The Great Otways National Park surprised us on so many levels. From stunning rainforests, incredible free camping and 4WD tracks galore, you really can’t go wrong. To finish our Great Ocean Road trip, we based ourselves in Hammonds Road North Campground for 3 nights, with the idea of exploring the Anglesea 4WD tracks.
There’s a huge amount around, and even though we covered quite a few, there were plenty more we didn’t get to, and you could probably spend a solid 3 or 4 days exploring them in greater detail. This a great option when it comes to 4WD tracks near Melbourne.
This 4WD track was supposed to be our starting track of the day, to take us into Anglesea, but we arrived to a road closed sign, and a locked gate, which was disappointing. Given it was early March, I’m not sure why it was shut, but that’s the way it goes.
Instead, we headed down Bald Hills Road, and onto Denham’s track.
This 4WD track starts off Bald Hills Road, and is quite a bit of fun. It’s fairly simple, with decent scenery at the beginning, and it gets a bit more fun as you get further along, with some offset holes, decent hill climbs and plenty of descents on the other side.
You wouldn’t get most AWD vehicles through here, but any reasonable 4WD with some decent tyres would be fine in summer, and I imagine it gets shut in winter.
From here, you turn left down Loves Road, which is fairly easy, and scenic.
Old Coach Road
Heading parallel to the coastline, Old Coach Road winds its way on a very good condition gravel road.
The next part of our run follows along Gentle Annie road, which is aptly named. The road is not much wider than single lane, but in pristine condition, and goes up and down some pretty amazing hills, in a gentle fashion. We were able to sit on 40 – 60km/h through most of this without any real issues.
Moggs Creek Track
Heading back down to the Great Ocean Road, Moggs Creek Track was a good way to arrive. It had a heap of work done very recently, with the track being fairly smooth, lots of trees cut down along the way and you arrive right at the Great Ocean Road sign, above where all the tourists stop to take photos.
Big Hill Track
Our next track was Big Hill, which looked stunning, and the further West you go, the more rainforest you see appear. This track starts off a road that has no through road signed, right on the corner of a bend on the Great Ocean Road.
The actual track is well signed, and asides from being quite steep in sections, and sandy, it was no trouble at all. The track finishes next to Big Hill Campground, which you can book, and although primarily set up for tents, is a beautiful spot.
I’m told that the sandy climb up Big hill can be difficult when its dry, but at the start of March it was almost like a gravel road up and we had no issues.
Paddy Swamp, East Wormbete Track and Old Telegraph Road
Heading up to Winchelsea for a few supplies, and a small top up of fuel, we were keen to go back to camp via the 4WD tracks.
It’s worth noting that these tracks are closed between April and the Melbourne Cup Weekend, around early November.
None of these were overly complicated, and were basically bad condition gravel roads, but it has nice scenery, and there are some 4WD tracks that you drive past, which would easily class as extreme. I looked at a couple of hill climbs with ruts much bigger than what our tyres would handle, and we continued on our way.
Overall, there’s a heap of 4WD tracks around Anglesea, and whilst we thought the Jamieson Track, and what leads on from there was probably more scenic and better worth your time, these are still a good way to explore.
If you just wanted to do one track, do the Denham one; its a bit of fun, picturesque and not so difficult that you’ll be visiting the panel shop on the way home