple) rock create spectacular spouts of sea spray during high seas. The Blowholes are located approximately two minutes walk from the car park.
Take an action packed 45 minute tour by boat where you can get up close and personal with the largest mainland breed seal colony in Australia. Watch the adult and baby seals surf, slide down the rocks and jump beside the boat. If your lucky you will even see dolphins and whales as well. Tours do not operate throughout winter months. If boats are not your thing, not to worry! The seal colony is viewable via a coastal walk known as “the Seal Colony Walk,” which takes you along the eastern coast of Cape Bridgewater to a seal colony home to up to 2,500 Australian and New Zealand Fur Seals.
The Great South West Walk is south western Victoria’s premier 250km bushwalking trail, located between Portland and Nelson at the western gateway to the Great Ocean Road. A world-class experience including rugged cliffs, sublime bays, tranquil forests and pristine river, all within four National Parks. Ideally set up for shorter walks, day walks or the whole loop. Maps can be purchased from the Portland Visitor Information Centre or found on the Visit Glenelg Vic app.
The springs can be viewed by taking a 4km round trip from the carpark. Water drains through the limestone and forms a spring at the edge of the cliffs. During colonial times a stone ramp was constructed so that cattle could be headed down there in times of drought.
During certain months of the year Cape Bridgewater is the ideal base camp for whale watching. There are several locations to choose from for viewing the whales, or you can even sit inside the cafe and watch for whales just 100m from the front door.
This is a popular recreational area for fishing, canoeing and water-skiing. If you’re interested in surf fishing, beach combing or walking along 60kms of unspoilt beach. To get to the lakes, take the scenic 10 minute drive on Bridgewater Lake Road. Public toilets are available at the car park.
The lake is nestled among sand dunes and is a good place for a picnic, sand boarding and a lie-down. 30 km west of Portland on the road to Nelson is the turn off for Swan Lake Rd, a steep, loose-gravel road with a number of sharp twists. Caravans will need to be towed by a 4WD.
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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, 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.