The Otways, Victoria
Beach walking, overnight treks, mountain biking on sublime singletrack, river paddling and surfing – The Otways (encompassing Great Otway National Park and Otway Forest Park) is a real adventure playground, just a couple of hours west of Melbourne.
The Great Ocean Walk is here but you’d have to be ultra-fit and keen to tackle its full 100km over a weekend. Thankfully, you can break this brilliant coastal walk down into day-length sections and then, at the end of each day, retire to either a nice campsite to watch sunset over the water, or indulge in a B&B for the weekend.
The Aire River is a well-known paddling destination (best after heavy rain) that can see kayakers put in at Aire River campground, then paddle all the way to the coast. For canoeists, the flatter sections of the river near the campground make for great family paddling mini-adventures.
Mountain bikers are well served in The Otways. The small town of Forrest, in the park’s north, is a MTB mecca, with 60km of trails (and a 12km loop trail) nearby. For MTBers and cycle tourers, there’s also the Old Beechy Rail Trail, a brilliant biking experience for all tourers, whether single or family-based. The 45km trail can be ridden as a day ride or as the perfect weekend cycle touring adventure for the family.