Ocean Grove is home to some of Australia’s best beaches.
The surf beaches are superb with golden sands and protected dunes.
There is also a sandy beach at the the mouth of the Barwon River overlooking Barwon Heads which is very popular with families looking for calmer waters for the children. Smith’s beach facing Bass Straight is a favourite for swimmers, surfers and people who just want to soak up the sun. There is also good beach fishing along the wide sandy strip. There are a range of events in the town, many featuring the beach with various surf life saving events, beach runs
The main street the Terrace is home to a vibrant cosmopolitan shopping area with good shopping, cafes, restaurants and recently a few bars. There are some great surf shops and the streetscape has recently been upgraded and is decorated with shark fin metal bollards giving the street a great nautical look.
Dining and Shopping
Al fresco dining is all the go with many places offering food or refreshments outdoors or take-away. There are some delicious dining choices around the ’Grove’, The Dunes Cafe and Bar next to the Surf Life Savings Club nestled amongst the sand dunes is a quality dining experience.
Along the terrace Thai Mekong does a magnificent spicy curry and the Ming Terrace opposite has some lovely Asian style seafood dishes. The Terrace is also home to many cafes, serving gourmet foods many with local ingredients and there is a great range of fast foods, tasty pizza’s, fresh fish and chips, chicken and even the big takeaway chains are starting to appear in town.
Zebra Bar opposite is a great spot to enjoy the view whilst having a quiet beer. There’s nothing quiet like sitting in one of the alfresco areas enjoying a long brunch on a sunny morning.
For shoppers, Ocean Grove offers a mix of boutiques and specialty stores. Recently some of the major brands have come to town. With the beach being the main focus in town, there are plenty of surf wear shops and of course some great places to buy a surf or boogie board.
A Changing landscape
With only 25 or so minutes drive to the centre of Geelong, Ocean Grove over the last few years has really grown, there are many new housing estates which has also brought with it great facilities like shopping centres, sporting facilities including a new swimming pool. The town is growing rapidly to the east along the area which was known as Collendina.
Ocean grove has a couple of hidden natural treasures which many people don’t get to see, Blue Waters Lake and the Begola Wetlands are inland waters which feature some great walking tracks and a wide selection of native bird life including pelicans, ibis and other water foul. Another natural attraction is the Ocean Grove Nature Reserve, found in Grubb road just out of town there are 143 acres set aside for native wildlife and is the last remaining piece of natural bush land on the Bellarine Peninsula. The reserve is home to some koalas and kangaroos, possums and plenty of birds.
The Foreshore Reserve is the towns main camping area, where thousands camp between the tea trees each summer in tents, campers and caravans. There is a long park which runs along the eastern side of the Barwon River, once waste land and even a tip the area is now home to a boat ramp and golf course plus parkland and plenty of places for walks and cycling.
The town has also been a popular location for filming, the ABC series Sea Change filmed during the 1990’s used many locations around Ocean Grove and the film Kenny featuring a toilet hirer also filmed in the area.