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Great Otway National Park

The Forrest section of Great Otway National Park, along with Otway Forest Park, encompasses a stunning landscape including undulating plains and plateaus of the hinterlands and magnificent Mountain Ash forests. Mountain bike riding and bird watching along peaceful Lake Elizabeth are among a range of pursuits to be enjoyed here.
Explore the Lake Elizabeth Loop Walk and and its forested hinterland. A massive landslide in 1952 dammed the East Barwon River, turning the remote forested valley into the lake you see today.

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

 
Three friends canoe through Lake Elizabeth infront of a back drop of ferns and old growth forest.

Lake Elizabeth Campground

Lake Elizabeth Campground is a dogs-on-lead camping area sheltered by tall eucalypt trees and nestled beside the Barwon River.
A young mountain biker attempts a drop while cheered on by his father and older sister at the You Yangs Regional Park.

Mountain biking

Explore parks on two wheels with mountain bike trails to suit most experience and fitness levels.
A Land Rover Defender attempts a river crossing in the Alpine National Park.

4WD

Enjoy a range of short and long 4WD trips in Victoria's parks. From the desert or mountains, to the rainforest or snow, 4WD tracks cater for all levels of skill and expertise.
Two friends fish off the back a boat on a misty morning on Lake Eildon.

Fishing

In quiet lakes and gently flowing rivers, in the pounding surf or in the depths beneath your boat – the waters of Victoria’s parks and reserves offer some prize catches.
Two women ride horses along a dirt path in the You Yangs Regional Park.

Horse riding

Explore the landscape on horseback to appreciate the solitude and peace of the natural environment. Victoria's parks offer a variety of horse riding experiences.

How to get there

Forrest

Two major roads connect Colac with Great Otway National Park and Otway Forest Park, including Colac-Lavers Hill Road and Colac-Forrest Road. From the west, approach via Port Campbell along the Great Ocean Road.

When to go

Enjoy the shady fern gullies, towering forest and tranquil lake waters.

Nearby Events

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Need to know

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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.

  • Herberts (Wymbooliel) Campground (Great Otway National Park)

    Herbert's Campground closed

    Herbert’s Campground is closed until further notice due to hazardous trees.

  • Beauchamp Falls Reserve

    Beauchamp Falls Reserve Closure

    Beauchamp Falls campground, road and waterfall are closed to visitors until further notice due to upgrade works. 

  • Notices Affecting Multiple Sites

    Lorne walking track closures due to planned burning; Lorne - Saint George Fuel Reduction Burn

    Planned burning operations are scheduled in this park which will result in The following tracks being closed; Canyon Loop, Phantom falls walk, Cora Lynn cascades walk, Green Break track, Wonwondah falls, Henderson Falls from the time a burn is approved for ignition until the area is declared safe. Ignition of the burn is scheduled from 17/2/21 and is subject to favourable weather. Check the status of current planned burns at https://plannedburns.ffm.vic.gov.au

    Lorne Area Closures Due to Planned Burning

    Due to a planned burn occurring in the Lorne area, a number of Parks Victoria visitor sites and walking tracks will be closed for safety reasons between the 24 February and 14 March 2021 while the burn occurs.
    Visitor sites that are closed:
     
    Allenvale Mill Campground
    Sheoak Picnic Area
    Sheaok Falls
     
    Walking tracks that are closed :
     
    Cora Lynn
    Phantom Falls
    Canyon
    Henderson Falls/Won Wondah Falls
    Kalimna Falls
    Sheoak Creek
    Castle Rock
    Cumberland Garvey Link

    Lorne Area Closures Due to Planned Burning

    Due to a planned burn occurring in the Lorne area, a number of Parks Victoria visitor sites and walking tracks will be closed for safety reasons between the 24 February and 14 March 2021 while the burn occurs.
    Visitor sites that are closed:
     
    Allenvale Mill Campground
    Sheoak Picnic Area
    Sheaok Falls
     
    Walking tracks that are closed :
     
    Cora Lynn
    Phantom Falls
    Canyon
    Henderson Falls/Won Wondah Falls
    Kalimna Falls
    Sheoak Creek
    Castle Rock
    Cumberland Garvey Link

    Triplet Falls and Little Aire Falls Temporary Closure

    From the 9th March - 31st March the Phillips Track access to Triplet and Little Aire Falls will be closed for essential road works. Triplet Falls and Little Aire Falls visitor sites will therefore be closed during this period.
     
    The linking Brown Town and Youngs Creek tracks will be also be closed during this period for visitor safety.
     
    Access to the nearby Otway Fly will remain open.

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