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Fourteen local legends will be our nature guides for seventeen activities -

Bookings are limited so click the button above to reserve your place. 
Each session will include an intro to iNaturalist and the Great Southern Bio Blitz.
See profiles of our amazing guides at our social media pages (FB and Insta)  










Authors of Colac Otway Birds Adam Fry and Ian Davies Our bird spotting guides for two mornings.  

Saturday 29th Oct, 8am-10.30am, Colac Bird Sanctuary (End of Church St, Lake Colac)

Sunday 30th Oct, 8am-10.30am, Lake Elizabeth car park, Forrest (Off Kaanglang Rd)










Luke Hynes of Beacon Ecological is our guide for two botany/Plant ID sessions (one coastal and one inland). Saturday 29th Oct, 10am-11.30am, Elliot River (West of Marengo)

Saturday 29th Oct, 1.30pm-3pm, meeting at 14 Gellibrand River Rd, (Carlisle River Recreation Reserve). 










Stella Blum-Caon is one of our passionate qualified Snorkel Instructors for marine ID session at Marengo Reef Marine Sanctuary. 

Saturday 29th Oct, 10am-1pm, Marengo Marine Sanctuary, Marengo. 












Georgie Custance is wild about butterflies. Georgie is excited to lead an intriguing session about field research and butterfly ID. 

Saturday 29th Oct, 4pm-5pm, Meeting at Birnam Station, Old Beechy Rail Trail, btwn Barongarook and Kawarren (Cnr Cashins Rd and Robinson Rd)   










Mike Robinson-Koss, one of our valued plant suppliers will be leading this session on a beautiful part of the Old Beechy Rail Trail.  
Sunday 30th Oct, 11am-1pm, Old Beechy Rail Trail, south of Gellibrand, 55 Main St, Gellibrand.












Marg O'toole, Long time coastal steward, will be leading three marine and intertidal sessions at this years Biofest.  One is focused on Rockpools, another seaweeds and giant kelp and the last will be shared with Olly Keer from Southern Otway Landcare Network, focusing on the breeding cycles of Rock Lobster (Puerulus).

Saturday 29th Oct, 10am-12pm, Rockpools at Marengo Reef Marine Sanctuary.
Saturday 29th Oct, 2pm-4pm, Seaweeds and Giant Kelp, end of Breakwater Rd, Apollo Bay.
Sunday 30th Oct, 10am-12pm, Rock Lobster Monitoring, Apollo Bay Harbour.











Julene Cook and Helen Langley both reside on the Otways and both have a passion for all things fungi!
Remember, Bio's in FB and Insta. Due to the season being not quite right for field spotting, this session will be more of a presentation/workshop, with lots of discussion time too.  Their session will be followed by a viewing of the Conservation Ecology Centre's recent Research Forum.  Highlighting all the great conservation research going on in the Otways right now.  

Sunday 30th October, 2-4pm, Gellibrand Hall   











Co author of the book that got many of us through Plant ID at TAFE and Uni (Name that Flower), Ian Clarke will be leading a wonder through Marengo Flora Reserve.  This walk with focus on the topic of his latest book - Name those Grasses. Bring a hand lens or magnifying glass and a notebook, you'll need them.   
Sunday 30th Oct, 9am-10.30am, Marengo Flora Reserve (Telford St, across from Manly St).  


PossumPete is guiding us on a mix of both coastal and terrestrial sessions. His passion and enthusiasm inspired this event and when you get on a session with him, you'll understand why. 
Saturday 29th Oct, 7.30pm-9.30pm, Bats, Moths, Possums, Owls, etc, Meeting at Birnam Station, Old Beechy Rail Trail, btwn Barongarook and Kawarren (Cnr Cashins Rd and Robinson Rd) 
Sunday 30th Oct, 2pm-4pm Barham Estuary, Great Ocean Rd, Apollo Bay (Netting estuary species with a seine net under permit) 
Sunday 30th Oct, 7.30pm-9.30pm, Marengo Marine Sanctuary (Nocturnal Rockpool Critters)





Shannon Hurley will be co-leading the fish ID snorkel at Marengo Reef Marine Sanctuary with Stella.  Shannon lives and breathes (through her gills) all things ocean. 
Saturday 29th Oct, 10am-1pm, Marengo Marine Sanctuary, Marengo.


Dr Deirdre Murphy (self confessed science nerd) will be sharing her knowledge, passion and curiosity of aquatic life on the banks of the Gellibrand River at the Otway Biofest.  Those who attend should be in a detective frame of mind.........    
Saturday 29th Oct, 9.30am-12pm, meeting at Gellibrand Hall for a short stroll to Gellibrand River. 

How to get started with iNaturalist 


Download the app (click logo)





Watch this clip for a quick lesson

and/or go to these two pages for good basic info




The Otways Biofest

How well do we really know the Otway Ranges and coastline?

There’s a long weekend on the horizon. By then, spring will have sprung! So, we’ve got a cracking experience planned for you. It’s on the last weekend of October, so pop it on the calendar!

We’re so lucky in this area to be surrounded by such a richly diverse environment. Let's share and celebrate this beauty and complexity, with visitors from near and far.

Whether you’re a bike rider, scout, walker, snorkeler, bird watcher, beachcomber, team, group, family or individual, this weekend has something for everyone.

Throughout the weekend there’ll be local legends leading groups to different parts of the Otways to observe and connect with all the diverse creatures and critters - like birds, frogs, plants, fungi, bats, moths, fish and marine life. Some of these activities will even be under the stars. There will be guest presenters and workshops on their specialties like plant, animal, fungi and marine life, including friends and foes.

This same weekend is the Great Southern Bioblitz (GSB), a biodiversity survey with thousands of participants across 14 countries. Our event is a part of this and will contribute observations of biodiversity to this large-scale citizen science project. We’ll go onto a global leaderboard of hundreds of similar regional projects, for the number of observations we make and the number of different species we see.

Over the past few years all across the Otways, there’s been a small group of passionate people doing the heavy lifting for all of us. Rain hail or shine, they’ve been observing all forms of biodiversity, annually, in a ninety-six-hour marathon. It’s time to up the ante and ignite the Aussie competitive spirit for the GSB, a competition with many countries across the southern hemisphere. Oh, and we’ll be having some fun along the way, of course!

By dedicating a weekend to hanging out together and observing nature, we can make new connections with our human and non-human communities at the same time.

Participants are welcome to come along for individual sessions or camp out by the fire for the whole weekend. There are limited camping discounts up for grabs too! In both Gellibrand and Apollo Bay.



The Great Southern Bioblitz runs From Friday 28th to Monday 31st Oct. All coordinated Otways Biofest activities will be scheduled for Saturday 29 and Sunday 30, in and around Gellibrand and Apollo Bay.



Go to and subscribe to our news updates, so you’ll be ‘in the know’ when the schedule is released. You can also email to express your interest in a credit for four nights camping at Gellibrand (base camp) or Apollo Bay (marine and coastal camp). Places are limited for both locations.

We acknowledge the Gulidjan, Gadubanud and Eastern Maar people, Traditional Owners of the land where we live, work and play, their elders past, present and emerging. 

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