Wildflowers, Aireys Inlet, Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
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Wildflowers

Spring is the best time to see wildflowers throughout the region, but many plants flower throughout the year. Much land was cleared by early settlers, but extensive forest remains. Not far inland, rainforests and mountain ash trees contrast with coastal heathlands and open woodlands. Towering Myrtle Beech trees and their under-storey of dense tree-ferns can be seen on the Maits Rest walk and at Melba Gully.

Stop in at the Flower Farm at Point Addis or see wildflowers along the Surf Coast walk. Take the Benwerrin Nature Walk at Mount Richmond, an extinct volcano surrounded by low, flat land. Forest, open heath and scattered swamps cover the park, which is noted for its spring wildflowers. See an array of native flora and fauna at Tower Hill State Game Reserve or paddle up the Glenelg River in spring to see the wildflowers en route to the Princess Margaret Rose Cave.

Otways
Much land was cleared by early settlers, but extensive forest remains. Not far inland, rainforests and mountain ash trees contrast with coastal heathlands and open woodlands. Towering Myrtle Beech trees and their under-storey of dense tree-ferns can be seen on the Maits Rest walk and at Melba Gully.

Maits Rest
Steep slopes with rich volcanic soils produce forests filled with ferns, shrubs and tall eucalypts. Rainfall brings fast streams, waterfall cascades and rapids. South of the main Otways ridge, the most common trees are messmate stringybark, blue gum, mountian grey gum and manna gum.

Melba Gully
The large trees in this rainforest gully are Myrtle Beech (Nothofagus cunninghamii) and Blackwood (Acacia melanoxlon). Many plants grow on trees here, including Kangaroo Fern, Weeping Spleenwort and Shiny Shield-fern. They are not parasites, but epiphytes, surviving on decaying leaves and bark. Hard Water-fern and Mother Shield-fern cover much of the forest floor. In all there are 33 species of fern in the Park. Higher up, the Park's vegetation is exposed to more sunlight and drying winds, and is quite different from that in the gullies. Young Otway Messmates are dispersed among Hazel Pomaderris, Musk Daisy-bush, Christmas Bush and Satin Box. Melba Gully is 1.5 km off the Great Ocean Road, 3 km west of Lavers Hill. The access road is narrow and steep in places, but quite suitable for conventional vehicles.

The Otways


Great Ocean Road