Explore the Great Otway National Park – One of the finest temperate rainforests in Australia. Magnificent fern gullies, waterfalls, huge trees, some hundreds of years old. Walks and self drive tours await exploration in Victoria’s newest National Park which covers some 103,000 hectares and combines what was the Otway National Park, Angahook-Lorne State Park, Carlisle State Park, Melba Gully State Park and State Forest areas.
Walking tracks in the Great Otway National Park and the Otways can become muddy and slippery after rain. Appropriate footwear is recommended. Also be aware that mobile phones are frequently out of range in the Otways. And always stick to the nominated tracks do not venture off on your own.
Shelley Beach - Elliott River Walk
Approx 8kms west from Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road is the turn off to Elliott River picnic area. There is a 1 hour return walk to Shelley Beach. The longer walk to Elliott River takes about 2 hours.
Toilets, picnic tables. Be aware of tide movements avoid at high tide.
If planning a visit to Blanket Bay off season check road conditions
From Blanket Bay camp ground there is a diverse walk through coastal forest descending to Parker Inlet. Two lookouts along the way provide panoramic ocean and estuary views.
Approx 1.5 kilometers 30-40 minutes.
During the Summer and Easter holiday periods Blanket Bay campsites are allocated by ballot. Outside of this period the campground is available on a first-in first-served basis.
Cape Otway Lightstation Walks follow the Great Ocean Road 20kms turn left onto Cape Otway Lighthouse Road (clearly signed) approx 13 kilometers to the carpark. From car park there are marked walking tracks including a short walk to the fascinating cemetery the final resting place of early pioneers and ship wreck victims approx 30 minutes return. There is also a longer walk to Rainbow Falls approx 4-5 hours return. The Lightstation (entrance fee) is the oldest surviving lighthouse on the Australian mainland and was built by convicts in 1848. Guided tours allow you to experience views of the Southern Ocean from 90 metres above ground (take your camera or video) the tour also includes the Telegraph Station (1859) and other historic buildings. Accommodation is available and the café has great coffee and light meals.
Great Ocean Road Walk
91 km walk which links Apollo Bay to Glenample (opposite the 12 Apostles) passes through Great Otway and Port Campbell National Parks.
Short walks, day hikes and overnight treks, guided walks, hire equipment, accommodation.
Overnight camps Information Parks Victoria 13 1963
Apollo Bay to Cape Otway Lightstation Distance 33kms Duration Approx 3 days. Outstanding coast and forest scenery. Shorter walks – step on step off include Shelley Beach, Blanket Bay, Parker Hill.
Approx 17kms (25 minutes) from Apollo Bay on the way to Lavers Hill this walk is about 40 minutes return and is a great walk for any age. The boardwalk takes you into the heart of the rainforest under a canopy of trees.
The viewing platform is located beneath the old Myrtle Beech tree which is approximately 300 years old.
3kms west of Lavers Hill 30 minute return walk relatively easy walk amongst huge blackwood, myrtle beech and tree ferns. Glow worms are seen at night. Toilets, picnic tables and free gas BBQ.
Carry all weather clothing as sudden weather changes are common.
Mobile phones are frequently out of range.
Stay on the marked paths – do not wander off
Check conditions before heading out ie extreme weather
Inform someone of your plans
Be aware of slippery, winding roads and oncoming traffic.
Before setting out check conditions at The Apollo Bay Information Centre or go to Parks Vic website
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As well as charter vessels which take passengers to watch the whales at sea there are some great places to do shore based whale watching. To the south of Eden, Green Cape and South Head in the southern section of the Ben Boyd National Park are excellent vantage points to spot whales. Within Twofold Bay there are viewing platforms at the Rotary Park Lookout and at the eastern end of Bass Street.
Historic Grave - approximately 5 kilometers east of Wye River, is a memorial to several seamen who drowned trying to salvage the cargo from the ill fated W. B. Godfrey which was wrecked there in 1891.
The story of the Godfrey is on the display board in front of the lookout just past the grave.