Maits Rest Rainforest Walk

This stunning cool Temperate Rainforest walking track on the Great Ocean Road, Maits is one of the best short walks in Victoria. Easily accessible from the Ocean Road, about 20 minutes drive west of the seaside town Apollo Bay.


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The walk takes less than 30 minutes, captivating from beginning to end, not to be missed on a self-drive tour of the Great Ocean Road.

Image of Maits Rest Rainforest walking track

If you are driving the Ocean Road and even if you only have one day to do the trip, stop in to see this rainforest and the ancient Myrtle Beech trees.

The boardwalk and gravel path pass through ancient Cool Temperate Rainforest of Myrtle Beech and Tree Ferns. Exposed tree roots and hollow tree trunks add to the atmosphere. Take your time on the walk.

Photo of rainforest walk at Maits Rest on the Great Ocean Road

From the car park, the path leads down into the gully, very simple to follow as it is a circuit walk.  Having walked through this rainforest a couple of hundred times, as I used to run backpacker tours along the Great Ocean Road, never have I failed to be enthralled with the beauty of this special place.

Trees along the Maits Rest Rainforest Bush Walking Track, Cape Otway Great Ocean Road Australia

This is a super popular walk as it is on the main Great Ocean Road but is well worth doing, maybe try to be there early in the day or later in the afternoon when it is not usually as busy.

Walking track through rainforest on the Maits Rest walk, Great Ocean Road

Otway Black Snail

Found only in the Otways of Victoria, the carnivorous Otway Black Snail can often be seen on the walking tracks, please be really careful not to tread on these little creatures. They are usually seen more often when it is wet.

Look carefully in the undergrowth beside the tracks and you can sometimes spot them in the cool damp environment they thrive in.

Victaphanta compacta, common name the Otway black snail, is a species of carnivorous air-breathing land snail, a terrestrialpulmonate gastropod mollusks in the family Rhytididae.[1] The Otway Black Snail Victaphanta compacta is only found in cool temperate rainforests in the Otway Ranges, Victoria. It is one of four species of the carnivorous land snails in the genus Victaphanta and is endemic to the Otway Ranges.[2]

The Otway Black Snail is partially nocturnal. It is carnivorous, feeding on other snails, slugs, earthworms and soft bodied insect larvae but is not cannibalistic. It has no jaw as found in herbivorous snails but has long, sharp, backward pointing teeth arranged in v-shaped rows on the radula (underside of the foot of the snail) which hold the prey while it is devoured [3] Wikipedia

Image of the carniverous Otway Black snail, Great Ocean Road

Cape Otway

The walk is close to Cape Otway, location of Australia’s oldest lighthouse, more beautiful walks and camping areas.

Image of the Cape Otway Lighthouse, Great Ocean Road

Where is Maits Rest?

Maits Rest is only about 90 minutes from the 12 Apostles and less than 20 minutes from Apollo Bay.

Map location image for Maits Rest Rainforest Walk on the Great Ocean road in Australia

This walk is one of the highlights of the Great Ocean Road and well worth including in your trip itinerary.

Getting there by Tour Bus

Most of the small bus tour operators from Melbourne stop at Maits Rest for a quick walk. Have a look at the tour bus companies that we highly recommend and check if they stop here. These tour companies use smaller buses, meaning more time spent in places and less time getting on and off the bus.