The state of Victoria is split up into many regions, with the Otways being just one. Situated around 2 hours to the west of Melbourne, and encompassing parts of the famed Great Ocean Road, the Otways are a diverse and spectacular destination filled with many wonderful natural attractions.
If you head a little inland from all of the tourists at the 12 apostles, you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular sub tropical microclimate that is home to soaring gums and spectacular waterfalls. It is popular with those who love to hike as well as those who enjoy a leisurely stroll and if you really want to experience the diversity of the forest, all the way from forest floor, to the upper canopy, then the Otway Fly is for you!
Getting to the Otway Fly
The Otway Fly is around a 212km drive from the Melbourne CBD. It is a combination of highway and country driving, and is predominantly on well sealed roads (the final hurrah into the fly is a partially dirt road). It is possible to get to the Otway region using the regional VLine train or bus service, however this option is too time consuming for a day trip and will not get you to the Otway Fly itself, as it is located in a rural area of the Otways, and is best accessed by a car.
The roads in part are quite curvy and undulating, so if you’re not familiar with driving in Australia, you may want to allow extra time, as zip line tours depart promptly and will leave without you!
Mobile reception is unreliable in this area of the Otways, so plan ahead and load your Google Map ahead of time. When you’re in the area there are signs to follow, however you will be driving on country roads, so the signs are spaced out and you may doubt yourself and think you’ve missed a turn. It was significantly further off the main road than we initially expected!
The treetop walk
The Otway Fly comprises of two unique adventures. Firstly there is the tree top walk. It features a 600 metre long raised platform that soars 25 metres above the forest floor. To get to the walk, first take a stroll through the lush sub tropical forests that are unique to this area. The Otways are a microclimate in themselves, and the unique number of rainy days they receive means that the forest is full of wonderful treasures such as lush tree ferns, tree fungi and fairy toadstools.
The canopy walk is a comprises of a gentle track walk before you get to the tree top walk. The metal walking platforms are sturdily constructed to ensure that they remain firm in the wind (no bobbing around for the feint of heart!), yet mesh like enough to allow you excellent viewing. From your vantage point you can peer down to the valley floor below and enjoy the vibrant green vegetation. You’ll marvel at the sheer height of the spindly trunked gums that soar well above the viewing platform and in places even get close enough to reach out a hand and feel their stringy bark.
The pinnacle of the walk is the 45 metre heigh viewing platform that soars right up into the canopy itself. Be prepared to climb some stairs as you ascend the spiral tower. The view once at the top is worth those burning thighs and one might even feel that they can see ‘forever’. If you’re brave enough to look down, you’ll really marvel at how tall these ancient gums rise from the forest floor and perhaps whisper stories of older times.
If you are a fan of a bit of bounce, then the cantilever, situated right next to the spiral tower, is made for you. Perched out over Young’s Creek, the brave at heart can enjoy a gentle sway as they make their way out to the viewing platform at the end.
The walk then meanders back through the valley floor and returns back to your starting point. All in all it takes around 1 hour to enjoy and covers a distance of 1.9km. Best of all, the Otway Fly cater to people of varying mobility levels, with a shuttle available for those with a mobility impairment.
The Otway Fly
Now if you really want to experience the forest, and get your heart racing just a little, the ‘fly’ part of the Otway Fly is for you. A unique and exhilarating zip line course operates amongst the trees and has you flying from one cloud station to the next.
Suspended around 30 metres from the forest floor, the zip line course will have you climbing, balancing and flying from tree to tree in this awesome 2 hour experience. You’ll be accompanied by 2 instructors and receive lots of assistance and training, so its a great way for kids and adults to have a breathtaking experience whilst being fully supported, if need be.
If you’re game, why not lean back in your harness and really enjoy the ride. So long as you follow the safety instructions, you’re encouraged to enjoy the ride and really let loose. In fact, the walkers below will really enjoy hearing you shout a ‘woohoo!’ as they peer up into the canopy, hoping to spot someone flying by!
The Otway Fly is the only zip line experience in Victoria and has been specifically designed in order to get the most out of this unique landscape. You can organise your zip lining admission also allows you to undertake the canopy walk either before or after your session, making it great value. The experience is extremely popular, so it is best to book in advance to get your preferred departure time and make the most of your day in the Otways.
Making the most of your visit
A visit to the Otway Fly can be an all encompassing day trip on its own, or you can choose to stop off at one of the towns along the way, such as Colac, for a meal and explore before you make your way home.
The Otway region encompasses over 1000 square kilometres and is home to a diverse range of experiences. Many of the roads in the are however have slower speed limits, and whilst it may seem close to team experiences such as the Otway Fly with visiting a coastal attraction like the 12 Apostles, to truly enjoy both we would recommend an overnight stay or two day trips.
For current entry fees and to book tickets, please visit the Otway Fly home page.