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St George River Estuary, Lorne
Swimming Hole Heaven in Victoria

The St George River meanders its way through a broad, relatively flat bank of sand on its way out to the sea. On the outgoing tide, the water is lightly warmed in the shallow stream from the sun's rays, allowing you to sit and soak while the surf rumbles gently in the distance. The river is 2-3 metres across in most parts, but generally only a few centimetres deep. Kids can readily skip across the water from one side to the other, or run along its length chasing juvenile fish. St George River near Lorne Above: The headland above the tranquil St George River near Lorne (Order this image)

Two steep, forested headlands run down to the sand on either side of the river valley, framing the river valley with brilliant green vegetation. Visibility in the water is usually quite good, with only a slight natural brown hue, so you can readily see what's in the water and what's under foot.
The river is tidal and it will change direction throughout the day if the mouth is open - keep an eye on the changing water depths as the tide comes in. As a general rule, the closer you go back towards the bridge, the deeper the water will get. St George River near Lorne Above: The view across the sandbar to the ocean at St George River near Lorne (Order this image)

The river can be both deeper and faster flowing after rainfall, when it is less suitable for kids. Equally, the river can dry up in drought years, when you may find the water stagnant or non-existent.
Outside of these times, it is a fantastic place to pause, relax and explore when heading along the Great Ocean Road.

There are no facilities (including no toilets) at the St George River estuary, so you need to bring your own everything.
Other Information Before You Go:
Location: Great Ocean Road, 1 km south of Lorne, and 150 km (approx. 2 hr drive) south-west of the Melbourne CBD.
Latitude:-38.555110 Longitude:143.976074
Getting there: To get to Lorne, take the Princes Fwy (M1) towards Geelong, continuing on the Geelong bypass until you reach Waurn Ponds. From there follow the signs to the Great Ocean Road along the Anglesea Road (C134) and then the Great Ocean Road (B100) to Lorne. Travel through Lorne for a further kilometre after you leave town, and park in the gravel area just after going across the St George River bridge.

General facilities: Car park
Baby change facilities: No
Sun shade: No shade available on the beach
Entrance fee: None
Opening times: Always open
Wheelchair access: None
Prohibitions: No camping, no fires, no smoking, no alcohol, no glass, dogs on leash at all times, no taking of shellfish.
Managing authority: Great Ocean Road Coast Committee
Nearby attractions: Sheoak Falls, 2km to the south and the Erskine River rapids, 4 km to the north.
Before you head out, make sure to read the swimming safety information and check with the managing authority for any current change of conditions. This beach is not patrolled by lifeguards. If you would prefer to swim at a beach with lifeguards during the peak summer holiday period, Lorne Surf Beach is approximately 3 km to the north and is patrolled during peak summer periods. The managing authority also advises that there are submerged rocks, strong currents, high surf and snakes along this stretch of beach.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the approximate location of the car park on the side of the Great Ocean Road. If the map is not zoomed in locally, as can occur with some browsers, simply click or tap on "View Larger Map" below.
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