Great Otway National Park

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.

Price range

FREE

Contact details

Apollo Bay Visitor Information Centre, (03) 5237 6529

www.parkweb.vic.gov.au

Don't Miss

The Cape Otway Lightstation Reserve.

The Otway Fly Treetop Walk.
 
Erskine and Triplet falls.

Fabulous Facts

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.

Insider Tips

■ 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.

■ To reach the picnic area, turn off the Great Ocean Road 3 kilometres west of Lavers Hill and travel  a further 2 kilometres. Madsen’s Track is a 1-kilometre/30-minute walk into the gully.
 
■ The glow worms live in the soil banks and overhanging ledges along the track. There are guide rails  beside the best viewing areas, but you won’t see the glow worms unless it is absolutely pitch dark  around you. Switch off your torches, keep quiet and wait.
 
■ At night, you might also see owls, gliders, possums and bats. If you spot any rare, endangered  spotted tail quolls, take note of the time, date and location and report your sighting to Parks Victoria on 13 1963.
 
■ Great Otway National Park covers a vast area and there are lots of other things to see and do.  Check out the website before you go.
 
■ This is a rainforest, so take rain jackets when you go for a walk. The dampness brings out beautiful  colours in the scenery.
 
■ Canoe tours of the forest (high cost, minimum age 5 years) are available through Otway Eco Tours;  (03) 5236 6345; platypustours.net.au
 
■ Otway Eco Tours also offer mountain bike hire or guided bike tours (minimum age 8 years).

See Also

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