The 12 Apostles Gourmet Trail, as its name suggests, sits along the Great Ocean Road near the 12 Apostles), and was curated to allow visitors to experience the wonderful artisan food and beverage around the area. What’s great is that many of these places offer food tastings (for a fee), and sell local products that are exclusive to the region.
Of the 16 available recommended places (some places are opened only in specific seasons and time), my family and I visited four – Timboon Cheesery, Timboon Ice Cream, GORGE Chocolate, and Apostle Whey Cheese.
A small set-up with a garden in the surroundings. This is a lovely place to walk around on a cool day. We paid AUD$1/Pax for a simple cheese tasting session. Apart from tasting the cheeses that they produce, they also have samples of jams and sauces that are from the area. The lady explained the different cheeses to us, and it was a pretty good variety – but none really appealed to us, so we left empty-handed, but we enjoyed the experience.
A very modern ice cream parlour in the midst of the quiet town of Timboon with wonderful ice cream! From flavours like ginger, to fruity and our regular chocolate flavours, ice cream produced by this ice cream shop was spectacular. It was so good that we came back the next day for another daily dose of ice cream!
About a 20-minute drive from Port Campbell, GORGE chocolate prides itself for its range of chocolates that are made with Belgium chocolate. There is a very wide variety of chocolate types, which are all sold in small packets. They did have some chocolate-tasting, but it was well-controlled by the staff. The chocolate which I bought – the honeycomb chocolate – was really good – fluffy honeycomb with a good dark chocolate covering. This shop also sells products that are from the area, including llama-related ones.
From GORGE Chocolate, there was a sign that directed us to Apostle Whey Cheese which was a 3-minute drive away! Similar to Timboon Cheesery, Apostle Whey Cheese offered a cheese tasting session at AUD$1/Pax.
This experience was unique and we really enjoyed the variety of cheeses – soft to hard cheeses, that were presented in a very orderly manner. Each party was given a slip of paper with the list of cheeses to which we were going to sample, and it was used for us to circle the cheeses we really liked (helped when we wanted to purchase them!) The cheeses here are very fresh, and all made within the Apostle Whey Cheese compound. There is a small viewing gallery where we saw the owner processing the cheese!
We eventually bought the garlic and herb cheese as well as the brie (which they had recently won an award for). Reasonably priced and really nice, Apostle Whey Cheese is a must-visit!
The Great Ocean Road definitely wins for its scenic views, and the addition of the 12 Apostle Gourmet trail makes this route even more exciting. It is well-curated, and definitely can appeal to people of all ages. If you’re looking to add some spice into your trip along the Great Ocean Road, be sure to check this out!