Family Activities in the Otways

The Great Otway National Park is a Victorian park with a rugged coastline, rainforests, and waterfalls. It extends inland from the Great Ocean Road.

Great Ocean Road

Many tourists visit Otway during the Melbourne Great Ocean Road tour to experience the park's diverse wildlife and exotic animals.

Where is Great Otway National Park?

The Great Otway National Park is in Victoria, Australia, stretching from Torquay to Princetown, near the 12 Apostles.

The Otway Cape Station is a central location within the Great Otway National Park, situated 3 hours (225 km) from Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road and 2 hours (145 km) from Warrnambool.

History of the Great Otway National Park

The Great Otway National Park has a long history, home to the Gadubanud Aboriginal People for thousands of years. Archaeologists have found various relics and artifacts in the park, including oyster and cockle shells, animal bones, and tools made from bone, shell, and stone.

Visitors interested in Aboriginal history can visit the Mia Mia Indigenous Culture Centre at Cape Otway Lightstation to learn more about their culture from knowledgeable guides.

Activities in the Otways

The Otways offer a variety of family-friendly activities, including short walks, wildlife spotting, and adventure opportunities. Explore this picturesque region in Victoria with your family.

Cape Otway Lightstation

Drive your family to Cape Otway Lightstation, Australia's most famous lighthouse, built 1848 on sea cliffs 90 metres above the ocean. Enjoy stunning views from the Lighthouse Balcony overlooking Bass Strait. Learn about tragic shipwrecks from guides on site. Look out for whales from June to October and koalas on the forest drive from Great Ocean Road. Visit the nearby Aboriginal Cultural Site for traditional painting and spear-throwing activities. Before you leave, grab snacks at the Lightkeeper's Kitchen Cafe in the original cottage.

Easy Walks

Visitors of all ages can enjoy exploring the Otways on foot and discovering various magical spots.

Hit the Beach

Enjoy time by the water on the Otway Coast. Many pristine beaches like Apollo Bay, Johanna, Wye River, and Kennett River exist. Rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard to explore the coastline. Take a boat or kayak trip to see the local seal colony at Marengo. Surfing is also a popular activity to enjoy the waves.

Rockpool Rambles

A long rock formation with unique sculptures created by the sea can be explored. The coast features small and large rockpools, armchair ledges, and cave-like hollows. A delightful stretch can be found between Wild Dog Creek and Wongarra. Children can enjoy finding small crabs and shells near the Skenes Creek and Marengo campgrounds.

Parks Victoria offers guided rockpool rambles and coastal discovery tours during the summer holidays with the Junior Rangers program.

Koala Spotting

Koalas are easily spotted in the Otways due to their slow-moving nature and ability to climb trees. When searching for them, look up towards the tree branches, where you may find them wedged and fast asleep.

Popular locations for viewing koalas include Kennett River and Cape Otway, where it is essential to find a safe place to park before stopping to observe the animals.

Horse Riding

Horse rides at Bimbi Park are suitable for all ages and skill levels. They have experienced horses, qualified instructors, safe trails, and provide safety helmets. The sandy soil in the region is suitable for riding even after rain. The trail rides in the Otways offer exciting experiences, such as riding along beautiful beaches with the wild waves of the Southern Ocean in the background. Riders can also explore lush forests, cliff tops at sunset, Cape Otway Lighthouse, scenic lookouts, and pretty bays along the Otway coastline.

Mini Golf and Rock Climbing 

Bimbi Park offers a state-of-the-art rock climbing structure with eight tracks of varying difficulty levels, suitable for all ages and skill levels. Equipment is provided, and bookings are essential.

Families have the opportunity for a round of mini-golf at Bimbi Park's custom-built course, situated amidst beautiful native bush on Cape Otway.

Planet Mud Outdoor Adventures

For a fun outdoor experience in the Otways, consider visiting Planet Mud Outdoor Adventures in Yeodene, conveniently located just 15 minutes south of Colac.


Planet Mud offers paintball in a 52-acre bush setting for children aged ten and up. Small groups may be combined to meet minimum requirements when necessary.

Globe Ride

The Planet Mud globe is an inflatable sphere 11 feet high and transparent. You can ride inside it and go down hills at high speed. It has two feet of air to protect you from the ground. You must be at least 4ft 10 inches tall to ride the globe, and the maximum weight limit is 28 stone (180kg). Get ready for an exhilarating experience as you strap in for the ride of your life!


The Segway® is designed for navigating diverse terrains and handling challenging tasks, making it suitable for off-road adventures. It is a popular activity for individuals aged ten and above.

Otway Fly Treetop Adventures

The Otways rainforest is green, dense, and majestic. The Otway Fly offers a Treetop Walk and Zip Line Tour suitable for the whole family. Over 600 metres of elevated walkways are accessible with strollers and various options. It is the world's highest treetop walk, suspended up to 30 meters above the forest floor, with a 50-meter-high lookout tower. Visitors can try the Zip Line Tour and zip from cloud station to cloud station above the Otways for an extra thrill.

Trees Adventure Yeodene Park

The Otways offers a variety of flying foxes and challenges in a natural bushland setting. With options for all ages and comfort levels, it is a family-friendly experience that caters to cautious and adventurous visitors.

Participants are given equipment and safety training before embarking on a self-guided adventure through the trees, ensuring they are always securely attached.

Summer Berry Picking

Berry farms in the Pennyroyall Valley offer pick-your-own (PYO) berries. PYO is enjoyable, especially for children. You can pick fresh strawberries, raspberries, boysenberries, and bramble berries during the November-March season. Pennyroyal Raspberry Farm is the oldest organic berry farm in southwest Victoria.

Melbourne Great Ocean Road tour

Many berry farms offer onsite cafes where visitors can enjoy a meal after a day of picking berries.

Picnics and Playgrounds

Colac Otway Shire has a variety of parks, gardens, playgrounds, and recreation areas, with over 148 options. Playgrounds include the following, among others.

The following are public playgrounds in the Apollo Bay, Beeac, Birregurra, Colac, and Memorial Square areas.

Mountain biking

Forrest is Australia's top mountain biking destination, with 16 mapped trails for all skill levels. Trails range from straightforward 2-kilometre rides to the more challenging 11.5-kilometre Yaugher Super Loop. These trails showcase the natural beauty of the Great Otway National Park, passing through different terrains like forests and fern gullies. The trails are designed for both beginners and experienced riders, offering a variety of experiences. Maps can be found online for planning. Visit for more information.

Go Paddling for Platypus

The Paddle with the Platypus Dawn or Dusk canoe tour departs from Forrest. You can experience Australia's elusive egg-laying mammal in its natural habitat. Lake Elizabeth, a remote mountain lake, is a great spot to search for Platypus. There are fantastic photo opportunities, and it's a surreal experience. Booking in advance is necessary.

Experience paddle tours at Otway Eco Tours during dawn or dusk.

Fishing the Otways

The Otways is a popular fishing destination for families, offering freshwater fishing for trout or native blackfish and opportunities for surf fishing for salmon and rock platform fishing for snapper, trevally and whiting.

Apollo Bay has exciting activities

Apollo Bay is nature's playground. It offers various adventures highlighting the coastal town and its surroundings.