Wye River – Apollo Bay
Kennett River is another favourite of ours – we often stop here on our trip down to the bay. The area is well known for its koala population and it’s a lot more pedestrian friendly then Cape Otway.
You’ll also find a lot of wild birds here, especially king parrots and crimson rosellas. You can buy bird seed at the nearby store.
It can be quite busy with the tourist buses coming here to see the koalas.
Around Apollo Bay
I know what you are saying. How interesting can a harbour be? Isn’t it just boats and stuff? It’s actually pretty brilliant, we go there most days to see what is there.
There are a number of sting rays in the area that will swim quite close to the shore. Some of them are quite huge! If you talk to the locals, you’ll learn that many of them have names.
As sun sets, you will notice more fish hanging around the edges of the harbour. We’ve never had much luck fishing for them
Behind The Harbour
If you walk behind the habour there is a small stretch of beach between the rocks of the habour and the barham river mouth. There are some interesting rock formations here that are a milder version of the ones further ahead at Marengo beach.
It’s a fun place to look at the rocks and can be the scene for beautiful sunsets. These are one of the safer areas for rock hopping.
The river mouth is a short walk from Apollo Bay, maybe 500 meters from the main street. We love it because it is less busy then the main beach and doesn’t have the waves.
You do have to be careful in the summer months, as hooded plovers nest on the opposite side. I’ve also found double banded plovers and crested terns hanging around here once the families have left.
We also enjoy walking along the river past the caravan park and making a loop behind the town. You can get some lovely river birds here.
- Sunset at Barham River
- Birding at the Barham River Mouth
- Dusky Moorhen Chicks Along The Barham River
Paradise Picnic Ground
Paradise Picnic Ground is a hidden secret of Apollo Bay – overshadowed by the considerably more crowded Maits Rest and Melba Gully. While it doesn’t have the formal walking paths and signage, it does have a sense of privacy that you don’t get at the other locations.
It is located 6-7 km away. Follow the signs that say “Barham River scenic drive.” This is actually a beautiful drive in the hinterland behind Apollo Bay. About half way, you will get to a toilet and sign “Paradise Picnic Reserve.”
This area is great for exploring the rainforest. There is a lot of fungi and bugs if you look close enough. Even better, there will be considerably less people then at other locations
- Birdwatching at Paradise Picnic Ground, Apollo Bay
- Quick Visit To Paradise Picnic Ground
- Summer Return To Paradise Picnic Ground
- Paradise Picnic Ground: Damp Spring Visit
- Fungi Hunting At Paradise Picnic Ground
On The Ocean
Visit the Marengo Seal Colony
Unlike the others, this activity isn’t free. It is definitely worth the money.
Apollo Bay Fishing and Adventure tours offer boat trips to the seal colony at Marengo. My nephew and I have done this and it was a blast.
It takes an hour and you get to visit the outer rocks where the seals like to hang out. You can see these rocks from the shore but you can barely see the seals, even with the binoculars or camera. This trip takes you near the rocks and you get to spend 15 minutes watching the seals swim around the boat. We thought it was magic.
Marengo Reef Marine Sanctuary protects the only offshore exposed reef between Cape Otway and Cape Schanck (Explore Underwater Victoria). On shore, however, is where the magic lies for the kids.
Visit here at low tide and you will see dozens upon dozens of rockpools. We’ve spent hours here and discovered crabs, starfish and a variety of other creatures. It can be a good introduction to marine life and jumping over the rocks will tire the kids out… a little bit.
For the grownups, it can be a great area for landscape photography. You can get more tips here.
- Decorator Crab at Marengo
- Autumn Visit To Marengo Rockpools
- Visiting Marengo Rockpools Near Apollo Bay
- Revisiting Marengo Rockpools: A Family Favourite
At the remarkable Californian Redwoods, let your imagination come to life along this enchanting walk, where fairytales seem to come alive! This remarkable stand of the world’s tallest tree species have thrived in Otway soil, far from their native California.
A walk for the first time between the massive trunks flanking the river creates a special feeling of awe and reverence – not to be missed.
via Visit Otways
Triplet Falls is fast becoming one of the popular walks in the Otways – and for good reason! It is located just 3km away from the Otway Fly, which means that the huge amounts of tourist buses just bypass it.
This 2km loop offers one of the more accessible falls in the region, in addition to a lot of logging history. It is so captivating and can easily take longer then the recommended hour. There is a lot of diversity in plants, fungi and moss. It can be a good location for birds but I find that they can often be well hidden.
For photographers, there are a number of viewing platforms that allow you to get good views of the falls. It’s become quite a popular family walk during the summer school holidays, which can make it more difficult to get the perfect shot
Apollo Bay – Port Campbell
Blanket Bay is very similar to Marengo rockpools, however on a much larger scale. The rock formations are entirely different and so are the creatures you will find. It’s well worth coming here on low tide to explore.
The birds here are magnificent and I’ve found koalas in the main camping area. It is popular with campers but is still pretty secluded. The walks here are lovely, the plantlife is different from many of the other areas. I recommend going a bit further to Parket Inlet for great views if you have the time.
The snorkeling is also meant to be great here.
- Other Birds Along The Great Ocean Road
- Bugs Along The Great Ocean Road
- Seeing our first ‘Christmas Spider’