Five Things to Do in the Otways

The Otways is one of our favourite places to hike in Victoria, Australia. Located 101 miles southwest of Melbourne in the Otway Ranges, trekkers can enjoy the beauty of this low coastal mountain range and its diverse landscapes. 

We’ll be sharing some of the sites and activities you can experience at this impressive stop on the Great Ocean Walk. 

The Otways has several waterfalls dotted through its tranquil rainforests, as well as rocky cliffs leading to serene sandy beaches. So whatever your preferred landscape is, you’ll find it here. 

The Great Otway National Park is also home to Australia’s largest koala population, so keep your eyes peeled for these cute critters.

The Otways trail goes through the Great Otway National Park and on to the Twelve Apostles rock formations — another spectacular walk guarded by these stone giants. But if you’re looking to hike to the Otways only, our Great Ocean Walk 3 Day Hiking Tour is a great way to experience all the wonders this area has to offer.

At Walk91, our husband-and-wife team is passionate about helping walkers navigate the beautiful trails on the Great Ocean Walk. We offer local support and knowledge to help make your walk one to remember. If you’re planning a hike and would like further information, please get in touch

But, for now, let’s look at some of the wonders nestled in the Otways for you to discover.

The Otway Fly

A wonderful way to explore the dense and varied vegetation of the Otways is taking a day trip to the Otway Fly. Lovers of outdoor activities can enjoy zip-lining or walking 600-metre along the 25-30-metre high path through the rainforest canopies. 

If you’d prefer something a little closer to the ground, you can also discover the landscape on an enchanted forest trail.

The Otway Fly is located in Ferguson, north of the Olangolah Plantation and through the towering redwood trees in Beech Forest. 

First planted for experimental purposes in 1936 by Victorian foresters, these native Californian trees have thrived in Australian soil into a mythical forest straight out of a fairytale.

Cape Otway Lighthouse

The Cape Otway Lighthouse is the oldest surviving lighthouse in Australia and a landmark on the Great Ocean Road trail. 

Built in 1848, this ‘Beacon of Hope’ at Cape Otway was the first sight of land for thousands of 19th-century migrants from Europe, Asia, and North America after travelling months by ship.

Today, you can walk up the 18-metre, 150-year-old light station and learn about the lives of the hard-working, isolated, and incredibly resourceful lighthouse keepers. This site is also home to a World War II radar station, built in 1940 by the Royal Australian Airforce. 

Visitors can take in the engaging display of the original wireless equipment used by former RAAF radar operators — a relatively recent history due to its top-secret status that continued long after the war was over.

A white lighthouse stands on a grassy hill overlooking the ocean, with a fenced pathway leading up to it. A map and a plaque are in the foreground. Trees and bushes surround the area.

Beauchamp Falls in the Otways

Among the 226 waterfalls scattered across the Otways expanse, Beauchamp Falls is a rewarding, albeit strenuous, waterfall to hike. 

After the 20-metre walk, trekkers can watch the waterfall crash over a ledge into a large pool outside of Beech Forest. 

The starting point for the one-hour walk is located off the Aire Valley Road and is three kilometres in length. 

While the walk requires reasonable fitness levels, you will be rewarded with spectacular views from the viewing platform and tranquillity in the greenery.

For hikers looking for an easier trek, we recommend Stevensons Falls. This leisurely 500-metre walk takes roughly 15-30 minutes across a gentle hill and a formed track. 

The waterfall is 15 metres high and can be viewed, unobstructed, from the nearby viewing platform.

Apollo Bay Museum near the Otways

If you’re looking to have a restful stop-off, The Apollo Bay Museum is another exciting stop on the Great Ocean Road. It houses buildings constructed in 1936, in which the first undersea telephone cable connected the mainland with Tasmania.

Ideal for maritime history lovers, the museum also displays relics from some of the shipwrecks and ships of the Apollo Bay coast, as well as the local history of the Apollo Bay and Otway districts. 

There is also a section on the history of the Great Ocean Road.

Wildlife Wonders in the Otways

Nearby to the museum and just 5km from Apollo Bay is Wildlife Wonders — a conservation project nestled in the Australian bushland. 

This social enterprise ensures all profits from visits go into the Conservation Ecology Centre, which works to create sustainable environments for the wildlife within the area.

Wildlife Wonders is home to an array of Australian creatures, including some endangered species. 

Visitors can look forward to learning about koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, bandicoots, and more within their natural habitat of fern gullies and eucalypt woodlands. Here, the forest meets the ocean as there are spectacular sea views in addition to these interesting creatures.

A koala rests on a tree branch, surrounded by green leaves and branches in a wooded area.

While these highlights are only a selection of the awesome sites awaiting in the Otways, we hope we’ve sparked your curiosity to start planning a trek of your own. 

As always, our small local team is on hand to help you turn your dream trek into a reality. Get in touch with any questions and we’ll start planning!

Our tours at Walk91 are all self-guided and customisable, as we know how important it is to experience the landscape at your own pace. 

Whether you’d like to enjoy the Otways as a shorter 3 Day Hiking Tour, or as part of a longer hike of the complete Great Ocean Walk, we’re on hand to share our experiences and curate a terrific trek.

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