After the excitement of Christmas, we have decamped with some other families down to Apollo Bay for a week of surfing and walking while we see in the New Year. Apollo Bay is a terrific base for exploring the surrounding Otways and Great Ocean Road. We have been doing lots of lovely short walks with our menagerie of children, ages 6 to 14. The walking here is very family friendly – lots of rivers, stepping stones, waterfalls, ancient tree fern gullies, fish, roaring waves, rockpools and towering mountain ash trees. I have written up a number of them for the Great Ocean Road Best Walks book, including Mariner’s Falls (just past aptly named ‘Paradise’!), Maits Rest rainforest loop, the Shelley Beach – Elliot River Loop Walk, Blanket Bay and the Cape Otway Light Station. All of these walks have really appealed to the kids – shady, varied and not too long! Tomorrow we are going to walk from Aire River camp site along the coastal undercliff escarpment to Castle Cove, which is one of my favourite sections of the Great Ocean Walk. Can’t wait!