Flora of the Otway Rainforest

The Great Ocean Road is a magical place for many, many reasons. There are beautiful beaches, an amazing road – not to mention a few pretty impressive landmarks. However, one of the surprise packets of the Great Ocean Road is the stunning Great Otway National Park.

Situated in the Great Otway National Park, the Otway Rainforest is nestled perfectly in between the surrounding Otway Ranges and the iconic, pristine golden beaches of the Great Ocean Road. It is a magical place, seemingly trapped in time. This is because of the incredible plant life that lives inside the rainforest.

So we thought we’d take a look at some of the flora that makes this rainforest so special.


The Mountain Ash is a stunning tree for one pretty notable reason: it is the tallest flowering tree in the world. They can regularly exceed heights of 85m, and not too long ago there was one measured at a staggering 132 metres. The Mountain Ash comes from the Eucalyptus family, meaning they are right at home in the Australian temperate rainforests.

When English explorers travelled to the Otway Rainforest in the mid-to-late 1800s, a lot of the giant Mountain Ash trees were felled. Today, the tallest Mountain Ash in the rainforest is just under 100 metres tall, with a diameter of 10.74 metres.

You definitely won’t miss seeing any Mountain Ash trees when you visit the Otway Rainforest. A little tip: look up!


Myrtle Beech trees are another unique tree to the Otway Rainforest area. In areas of high rainfall – such as the Otway Rainforest – Myrtle Beech trees can grow up to 40-50 metres high. They have very distinguishable, triangle-like leaves which can either be male of female! In some of the amazing walks through the Otway Rainforest, Myrtle Beech are absolutely everywhere.



Dickson Ferns are a huge fern that make you feel like you’re walking through the set of Jurassic Park. These massive ferns certainly are prehistoric, as they have been around for millions of years. Once upon a time, the Otway Rainforest area was connected to Antarctica. The two continents split around 125-120 million years ago. In recent years, scientists found fossils of the Dickson fern in Antarctica! Dickson ferns are usually around 4-5m tall, but can grow up to 15 metres.


So there you have it! There are plenty of other beautiful trees, ferns, and other plants that make the Otway Rainforest such a magical place.

Visiting the Otways is a feature of all of our Great Ocean Road tours. Check out the tour options here