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Top 13 Things To Do in Otway, VIC Australia (with local Hidden Gems)

06/09/2023
12 mins read
Otway lighthouse
Source: Great Ocean Road Tourism

Nestled along the picturesque coastline of Victoria, Australia, Otway is a captivating region that boasts a wealth of natural wonders, thrilling adventures, and unforgettable experiences. Surrounded by the lush beauty of the Great Otway National Park, this enchanting destination offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle, with its rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, and charming towns.

Join us as we unveil the hidden gems and reveal the top things to do in Otway, VIC, a mesmerizing destination that promises extraordinary adventures. Immerse yourself in the area’s natural splendor, delve into its rich history, and embark on a remarkable journey through the captivating world of Otway, VIC, Australia.

Things To Do In Otway, VIC

1. Otway Fly Treetop Walk

Discover the beauty of the Otway Ranges from a unique perspective with the Otway Fly Treetop Walk. This 600-meter long walkway takes you 25 meters above the rainforest canopy, offering breathtaking views of the lush foliage and towering trees. The walk is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, making it a perfect family-friendly activity.

The Otway Fly Treetop Walk is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, with spring and autumn offering milder weather for outdoor activities. Located approximately 47 km (50 minutes) from Apollo Bay, this unforgettable experience is a must for nature lovers and those seeking a memorable adventure.

  • Best time of the year: Open year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder weather for outdoor activities
  • Address: 360 Phillips Track, Weeaproinah VIC 3237, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm (last entry at 4 pm)
  • Distance from town: Approximately 47 km (50 minutes) from Apollo Bay

2. Explore the Great Otway National Park

Discover the diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife of the Great Otway National Park. This expansive park is home to stunning waterfalls like Erskine Falls, Sheoak Falls, Triplet Falls, Hopetoun Falls, and Kalimna Falls. Wander through lush rainforests, marvel at towering trees, and keep an eye out for native wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies, and a variety of bird species.

The park is open year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder weather for outdoor activities. The distance from town varies depending on the specific waterfall, but Erskine Falls is approximately 10 km (15 minutes) from Lorne. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this beautiful natural destination during your visit to the Otway region.

  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn for milder weather and increased water flow in the waterfalls
  • Address: Great Otway National Park, Victoria, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
  • Distance from town: Varies depending on the specific waterfall, but Erskine Falls is approximately 10 km (15 minutes) from Lorne

3. Cape Otway Lighthouse

Step back in time and explore the fascinating history of the Cape Otway Lighthouse, Australia’s oldest surviving lighthouse. Perched on the rugged cliffs of Cape Otway, this iconic landmark offers stunning views of the Bass Strait and a glimpse into the region’s maritime past. Take a guided tour of the lighthouse, learn about the lives of the lighthouse keepers, and explore the surrounding grounds, including the Telegraph Station and WWII Radar Bunker.

The Cape Otway Lighthouse is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, with spring and autumn offering milder weather for outdoor activities. Located approximately 30 km from Apollo Bay, this historic attraction is a must-visit for history buffs and those seeking a unique and memorable experience.

  • Best time of the year: Open year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder weather for outdoor activities
  • Address: Otway Lighthouse Rd, Cape Otway VIC 3233, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm
  • Distance from town: Approximately 30 km (35 minutes) from Apollo Bay

4. Wild Koalas at Cape Otway

Experience the thrill of spotting wild koalas in their natural habitat at Cape Otway. This beautiful coastal region is home to a thriving population of koalas, who can often be seen lounging in the eucalyptus trees or munching on leaves. Keep your eyes peeled as you explore the area, and you might just be rewarded with a close encounter with one of Australia’s most iconic and beloved animals.

The best time to visit Cape Otway for koala spotting is during spring and autumn when the weather is milder. Located approximately 30 km from Apollo Bay, this unique wildlife experience is a must for nature lovers and those seeking a memorable encounter with Australia’s incredible wildlife.

  • Best time of the year: Open year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder weather for outdoor activities
  • Address: Cape Otway, Victoria, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
  • Distance from town: Approximately 30 km (35 minutes) from Apollo Bay

5. Live Wire Park

Get your adrenaline pumping at Live Wire Park, a thrilling treetop adventure park located just 3 km from Lorne. With a range of high-energy activities, including zip lines, suspension bridges, and obstacle courses, there’s something for everyone at this exciting outdoor playground. Test your limits on the challenging circuits, or simply enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding forest as you soar through the treetops.

The park is open Wednesday to Sunday, with spring and autumn offering milder weather for outdoor activities. Whether you’re an adventure-seeker or just looking for a fun day out with the family, Live Wire Park promises an unforgettable experience.

  • Best time of the year: Open year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder weather for outdoor activities
  • Address: 180 Erskine Falls Rd, Lorne VIC 3232, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 9:30 am to 5 pm (closed Monday and Tuesday)
  • Distance from town: Approximately 3 km (5 minutes) from Lorne

6. Explore Lake Elizabeth and Join a Paddle with the Platypus Canoe Tour

Discover the serene beauty of Lake Elizabeth, a hidden gem nestled deep within the Great Otway National Park. Formed more than 50 years ago by a landslide, the lake features calm waters surrounded by heavily timbered flanks and the trunks of dead trees that were drowned during the flooding. This unique landscape creates an enchanting and tranquil atmosphere, perfect for a relaxing day out.

Join a Paddle with the Platypus canoe tour for a truly unforgettable experience. These guided tours offer a rare opportunity to observe the elusive platypus in its natural habitat. The best time to spot these shy Australian natives is early in the morning or at dusk. Lake Elizabeth is located approximately 4 km (10 minutes) from the town of Forrest, making it easily accessible for visitors.

  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn for milder weather and increased water flow in the lake
  • Address: Lake Elizabeth Rd, Forrest VIC 3236, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Tours operate daily, but booking is required
  • Distance from town: Approximately 4 km (10 minutes) from Forrest

7. Johanna Beach

Discover the pristine beauty of Johanna Beach, a stunning coastal gem located approximately 40 km from Apollo Bay. This picturesque beach is perfect for a leisurely stroll, sunbathing, or even surfing if you’re up for a challenge. The powerful waves and rugged coastline make it a popular spot for experienced surfers, but it’s also a great place to simply relax and soak up the breathtaking scenery.

Johanna Beach is open year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder weather for beach activities. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this beautiful coastal destination during your visit to the Otway region.

  • Best time of the year: Open year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder weather for beach activities
  • Address: Blue Johanna Rd, Johanna VIC 3238, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
  • Distance from town: Approximately 40 km (45 minutes) from Apollo Bay

8. Great Ocean Walk – A Scenic Coastal Adventure

The Great Ocean Walk is a must-do experience for nature lovers and adventure seekers. This stunning coastal trail stretches over 104 km from Apollo Bay to the iconic Twelve Apostles. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery, from rugged cliffs and sandy beaches to lush rainforests and tranquil rivers. Along the way, you’ll encounter diverse wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies, and a variety of bird species.

Discover the rich history and cultural heritage of the region as you pass through charming coastal towns, historic lighthouses, and ancient shipwrecks. The walk is best enjoyed during spring and autumn when the weather is milder and the walking conditions are optimal. Whether you choose to tackle the entire trail or just a section, the Great Ocean Walk promises an unforgettable adventure.

  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn for milder weather and optimal walking conditions
  • Address: Great Ocean Walk, Victoria, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
  • Distance from town: The walk starts in Apollo Bay and ends at the Twelve Apostles, covering a distance of approximately 104 km

9. Californian Redwood Forest – A Majestic Natural Wonder

Step into a magical world at the Californian Redwood Forest, where towering trees create a serene and awe-inspiring atmosphere. Located just 16 km from Beech Forest, this enchanting forest is home to a grove of Californian Redwoods, some of the tallest trees in the world. Planted in the 1930s, these majestic giants have grown to impressive heights, creating a cathedral-like canopy that filters sunlight and casts a mystical glow on the forest floor.

The Redwood Forest is open year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder weather for outdoor activities. Wander through the tranquil forest, breathe in the fresh air, and marvel at the beauty and scale of these magnificent trees. It’s a truly unique and unforgettable experience that will leave you feeling humbled and inspired.

  • Best time of the year: Open year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder weather for outdoor activities
  • Address: Binns Rd, Beech Forest VIC 3237, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
  • Distance from town: Approximately 16 km (20 minutes) from Beech Forest

10. Apollo Bay Family-Friendly Activities

Apollo Bay is a fantastic destination for families, with a wide range of activities to keep everyone entertained. Enjoy a day at the beach, building sandcastles, swimming, or trying your hand at surfing. Take a leisurely stroll along the foreshore, stopping at the playgrounds and skate park for some fun.

For a more adventurous day out, head to the nearby Great Otway National Park and explore the many walking trails, waterfalls, and wildlife spotting opportunities. Don’t forget to visit the local shops and cafes for some delicious treats and souvenirs to take home.

  • Best time of the year: Open year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder weather for outdoor activities
  • Address: Various locations in Apollo Bay, Victoria, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Varies depending on the specific activity
  • Distance from town: Located in the town of Apollo Bay

11. Maits Rest Rainforest Walk

Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Otway Ranges with a visit to the Maits Rest Rainforest Walk. This easy 800-meter loop trail takes you through a lush, ancient rainforest filled with towering tree ferns, moss-covered logs, and crystal-clear streams. The walk is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, making it a perfect family-friendly activity.

The Maits Rest Rainforest Walk is open year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder weather for outdoor activities. Located just 17 km from Apollo Bay, this enchanting walk is a must-visit for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn for milder weather and optimal walking conditions
  • Address: Maits Rest Rainforest Walk, Apollo Bay VIC 3233, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
  • Distance from town: Approximately 17 km (20 minutes) from Apollo Bay

12. Triplet Falls Loop, Hopetoun Falls, and Erskine Falls Hiking Trails

Explore the stunning beauty of the Otway Ranges on foot with a hike along one of the many trails in the Great Otway National Park. Choose from the Triplet Falls Loop, Hopetoun Falls, or Erskine Falls, each offering a unique and unforgettable experience. Wander through lush rainforests, marvel at cascading waterfalls, and keep an eye out for native wildlife as you immerse yourself in the natural wonders of this incredible region.

The best time to visit these trails is during spring and autumn when the weather is milder and the hiking conditions are optimal. The distance from town varies depending on the specific trail, but Triplet Falls Loop is approximately 60 km (1 hour) from Apollo Bay.

Erskine Falls
Source: Visit Victoria
  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn for milder weather and optimal hiking conditions
  • Address: Great Otway National Park, Victoria, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
  • Distance from town: Varies depending on the specific trail, but Triplet Falls Loop is approximately 60 km (1 hour) from Apollo Bay

13. Great Ocean Road Scenic Drive

Embark on an unforgettable journey along the Great Ocean Road, one of the world’s most iconic and breathtaking coastal drives. This spectacular route winds its way along the rugged cliffs and pristine beaches of Victoria’s coastline, offering stunning views and countless opportunities for exploration and adventure. Stop at the many lookout points along the way to take in the awe-inspiring vistas, and discover the region’s rich history, diverse wildlife, and charming coastal towns.

The Great Ocean Road is open year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder weather for driving. The distance from town varies depending on the specific starting point and destination, but this unforgettable journey is a must for anyone visiting the Otway region.

  • Best time of the year: Open year-round, but spring and autumn offer milder weather for driving
  • Address: Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
  • Distance from town: Varies depending on the specific starting point and destination

Towns Nearby Otway, VIC

Here are some nearby towns/suburbs around Otway, VIC, along with their highlights, attractions, distance from Otway, and reasons why they are worth visiting:

  1. Apollo Bay, VIC (Approximately 47 km from Otway): A charming coastal town nestled between the lush foothills of the Otway Ranges and Bass Strait. Apollo Bay offers beautiful beaches, a vibrant foreshore market, and serves as a gateway to the Great Otway National Park. It’s an ideal destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
  2. Lorne, VIC (Approximately 100 km from Otway): A cosmopolitan beach town known for its picturesque scenery, Lorne is situated alongside Louttit Bay and backed by the Great Otway National Park. The town’s main street is packed with cozy cafes, restaurants, and shops, and looks out onto the foreshore lined with palms.
  3. Forrest, VIC (Approximately 60 km from Otway): A haven for mountain biking enthusiasts, Forrest is surrounded by beautiful trails that cater to all skill levels. The town is also home to the Forrest Brewery, where you can enjoy craft beers and local food.
  4. Cape Otway, VIC (Approximately 30 km from Otway): Home to the oldest working lighthouse in Australia within the Otway National Park, Cape Otway is the perfect Great Ocean Road destination. The town is positioned at the southernmost point of the Great Ocean Road where the Southern Ocean and the Bass Strait meet, offering stunning views and a rich history.
  5. Gellibrand, VIC (Approximately 20 km from Otway): A small town located near the Great Otway National Park, Gellibrand is a great base for exploring the surrounding forests, waterfalls, and walking trails. The town is also part of the Otway Harvest Trail, offering a range of gourmet farm door experiences.
  6. Beech Forest, VIC (Approximately 16 km from Otway): Nestled high on the ridge with spectacular views over the Otways and the surrounding fertile farming land, Beech Forest is the heart of the timber industry which used the Beechy Rail line to transport the logs to the mills. The town has an information bay with many photographs depicting the timber industry and the pioneers of the Otways.
  7. Colac, VIC (Approximately 75 km from Otway): A regional city in Victoria, Colac serves as a gateway to the Otway Ranges and the Great Ocean Road. The town offers a range of attractions, including the Colac Botanic Gardens, Lake Colac, and the Red Rock lookout, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding volcanic plains.

These towns and suburbs around Otway, VIC, offer a variety of attractions and highlights, making them worth visiting for travelers exploring the region.

Getting To Otway, VIC

To get to Otway, VIC, Australia from common destinations or origins as a local tourist, you have several options for both public transport and driving.

From Melbourne CBD:

  • By train and bus: Take the train from Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station to Geelong Station. From Geelong, there’s a daily bus service to Apollo Bay, stopping at Torquay and Lorne. At Apollo Bay, you can change buses and get one heading up to Cape Otway.
  • By car: Drive southwest on the M1 and take the Torquay exit. Continue on the Great Ocean Road to reach the Otway region. The drive takes approximately 2.5 to 3 hours, depending on traffic.

From Geelong:

  • By bus: Take the daily bus service from Geelong Station to Apollo Bay, stopping at Torquay and Lorne. At Apollo Bay, change buses to head up to Cape Otway.
  • By car: Drive southwest on the Great Ocean Road to reach the Otway region. The drive takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic.

From Warrnambool:

  • By bus: Take the Warrnambool – Melbourne bus operated by V/Line, which stops at several towns along the Great Ocean Road, including Apollo Bay. At Apollo Bay, change buses to head up to Cape Otway.
  • By car: Drive east on the Great Ocean Road to reach the Otway region. The drive takes approximately 2.5 to 3 hours, depending on traffic.

For public transport options from other nearby towns, use the Public Transport Victoria (PTV) website (https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au) or app to plan your journey, as it provides detailed information on train and bus routes, schedules, and ticketing.

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