Great Otway National Park
Great Otway National Park is simply stunning. I have many fond childhood memories of time spent here. Within the park you'll discover some of Australia's most spectacular temperate rainforests, dotted with dozens of serene waterfalls.
'The Otways' are an integral part of this Great National Park. They are a series of densely forested hills and pristine valleys, containing a multitude of rivers, creeks and streams which eventually make their way to the rugged Victorian Coastline, where the forest meets the Sea. The whole Park was formed in 2005 when the former Otway National Park, and Melba Gully, Carlisle and Angahook-Lorne State Parks, as well as a number of state forests and crown land reserves were combined into one park. The National park covers 103 square kilometres, covering areas from Anglesea to Princetown, and inland from Cape Otway to just past Gellibrand, near Colac.
Protected for Future Generations
The formation of the Park has secured the survival of many areas threatened by logging. Among the areas assured of protection are Cumberland river, Wye river, Sabine Falls and Wild dog Ridge. It's staggering to think that just a few years ago these and other amazing areas were under threat from logging.
Some of the best on offer!
Some of the most scenic areas of The Great Ocean Road are within this spectacular National Park. Almost all of the Great Ocean Walk is located within the park, as is the vast majority of waterfalls and many of the beaches along the coast. Cape Otway's Famous Lighthouse is at the southernmost point of the Park.
Near the hilltop village of Lavers Hill lies Melba Gully, a picturesque pocket of old growth rainforest. In the 1930's it was a popular rest stop for bus tourists who enjoyed refreshments before continuing on the journey from Apollo Bay to Port Campbell. It's here that you will find the Big Tree, one of the largest trees still remaining in the region, being over 25m in circumference and over 300 years old.
One of the things I remember as a kid was coming to Melba Gully after dark to see the 'glow worms', which are actually the phosphorescent larvae of a fly-like insect. It's one of those experiences that will leave a lasting memory as you walk along Madsens Track with countless points of light all around you. There are guided tours available just after dark most nights of the year.
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