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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

 
A couple in their later twenties enjoy a joke while at their campsite at Lake Elizabeth Campground in the Great Otway National Park.

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.

Need to know

Forrest

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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