Lavers Hill (including Johanna, Glen Aire
and Moonlight Head)
Small resort town adjacent some spectacular
Lavers Hill is a tiny resort of about 250 people
located on a hilltop 232 km south-west of
Melbourne on the Great Ocean Road and 10 km
inland from the coast. It sits at what is known
as the Otway Junction where the Great Ocean Road
meets the roads to Colac and Cobden.
Lavers Hill is named after a settler from
Gippsland who cleared a large tract of land. The
district was surveyed and opened for selection
in 1891 and timbergetting was, for many years,
the economic mainstay. The first timber mill
opened in 1900 and it was quickly followed by
others. A school and a cheese factory opened in
1906 and a narrow-gauge railway was in operation
by 1912, by which time the town had a post
office, stores, a butter factory, a hotel, a
school and local farming was well-estalished.
Things to see:
Blackwood Gully Tea Rooms
On the Great Ocean Road (right on the main road
junction) are the Blackwood Gully Tea Rooms on a
site affording panoramic views of the area.
Local crafts and souvenirs are for sale, tel:
(03) 5237 3290.
Melba State Park
5 km to the south-west (there is a turnoff from
the Great Ocean Road) is Melba State Park (48
ha) where heavy rains have encouraged a dense
rainforest inhabited by a range of fauna
including glow worms which can be seen along the
walking trails at night. The Park is noted for
its tree and ground ferns, along with myrtle
beech, satinwood and blackwood. Further up the
slopes are mountain ash (the largest flowering
plant in the world). This is one of the wetest
places in Victoria.
Johanna and Glen Aire
If you head south-east along the Great Ocean
Road there is a turnoff to Johanna. Johanna
Beach is a remote but distinguished surfing spot
(dangerous for swimming) which is part of Otway
15 km south-east along the Great Ocean Road
is Glen Aire which is a noted fishing spot.
16 km south-west of Lavers Hill on the Great
Ocean Road there is a turnoff which leads out to
Moonlight Head which allegedly possesses the
highest coastal cliff in the country. There are
excellent views over the rugged and dramatic
coastline, Cape Otway and the Southern Ocean.
The treacherous surf here has caused several
The main road to the east leads to Beech Forest.
A number of roads head south off this route to
Triplet Falls, Hopetoun Falls and Beauchamp
Falls. A little east of Beech Forest is the
turnoff to Sabine Falls.
This trail along the Great Ocean Road highlights
25 sites between Lavers Hill and Port Fairy
where some of the many coastal shipwrecks have
occurred over the years, tel: (03) 9690 5322.
There are two excellent books on the Great Ocean
Road which we strongly recommend to anyone
planning to spend extended time in the area.
Explore The Great Ocean Road has very
detailed information on all the attractions and
excellent maps of the towns and the coastline.
It is an ideal companion if you are going to do
some bushwalking or you want to reach beyond the
regular tourist destinations. See http://walkabout.fairfax.com.au/fairfax/booksMaps/booksMaps00018.shtml
for more information.
Great Ocean Road: A Travellers Guide has been
written by a photographer consequently the
pictures are excellent and his focus has been on
providing detailed information on the
accommodation and attractions in the area. It
has a comprehensive listing of all the Bed and
Breakfast and Guest Houses along the road with
photographs and prices. Very handy if you are
planning to stay somewhere other than a motel or
caravan park. See http://walkabout.fairfax.com.au/fairfax/booksMaps/booksMaps00019.shtml
for more information.
Both can be ordered from the Walkabout Books
and Maps location.