A colony of shy platypus live in the timber-flanked lake. The quiet visitor may see them at at dusk or dawn foraging in the shallow waters. Bird enthusiasts may be treated to birdsong and sightings of Striated Fieldwrens, Rufous Bristlebirds, and Pink Robins. A number of excellent bird apps are useful guides to birdsong and recognition.
Streams and rivers throughout the park and provide great opportunities for fishing. Cast a line at the West Barwon Dam for your chance to catch trout and redfin or the East Barwon River for Brown Trout.
The tranquil Lake Elizabeth Campground is nestled beneath tall eucalypts on the bank of the east branch of the small Barwon River. This is a dogs-on-lead camping opportunity and it is separate to the Day Visitor Area. The lake is a 1km walk from the visitor area .
Beautiful picnic areas of the Great Otway National Park and Otway Forest Park include Lake Elizabeth, Dandos Campground, Birnham Station and Stevensons Falls Campground.
You can also explore and enjoy the natural environment of this part of the Otways on horseback, mountain bike, or in a four wheel drive vehicle.
The roads in the Wonga and Barongarook areas of the Otway Forest Park are ideal for horse riding as there are a number of wider, slashed roadsides.
Mountain bike riders of all levels are catered for by more than 60km of formed tracks and a 12km mountain bike loop linking the Forrest township with West Barwon Reservoir and Lake Elizabeth.
For driving enthusiasts, a range of formed tracks and roads provide four-wheel drive access throughout the parks. Seasonal track closures may apply.
Things to do
Lake Elizabeth Campground
How to get there
When you're there
In this area of Great Otway National Park, dogs are permitted on lead only in the Lake Elizabeth Camping Area and the Lake Elizabeth Day Visitor Area and adjoining walking tracks. Dog owners should keep dogs on leads when visiting this area to reduce incidents of snake bite. Dogs are permitted in all areas of Otway Forest Park.
Download the visitor guide before you go.
Need to know
Visiting a park can be more of a challenge for people with disabilities, however in Victoria there are a wide range of facilities to help people of all abilities enjoy our wonderful parks around the state.
Assistance dogs are welcome in Parks Victoria parks and reserves. Entry requirements apply for parks and reserves that are usually dog prohibited, such as national parks.
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 Falls Walk (Great Otway National Park)
Upper Kalimna Walking Trail ClosedWalking trail to Upper Kalimna Falls closed until further notice due to storm damage. Lower Falls remain open.
Notices Affecting Multiple Sites
Erskine Falls Lower Lookout ClosedErskine Falls lower lookout is closed until further notice. Access to the base of the waterfall is no longer open due to unsafe conditions. Erskine Falls can be viewed from the top lookout which looks across to the top of the falls. Straw Falls is also inaccessible from the Erskine Falls carpark due to this closure. Erskine Falls walking track is still open from the Lorne township up to the base of Erskine Falls.
Youngs Creek track closureThis track is closed due to roadworks
Great Ocean Walk - Wet and Muddy conditionsAs a result of ongoing rain in the Great Otway National Park over autumn and through winter 2023, conditions of the track on the day 1 and day 2 sections of the Great Ocean Walk are advised to be very wet and muddy.The Elliot Road section of walk is particularly unfavourable, and heavy conditions are anticipated to be ongoing until late Spring 2023.South West District Weather forecast
Attachments: GOW May 2023 (540KB)
Great Otway National Park
Delayneys Track Closed
Delayneys Track is closed until further notice.
Lifejackets Required For Rock Fishers from March 1, 2022A two-year trial of new laws that require rock fishers to wear a lifejacket at high-risk locations will commence on 1 March 2022.
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
- Artillery Rocks, west of Lorne
- The rock platform opposite Sheoak Falls, south of Lorne
Notices Affecting Multiple Parks
Garvey Track Closed until further notice.Garvey track will remain closed until further notice. Major road works are due to occur when conditions are suitable.
Kalimna Tramline Link Walk (Great Otway National Park)
Kalimna Tramline Trail ClosedThis walking track 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.
Cora Lynn Campground (Great Otway National Park)
Cora Lynn Campground ClosureThis campground is closed until further notice due to hazardous trees.
Blanket Bay - Bush RatsFollowing the success of our fox and feral cat management programmes population numbers of Rattus fuscipes have grown again in the Blanket Bay campground area of the Great Otway National Park.The combination of less predators and conducive weather conditions has allowed a population to return that campers at Blanket Bay should be cautious of.The Bush rat has some specific features that can help you distinguish it from similar rats.· It has pointed head and rounded ears.· Its tail is smaller than the rat's body.· Another key feature is their front teeth - they are chisel-shaped with hard yellow enamel.These native rodents are known to scavenge on campers’ food, gnawing through tents to get to uncontained foodstuffs.Native bush Rats are protected wildlife in the National Park and may form part of your camping experience while camping at Blanket Bay.
Attachments: Native vs Non-Native FS (779KB)
Melba Gully Day Visitor Area (Great Otway National Park)
Melba Gully - Large bus accessMelba Gully Walk Track and picnic area is accessible for large coaches. Toilet facilities are available on site
Maits Rest Rainforest Walk (Great Otway National Park)
Maits Rest Carpark- bus accessMaits Rest Carpark is suitable for small coaster buses only. Large buses or coaches are advised to use Melba Gully walk track near Lavers Hill.
Sheoak Picnic Area (Great Otway National Park)
No All-Abilities Toilet at Sheoak Picnic AreaNo all-abilities toilet access at Sheoak Picnic Area. Portable toilets temporarily in use.
Aire River West Campground (Aire River Heritage River, Great Otway National Park)
Aire West Campground - sites closedDue to wet conditions Aire River West campground, campsites 17 - 40 are closed through until Spring.These sites can not be booked nor used until at least September 2023.