Great Otway National Park on Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is one of the most incredible stretches of land in the world and is a smorgasbord of fabulous sights ranging from dense dripping rainforests to white sand beaches, crashing surf and majestic mountains like the spectacular Great Otway’s, more commonly known as Great Otway National Park. The Otway Ranges are a verdant bounty of colour and charm and from the deep blue cape to the lush green park, the area is filled with bird calls, rustling bushes, and thundering waterfalls. You can spend days of discovery in these fertile and ancient lands.

Great Otway National Park

The Evolution of the Great Otway National Park

Back around 10 million years ago, the Otway’s region was deep beneath the ocean’s surface. With coral reefs and marine life roaming the area, with some of the coral materials still remaining in the limestone cliff today. However, once the sea level lowered, the Otways became land, slowly developing land plants and animals.

The first humans to inhabit the Otway’s were the local Katabanut Aborigines. Who hunted the animals and gathered the eatable plants in the coastal woodlands? They lit fires throughout the region to draw animals in to catch. They were also known to use the land bridge between the Otways to Tasmania to travel.

The first European to invade the area were hunters, after the seals and whales of Victoria. After seeing all the woodlands, timber cutters and graziers soon followed.

Explore the Great Otway National Park

When exploring the wonders of the Great Ocean Road make sure to embrace the beauty of the Otway ranges in the national park. The park offers many incredible walks spanning almost a hundred kilometres from the town of Apollo to Glenample Homestead. You can meander through the rich trails, ride horses across the rugged peaks and swim in the sweet lagoons that sit under the thundering cascades of the regions waterfalls.

What to See within the Great Otway National Park?

  • Rare Treasures

    Having stood proud for over thirty million years it’s no wonder that the Otway Ranges are home to some incredible rare treasures. You can see Australia’s oldest lighthouse perched prettily on golden rocky cliffs, pick bulging blueberries at Gellibrand, and walk under giant palms or above the canopies on the Tree Top Walk and taste the difference with lashings of lovely fresh farm produce straight from the rivers, the mountains and the sea.

  • Cape Otway

    Cape Otway

    Get out from under the trees and discover the pristine coast and the awe inspiring Cape Otway. Here you will find some of the most remote and breath taking bays and beaches in the whole of Victoria. See the lighthouse dating back to 1848, stand under the white cliffs of Johanna Beach and visit the local wildlife centre to see an array of Australia’s favourite cuddly creatures.

  • Animals

    The rainforest is alive with sounds, with a huge array of Australian animals on offer. No matter where you travel within the greenery, you are guaranteed in seeing one fantastic creature. Look above to the high treetops and spot the lazy koalas or the singing birds. Stroll along the walking tracks to discover an mob of kangaroos in the soft grasslands. Stroll along the walking tracks to discover an echidna or a mob of kangaroos along the way. If you are a bit quieter when moving through the bushes and fallen leaves, you might get a chance to see the unique echidna creatures, or even the fuzzy wombats, both wandering the woodland’s floor.

    Or head inside the rainforest at night to witness the stunning glow worms brighten up the trees and bushes. These creatures of the night glimmer like fallen stars on the mossy banks of the Melba Gully. When the moon hangs on her bough make sure you tiptoe into the gully to witness the twinkling larvae glow turning the midnight forest into a truly magical place.

    Even peer into the watering holes for a chance to see the mysterious platypus whizzing around. Travel with a professional guide who can tell you all the interesting facts of the Otway’s residents.

  • Plants

    There are a number of spectacular plants that are bursting inside the valley. With ancient large ferns that tower over you, to unique flowers blossoming from the rich soil. See the spectacular forest of the giant Californian Redwoods, also known as the Sequoia trees. Planted in 1939, the forest is a perfect scenery for a relaxing picnic with the family or a tranquil stroll through the tree trunks.

  • Waterfalls

    Hear the thundering roar of water get louder and louder as you approach the stunning waterfalls scattered within the forest. These rumbling waterfalls flow year-round, gushing down from green clifftops or moss-covered rocks. They are at the centre of everything, being a hub for the rainforest’s array of wildlife. The forest is full of them, with a bucketload to visit, including Carisbrook, Beauchamp, Hopetoun, and Mariners Falls. So, make sure you research to narrow down your options before adventuring here, as choosing the right waterfall for your trip can turn your adventures into a truly unforgettable one.

  • Walking Tracks

    What better way to see the rainforest world but by travelling along the intertwining walking tracks? Ranging in length and effort, the tracks let you traverse through the Otway’s while showcasing the nature and beauty of this lush landscape. They take you to hidden forest retreats, cascading waterfalls, and even excellent picnic spots. The safest and easiest way to travel, simply lace up those walking shoes and head out for a day chocked-full of adventure.

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