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

Camping in Great Otway National Park

Great Otway National Park and Otway Forest Park offers excellent camping opportunities whether you are looking for a family-friendly place to park your caravan or a solitary night under the stars.
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

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.

  • Great Otway National Park

    Kennett-Wye Jeep Track and Bird Track closed

    Kennett-Wye Jeep Track and Bird Track will be closed until 30 June 2020 due to a landslip undermining the road.

    Wye River Campground closed

    Wye River Road Camping Area is closed until further notice due to dangerous trees

    Upper Kalimna track closed

    The Upper Kalimna Falls walking track is closed until further notice due to damage to the boardwalk and lookout. The Lower Kalimna Falls are still accessible from Sheoak Picnic Area via Kalimna Walking Track and from Garvey Track via Kalimna Link Track.

  • Maits Rest Rainforest Walk (Great Otway National Park)

    Maits Rest refurbishment

    Maits Rest will be closed from Monday 8 July until November 2019 to undergo refurbishment of the full 800m loop trail. See FAQs about the Maits Rest refurbishment below. Melba Gully is the perfect alternate location to visit during the Maits Rest closure.

    Attachments: Maits-Rest-refurbishment-FAQs (348KB)

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

    Herbert's Campground closed

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

  • Jamieson Camping Area (Great Otway National Park)

    Jamieson Campground closed

    The Jamieson Campground, Jamieson Track and Godfrey Track, are closed until Easter 2020 to allow for site upgrades.  

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