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Dog friendly hiking trails in the Otways

Papi in the Otways

There are trails twisting and turning all through the Surf Coast and Great Otway National Park in south-west Victoria on the Great Ocean Road. Whether it be a rugged beach walk, climbing over a rocky headland or heading deep into the ancient rain forest, the diversity in the terrain is ready to be experienced and explored on foot. However, with lots of the area being part of a national park, it means that dogs aren’t allowed on a lot of the trails.

A few weeks ago, we hiked from Sheoak Falls to the Sheoak Picnic Area as it was recommended to us by a Great Ocean Road tour guide after we asked online for a dog-friendly day hike near the Surf Coast. I don’t even remember looking at the signs but we both remember reading else where (online) that it was fine to take dogs here..

Sheoak Creek covered in ferns

Yesterday, we hiked around the Currawong Falls Loop which is out the back of Aireys Inlet in the Otways. We chose this trail for a few reasons. Firstly, we had planned to go elsewhere but woke up to a bit of a storm and a severe weather warning at the trails’ location, so after remembering a lady suggest this walk to us and looking online, it seemed to be dog friendly and close-by.

Last night, I posted the following video online and since then, some friends and locals in the Otways have told us that they don’t believe that dogs allowed or should be taken along either of those two trails.

With a lot of respect for the Surf Coast and Otway National Park, we don’t want to be suggesting anything that could harm the incredible area in anyway. So, we recommend that if you want to take your dog hiking somewhere along here that you first research if dogs are welcome or play it safe chose a trail that’s on this list.

Luckily for us, our dog (& possibly yours), one of our favourite short walks that’s deep in the forest, the Lake Elizabeth Loop just happens to be dog friendly.

Dogs are also allowed and very welcome along the Surf Coast Walk that goes from Torquay to Fairhaven Beach. It’s a long way, so it’s best to tackle the walk over a few different trips. We made the hike from Bells Beach to Point Addis, then came another day to walk from Point Addis to Fairhaven Beach.

We’re heading over to the Grampians National Park on the coming weekend to do some more hiking around Halls Gap, just like in our last blog post. As the Grampians is a national park, we won’t be brining our little friend along as unlike the Otways, there aren’t any dog friendly trails in this national park.

Make sure you come back next week to take a look and be sure to get in touch or comment below if you have any questions about this or anything else.

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