Lakes & waterways
Discover the quiet beauty of Lake Elizabeth, hidden deep in the Otways near the township of Forrest. The calm waters of the lake are punctuated by the trunks of dead trees, drowned when the valley was flooded more than 50 years ago. Paddle down the Glenelg River as it winds its way through a deep limestone gorge with 50-metre cliffs. Drive through the hinterland of the region to the lakes and craters area Camperdown or walk to one of the many waterfalls in the Otway National Park.
Immerse yourself in the serenity of the Otways, with its towering trees and dense fern glades, on the two-kilometre loop walk to and around the lake from the car park. The path follows the new course of the river and passes a billabong with a backdrop of giant ferns and onto the western end of Lake Elizabeth to a viewing platform with scenic views up the length of the lake. Pack your lunch and relax by the lake. Wander downhill from the car park to the picnic area for toilet facilities. Pitch a tent and stay overnight at the nearby natural bush camping area. Wake up early or head to Lake Elizabeth at dusk to catch a glimpse of the elusive platypus. Join an early morning canoe tour to view these unique creatures in the wild.
Experience Victoria's longest estuarine river in a canoe. Canoes can be hired at Nelson and there are boat launching ramps at several points along the river. The river's banks are also dotted with camping areas for extended trips. You can even catch dinner along the way with the river providing giant mulloway, bass, southern black bream, yellow-eye mullet and salmon. For those who prefer a leisurely cruise there are scenic river cruises through the spectacular limestone gorge. The cruise also has an optional Princess Margaret Rose Cave tour. Days of operation vary seasonally so it is therefore best to check in advance with the Nelson Visitor Centre.
Lakes and craters
Take in 360-degree views from Mt Leura and Mt Sugarloaf, the highest points between the coastal ranges and the rolling western plains. Volcanic activity has shaped much of the surrounding landscape, leaving a legacy of cones, lakes and craters and it is now one of the world's largest volcanic plains. Fish for trout and chinook salmon at surrounding lakes.