🌲Anglesea, Aireys Inlet, Bellbrae, Forrest, Lake Elizabeth & Belmont Market🌲
The Great Ocean Road is such a lovely place to be. An added bonus is its easily accessible from Melbourne, making this op shop / forest adventure a wonderful weekend away indeed!
We based ourselves in Aireys Inlet for 2 nights in a rustic log cabin we found on Airbnb called Yikla. It had 3 beautiful bedrooms, some kids toys, a well equipped kitchen & the worlds most impressive fire place in the lounge room.
On the drive down, there are 2 fabulous op shops that you simply must stop into before you hit Anglesea - if they are open
(see below for directions and opening hours)
The pick of the bunch for me was the sweet Bellbrae Book Room & Bric a Brac op shop. It’s literally a cute wooden chapel standing alone on the side of the road hidden in a small forest. There are 2 rooms to explore here, one being the most impressive book room I’ve come across, it’s so so sweet.
The next stop on the way to Anglesea was the Anglesea Recycle Centre found at the Anglesea Landfill, here you will find affordable furniture and larger pieces.
In Anglesea there was the wonderful Seasides Seconds Op Shop. This wee op was super cute and really big too, it was buzzing with people and had a true community feel to it.
We explored these op shops on our first day, then went to our log cabin to bunker down for a lovely winter evening with the fire roaring.
We woke early the following morning and set out to Forrest, which was about a 1hr drive inland from Aireys Inlet, on our drive there we saw many kangaroos, wallabies, kookaburras & a big beautiful koala with a baby on its back, it was magic!
The drive to Forrest is simply beautiful, we took an accidental back road winding through the Otways and drove through the forest while wild wattle was in bloom, it was unreal.
Forrest is such a cute hidden little Victorian country town. And it boasts 2 of the quirkiest op shops EVER!
The St James Church Op Shop was just delightful, so worth a visit!
The other gem in Forrest is Forrest Retro Road, this quirky store is pretty much someone’s house with a bevy of treasure strewn around it! Sadly it was closed when we visited, and there does not seem to be much information online about its opening hours, it’s one of those ops that you are lucky to be there when its open I guess. I did a little poking around from outside and it looked sooooo cool!
The whole reason we also ventured up to Forrest was to go hiking through the forest to see Lake Elizabeth. It’s a short 10min drive from Forrest village and it’s a stunning walk through the tall gum & towering fern tree forest. We were in awe as we walked to the lake.
The lake was formed over 50 years ago by a landslide, its beauty is unreal.
If you are up there at dusk you may spot platypus, and as you walk along the paths at night they are dotted with glow worms, it truly is a magical spot.
We drove back to Melbourne on a Sunday, which means you can swing past the Belmont Market if you please. Its a bric a brac market with all kinds of wonderful treasure - only open on Sundays
She Hunts Hints
* we allowed 2 nights away for this adventure, you could potentially only stay one night however.
* The hike to Lake Elizabeth is about 30mins in, it includes some hilly parts. It was quite muddy at some points.
* You can loop around the whole lake which takes about 3hrs
* We walked for about 4.5kms in total
* Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash
* Public toilets available in the carpark
* Picnic areas are available, no camp fires are allowed, take all your rubbish with you when leaving.
* Lake Elizabeth also has camping facilities
Bellbrae Book Room & Bric a Brac
Bellbrae Uniting Church, School Road, Bellbrae VIC
hours are unknown sorry
Anglesea Recycle Station
50 Coalmine Road, Anglesea
open Mon - Sun 9am - 4pm
Anglesea Seasides Seconds Op Shop
71 Great Ocean Rd, Anglesea VIC
open Mon - Sat 9.30am - 4pm
St James Op Shop Forrest
20 Grant St, Forrest VIC
open Fri - Sat 9.30am - 4pm
Forrest Retro Road
12-14 Station Street, Forrest VIC
unsure of opening hours, sorry
Sports Complex, Belmont
Open Sundays until 1pm
All photos taken by me Pixie Rouge Photography, film is by my husband