Cape Otway and Apollo Bay

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Cape Otway and Apollo Bay

Great Otway National Park

Breathtaking coastlines, dramatic cliff faces, deep valleys of tall forest and fern-clad gullies, and spectacular waterfalls all feature here in Apollo Bay and Cape Otway. From glow worms to rockpool rambles and fishing, you will be delighted with things to see and do in this incredibly beautiful south western part of Great Otway National Park.

Cape Otway Lightstation is a wonderful place to visit with many reminders and stories of Australia’s maritime history. Take a tour during business hours and explore Australia's oldest working lighthouse, operating between 1848 and 1994. Entry fees apply.

The Great Ocean Walk is one of Australia's iconic walks. Linking Apollo Bay with the Twelve Apostles it weaves through tall forests, coastal heathlands beside rocky shores and along windswept clifftops. Hike up to eight days or choose a day walk.

A feature of the spectacular waterfalls found in this part of the Great Otway National Park is their short walk access. Be sure to visit Triplet Falls, Beauchamp Falls, Sabine Falls, Hopetoun Falls and Anne's Cascades at Melba Gully.

The Aire River and Gellibrand River’s upper waters are popular with anglers seeking River Blackfish, Brown Trout and Black Bream near Princetown.

Get the most out of your day and plan for a picnic at Shelly Beach Picnic Area (loop walk through tall forest leading down to rocky shoreline), Blanket Bay (rockpools and beach at low tide), Aire River (camping riverside on a quiet estuary protected from the ocean), Johanna Beach Day Visitor and Camping Area (wild coastal beach), Melba Gully Picnic Area (rainforest walk and glow worms), or Sabine Falls.

A host of camping areas are available and plenty of off-park camping and accommodation opportunities in the Cape Otway area. Aire River Camping features two campgrounds located on opposite banks. This area is a haven for wildlife including wetland birds and a host of fish species. A great place to go bird watching, fishing, swimming and canoeing.

Alternatively, dog-friendly Johanna Beach Campground offers access to prime ocean swells while the smaller Parker Hill Campground is set on a forested hill high above the beach and inlet. Blanket Bay Campground is heavily used in holiday periods. It has a boat ramp, day visitor area, short walk and rockpools to explore.

As beaches and coasts are natural environments, you may encounter hazards. Follow our water safety advice to make sure your day out at Cape Otway and Apollo Bay is a safe and enjoyable one.

Things to do

 
A couple in their thirties play with their dog at Johanna Beach Campground next to their tent and campervan.

Johanna Beach Campground

Nestled between coastal sand dunes, a lush, grassy hinterland and a prime surf beach, the dog-on-lead friendly Johanna Beach Campground has everything you need for an unforgettable seaside camping experience. Take in the salty ocean vistas, go surfing, fishing or hike a section of the Great Ocean Walk.
A young woman walks on rocks across the water in front of Triplet Falls.

Triplet Falls

Triplet Falls is one of the iconic visitor sites in the Great Otway National Park. Nestled amongst the ancient forests of Mountain Ash and Myrtle Beech, you will discover three distinct and impressive cascades flowing through shady rainforests and glades of mossy tree ferns.
A couple follow a walking path through luscious rain-forest ferns.

Melba Gully

Melba 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. Perhaps the most unusual inhabitants of the area are the glow worms, which can be seen at night along the walking tracks.
A car camping set up at Aire River East Campground in the Great Otway National Park

Aire River East Campground

This campground is situated within the Great Otway National Park located on the banks of the Aire River Estuary. This area is home to a magnitude of native and migratory bird species as well as an abundance of fish species making it a great place to go bird watching, fishing, swimming and canoeing
A family camps on the shores of Aire River in the Great Otway National Park

Aire River West Campground

This campground is situated within the Great Otway National Park located on the banks of the Aire River Estuary. This area is home to a magnitude of native and migratory bird species as well as an abundance of fish species making it a great place to go bird watching, fishing, swimming and canoeing.
Two women walking the Great Ocean Walk step out of the Ti-Tree scrubb and onto the beach at Blanket Bay.

Blanket Bay Campground

This campground is situated within the Great Otway National Park just a short stroll from the beach which is accessible via walking tracks. Picturesque views are obtainable only meters from this campsite looking out over the beach and surrounding landscapes.
A woman walks along the boardwalk at Maits Rest in the Great Otway National Park.

Maits Rest

There is an easy self-guided circuit walk through ancient, cool temperate rainforest at Maits Rest. Maits Rest is 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.
A Koala in a tree.

Parker Hill Campground

The campground is situated within the Great Otway National Park on top of a hill overlooking a secluded cove that is accessible via walking track. Great views are obtainable only meters away looking out over the cove and surrounding landscape.

How to get there

Cape Otway and Apollo Bay

Great Otway National Park is south-west of Melbourne via Geelong or Colac. From the east, approach Apollo Bay and Cape Otway along the Great Ocean Road (B100) by taking either Anglesea Road or Surf Coast Highway from Geelong.

From Colac, approach through Lavers Hill (inland route C155).

From the west, pick up the Great Ocean Road by approaching via Port Campbell (inland route C164).

A daily bus service between Geelong, Lorne and Apollo Bay connects with train services to Melbourne.

Need to know

Cape Otway and Apollo Bay

Change of Conditions

Nature being nature, sometimes conditions can change at short notice. It’s a good idea to check this page ahead of your visit for any updates.

  • Beauchamp Falls Reserve (OTWAY FOREST PARK)

    Beauchamp Falls is currently closed for upgrades.

    Beauchamp Falls walk and campground are closed for upgrades.  This location is scheduled to re-open November 2021.

  • Triplet Falls Walk (Great Otway National Park)

    Triplet Falls Walk Partial Closure

    A section of the Triplet Falls loop walk is currently closed due to damage to the boardwalk by a fallen tree, and is not accessible. 


    The walk to the Triplet Falls lookout remains open and now is a great time to see the falls. 

    The walk to the Little Aire Falls remains open.


    Triplet Falls Walk Partial Closure

    A section of the Triplet Falls loop walk is currently closed due to damage to the boardwalk by a fallen tree, and is not accessible. 


    The walk to the Triplet Falls lookout remains open and now is a great time to see the falls. 

    The walk to the Little Aire Falls remains open.


  • Lemonade Creek Walk (Great Otway National Park)

    Lemonade Creek Walking Track Closure

    Due to an unsafe pedestrian bridge, Lemonade Creek Walking Track will be closed for the foreseeable future. 

  • Notices Affecting Multiple Parks

    Seasonal road closures 2021

    Some roads in this park are subject to seasonal road closures. Seasonal road closures generally operate after the long weekend in June through to the end of October, but may be extended due to seasonal conditions. Visit the seasonal road closures page for maps and more information.

  • Aire River West Campground (Great Otway National Park, Aire River Heritage River)

    Aire River West Campground site closures- sites 16 to 40

    Aire River West campground sites 16 to 40 will be closed until November 2021 due to wet conditions, sites 1 to 15 remain available.

  • Aire River East Campground (Aire River Heritage River, Great Otway National Park)

    Aire River East Campground site closures- sites 10 to 20

    Aire River East campground sites 10 to 20 will be closed until November 2021 due to wet conditions, sites 1 to 9 remain available.

  • Great Ocean Walk - Day 6 - Johanna Beach to Ryans Den (Great Otway National Park)

    Melanesia Track damage- walkers take care

    Melanesia Track and the Great Ocean Walk between Johanna and Ryans Den have been damaged by 4WD activity. Walkers are advised to take care while accessing Melanesia Beach as the track is very slippery and rutted. 

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