Barwon Heads is a small, sleepy, coastal town about 90 minutes drive southwest of Melbourne. It’s close to the better-known towns of Geelong and Ocean Grove. Barwon Heads was largely a fisherman’s village back in the day, becoming a popular holiday spot in the 1930s, when the wealthy Melbourne crowd flocked there to build houses by the sea. Golf has been a very big part of Barwon’s growth, with the very exclusive Barwon Heads Golf Club perched a top a little hill right by the ocean.
The town’s population is only around 4,000 but swells at summer time. However, part of its charm is the fact it’s still far less popular than beachside towns along the Great Ocean Road, such as Lorne and Torquay. Because Barwon Heads is so close to Melbourne, we love to get down there at any time of the year to feel that glorious salty air on our skin, hit the local cafes and take a break from city life. Here’s a list of my must-dos while you’re in Barwon.
Barwon Heads Holiday Accommodation
Beach Houses at Barwon Heads Caravan Park | Ewing Blyth Dr, Barwon Heads, Victoria
There are no big-name hotels in Barwon. I know when you read “caravan park” you probably don’t think of the most luxurious accommodation, but these fully self-contained beachfront cabins at Barwon Heads Caravan Park give you the best view in town and are really clean and very nicely furnished.
Cost: from about $AUD220 per night
Restaurants in Barwon Heads
At the Heads | 1A Ewing Blyth Road, Barwon Heads, Victoria
At the Heads is the only eatery in town right on the beach. When I say ‘right on the beach’, I mean literally sitting right on the sand (well on a pier). The wonderful views are coupled with basic, but great breakfasts, lunches and dinner, with a focus on seafood.
Annie’s Provedore | 2/50 Hitchcock Avenue, Barwon Heads, Victoria
Annie’s Provedore is a quaint deli come café serves delicious and hearty meals, like house-baked pork and fennel sausage rolls, pies, pizzas and charcuterie boards. What’s even better is, you can buy a local bottle of wine for under $30! NB: it gets busy here and there’s not a lot of room, so allow plenty of time.
Café Maritana | 1 Flinders Parade, Barwon Heads, Victoria
Cafe Maritana serves if great coffee, simple, shareable meals, a relaxed atmosphere and the lovely ocean breeze make this place a local favourite. They also have live music every Friday from 7pm.
Barwon Orange | 60 Hitchcock Avenue, Barwon Heads, Victoria
Barwon Orange is a vibrant, pumping café and restaurant is best-known for its local produce and great wood fired pizzas. Like everything in Barwon, it’s casual and perfect for families with small children.
Hitchcock Avenue is the main shopping strip of town, with a number of cute boutiques. It won’t take you long to make your way down it (unless you get caught in one of the gorgeous stores, of course).
Move Athletica | 55C Hitchcock Avenue, Barwon Heads, Victoria
Move Athletica This is the perfect place for fit travellers to get some retail therapy, stocking all the latest and trendiest fitness wear.
S&R Boutique | 41 Hitchcock Ave, Barwon Heads, Victoria
Luxe bohemian is how I’d describe the fashion in S&R Boutique. Lots of wonderful well-known brands, like Viktoria and Woods, but plenty of others you’ve probably never heard of. The perfect place to pick up a cute, beach-inspired outfit for your stay in Barwon.
Bluff Circuit Walk
Great at any time of the year and a wonderful way to check out the beautiful coastline (as well as walking/running off that delicious charcuterie board from Annie’s). Start at the car park next to the bridge and follow the path past At the Heads, all the way along and up the stairs.
Barwon Heads Golf Club | Golf Links Rd, Barwon Heads, Victoria
The Barwon Heads Golf Club is world-renowned and very exclusive, but it DOES open its 18-hole course up to visitors sometimes on weekdays. If you’re a keen golfer, this is definitely the place to spend your time.
Sophia Lazarides is a journalist and public relations professional based in London. She is on a mission to live a stylish life.