Situated 143kms south east of Melbourne along the South Gippsland Highway is the beautiful seaside town of Inverloch that's never short on family fun. Fishing, boating, windsurfing, kite surfing, surfing, swimming and stand up paddle boarding (SUPing) are popular activities at Inverloch.
We set our caravan up on a quiet, sheltered site at Inverloch Foreshore Camping Reserve, separated from the sandy shores of Anderson Inlet only by native vegetation. The campground offers powered and unpowered grass sites and contains several clean amenities blocks. Keen to explore, we crept along one of the many sandy paths leading out to the inlet's stunning open coastal plains.
Anderson Inlet is a shallow estuary where the Tarwin River enters Bass Strait. The massive tidal changes make the beach an ideal place for families with children, since the tide recedes far, leaving behind several warm pools of ankle-deep water for the kiddies. When the tide returns, the waters remain calm and become a little deeper for stronger swimmers. Each afternoon we found ourselves lazing on the shores of Anderson Inlet as our two girls, aged 6 and 8, entertained themselves in the 'warm baths' before returning to camp.
FOR THE KIDS
A couple of days is not nearly enough time to absorb all that Inverloch has to offer but Bunurong Marine Park is a must-see. The protected marine park is a 17km stretch of coast from Inverloch across to Cape Paterson. We took our two girls to Flat Rocks beach at low tide to explore an array of rock pools and uneven rocky platforms, and uncovered an abundance of diverse marine life — crabs being top of the list.
We continued our picturesque drive along the coastline to several other beaches where we discovered more rock pools at The Caves and stopped to take photos of the breathtaking views of Eagles Nest. Interestingly, the area is linked to the discovery of dinosaurs. The coastline has been scientifically dated at approximately 115-120 million years old and more than 6000 bones and teeth of small dinosaurs have been excavated.
There are many worthy spots to snorkel along the seaboard and we plan to return on our next trip, armed with boogie boards ready for the nearby patrolled surf beach.
FOR THE ADULTS
When my brother-in-law suggested we try a nearby winery for a taste, I imagined gorgeous country views and a high set fancy restaurant with giant windows overlooking lush green hills, lined with grape vines… so you can imagine my surprise when we drove up a long dirt road and pulled up to a small brick house with an overgrown yard and a few vines behind an old farm shed. It wasn’t a winery that opens to the public but a wine grower who will open by appointment only. There at Bass Phillip Estate, I had one of the best wine experiences ever and was pleasantly surprised to meet the wine grower himself, Phillip. Phillip invited us into his giant shed to reveal massive wine vats and winemaking machinery. He gave us an informative and comprehensive review of some of his wines. Now, I am no wine connoisseur, but some of the wines I tasted that day were delicious. Some of the best advice I was given a long time ago: “if you like it, drink it!”
This wine visit exceeded my expectations. Behind the overgrown farmhouse in what seemed like the middle of nowhere, Phillip actually produces some of Australia’s premium award winning wines. I was captivated listening to Phillip talk — he oozed enthusiasm and knowledge and showed real passion for making quality wine. Phillip believes in minimal human intervention where possible — no irrigation or pesticides — and the growing is left largely to the elements of Mother Nature. Phillip then took us for a personalised walking tour amongst the vines and we had a lesson about the soil, the grape colours, and harvesting. He then offered us the best interactive wine tasting I have ever encountered, Bass Phillip Estate is like a hidden gem located only a 20-minute drive from Inverloch. Be sure to ring ahead and make an appointment for this unique insight into some brilliant Australian made wine.
The Inverloch township is a leisurely 15-20 minute walk from the campground, and boasts various dine-in or take-out food options. The adults liked the choice of two pubs while the kids liked the choice of ice cream outlets and the delightful Treat Time lolly shop. Camping at Inverloch can be as active or as relaxed as you like. The easy 90-minute drive from the everyday hustle and bustle of Melbourne makes for an amazing weekend beach escape. Inverloch is a real breath of fresh air.
The full feature appeared in Caravan World #574. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!