Steep slopes with rich volcanic soils produce forests filled with ferns, shrubs and tall eucalypts. Rainfall brings fast streams, waterfall cascades and rapids. South of the main Otways ridge, the most common trees are messmate stringybark, blue gum, mountian grey gum and manna gum.
The large trees in this rainforest gully are Myrtle Beech (Nothofagus cunninghamii) and Blackwood (Acacia melanoxlon). Many plants grow on trees here, including Kangaroo Fern, Weeping Spleenwort and Shiny Shield-fern. They are not parasites, but epiphytes, surviving on decaying leaves and bark. Hard Water-fern and Mother Shield-fern cover much of the forest floor. In all there are 33 species of fern in the Park. Higher up, the Park's vegetation is exposed to more sunlight and drying winds, and is quite different from that in the gullies. Young Otway Messmates are dispersed among Hazel Pomaderris, Musk Daisy-bush, Christmas Bush and Satin Box. Melba Gully is 1.5 km off the Great Ocean Road, 3 km west of Lavers Hill. The access road is narrow and steep in places, but quite suitable for conventional vehicles.