Picturesquely set at the foot of the heavily forested Otway Range, on the banks of the Erskine River, LORNE has long been the premier holiday town of the Great Ocean Road. Only two hours’ drive from the city, it’s hugely popular with Melbourne weekenders who relish its surf scene and café society overlaid on an essentially middle-class 1930s resort. To complete the picture, the lush Great Otway National Park, with its walking tracks, plunging falls and fern gullies, surrounds the town.

About a thousand people live in Lorne, but from Christmas until the end of January twenty thousand more pour in; if you arrive unannounced, you’ll have no hope of finding even a camping spot.