DISCOVER THE OTWAYS
Free things to see and do during your stay in the Otways Country to Coast region.
Discover Forest Walks
Maits Rest Board Walk in the Otways
Maits Rest is an easy self-guided circuit walk through ancient, cool temperate rainforest renowned for its natural beauty and a must see destination. A wooden boardwalk has been built over the tree-fern gullies and moss covered roots, providing a unique view of the forest. The walk is just 800m and finishes at the Maits Rest carpark.
Melba Gully Glow Worms
The gully has prolific plant growth and is a dense rainforest of Myrtle Beech, Blackwood and Tree-ferns, with an understorey of low ferns and mosses. This is one of the wettest places in the state. Perhaps the most unusual inhabitants of the area are the glow worms, which can be seen at night along the walking tracks. The 35 minute Madsen's Track Nature Walk departs from the picnic area, providing an adventure into a world of ancient, mossy trees and cool fern gullies. Picnic tables, a gas barbecue and toilets are provided at this site.
The Old Beechy
The Old Beechy Rail Trail winds through scenic pine forests and bushland, rich farmland and rolling hills as it travels from Colac up to Beech Forest.It was originally a narrow gauge railway that played a key role in opening the western Otways to settlement.Magnificent eucalypts and blackwoods provide homes for abundant bird life.This trail features outstanding and innovative interpretative signs along the route.When planning for this trail, you should note that the trail is almost continually down hill from Beech Forest to Gellibrand and it is best suited for hybrids and mountain bikes.
Nestled among the sand dunes, Johanna Beach is a good spot for camping, caravaning, picknicking and walking. Surfing is also popular here. Known by surfers as one of the prime board riding sites in Australia, the famous Bells Beach Surf Classic has been moved to Johanna at times, depending on prevailing winds and ocean currents. Usually, however, the quiet and seclusion of Johanna Beach provide a chance to experience the elemental forces of nature as your footprints break the pristine sands. Dogs are permitted on leads in the car-based campground. There are 25 grassy campsites at Johanna Beach along with toilets. Johanna is reached by either the (sealed) Red Johanna Road or (unsealed) Blue Johanna Road.
Shelly Beach Walk
This is a great short walk. Starting at the Shelly Beach Picnic Area the track traverses through fern gullies, coastal scrub, along Shelly Beach and across rocky platforms to Elliot River. Return through a majestic stand of blue gums inhabited by koalas and nocturnal Yellow-bellied Gliders. Only walk the coastal route during low tides and calm seas. Distance: 2.4km circuit. The path from the picnic area down to Shelly beach is very steep in sections and has steps. It is not suitable for wheelchairs or strollers.
Access is via Elliot River Road, Marengo. Facilities: The Shelly Beach Picnic Area consists of several picnic tables, an information shelter and a unisex pit toilet. There are no barbecues.
Wreck Beach Walk
Departing from the Wreck Beach car park. This is a 2.1km return walk, descending over 350 steps to Wreck Beach. It is a challenging walk but worth the effort, taking you to the anchors of the Marie Gabrielle and Fiji, haunting reminders of the treacherous nature of the sea and of the many people who drowned of this shore. Only accessable during low tides and calm seas.
Beauchamp Falls Beech Forest.
1 hr return. Walk passes through softwood plantation forest, along a river discover magnificent Mountain Ash, Myrtle Beech, Blackwoods and lush ferns. Pet friendly.
Carisbrook Falls, Wongarra.
20 min return. Walking track leaves the carpark and heads upwards along the eastern side of the gorge with views over Carisbrook Creek, leading to a viewing area giving excellent views of the falls. Best seen after heavy rain.
Hopetoun Falls, Beech forest.
30 min return. Walk to the viewing platform 20 metres from the carpark, or walk down stairs through glades of tree ferns to the falls.
Little Aire Falls, Beech Forest.
4.5km 2 hr return. An undulating return walk through amazing fern gullies & mountain ash forest, highlighted by an elevated viewing platform above the canopy - arguably one of the most spectacular falls in the Otway Ranges.
Sabine Falls, Tanybryn.
2+ hr return. Steep grades. The tallest waterfall complex in the Otways, consisting of three waterfalls, plunging down a 130 metre escarpment at the head of Smythe Creek. Location: off Sunnyside Road, Otway National Park.
Stevensons Falls, Barramunga.
1.5 hr return. Leave from campground, or shorter walk available from day carpark via second bridge.Pet friendly.
Triplet Falls, Beech Forest.
2km, 1 hr loop. Walk along raised platforms through ancient rainforest to view the awesome triple cascades thundering over rock ledges. This walk also passes by an original sawmill site.