Great Otway National Park
Back to nature
Under the lush, arching canopy of myrtle beech, blackwood and giant tree ferns a river trickles longside the walking track. Your kids scamper ahead, pretending to spot dinosaurs in this primeval rainforest. There are real creatures hiding in Melba Gully and night is the time to see them… Returning later by torchlight you reach the depths of the forest and pause to turn off your torch. All around you thousands of tiny pinpricks of light spring up as if by magic – these are the lights of glow worms.
Apollo Bay Visitor Information Centre, (03) 5237 6529
■ The Cape Otway Lightstation Reserve.
Glow worms are not really worms. They are the larvae of the fungus gnat, a fly-like insect. The purpose of the light (which shines from their abdomens) is to attract their dinner. As well as glowing, they produce silken threads with sticky droplets. Other insects are attracted to the light, get stuck on the threads, and the glow worms reel them in and eat them.
■ You begin your walk into Melba Gully from a picnic area with grassy open spaces, tables, gas barbecue and toilets. Camping is not allowed here, but you can camp in other parts of the national park.
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