Review: Great Ocean Road and Otway Fly Tour from Melbourne with Around And About Travel inner banner

Review: Great Ocean Road and Otway Fly Tour from Melbourne with Around And About Travel

Two sublime landscapes sit side by side on the Great Ocean Road in regional Victoria — the rugged coastline itself, and the lush rainforest of Great Otway National Park. This amazing tour will immerse you in the beauty of both.
Review: Great Ocean Road and Otway Fly Tour from Melbourne
Great Ocean Road and Otway Fly Tour from Melbourne
Great Ocean Road and Otway Fly Tour from Melbourne. Image: Stephen Hodges

The Great Ocean Road is on every traveller’s list of things to do while in Victoria.

The 243-kilometre journey through breath-taking coastal scenery is a must-do, and having lived not far from the road most of my life, I have travelled along it many times. However, due to the constant erosion of the rock formations and the ever changing light at different times of the year, the experience always feels brand new.

Today I’m travelling with Around And About Travel on their Great Ocean Road and Otway Fly Tour from Melbourne. Once CBD pick-ups are completed, we head west from the city and take the inland route — eventually joining the Great Ocean Road at Port Campbell National Park — the furthermost point from Melbourne. This is generally not the starting point for tours, but it allows us to avoid the hundreds of other cars and buses that are heading for the Great Ocean Road at the same time we are.

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The most famous of Port Campbell National Park’s natural attractions are the 12 Apostles. The limestone sea-stacks — left behind as the ocean constantly erodes the cliff face — are a photographer’s dream. The colours of the stacks and the surrounding ocean change dramatically depending on the season and time of day.

Great Ocean Road and Otway Fly Tour from Melbourne
Great Ocean Road and Otway Fly Tour from Melbourne

Next we pull over at Loch Ard Gorge. There are four short walks in the area, which lead to various inlets and small bays. One walk in particular takes you down to a secluded cove of clear and calm water, and today we have a rare chance to enjoy the tranquility of this setting without the crowds.

Great Ocean Road and Otway Fly Tour from Melbourne
Great Ocean Road and Otway Fly Tour from Melbourne: Loch Ard Gorge

Another advantage of our early arrival at these key sites is that we’re able to spend more time at each stop. Our guide Walter is very knowledgeable about the region’s history and he shares stories of triumphs and tragedies that have made the Great Ocean Road so famous.

Watch our video of ten top things to do in Melbourne:

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Our next destination is Otway Fly Treetop Adventures in the Otway Ranges — part of Great Otway National Park. It provides a total contrast to the dramatic coastal landscapes we saw earlier. The Otway Ranges boast some of the finest rainforest scenery anywhere in the country. This is my first time actually exploring the rainforest, and I’m astounded to see how lush and green it is, given its close proximity to the barren and windswept coastline.

Great Ocean Road and Otway Fly Tour from Melbourne
Great Ocean Road and Otway Fly Tour from Melbourne. Image: Julietta Henderson

Otway Fly Treetop Adventures offers the chance to get a bird’s eye view of the terrain by taking the tree top canopy walk. Six hundred metres long and 25 metres off the ground (47 metres at the main lookout), the Treetop Walk is the longest and highest of its kind in the world. Anyone with a reasonable level of fitness will be able to complete the walk. It’s a total distance of 1.9 kilometres. The most strenuous part is the fairly steep climb up to the lookout tower.

Great Ocean Road and Otway Fly Tour from Melbourne
Image: Otway Fly Treetop Adventures

Next, we get an even closer encounter with the forest! The adrenaline-fueled Zipline Tour (additional cost applies) sees us suspended by a cable 30 metres above the ground, and flying between posts through the forest! The tour takes around 2.5 hours, so you get plenty of time to zip around. It’s an awesome experience.

Despite my many previous visits to the Great Ocean Road, this tour was very different to what I expected. By starting at the far end of the road we were able to enjoy some of the most popular natural attractions in Victoria without the usual crowds. Our afternoon at Otway Fly Treetop Adventures gave us the chance to experience an entirely different landscape. This Great Ocean Road and Otway Fly Tour from Melbourne has been well thought out, and gives guests a great experience.

The writer travelled as a guest of Around and About Travel. You can book this tour here.

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Cover image: Visit Victoria. Additional images: Bigstock

Stephen Hodges

About the writer

Stephen Hodges left his full-time career as a teacher to embark on a three-year overseas adventure. While travelling, he worked as a grouse beater in Scotland, a chicken farmer on a Kibbutz in Israel, and a camp counsellor in France. On his return to Melbourne, Stephen set up a travel business and ran it successfully for six years. He still has a passion for the industry, and believes that you can find memorable and meaningful experiences in the most unlikely places — if you look hard enough.



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