- Name: Otway Fly Treetop Walk
- Where: Victoria, Australia
- Cost: Adult-$25 Child-$15 (More Info)
- More Information: OtwayFly.com
Located on the western side of Victoria’s Great Otway Ranges is the only opportunity other then by airplane to see the ranges’ temperate rainforest canopy from above at the Otway Fly Treetop Walk. The Tree Top Walk is an elevated walkway that rises to 25 meters over the forest floor that already stands 500 meters above sea level in the Otway Ranges. The walkway is 600 meters long and even features a 45 meters high observation platform:
The Otway Fly Tree Top Walk was constructed in 2003 at a cost of 6.5 million dollars and is considered the world’s longest and highest tree top walk.
However, to even reach the Tree Top Walk you have to complete a short walk of nearly a kilometer on a well maintained dirt trail. Along the way a number of markers along the trail describe all the various trees and plants that compose this section of the temperate rainforest. The most unusual tree my wife and I saw while walking to the Tree Top Walk was of this tree shaped like a boomerang:
The trail is all down hill from the visitors center so it was quite easy walk in order to reach the first elevated platform:
The Otyway Fly Tree Top Walk elevated platform rises quite quickly from its start point and before we knew we were rewarded with some great views of the surrounding forest:
Something that was easily noticeable however was that it was quite obvious that this section of forest in the Otway Ranges is not old growth rainforest like the trees that inhabit the Mait’s Rest area of the ranges:
Many of the trees rise to respectable heights but none of them were as thick or approaching a 100 meters in height like other mountain ash trees I saw in the Otway Ranges. Nevertheless this walk is still a great way to get another perspective of the trees that are native to this part of Victoria.
The 45 meter high lookout tower only gives further perspective of this awesome forest:
From the top of the lookout tower we were literally looking down on many of the trees in this forest:
One of the trees we got a good look at was the myrtle beech tree:
The myrtle beech tree is thought to be one of the original trees from when Australia was still part of the super continent Gondwanaland 120 million years ago. These trees do not grow as tall as their mountain ash neighbors but can still rise to a respectable height of 30 meters and live for 300 years. Unlike gum trees the Myrtle Beech do not need fire to reproduce and thus explains why they thrive in temperate rainforests such as the Otway Ranges because fire here is rare due to the precipitation.
As we walked back down the tower and continued to follow the elevated platform we continued to view the beautiful forest around us:
Besides this forest being home to a number of tree and plant species it is also home to much wildlife. Though my wife and I didn’t get to see any of the wildlife that inhabits the park, it is said to be home to the platypus, possum, koalas, bandicoots, wombats, pouched mice and even a small carnivorous marsupial called a spot-tailed quoll. The spot tailed quoll is thought to be near extinction and very rarely seen anywhere in the Otway Ranges now a days.
As we continued across the elevated platform something I noticed something I had never noticed before about mountain ash trees, there sap looks like dripping blood:
I had no idea and it was as you would expect quite sticky as well. Continuing across the platform we eventually crossed over the trail that would eventually take us back to the visitor center:
Soon after the platform began to descend down and we were able to see some better views of the elevated platform as its passes through the heights of the forest:
The last thing the platform crossed over was a flowing creek that could not even be seen due to the thick vegetation that covered the forest floor:
However, once on the ground the creek was easier to see and quite clean with small minnow fishes in it. From the creek it was just another kilometer walk down the forest lined trail back to the visitor center. Getting to the Otway Treetop Walk is extremely easy by traveling north on the road from Laver’s Hill that branches off The Great Ocean Road:
It should only take about 15 minutes to reach the walk by following the marked signs. For anyone planning to travel The Great Ocean Road while visiting Australia, I highly recommend spending half day checking this place out if you have never done one of these tree top walks before in Australia.