Cycle Victoria, Sightseeing Ride, Cape Otway, Blanket Bay Ride
Ride Cape Otway is the most southerly part of mainland Australia and juts out into Bass Strait. It’s a wild and beautiful spot. This ride leaves the main route to Cape Otway and heads through the lush Otway National Park mountain ash forests to the coastal hideaway of Blanket Bay. The bay is well sheltered and there are lots of great rock pools to explore and in calm conditions swimming and snorkeling.
The route is on coastal mountain roads. The start of the ride is on a sealed surface with no shoulder, whilst the second section is on gravel roads. It’s downhill in and uphill out. This area is the wettest part of Victoria and there is not much to stop the gales that come in off Bass Strait. It’s a rugged beautiful place.
Whilst this road is way out in the bush, there can still be a bit of tourist traffic, particularly during holiday periods.
Cape Otway is 30 kilometres from Apollo Bay, which is 110 kilometres from Geelong via the Princes High¬way and the Great Ocean Road through Anglesea and Lorne. Continuing on approximately 22 kilometres from Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road the ride commences at the Otway Lighthouse Road turn off.
Food and Drink
There is a shop and nice café at the lighthouse at Cape Otway, but you are required to pay the $16 entrance fee to get to the cafe. There is also a shop at the Cape Otway Caravan Park, which is just past the turn off to Blanket Bay. Otherwise, stock up in Apollo Bay. There is a camping ground at Blanket Bay, but it does not always have potable water.
See Cape Otway Lighthouse Ride. There are any number of tracks off the road to Blanket Bay, but you will need a good map to find your way.
The start of this ride seems to be a long way from any¬where … and it is. You are in the Otway National Park in the middle of towering mountain ash forest close to some wild and rugged coastline. There is plenty of room to park your car on the side of the road at the junction with the Great Ocean Road. To start it’s just a matter of heading down the road straight into the forest. After a steady climb for three kilometres, it’s just about all downhill until the Blanket Bay turn off.
After four kilometres, the route comes out into farmland surrounded by forest in every direction. The ride is often sheltered by woodlands through this sec-tion, as it winds through the vegetated dune country. The road is not very wide and you will need to watch for oncoming traffic on the many winding corners until you come to the Blanket Bay turn off. Once you turn off onto the Blanket Bay Road it is much quieter, but the track is more of a challenge. If the road hasn’t been graded it may be pretty rough in some spots with rocky gravel, potholes and corruga¬tions.
After a T-intersection you come back into the national park and pristine forest. The ride climbs up a bit as it travels inland, but once you turn to the coast, it’s downhill, particularly at the end as you come into Blanket Bay. Blanket Bay is a haven, particularly after a ride. The tiny bay and surrounding bush make a wonderful place to stop, meditate on nature and relax. You will need to take care if you go in the water as this is an unpatrolled beach and there may be tidal rips. Even if the weather is not so good you can still explore the beach and rock pools.
There is no doubt that you will remember the beauty of this place. The site has a camping and picnic area. If you want to camp here during the summer and Easter hole¬riods, Blanket Bay campsites must be booked by ballot with Parks Victoria.
- 0.0 The ride commences on the side of the road at the Otway Lighthouse Rd turn off.
- 6.6 This is the turn off to the Cape Otway Caravan Park.
- 7.2 This is the turn off to Blanket Bay.
- 8.0 At the T-intersection turn left on Blanket Bay Rd.
- 9.7 This is the start of a steep descent.
- 11.5 This section of road is covered in rough stones and loose gravel. Depending on road deterioration and maintenance different sections of road will be rough.
- 12.9 Turn right here to the day visitors’ area.
- 13.2 You have arrived at the end of the ride at the car park and picnic area next to the beach. If you’re returning back the way you came, you will know by now the amount of work you will need to do, so have a great time soaking up all that Blanket Bay has to offer.
14.217 km / 8.834 mi
109 m / 358 ft
295 m / 968 ft
204 m / 671 ft