Stretching from Torquay to Princetown all the way to the hinterlands to Colac lies the Great Otway National Park. Situated about 162 kilometres from Melbourne, the Otways is accessible through the Great Ocean Road where you can take a spectacular coastal drive teeming with stunning views of landscape, seascape, rainforest, and wildlife.
One of Australia’s hidden treasures, the Otways covered rugged shorelines, mountain ranges, and rainforests dotted with waterfalls, waterways, and lakes. The 103,185-hectare park also hosts a biodiversity peculiar to the temperate rainforest of Victoria. What are the things to look for and the interesting places to visit in the Otways? Well, here’s a list of the key places and sights seeing spots you may wish to see:
- Visit the quaint towns of Lorne, Anglesea, and Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road
- Get up close with Kennett River’s koalas and other wildlife
- Count the waterfalls, waterways, and lakes that dotted the Otways
- Wander in the rainforest under the giant trees with a diverse wildlife
- View the Bass Strait from the Cape Otway light station
- Be amazed at the panoramic views of Red Rock from the lookout
- Take a treetop walk above the ground
These beautiful seaside towns are the gateways to the Otways. From Lorne, for example, you hike to Cora Lynn Cascades and explore some parts of the Otways nearby. Also, the town’s friendly cockatoos may even knock on your hotel window. You can hit the beach in Anglesea or take nature walks along the trails toward the Otways. Be mesmerized by the rock formations, ancient trees, magnificent waterways, giant ferns, beautiful spring wildflowers. And from Apollo Bay, you can follow Madsens Track into the woods of myrtle beeches and towering blackwoods. Other than that, the town has plenty of treasure in store for you to explore.
Small Victorian seaside town 27 kilometres from Lorne, Kennett River is the best place to see koalas in the wild. Koalas are everywhere in this town. Not only that you can also have a closer look at the friendly parrots. Plus, the quaint town’s shorelines are simply impressive. You can even surf on the waves of its surf beaches.
From the towns of Lorne and Apollo Bay, you can take a walk to many different waterfalls. Cora Lynn Cascades, Erskine Falls, Hopetoun Falls, Triplet Falls, Beauchamp Falls, Hopkins Falls, Sheoak Falls, Kalimna Falls, you name them. And you may have a chance to see the elusive platypus at Lake Elizabeth.
The ancient rainforest boasts of giant beech, eucalyptus, black wood, and other native trees. It is also replete with plant, animal, and bird species endemic to the region. At you reach the Aire Valley Plantation stood the Californian Redwoods. The California native trees were planted as an experiment by Victorian foresters in 1936. Walking on the trails under the towering redwoods feels like you’re in a fairytale land.
Cape Otway is the highest elevation of the Great Ocean Road where you can stop by to have a look at the ocean. Also, this place is a koala colony where you can see them dozing lazily on the forks and branches of eucalyptus trees.
Located 12 kilometres from Colac, Red Rock is a young volcano that created numerous craters filled with water. This 8,000-year old volcano is one of the largest volcanic plains in the world. From the lookout, you can have a view of the entire plain all the way to Lake Corangamite.
At the Otway Fly Tree Top Walk, you will have the chance to walk on the tallest and the longest elevated walk in the world. With a 30-metre elevation, you can take a 1.9-kilometre walk from the visitor centre. You have one hour to complete the loop. The reward: a bird’s eye view of the temperate Otways rainforest.