Lying about midway along the Great Ocean Road, and at its southernmost section, is one of Victoria’s most remote and luscious regions. Cape Otway was home to the Gadubanud people and is just 30kms from the funky town of Apollo Bay, yet it has quiet shores and much of the area is covered by thick forest.
The cape is near the Great Otway National Park and is a fabulous place to be based for a bit. Most of the accommodation is at Apollo Bay, though you can stay right at Cape Otway in cute cottages. From here are numerous walks and other activities.
Cape Otway Lightstation, Australia’s oldest lighthouse, is a big attraction here. It was built in 1846 after many ships were wrecked off the coast, and though decommissioned in the 1990s, it is a worthwhile detour, not least for the views it affords. A nearby cemetery is included on the Shipwreck Discovery walk.
Rainforest comes right down to the coast to the east of Cape Otway, where there are small, deserted beaches accessible courtesy of walking trails and dusty roads. Koalas inhabit the area and the best place to see them is at the Cape Otway Centre, a few kilometres from the lighthouse.
They also have kangaroos, wallabies and all sorts of naughty birds in here, while just up the road is the Great Ocean Ecolodge. Close by is Bimbi Park, noted for camping and walking trails. One of the best hikes is to Johanna Beach, a beautiful wild beach with heavy surf off to the west.
If you manage to book a place to stay at Cape Otway, you won’t regret it. If you can’t secure a room at the keepers’ cottages, there are other options, as well as camping at nearby Blanket Bay which has a picnic area and nice pools for kids.