Overview

From winding rivers and gentle streams to rainforest waterfalls and serene inland lakes, there's more to discover on the Great Ocean Road than the famous 12 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 lake's surface, drowned when the valley 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 by paddle. 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. Catch dinner along the way – the river is home to giant mulloway, bass, southern black bream, yellow-eye mullet and salmon.

For those who prefer a leisurely exploration, Glenelg River Cruises runs scenic tours through the limestone gorge with its deep 50-metre cliffs, including a 3.5-hour Margaret Rose Cave tour. Days of operation vary seasonally so check and book ahead.

Lakes and craters

Take in 360-degree views from Mt Leura and Mt Sugarloaf, the highest points between the region's 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 – be advised that water levels change with the yearly rainfall, so check local conditions before you leave.

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