Nature & Wildlife

6 Ways nature can soothe the soul

Spending time in nature on the Great Ocean Road at any time of the year is good for the soul. Here are six top spots revealed by a Parks Victoria Chief Ranger.

Spending time on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria’s south at any time of the year is good for the soul.

If you love nature, there are many ways to unwind from your busy lifestyle. You definitely should put aside a couple of days or more to really reap the benefits.

There are lots of accommodation options on offer, so travel at your own pace or with a friend – or set up camp with a large group.

Every day I get to work in our natural environment, so I know some of the best spots and even a few secrets that some may not know about.

Here are my top 6:

1. Winter is wild and beautiful

Don’t let the cold deter you, winter is an invigorating time to explore the Surf Coast and beyond. Take a brisk walk to see the area’s many waterfalls, which flow more heavily following winter rains. There are many choices around Lorne, including Erskine Falls, Sheaok Falls, Kalimna Falls, Henderson Falls and Phantom Falls.

 

2. There are 100 types of orchid

Visit the Anglesea heath section of the Great Otway National Park in spring and be amazed. The heathlands behind Anglesea contain incredible biodiversity, and come alive each year with a dazzling display of wildflowers. Go for a walk to see more than 100 types of orchid. Some will be easy to spot, but some will need a keen eye and patient searching.

 

3. The sunrises and sunsets take your breath away

You can’t go past Point Addis Marine National Park. A peaceful and beautiful location with spectacular views over the marine national park and cliffs near Anglesea. If you’re lucky you might see dolphins playing, or in winter, whales passing by.

 

4. Glow worms are our cutest little secret

Grey River Picnic Area, deep within the Great Otway National Park, is a peaceful spot to take some time out, with just the sounds of trickling water and birds in the canopy. If you visit at night you might see glow worms not far from the picnic area.

 

5. There are heaps of places to camp

Camping is one of my all-time favourite activities, and I’m lucky because there are so many campgrounds around the Great Otway National Park. One of my favourites is Lake Elizabeth, near the township of Forrest. It’s a bit of a detour off the Great Ocean Road, but well worth the trip to see the lake’s heavily timbered flanks and calm waters. Take a walk around the water’s edge and you’ll have a good chance of seeing platypus. From here, there’s easy access to the mountain bike trails and fabulous eateries of Forrest.

 

6. We have famous surf beaches

The Surf Coast is full of options, ranging from the family-friendly waters around Torquay, Anglesea and Lorne, to world famous surf breaks like Bells Beach. If you don’t like getting wet, consider the Surf Coast Walk, which stretches for 44km between Torquay and Aireys Inlet, taking in some of the coastline’s most spectacular scenery.

About The Author

Parks Victoria

Victoria's parks provide open space, stunning landscapes, habitats to protect flora and fauna and areas to conserve cultural heritage.

www.parkweb.vic.gov.au

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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawuurung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Ancestors, past present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.