The Otways : There simply is no better place on earth
How true. And I'm not just agreeing because I live here and I'm biassed! Ask anyone. The Otways, or as it is officially known, the Great Otway National Park, is quite frankly a small piece of heaven. Check out our friendly koala above : Do you think he would want to be anywhere else? From Anglesea to Lorne to Apollo Bay and beyond there are just so many beautiful spots that you will literally find yourself spoilt for choice. Much of the Otways encompassess and includes many towns dotted along the Great Ocean Road. This is the most well known part of the Otways and is well visited, especially in peak seasons when these small seaside hamlets can become very crowded - so book well in advance! Each of these small towns is a real gem and there is a very good reason they are so popular but keep in mind that there is so much more. Have a good look around, take your time and find your adventurous side. This site deals primarily with accommodation in the Otway Ranges. A great deal of the accommodation available is pet friendly (Johanna is the only beach in a national park in Australia where you can bring your dog) and you will find everything from budget to farm stay to luxury accommodation and resorts and some of the best romantic getaways in the Otways. Have a good look around before you decide where to stay. There are lots of options available. Once you have made your choice simply click on the more info button and you will be directed to the accommodation provider's personal website. This will enable you to deal direct with the owners and save as many operators have special deals, especially in the off season. Thank you for thinking about holidaying in the Otways - you won't be disappointed!
The Boomerangs @ Johanna consists of 3 award winning, boomerang shaped cottages. The cottages are surrounded by 3 acres of magical, landscaped gardens and offer guests sensational views over the Johanna Valley, native forests and the Great Southern Ocean. Sorry, no pets. more info
Johanna River Farm & Cottages
Johanna River Farm & Cottages is ideal for those who are looking to have a real country experience. This is a working farm in an idyllic location and offers 3 self contained cottages suitable for both families or couples and one spa cottage only for couples. This is pet friendly, farm stay accommodation. You are more than welcome to bring your dog. Johanna Beach, just a few minutes away is dog friendly. more info
Location: Cape Otway
Bimbi Park at Cape Otway offers camping under the stars with koalas. Bimbi Park has accommodation to suit all budgets; from simple camp sites to powered sites, onsite caravans, bunk rooms for backpackers & standard & luxury self contained cabins. All this in a sheltered eucalyptus woodland. And it's just a short walk to the beach for swimming & fishing. Horse riding along the beach is also available. more info
Location: Beech Forest
Otway Cottage is a small, three bedroom Victorian cottage located at Beech Forest high in the hills of the Otway Ranges. Beech Forest, home to the legendary, local, marathon runner Cliff Young, is well situated to take advantage of the area's attractions. It's just minutes to the Otway Fly and 3 of the Otway's most spectacular waterfalls. And it's a pleasant, casual stroll to the Beech Forest Hotel. more info
Johanna Bluegum Holiday Cabins
Choose from three very private and secluded, self contained cabins in Johanna. Two with ocean views and one tucked in to its own private valley. All the cabins are pet friendly and only a few minutes to Johanna Beach. Great sunsets and sunrises! Located in the middle of the Great Ocean Walk and close to all the major attractions of the Great Otway National Park. more info
Location: Lavers Hill
Otway Junction Restaurant and Cafe is located in the small town of Lavers Hill, the highest point on the Great Ocean Road. The freshest of fish is on the menu here and the bar snacks and homemade tarts are simply scrumptious. There is also a motel next to the cafe. more info
Location: Moonlight Head
Alkina Lodge is situated just off the Great Ocean Road at Moonlight Head - one of the hidden gems of the Great Ocean Road. Three lodges are on offer - all have four bedrooms, the master bedroom having beautiful ocean views. Expect to see kangaroos close by. For the discerning traveller. more info
12 Apostles Secret Spot
Location: 12 Apostles
12 Apostles Secret Spot is a traditional bed and breakfast just minutes away from the famous 12 Apostles. Two bedrooms each with private ensuites surrounded by a meticulously crafted garden; complete with amazing artwork. Both sunrises and sunsets can be seen from your veranda! more info
Southern Anchorage Retreat
Location: Moonlight Head
Southern Anchorage is a walker’s paradise, with luxury family or couples’ cottages through to affordable comfortable suites. Located at spectacular Moonlight Head, the retreat is just 1km from the Great Ocean Walk and the Great Ocean Road and boasts spectacular views of bushland and coast, including views of the sandstone cliffs towards the 12 Apostles. more info
The Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road stretches for more than 100 kilometres from Torquay to Warrnambool and beyond to Port Fairy and follows a coastline that is simply awesome. This is without any doubt one of the greatest drives in the world so take your time and enjoy it. So many people simply stay in Melbourne and think they can do the Great Ocean Road as a day trip. Forget it! You will be doing yourself a great disservice. You will spend most of the day in a vehicle and see very little of this fantastic area. There is so much more to this region than the 12 Apostles. To begin with you will be passing by countless beaches which will be imploring you to stop and say hello - and it would be rude not to. After a walk or perhaps a swim, you'll be in need of some refreshment and all of the seaside towns have lots of good cafes and restaurants. More than likely you'll be thinking "Perhaps I should have booked in here for a few days?" All of the towns along the coast are real gems and deserve a longer stay to appreciate what they have to offer. Give some thought to your holiday - have a good look through this site - and book carefully. There's nothing worse than coming home after a holiday knowing that with a little more thought it could have been so much better! This website focusses on Otways accommodation and is very simple to use. Simply make your selection from the drop down menu at the top of the page.
The Otways hinterland : Heart of the Otway Ranges
If all you want to see is the Great Ocean Road then your holiday will be well spent. But, if you have the time you must venture a little further inland. You don't have to travel far from the coast to experience some off the beaten track delights. The Great Otway National Park is a wonderland in all seasons. Much of its 103 square kilometres is made up of temperate rainforests which of course are home to some spectacular waterfalls with ancient, towering gum trees shadowing cool, forest floors with fern laden gullies. Almost all of the waterfalls are accessible with well made tracks which makes walking a pleasure. Many of these waterfalls are near the small township of Beech Forest; home of legendary runner Cliff Young.
If you want a little bit more adventure you should head to the Otway Fly, the longest and highest, rainforest skywalk in the world. You can also try abseiling or zip lining from tree to tree high above the forest floor. Not far from here is the small town of Forrest which has some of the world's best mountain bike trails and it's here that you can also paddle with platypus. Another highlight of this area that you shouldn't miss is the Cape Otway Lightstation. This is Australia's oldest, surviving lighthouse. Very spectacular in stormy weather and a great location to check out the passing Southern Right Whales in winter.
Being a tourist can be thirsty work. Fortunately, the Otways is home to quite a few wineries and a handful of home made breweries. You'll probably get hungry as well and again you'll be well looked after. This is foodie heaven. Perhaps the best way to experience this aspect of our region is to follow the Otway Harvest Trail. This will ensure that you get the most out of the Otway's finest wineries, provedores, cellar doors, farmgates and so much more. Enjoy!
Ongoing Events & Festivals throughout the year in the Otway Ranges
Pier to Pub Ocean Swim in Lorne.
Kona Odyssey Mountain Bike Marathon in Apollo Bay & Forrest. Apollo Bay Seafood Festival.
Gellibrand Blues & Blueberry Festival. Great Ocean & Otway Classic Ride.
Apollo Bay Music Festival.
Great Ocean Road International Marathon from Lorne to Apollo Bay.
To be announced
To be announced
International Lighthouse Weekend at Cape Otway and Aireys Inlet. Festival of Performing Arts in Lorne.
Amy's Gran Fondo at Lorne.
Anglesea Music festival. Birregurra Weekend Festival. Oktoberfest at Otway Estate Winery in Barongarook.
Forrest Festival. ( mountain bike racing )
Lorne Adventure Fest. The Falls Festival - Lorne. Great Victoria Bike Ride along the Great Ocean Road.
For more detailed information please have a look here: Otway Festivals.
The Great Ocean Walk
Once you arrive at Apollo Bay you will be at the beginning of the Great Ocean Walk. This walk follows the coast for more than 100 kilometres all the way to the twelve Apostles. It weaves its way westward through the Great Otway National Park passing beautiful, deserted beaches, eucalyptus forests and a sensational marine sanctuary. You can camp on the walk if you wish at designated camping spots ( you will need to book to do this ) or you can stay at various private accommodation along the way. If you don't have a vehicle or you would prefer not to use your own, you can take advantage of the Great Ocean Road Shuttle Service. This service can pick you up and drop you off from wherever you are staying. This will enable you to do whichever section of the walk you like. Very convenient. Don't forget good hiking shoes!
For loads more information please visit: http://www.thegreatoceanwalk.com
Coming from interstate or overseas?
If you are on your way to explore the Otways then there's a good chance you are coming from interstate or overseas. If this is the case then you may need some accommodation in Melbourne. Have a great time!