Whitecrest Resort:  Our History

Early History of the site – WONGARRA

The name “Wongarra” is thought to mean “a wild pigeon or parrot”.

Wongarra was first established as a farming and timber community around 1890. Small dairy farms later served the growing community at Apollo Bay. Later, farm houses were turned over to accommodate travellers.

The oldest farmhouse in the area was built by Edward Stephens and became the Grandview guesthouse in 1920. It was a hub of the small community and contained a room used as a church, the telephone exchange and a post office supported by a flying fox going up the hill. The self-sufficient farm grew everything required by the guesthouse. A small school was opened closer to the beach.

The Great Ocean Road was extended from Cape Patton and Wongarra to Apollo Bay in 1927.


Whitecrest, a self contained luxury resort, is located in the Wongarra district which continues to encompass a local farming and coastal community.

Originally the dream of Bernie and Betty Carr (originators of Buff’s Restaurant and one of the creators of the Apollo Bay Music Festival), ‘Whitecrest’ began life as ‘Sea Ranch’ Guesthouse in January of 1983 and soon became a very popular seaside destination.

After a decision to refurbish and construct six more apartments in August of 1989, the resort was renamed “Whitecrest”. This new resort rapidly developed an enviable reputation in Australia and internationally.

By September in 2004 additional resort facilities including a swimming pool, tennis court and a recreation room (with billiards and table tennis facilities) had been added and Whitecrest had become luxury Apollo Bay accommodation and the only genuine resort in the Apollo Bay area.