Dog friendly walks Otways & Great Ocean Road

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Snooza has Australian Made dog beds

The Great Ocean Road travels along the southern edge of the Otway Ranges and frequently crosses through the Otway National Park. This means there are lots of beautiful places to visit on the coast and inland with your dog.

While most of the Great Otway National Park is not dog friendly, there are some areas where dogs are being trialled as well as many walks that fall within forestry areas like the Otway Forest Park as well as township areas where dogs are allowed.

Dog friendly walks near Lorne

Teddys Lookout – Short walk from Car

This is more of a stretch your legs spot than a walk but it’s a good quick stop for views of the Great Ocean Road and it is dog friendly. Alternatively, if you are staying in Lorne you can walk up to the lookout from town.

From the general area, you can do some dog friendly short walks through the bush around the top of the hill or if you are up for a challenge head down the hill to explore St Georges River Mouth or continue on to do the full St Georges River Loop.

The Doug Stirling Walk – 2km Return

Starting from the Surf life saving club on the foreshore in front of town this walk follows the coastline all the way to the Lorne Pier, mostly on a wide gravel track. Unfortunately the Lorne Pier is now marked as no dogs allowed on the Surfcoast Dog map.

St Georges River Walk – 5.4km return

This is a really nice walk that starts from the Allenvale Mill Car Park out the back of Lorne and continues all the way to the coast. If you have more than one car you can do this one way, otherwise, it can be done as a return walk back along the same track. It can also be turned into a loop returning back along the Cherry Tree creek walk, an option that requires about 700 metre walk on the gravel road to get back to the Allenvale Mill Car Park (a bit stressful on a busy weekend day, so the return option may be a better choice).

There is a handy PDF map by the Surfcoast Shire that shows all the walk options in Lorne, how they all interlink and where you can start from.

Dog friendly walks near Aireys Inlet

This area has several really nice dog friendly bushwalks plus it’s also near a nice long dog friendly beach called Urquhart Bluff

Ocean View Lookout – Moggs Creek – Short – 1.12km Return

The beautiful views from part way up the short version of Ocean View Lookout Walk.

Leaving from the end of Robyn Road in Moggs Creek this walk will get the blood pumping straight up a hill!. I’ve said it before but I think the short Ocean View lookout walk is one of the most undervalued walks on the Great Ocean Road. Short and sweet and with 180 degree views I think its so worth the effort to get to the top and easy to fit in when you’re short on time (plus, dog friendly)!

Ocean View Lookout – Moggs Creek – Long – 4.8km Circuit/Loop walk

Leaving from out the back of Moggs Creek at the Moggs Creek Picnic Area the long walk is a nice loop that takes you through the bush (crossing over some fire trails) to the lookout then back again on a different track.

The lookout is definitely the hightlight of the walk but the bush is pretty and the understorey varies with grass trees in some sections and wild flowers at the right time of the year. A good longer option to get you and your doggo out for a decent bushwalk.

Iron Bark Gorge Walk – 4.5km

Iron Bark Gorge Walk is Another nice option for a medium length dog friendly bushwalk near the Great Ocean Road. It leaves from the Distillery Creek Picnic area

Dog friendly Walks near Forrest

As much of the land around Forrest in the Otway Ranges is ’Forest Park’ rather than National Park, Forrest has lots of nearby walks that are dog friendly and that end of a hard walk dogs are welcome at the outdoor tables at Forrest Brewery and the General Store.

Lake Elizabeth Walk (approx 2km) & Lake Elizabeth Circuit Walk (Approx 5km)

Lake Elizabeth is a really nice walk that starts at a lush green streamcside picnic area before continuing over a little bridge, through the eucalyptus forrest and into the rainforest. You go up and over the several rises on the side of the hill before popping out at the Lake (which can be lovely when it still and a bit unimpressive when its windy but the walk itself is nice so it doesn’t matter).

At the lake there is a little platform you can sit and enjoy the views, continue on around a bit further to a sandy ’beach’ for doggo to have a paddle and then turn back or continue all the way around the lake for a longer walk.

If you have a reactive dog you will want to take a face harness as there can be quite a lot of dogs on this track on the weekend and there is nowhere to step off the track through a lot of this walk as it runs along side a drop down to a creek.

Despite having visited here like 20 times I can’t find my photos of the signs for the exact distances. Sigh. Anyway. Sorry

Stevensons Falls 500m Return or 4.6km Return

You have to go for a bit of a slow windy drive to get to Stevensons Falls but the walk itself is fairly easy just 500m return from the carpark.

This is a great little walk to do with your pup as there are some spots where you can get to the creek for a paddle and you can see the waterfall from ground height if your dog doesn’t want to climb the little platform (its got that strange metal texture that freaks them out).

The waterfall is also really pretty though i’m not sure how much water it gets in the height of summer.

There is also a longer also dog friendly version you can do from the dog friendly Stevensons Falls campground.

West Barwon Reservoir Walks – Varied short walks

There are several walks that leave from the reservoir that are all dog friendly. You can also take dogs on the short track up to look over the dam wall and there is a picnic area and toilets in the carpark.

Fern Gully Walk

This walk visits a lovely little gully of ferns that feels just a little big magic despit it only being a short walk to get to.

You can do this walk from either the top of the hill where it leaves on the entrance road (it’s signposted on the way in) and walk down into the valley and back up again to the blood pumping. Or alternatively take the easy route which is pretty flat from the bottom carpark to the gully (it leaves from the left hand side when looking at the toilet block, there are some signs) then turn back at the end of the Ferns rather than climbing the hill.

You could also do it as a loop if you wanted to as there is a wide stretch of grass along the entrance road to walk back to your starting point.

River Loop Walk

This walk is not really in the bush though there is bush around the sides of the recreation area and track there is cleared areas as it a water reserve. Around 2.8km (I promise I will come back and update this when I find my photos lol) there is also a loop walk around the river. You can either enter this walk from the carpark at the reservoir or from a small carpark with a picnic table from Kaanglang Rd out the back of the town of Forrest.

You could probably take a more robust offroad pram on the walk, its pretty flat, just a mishmash of gravel and sometimes the track can be cut up after rain. So this is a good option if your looking for a walk that is both dog friendly and pram friendly (You would be better to park at the Kaanglang rd end if you want to avoid pushing the pram up a very steep hill).

The loop is a bit of a combination of several tracks and managed roads (internal ones used by the Barwon Water mowers etc) but in practise you just walk down the bitumen hill from from the West Barwon Reservoir carpark and at the bottom continue along the river or cross over the bridge and continue along the other side.

At the Kaanglang Rd end you will have to briefly walk over on the road over a short bridge to get to the other side of the river regardless of which side you walk first, to do the return walk back again if you want it to be a loop.

MTB Tracks

There are also some green mountain bike tracks through this area and the township of forrest that are also dog friendly and plenty wide enough to walk along (don’t wear headphones when walking on mtb tracks and dont walk on hard/technical/downhill tracks its not safe for walkers or riders).

More walks added soon…:)

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dogs allowed in the Otway National Park?

Dogs are not allowed in much of the Great Otway National Park. However, there are places dogs are allowed on lead including St Georges River Walk, Lake Elizabeth, Ironbark Gorge Walk, Ocean View Lookout Walk and Ironbark Basin. Dogs are permitted in cars while travelling through the park on main roads. Dogs are also allowed in the Otway Forest Park which includes places like Stevensons Falls and many mountain bike tracks.

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