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.
Setting up tents at Blanket Bay Campground in the Great Otway National Park

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.

  • Great Otway National Park

    Delayneys Track Closed

    Delayneys Track is closed until further notice.

    Wye Road Closure

    Wye Road is temporarily closed for grading and landslip repair.  

    Temporary park closures Great Otway National Park

    Sections of the Great Otway National Park will be temporarily closed at night from Monday 15th April 2024 through to June 1st 2024 to allow for the safe delivery of park conservation work.  Temporary closed areas will be clearly sign posted.  All campgrounds will remain open during this operation.  For further information please contact Parks Victoria on 13 19 63 or email westregiondcp@parks.vic.gov.au

    Overnight Closure of Big Hill, Stoney and Reedy Tracks- Great Otway National Park

    Fox control by use of firearms will be occurring on Big Hill Track, Stoney Track and Reedy Track in the Great Otway National ParkThese areas will be closed to all public access from sunset to sunrise Sunday April 21 and Monday April 22, 2024. Access to Big Hill Campground from Lorne-Deans Marsh Road will not be impacted for those booked in advance.

  • Other issues

    Sharps Campground permanently closed

    Permanently closed due to environmental and safety risks. 

  • Lemonade Creek Walk (Great Otway National Park)

    Lemonade Creek Walking Track Closure

    Due to multiple unsafe bridges the Lemonade Creek Walking Track will be closed indeffinately 

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

    Youngs Creek Track Closed Great Otway National Park

    Following recent rainfall and current conditions, Youngs Creek track within the Great Otway National Park is currently closed.

    Safety for our visitors and protection of the environment has led to this decision. The nearby Triplet Falls and Aire Crossing visitor sites remain open along with the tracks leading to them. 

  • Jamieson Creek (Great Otway National Park)

    Wye Road Temporary Closure

    Wye Road will be closed temporarily for grading and landslip repair.

  • Notices Affecting Multiple Sites

    Planned Burn Operations Around Anglesea

    Planned burning operations are scheduled in this park which will result in the following areas being affected from the time a burn is approved for ignition, until the area is declared safe. Ignition of the burns are scheduled from 12th April 2024 and are subject to favourable weather.

    Please adhere to all closure and advice signs in the area as planned burn activity commences.

    Check the status of current planned burns at https://plannedburns.ffm.vic.gov.au

    Areas Affected:
    Duckponds Burn:
    Ironbark Spur
    Gentle Annie Track
    Dam Wall Track
    McKenzie Link Track
    Duckponds Track
    Loves Track
     
    Woodlands Burn:
    Woodlands Track
    Harrison North
    Motorbike Offload Area (Cecil)
    Informal Track west of Flaxbourne’s Road
     
    Cecil Burn:
    Cecil Track
    Motorbike offload area (Tanners/Gumflat)
     
     
     
    Moggs Creek Track/Robyn Road:
    Oceanview Track
    Moggs Creek Picnic Area
    Moggs Creek Track
    Moggs Creek Link Track
     
    Hammonds:
    Both Parks National Park and Otway Forest Park Campgrounds affected, check planned burn updates
    Hammonds Road
    Breakfast Creek:
    Hammonds Road
    Breakfast Creek Road
    Both Hammonds Campgrounds
    Red River Burn
    Yan Wirring Miir Loop
    Denhams Track
    Red River Track
    Bunjil Lookout

    Please take your rubbish home

    Reminder to campers and visitors to please take your rubbish home. Please do not put rubbish in toilets. Visitors have been placing rubbish in the pit toilets making human waste removal difficult. Parks appreciates your assistance in looking after the Park.

  • Blanket Bay Day Visitor Area (Great Otway National Park)

    Blanket Bay Campground- water supply

    Blanket Bay campground in Great Otway National Park water supply is very low. Campers are advised to bring their own water. 

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

    Aire River West Campground flooding

    Aire River West campground is currently subject to flooding. The river mouth is closed and an attempt to open will be undertaken on Friday the 19th of April. 

  • Melba Gully Day Visitor Area (Great Otway National Park)

    Melba Gully - Large bus access

    Melba 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 access

    Maits Rest Carpark is suitable for small coaster buses only. Large buses or coaches are advised to use Melba Gully walk track near Lavers Hill.

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