Great Otways NP Tracks

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 10, 2007 at 20:41
ThreadID: 41082 Views:1911 Replies:6 FollowUps:7
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Was up in the Otways last week and having what looked like quite a detailed NP map (A3 Brochure on Kennett River to Princetown) thought I wouldn't bother with the GPS and stuff and would just wing it.

Well, we had a great time, but no shortage of surprises.

Winch had a workout on fallen timber on a few tracks above Wye River/Kennett River area (should have taken a saw).

Had to "detour" around a few locked gates (deconstruct the fence then put it back).

A few creek/river crossings with steep entry/exits.

A lot of overgown tracks - blackberry especially.

Challenging situation with camp sites being "booked out" but mostly empty.

Allegedly some 4WD clubs are working with VicParks in the area ... is anyone doing any detailed mapping of the tracks, their condition, status, etcetera?

Are there any good commercial guides?

Who are the experts in this area?

I've done some searches here, but can't find anything hugely relevant so apologies if I should know the answers ;-)

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Reply By: silkwood - Wednesday, Jan 10, 2007 at 20:55

Wednesday, Jan 10, 2007 at 20:55
"Had to "detour" around a few locked gates (deconstruct the fence then put it back)."

I hope someone recognises you and reports you. Idiots like you have to take much of the blame for track closures. If I see you engaging in such activities you can be sure I'll report it.

I'm sick of seeing all the references to "greenies" on this site followed by comments about how they don't understand or are fanatics. Most are simply fellow recreational users of public places who'd had enough of the d*&^ heads!
AnswerID: 214519

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew W (SA) - Wednesday, Jan 10, 2007 at 21:02

Wednesday, Jan 10, 2007 at 21:02
settle down silkwood ... the gates were meant to be open, and the fences had been deconstructued before, and was in discussion with DSE and Parks folks about it who indicated the approach was fine and they would put it on the list to look at.

idiots like who?

I have licenses from those guys to run a business and can't afford to get it wrong.

Before you go off your head, qualify it a little.
FollowupID: 474782

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Jan 11, 2007 at 14:11

Thursday, Jan 11, 2007 at 14:11
Oh Andrew! :(

You spoilsport. Silkwood loves a good rant about anyone who break rules - he was in full righteous mode there too :)

Mike Harding
FollowupID: 474948

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew W (SA) - Thursday, Jan 11, 2007 at 14:44

Thursday, Jan 11, 2007 at 14:44
"full righteous mode" - that is a setting on Saharas or something that goes with the height control?

Thanks Mike
FollowupID: 474956

Reply By: srowlandson - Wednesday, Jan 10, 2007 at 20:57

Wednesday, Jan 10, 2007 at 20:57
Another mate spent at week down there recently, very overgrown and dry was his comments.

Maps are good, DNRE has some decent ones 1:25000, Meridiam Maps put out a decent map which i have 2 paper versions the cd of.

Never go to the otways without a winch and a chainsaw was something i learn MANY years ago.

AnswerID: 214524

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew W (SA) - Wednesday, Jan 10, 2007 at 21:09

Wednesday, Jan 10, 2007 at 21:09
I'll see if the MapShop here can get it. Thanks Steve.

Was also very dry.

I didn't mention that the Parks folks indicated that they will be taking over management of the roads from DSE very soon (logging is going to become a thing of the past), and that the challenges of maintaining the tracks with gutters and battering etcetera to prevent wholesale washaways on some of the steep ones especially, was something that they were going to find pretty insurmountable cost-wise and the direction and strategy was something still being worked out.

Threat or opportunity? - interesting question.


FollowupID: 474785

Reply By: Member - Arkay (SA) - Thursday, Jan 11, 2007 at 09:09

Thursday, Jan 11, 2007 at 09:09
Andrew a few years ago we explored this area & before we went we got a lot of detailed guff off a website. As I recall it was a 4WD group site something like ANFWD (Vic division). They had current updates & details from locals. Try Google. Try Googling "Otways". Right now I can't put my hands on some of those print-outs with the website details on the bottom as they are in a cupboard somewhere, I'll have a look later & get back to you MM email if I find anything useful. Meanwhile there is/was a booklet called Victoria's National Parks Exploreres Guide (Ph 13-1963), but that may not have any more detail than you already possess. the guide or its update may now be on the VicParks website.
AnswerID: 214598

Reply By: Member - Arkay (SA) - Thursday, Jan 11, 2007 at 09:48

Thursday, Jan 11, 2007 at 09:48
Found it. Rather than MM I thought I'd put this on Exploroz as it may be of interest to others too. The website (in 2001) was " target="EOF" class="lbg"> and the heading was "Western Tracksat reports". When I tried that just now it defaulted to and I guess one would have to dig out the details there, if they still exist. or contact someone on the site and ask.
A lot of the map references given quoted "Otways & Shipwreck Coast Vicmap 1:50,000 Liesure Series". We particularly like the Aire River Crossing in that general area.
AnswerID: 214614

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew W (SA) - Thursday, Jan 11, 2007 at 10:03

Thursday, Jan 11, 2007 at 10:03
Thanks Arkay - I'll check it out.

FollowupID: 474875

Reply By: rolande- Thursday, Jan 11, 2007 at 13:23

Thursday, Jan 11, 2007 at 13:23
G'Day Andrew,

Best paper map is

"The Otways Forest Map"

Was being printed by DNRE but think one of the commercial printers has it now.

Other good track maps are CFA in either paper or on CD.

The only local commercial operators run mountain bike or site seeing tours, although some of the Melbourne tour operators run tours down this way every now and then.

Remember also that a lot of the tracks south of the range, (the coast side), are part of the park that will either be turned into roads or closed. The north side is the area designated "recreational" where most people will be hearded into, everything from walking the dog, horse riding, bike riding to 4WDing.

Only "bushwalkers" in future on the south side. you just wait an see!

Commercial logging will continue for many years to come in the area. What isn't national park is generally surrounded by plantation and many roads are used by logging rigs to cart timber out.

As for camping, our many vehicle camp sites are being taken away so you either have to camp with lots of others, such as at Dando's or Aire River, or walk in to previously vehicle based camping areas, such as Lake Elizabeth, with its expensive bridge to nowhere.

Yes, very dry. No substantial rain for months, although the mud runners seem to find what is left judging by the vehicles going past every Sunday afternoon

Hope this helps

AnswerID: 214690

Follow Up By: Pajman Pete (SA) - Friday, Jan 12, 2007 at 12:03

Friday, Jan 12, 2007 at 12:03
We had a look at Lake Elizabeth when looking for a campsite last year. It is lovely but why did they have to lock vehicles out of the camp ground. We toyed with the idea of lugging our stuff down from the car park but couldn't over the prospect of having to drag it back up the hill on the last day.

Any mug can be uncomfortable out bush

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FollowupID: 475182

Follow Up By: rolande- Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 15:39

Sunday, Jan 14, 2007 at 15:39
G'Day Pete,

As usual, they gradually cut us out of all the usual dispersed camp sites and forced us to use Lake Elizabeth more. 20 years ago no-one bothered with Lake Elizabeth as there were many other secluded spots about.

Anyway, with the increase in traffic the road down the hill deteriorated, but rather than throw some roadbase down to improve they claimed vehicles were damaging the area.

Hence the spending of $35K, a pushing over half the hillside, so they could create another car park, all for the convenience of you and me! Now we have to lug all our camping gear 100m down the hill rather than just park next to where we are camping.


Their current job is spending $3million putting bitumen down on Turtons Track.

This used to be a pleasant drive until the Otway Fly opened and people from the big smoke complained the road was too slippery for them and they had to drvie the long way around to get to the 'fly.



FollowupID: 475534

Reply By: Member - Andrew W (SA) - Thursday, Jan 11, 2007 at 14:45

Thursday, Jan 11, 2007 at 14:45
Does anyone have a map by Spatial Vision called 2nd Edition 4WD Touring in the Otways Map?
AnswerID: 214706

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