The Maits Rest Rainforest Walk

The areas surrounding the Great Ocean Road are thick with lush rainforest and plenty of hiking trails to explore. As you go, you can look out for native wildlife, ancient plant life, and spectacular scenery while learning more about the creatures and their habitats.

Maits Rest can be found in the heart of the beautiful Otway Ranges near Apollo Bay along the Great Ocean Road. It is an 800m circular walk that takes you through the temperate rainforest and exposes you to some of the region’s most spectacular scenery.

Forming part of the Otway Ranges National Park, Maits Rest sits about 15 minutes from Apollo Bay. There is car parking for guests which leads to a selection of boardwalks and gravel paths that take you around a 30-minute walking route. As you go, you can soak up the lush valley floor, the ancient trees that soar skywards, and the collection of tree ferns and moss that cover the forest floor like something out of a fairytale.

Maits Rest Rainforest Walk

You’ll notice there are lots of beech trees here, many of which are hundreds of years old and form an important part of the Otway National Park. Keep your eyes peeled for birds, too, as there are around 43 different species that aren’t found anywhere else in the world.

The Great Otway’s National Park

About 10 million years ago, Otway’s was a very different place. Completely underwater, the region was swarming with a vast amount of marine wildlife and to large coral reefs. However, the sea level soon lower and left the entire region dry, which lead to the introduction of land plants, which drew in a large array of animals. The coral reefs from millions of years ago still remain to an extent, with remanents from in the limestone rocks of the region.

After the Otways became a green paradise, it wasn’t just animals that flooded the area, but humans as well.  With the local Aboriginal people of the region, named the Katabanut Aborigines making the Otways their home. They mostly used the woodlands for their hunting ground, lighting fires throughout to draw animals in to catch.

Eventually, the Otways was invaded by the European settlers, with the first being hunters after seals and whales. However, due to the lush greenery covering the region, timber cutters and graziers soon followed. With a long logging history beginning, lasting around 150 years. The production peaked in 1961, but since then slowly reduced. The expanse became a national park in 2004 when the Otway National Park, Angahook-Lorne State Park, Carlisle State Park, and the Melba Gully State Park all combined into one park. It has gone through an ordeal over the years, with wildfires, animal extinction and endangerment, as well as forestation. But it is now a protected area under the Otway Ranges Environment Network.

Why you should Explore the Great Otway National Park

When discovering the sensations of the Great Ocean Road, stopping into the Otway Ranges is always worth it. A lush paradise of ancient ferns and cascading waterfalls, you can truly immerse yourself in the coastal scenery by stepping into the woodlands. With countless walking tracks, look points, and exceptional natural wonders, any path you choose will take you on a unforgettable journey.

Walks at Maits Rest

If you’re looking to take a walk at Maits Rest, you can explore the self-guided boardwalk. It hovers above the valley floor to protect the local nature, so you can get sprawling views of the canopies, ancient trees, and any critters that might be milling around.

The Maits Rest walk is best-known for its stunning natural beauty and its unique view of the forest. As well as breath-taking views across gullies and lush, green canopies, you might even be able to see swamp wallabies, koalas, ring-tailed possums, and grey kangaroos as you explore.  In addition, if you’re lucky you might get to catch a glimpse of the yellow-bellied gliders that make their way from treetop to treetop and Black Otway’s Carnivorous Snails.

When darkness falls, you can take a torch to the area and view the glow worms which light up the region like a fairytale land.

Top Tip For Visiting Maits Rest

Because of its stunning selection of wildlife and its pretty views, Maits Rest can get very busy at certain times of the day. If you’d like to steer clear of the crowds and enjoy the area at your own pace, try the walk at Melba Gully which heads towards Princetown via Lavers Hill. It is a slightly longer walk than the boardwalk, but it takes you deeper into the rainforest so you can see the lesser-touched parts of the forest and its surroundings.

This part of Australia promises visitors an excellent selection of different scenery, from the rolling, wild beaches of the Great Ocean Road, to the dense forest landscapes that sprawl out further inland. At Maits Rest, you can explore the latter scenery without having to venture too far from the beaten track.

Because it is on the Great Ocean Road, the route can get fairly busy, particularly at popular times of the year, but it’s well worth a visit if you want to get to know the ancient plant life that characterises the area and soak up the stunning selection of wildlife and scenery that can be found here.

All in all, the walk takes around 30 minutes from start to finish, giving you a bitesize snippet of rainforest life in Australia.

Maits Rest offers the perfect spot to soak up the wildlife and stunning natural views along the much-loved Great Ocean Road.

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