The Great Ocean Road is famous for its stunning coastline views and incredible sandstone formations, but what if you’re missing something?
Between Torquay and Princetown, and stretching as far inland as to Colac, the Great Otway National Park is 1000 square kilometres of temperate rain forest. Discover pristine rain forest and breathtaking waterfalls. Receiving Victoria’s highest rainfall annually, the parks mesmerising waterfalls flow year-round, meaning there is no bad time to visit! Explorers of all abilities can enjoy the Otways, with countless waterfalls, forests, cliff top walks and coastal trails to explore. Whether you have eight minutes or eight days the Otways is sure to delight!
The Otways have some of the most beautiful waterfalls you will ever see! One of the most recognisable waterfalls, and most popular for visitors, is Triplet Falls. Easily accessible on expanded boardwalks, trek your way into the clearing to discover three distinct cascades flowing amongst the moss-covered trees and dense rain forest. Look out for Mountain Ash trees on your way, generated from a seed the size of a single grain of sand, they have grown to 200-year-old beauties. Don’t forget to look down, surrounding the paths you’ll see an array of moss and fungi. These funky growths are key to the survival of the forest and help keep the delicate ecosystem in balance.
Visit the Hopetoun Falls and see them crashing into the Aire River. A viewing platform is just a short walk from the carpark, for those who want to get closer though, a steeper walk will take you to the falls pools. Visit after rain when they are at their most spectacular, or enjoy the spray from the crashing water on a hot day.
Still want more? Check out Beauchamp Falls! Crashing over the cliff face the falls pour down into a large pool. A three-kilometer round trip will take you closer to the falls where you can enjoy them from a nearby viewing platform. Be careful when visiting after rain as the path quickly becomes slippery.
Cape Otway is the southernmost point of the Great Ocean Road. Looking out over the Bass Strait, Cape Otway is home to mainland Australia’s oldest surviving lighthouse. Built in 1848, it was hoped that the lighthouse would reduce the number of tragic shipwrecks occurring along the coastline. For many migrants in the 19th century, the lighthouse was the first sign of land after leaving Europe, Asia, and North America.
Great Ocean Road Walk
Strap on your boots, grab a swag and get ready for eight days of adventure. The Great Ocean Road Walk spans from Apollo Bay to the iconic 12 Apostles. The 100km walk takes seven nights to complete and is a spectacular way to see the Great Otway National Park and Great Ocean Road. Walk through century-old forests, along ragged cliff faces and coastal heathlands, exploring the very best of Victorian nature.
If eight days seems daunting, you can easily complete smaller sections of the walk. Step on and off the trail in towns along the way and customise your hike to suit your own needs and interests!
The Great Otway National Park is a stunning contrast to the vast ocean along the Great Ocean Road. Enjoy the lush greenery of this cool-climate rain forest and picturesque waterfalls.
Related article: Why you should visit Apollo Bay
GREAT OCEAN ROAD & RAINFOREST TOURTour Type: Small GroupAdult:
$85.00Enjoy a day exploring one of Australia's most incredible locations. Walk along surf beaches, lush rainforests & more!
GREAT OCEAN ROAD IN REVERSE TOURTour Type: Small GroupAdult:
$85.00Travel in the reverse direction to take in the iconic locations of the Great Ocean Road & avoid the crowds.
2 DAY GREAT OCEAN ROAD TOURTour Type: Small GroupAdult:
N/ASee the Great Ocean Road the right way & spend 2 full days along this awe-inspiring coastline! Includes accommodation.