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 female hikers sit outside their tents at Blanket Bay Hike-in Campground

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 shelter and tent set up between the trees at Parker Hill Campground at Great Otway National Park

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.

  • Kalimna Tramline Link Walk (Great Otway National Park)

    Kalimna Tramline link Walk is closed

    The Kalimna Tramline link walk is closed due to damage to a pedestrian bridge. Walkers can still access the Lower Kalimna Waterfall via the Kalimna Falls Walking Track, which starts at Sheoak Picnic Area. 

  • Kalimna Falls Walk (Great Otway National Park)

    Upper Kalimna Falls are Closed

    The Upper Kalimna Falls viewing platform and access track are closed due to damage to the platform. Walkers can still access the Lower Kalimna Waterfall via the Kalimna Falls Walking Track, which starts at Sheoak Picnic Area. 

  • Notices Affecting Multiple Sites

    Garvey Track is Closed

    Garvey Track is closed due to damage. Sharps Track is a suitable detour if required. 

  • Great Otway National Park

    Gentle Annie Track Closure

    Gentle Annie track is closed to vehicles between Moggs Creek Track and Old Coach Road while road upgrades are taking place. This closure will be in place until June 2022. As works progress, more targeted closures will also include restricting access to walkers, bike riders and horse riders to ensure public safety is maintained. Further closures will be communicated through the Parks Victoria website. These closures are flexible based on local conditions and contractor movements. 

    Early seasonal road closures 2022

    The following roads in the Great Otway National Park are subject to early seasonal road closures from 1 June 2022: Halls Ridge Road (Maps 18A and 18B). See Map 18A: Great Otway National Park (West) and Map 18B: Great Otway National Park (Central) for locations of the closure. Visit the seasonal road closures page for more information.

    Lifejackets Required For Rock Fishers from March 1, 2022

    A two-year trial of new laws that require rock fishers to wear a lifejacket at high-risk locations will commence on 1 March 2022.
     
    For Great Otway National Park this includes:
    • Artillery Rocks, west of Lorne
    • The rock platform opposite Sheoak Falls, south of Lorne

    This factsheet includes maps of the affected areas.
     
    Fines apply if you don’t wear a lifejacket at these sites.
     
    To find out more, visit Victorian Fisheries Authority 

  • Cora Lynn Campground (Great Otway National Park)

    Cora Lynn Walk-in Campsite closed due to hazardous trees.

    Cora Lynn Walk-in Campsite is closed due to hazardous trees.

  • Great Ocean Walk - Day 1 - Apollo Bay to Elliot Ridge (Elliot River - Addis Bay Coastal Reserve, Great Otway National Park)

    Great Ocean Walk Track Improvement Works Marengo to Shelly Beach

    Contractors will commence Great Ocean Walk track improvement works on the first section of the walk (i.e. Marengo to Shelly Beach which commences to the west of Apollo Bay) on Monday the 24th of May until approximately the Friday the 24th of June, depending on weather and conditions.

    The walk will not close during the the works and walkers will still be able to continue their hike through this area during the specified period. 

    There will be a small number of workers and minor plant & equipment in use. Work locations will be well sign posted to ensure walkers are aware of contractor activity and a spotter (i.e. worker employed specifically to manage pedestrian safety), on the track to ensure pedestrian safety during machine use.

  • Devils Kitchen (Great Otway National Park)

    Great Ocean Walk track works east of Devils Kitchen

    Contractors will commence track works on the Great Ocean Walk to the east of the Devils Kitchen campground commencing on the 16th of May until approximately the start of June, depending on weather and conditions.


    The walk will not close during the works and it is anticipated that they will cause little disruption to hikers walking in the area. There will be a small number of workers and minor plant and equipment in use. Signage will mark the area so that walkers are aware that track works being conducted.

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