I’m a beach girl through and through. You wouldn’t pick it just by looking at me. I’m pasty and freckly, with a tinge of red in my hair – the antithesis of a beach babe, if you must. I burn to a crisp if I even think about summer, which logically would make the beach an unlikely drawcard.
I love the ocean, although I don’t venture into it much. The waves smashing on the sand are somehow soothing in their repetitive relentlessness. A lengthy stroll along the beach invigorates me unlike any gym session could.
It is not so much the sun or the sea that attract me, rather the idea of the beachside. And I’m quite fussy about which beachside I choose for I am on an eternal search for those quiet seaside villages of my childhood. Apollo Bay is one of them.
Apollo Bay invites you in with rolling hills that embrace the ocean. A picturesque scene that needs to be inhaled and absorbed rather than just viewed on postcards or photos.
The expanse of sand along the shore stretches further than the eye can see, enticing you for as long as you can walk. The grassy banks create a shelter from the winds and cocoon the coastline to give you the feeling you are on a private beach.
It is blissfully serene, particularly in the offpeak season, when a stroll at dusk along the sand could see you as the only people on the beach.
Spoilt for choice for coffee shops and eateries, lured by cooked breakfasts and long, lazy mornings reading the paper, the relaxation vibe is palpable.
A small town with the essentials for holidaying, along with the quirks and the originality of country Victoria, it has not fallen victim to the tourist consumerism of some of its neighbours. There are enough gift shops to keep me interested as I saunter down the main street while my husband chats away to the locals about best fishing spots and tide times along the Great Ocean Road.
The gorgeous pier at the top end of the town is still a working harbour where you can witness fishermen showing us how it should be done, and glimpse small fishing boats leaving for an honest day’s work. Thankfully the charming boardwalk and waterfront have not been swamped by yachts and sailing boats, resisting the soulless commercial marina. It has retained its quaint, old-style village appeal that has a rustic honesty, which we rarely have a chance to experience.
The beauty of Apollo Bay is that it can be whatever holiday you want it to be. A romantic getaway where you snuggle in front of an open fire ducking out for an evening meander along the beach, picking up takeaway and a bottle of wine to bring home and share. Or it can be a convenient base for fun-filled adventure, with an abundance of tourist options available.
For me, Apollo Bay is what memories are made of, and I can mould a holiday that fits my mood at the time. It continually draws me back and I never tire of the comfort of clean, sea air, cheery locals, and stunning surrounds. What I love most is that I can stop searching for that old-world beachside holiday of my childhood. I’ve found it in Apollo Bay.