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Lakes & waterways

From winding rivers and gentle streams to rainforest waterfalls and serene inland lakes, there's more to the Great Ocean Road than the Twelve Apostles and Bells Beach. Discover the quiet beauty of Lake Elizabeth, paddle through the deep limestone gorge of the Glenelg River, and discover the misty waterfalls of The Otways.

Lake Elizabeth

Look out over the peaceful waters of Lake Elizabeth, hidden deep in the Otways near the township of Forrest. The trunks of dead trees punctuate the waters of the lake, which was drowned when the valley was flooded during a landslide more than 50 years ago. Come for the day or camp out overnight at the nearby natural bush camping area. Join an early morning canoe tour to catch a glimpse of the elusive platypus in the wild.

Glenelg River

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 catch dinner along the way with the river home to 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 deep limestone gorge with 50-metre cliffs. 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, creating what is now one of the world's largest volcanic plains. Hit the trail and explore the many cones, lakes and craters that pepper the region. Fish for trout and chinook salmon at the surrounding lakes but be advised water levels change with the yearly rainfall, so check local conditions before you leave.

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Lakes & waterways

National parks & reserves

The Otways

Immerse yourself in some of Australia's best rainforest scenery in the Otway Ranges amongst tall trees, ancient plant life and lush ferns.

Lakes & waterways


Hear the roar of falling droplets pounding into the waters below at spectacular waterfalls and cascades in the Otways and surrounding region.



Complete your journey at Nelson at the end of the Great Ocean Road, and explore the Discovery Coast, Glenelg River and Princess Margaret Rose Cave.



Take the picturesque inland route to the 12 Apostles and discover Camperdown amid volcanic craters and lush natural pastures, home to dairy farms.

National parks & reserves

Great Otway National Park

The Great Otway National Park stretches from Torquay through to Princetown and up through the Otways hinterland towards Colac. The park features...

National parks & reserves

Lower Glenelg National Park

The Glenelg River is the central feature of the Lower Glenelg National Park. Along the last part of its winding 400 kilometre path to the sea the...

National parks & reserves

Mount Eccles National Park

Mount Eccles (Budj Bim) is a long dormant volcano. Budj Bim is the source of the Tyrendarra lava flow which extends over 50 kilometres to the...

National parks & reserves

Mount Richmond National Park

Mount Richmond is an extinct volcano surrounded by low, flat land. The volcano is covered with a layer of sand blown inland long ago from Discovery...

Lakes & waterways

Lake Elizabeth

Head to Lake Elizabeth hidden deep in the Otways and discover its inspiring beauty with heavily timbered flanks and calm waters punctuated by the...


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