With the abundance of Beech, Blackwood and Ash Trees, the areas quickly became a major centre for the local timber industry. In 1902 the narrow gauge railway extended from Colac making harvesting timber an easier task. The narrow gauge railway, now rusted from years of use has been transformed into The Old Beechy Rail Trail.
It is no wonder Birregurra has found itself at the centre of the Otway Harvest Trails, surrounded by delicious restaurants, cafes, wineries, breweries and farmers markets…
Australian Wildlife is in abundance throughout the areas, especially koalas, birds and wallabies which are a popular attraction for visitors to the region.
The name Colac comes from the local Aboriginal tribe, the Colagjin tribe, meaning freshwater in reference to Lake Colac. The first references of Aboriginal tribes in Colac were in 1839 & Hugh Murray was the first settler of the Colac district in 1837.
Exploring the region will uncover plenty of tales about the efforts of the colonial pioneers of the 1800s. You’ll find some of Australia’s most famous pioneering names associated with them. Today, the towns retain their unique characteristics by catering for visitors from far and wide with comfortable bed and breakfast cottages and an endless supply of local culinary treats.
Lake Elizabeth, which was only formed in 1951 after a landslip dammed the river, is a mecca of nature. All that’s visible of the sunken forest are the towering, tattered trunks of a dozen manna gums, their smooth moonlight-white bark long since weathered grey and scaly…
The Old Beechy Rail Trail passes through Gellibrand at its half way mark, making the town an ideal rest stop, or starting point if the 50km trail sounds like a bit much to chew. Originally a narrow gauge railway build for moving timber, the Old Beechy Rail Trail is now a compacted earth trail best suited for mountain or hybrid bikes. The trail winds through a scenic pine forest, bushland and rainforest with the eucalypt and blackwood trees providing homes for abundant bird life.
Fittingly named after the schooner ‘Johanna’ that was wrecked at the mouth of the Johanna River on 22nd September 1843. The area is steeped in history, from the discovery of dinosaur fossils in the Glenaire Valley to the Cape Otway Lightstation, the oldest of its type on mainland Australia…
The small town centre caters well for tourists, featuring a number of cafes, a pub with a bistro, and tourist information. The landmark wood sculpture at the junction of the Great Ocean Road and Colac Road is the “Drift”, which is a tribute to the marine environment, prehistoric skeletal finds, shipwrecks and the agricultural machinery of the area, designed by artist James Catell.
Kennett River is small idyllic town located on the Great Ocean Road halfway between Apollo Bay and Lorne.
The numerous Pennyroyal berry farm’s offer pick your own berries, proved to be a very popular activity for the littler ones. Fill your buckets with vine fresh strawberries, raspberries, boysenberries and brambleberries within the November to March season.
The town is home to a number of exclusive luxury holiday homes and spectacular wildlife including koalas, kangaroos and echidnas and many different birds.
Along the stretch of coastline between Lorne and Apollo Bay, the Great Ocean Road clings to the cliff-face as it winds through the Great Otway National Park and glides by rolling farmland. Wye River, just 20 minutes from Lorne and 35 minutes from Apollo Bay, gives visitors a taste of the Otways and beach culture in a lovely, laid-back package. Stroll on the nearby beaches where often you are the lone guest walking on the white sand as the waves roll in.
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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawuurung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Ancestors, past present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.