Flowing From The Great Otways To The Wetlands

Flowing through 14 kilometres of the Great Otways National Park, starting in Beech Forest and continuing all the way to the Shipwreck Coast in the Southern Ocean is the Gellibrand River.

The river flows all year round and creates the Princetown Wetlands, where you can explore this area by foot along the boardwalk or launch a canoe at the picnic area. Almost all of the time, the river is calm and slow or still, so it’s safe place to put in a canoe or kayak. Be careful of pillars and other obstacles that can be out of sight and underwater as the river can often get blocked by a sand bar at the river mouth, flooding the edge of the river.

Gellibrand River is a nice place to stop in for a picnic when you’re heading along the Great Ocean Road and exploring the Port Campbell National Park. The Gellibrand River mouth is just near Princetown and only about seven kilometres from the 12 Apostles.

Things To Do Near The Gellibrand River

Other than exploring the wetlands in Princetown, you can head to the Gellibrand river mouth which has a small wild beach between two huge sandstone cliffs.

If you don’t walk to the 12 Apostles, you can drive there with-in minutes. Just before the Apostles is an ancient stair case called Gibson Steps that heads takes you down a 45 metre cliff to a beach where you’ll get views of the huge sandstone stacked named Gog & Magog.

Heading further west for a few minutes past the Apostles, you’ll come to the infamous site where Loch Ard sailing ship wrecked in 1878. Loch Ard Gorge is an incredible place to explore, from the car park you can take short walks to The Razorback to get a view of the Apostles, Mutton Bird Island, Thunder Cave and Sherbrook River – you can easily spend a day exploring this area and it might be the most fun and memorable time you’ll have exploring along the entire coast line.

Timber bridge at boardwalk on Gellibrand River, Princetown
Boardwalk on Gellibrand River, Princetown

Camping Near Gellibrand River

Camp right along the river and beside Kangaroos and next to the Princetown Wetlands at the Princetown Recreation Reserve, which is a low cost campground in an awesome location. Here and the Apostles Camping Park (also in Princetown) are about as close to the Apostles as you can get for camping.

The Apostles Camping Park also has cabins and there’s more accommodation across the road at the 12 Apostles Inn.

If you’re willing to drive a little bit further, Port Campbell is amazing and only ten minutes west with loads of places to stay.

To camp somewhere more remote, try Johanna Beach or Aire Crossing in the Otways.

Gellibrand River
Bend in Gellibrand River
The Gellibrand River, Princetown