Lake Elizabeth Walking Trail

It has been 2 years and 9 months since our last trip along the Great Ocean Road and being back feels very surreal, with all my memories just flooding back. I fell in love with Great Otway National Park back then and I still adore it now.

Lake surrounded by tall Beech trees and long grass. Two canoes sit on a ramp going into the water.

One place we didn’t get to visit on our last adventure was Lake Elizabeth, in all honesty we packed so much in in 2020 that there just wasn’t enough time. Not only is it exciting to be back, but to see something new is just even better.

What makes this location such a popular spot to visit is that it is home to some of Australias Platypus! They have two platypus viewing platforms around the lake for you to look out for their bubble trails. We were incredibly lucky to spot one when we arrived, I actually thought it would have been the wrong time of day to see one too. They sleep around 17 hours a day and mainly come out to feed at dawn and dusk! Unfortunately we didn’t manage to get a photo but check out this post to learn more about these secretive little monotremes.

Sarah standing next to a beware of snakes sign.

From the car park there are great signs point out the direction to the start of the walk, toilets and also the mountain biking trails in the area. In the middle of the rainforest you should always be aware that snakes are in the area, make sure when walking in the bush to always have a snake bite kit with you just incase. In saying that after 2 years and 9 months living in Australia I can count on two hands how many snakes I have seen. But you never know!

The start of the walk takes you to a small river crossing, since La Niña has been smashing Australia across most southern and eastern states all rivers and waterfalls have been pumping with water. Luckily this path was still above water level allowing us to cross and start our adventure.

Maybe it is because I am from the UK, but there is nothing I love more than hiking under the canopy of tall trees surrounded by glorious ferns and tall grass. So this hike is up there as one of my favourites on our lap around Australia. How can you not love that view?

It is advertised that there are three different hikes around Lake Elizabeth, but really it is one big loop and you can complete sections of it as you wish.

A 1km return to Lake Elizabeth where the first platypus viewing platform is located.

A 2.5km return walk to Lake Elizabeth beach where the second platypus viewing platform is located.

A 4km loop walk around Lake Elizabeth, this incorporates all stops along the way.

If you have time you definitely should do the loop!

George walking along a boardwalk surrounded by green ferns and grass!

This is a great hike for bird lovers too, throughout the walk you can hear so many different calls and songs. We were lucky enough to find a Fantail Cuckoo, Great Comorant, Red-browed Finch, Superb Fairywren and a Satin Bowerbird.

A fantailed cuckoo perched on a branch singing.


Time: 2.5 hours to complete the loop

Distance: 3.5km loop

Fees: If just visiting for the day there are no fees, however if you are looking to camp for the night it is around $31. Always book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Getting There: Google maps will say it is a 50 minute drive from Apollo Bay but with winding roads all the way the time will very between 50 minutes to 1 hour 20 depending on your vehicle. It is also about an hours drive from the popular Hopetoun Falls. The road is sealed until you get to the town Forest, the rest of the way it is a gravel unsealed road which is steep in sections.

Parking: Plenty of parking is available in the day visitor parking area.

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