A RECONSTRUCTED 15th century ship which visited Apollo Bay for Easter has extended its stay until Sunday.
Notorious, a recreation of a 1480 caravel, has been anchored in the Apollo Bay harbour since Good Friday.
Co-owner Felicity Wylie said she and husband Graeme, the ship’s constructor and designer, had welcomed hundreds of visitors on board for inspections over the Easter break.
Mrs Wylie said she and her husband extended their stay because they had “been made very welcome” at Apollo Bay and wanted to meet more tourists and residents.
“It’s a beautiful place to be, Apollo Bay was humming over Easter and we anticipate the visitors will continue to come,” she said.
Great Ocean Road Visitor Information Centre co-ordinator Katy Biddle said Notorious “created a lot of interest over the weekend particularly with families”.
The Apollo Bay centre received 2520 visitors during the Easter weekend, a 15 per cent decrease compared with the same time period last year.
Ms Biddle said accommodation was “heavily booked” on Saturday night at Apollo Bay and all campsites within the Great Otway National Park were fully booked.
Ms Biddle said visitors to the centre often asked about natural attractions within the Otways and short walks and hikes along the Great Ocean Walk.
Meanwhile, Lorne’s Visitor Centre experienced significantly higher visitor numbers compared with last Easter.
Lorne Visitor Centre team leader Bree McMaster said about 3000 people visited the centre from Good Friday to Easter Monday, compared with 2370 people who visited during the 2015 Easter holiday period.
Ms McMaster credited the high visitor numbers to events such as the Lorne Sculpture Biennale.
“We had a lot on with the sculptures, the Lions Easter Arts Show and a market for the kinder on the foreshore on the Saturday,” she said.
“It was a really busy Easter.”
Ms McMaster said accommodation was “about 90 per cent full” at Lorne throughout Easter.
Colac Visitor Information Centre co-ordinator Debbie Frizon said the centre received 679 visitors during the Easter weekend, a figure slightly higher than last Easter.
Ms Frizon said the centre was busy on Good Friday and received a high level of inquires from visitors about camping, the Otway Fly and the Twelve Apostles.
She said volunteers at the centre also handed out “lots” of information about the Birregurra Arts Weekend and Deans Marsh Festival to visitors.