The oldest surviving lighthouse in mainland Australia, Cape Otway Lightstation was built in 1848 without mortar by more than 40 stonemasons. There are sublime coastal views from its observation deck, while the Telegraph Station has fascinating displays on the 250km undersea telegraph-cable link with Tasmania, laid in 1859. It's a sprawling complex with plenty to see, from Aboriginal cultural sites to a WWII radar bunker built to detect potential Japanese threats.
The Gadubanud people are the traditional custodians of the Otway region, and the lighthouse precinct offers an excellent overview of their culture and traditions at its excellent Meeting Hut wuurn (Aboriginal shelter). Aim to get here for one of the daily bush-tucker talks, generally held at noon and 3pm.
The turn-off for Lighthouse Rd, which leads 12km down to the lighthouse, is 21km from Apollo Bay – a beautiful stretch that takes you through enchanting rainforest. There's a cafe here, as well as the option to stay at the lighthouse keeper's cottages.
It's slightly cheaper to buy tickets online.