From winding rivers and gentle streams to rainforest waterfalls and serene inland lakes, there's more to the Great Ocean Road than the Twelve 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.
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 waters of the lake, which was drowned when the valley was 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.
Experience Victoria's longest estuarine river in a canoe. 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. You can catch dinner along the way with the river home to giant mulloway, bass, southern black bream, yellow-eye mullet and salmon.
For those who prefer a leisurely cruise there are scenic river cruises through the deep limestone gorge with 50-metre cliffs. The cruise also has an optional Princess Margaret Rose Cave tour. Days of operation vary seasonally so it is therefore best to check in advance with the Nelson Visitor Centre.
Lakes and craters
Take in 360-degree views from Mt Leura and Mt Sugarloaf, the highest points between the 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 but be advised water levels change with the yearly rainfall, so check local conditions before you leave.