How you can make a difference

A group of conservation volunteers working within the local environment. One person is pointing to fauna on the ground, next to her a woman leans over a pitchfork listening intently.

Bin fishing line

Inappropriately discarded fishing line and tackle can become harmful debris and entangle our precious marine wildlife.

Wildlife caught in this marine debris may be affected by restricted mobility, starvation, infection, amputation, drowning or smothering. This has influenced the population of several endangered marine species and prompted Zoos Victoria to install ‘Seal the Loop’ bins at popular fishing locations. These bins are designed to make it easy for anglers to ensure their waste never harms wildlife.

Park in designated areas

Car parks are often full when the sun is shining and the surf is pumping! Please be mindful that parking in non-designated areas can cause considerable damage to native vegetation and can result in parking fines.

Make sure you do the right thing and stick to designated car parks, tracks and lookouts to limit your impact on the environment.

Glass free coast

Great Ocean Road coastal towns aim to be ‘glass free’. If possible, when coming to the coast, please bring your own reusable drink bottle to help reduce rubbish and plastic.

When purchasing single-use items, please ensure you recycle the items as per their labels in the many bins provided along the coast.

Keep to the tracks

The Great Ocean Road is blessed with kilometres of walking tracks in and around the towns along the coast. These tracks allow everyone to enjoy the coastal environment with minimum disturbance to our flora and fauna.

When enjoying the outdoors, always wear a hat, sturdy shoes, carry some drinking water and don’t forget sunscreen and insect repellent. Be mindful that some tracks are ‘shared trails’, making them suitable for bike riding and wheelchair access as well as pedestrians.

To prevent premature erosion and damage of dunes and vegetation, please ensure you stay on designated footpaths and lookouts on your next visit to the coast.

Know the dog rules

Dogs are permitted on beaches and coastal reserves at certain times and in certain locations. Please read the signs carefully and remember to pick up after your dog.

The Surf Coast Shire Council, Corangamite Shire Council and Warrnambool Shire Council have passed a law requiring all dog owners to carry plastic bags to collect their dog’s poo when walking in public. There are many bag stations dotted along the coast to assist in keeping our coast clean.

Make sure you visit your local Council’s website for a list of dog friendly spaces and regulations by clicking the links below.

Report illegal fires

Illegal fires in the dunes or clifftop areas can quickly get out of hand and spread, causing major bush fires.

Please be our eyes and ears on the coast and report any suspicious behaviour to Triple Zero (000) in an emergency or the Police on 131 444 for non-urgent matters.

Take your rubbish with you

When visiting and enjoying this beautiful stretch of coast, please use the bins provided. If you discover bins are at capacity, please report overflowing bins to 1300 736 533.

Join in on the ‘Take 3 for the Sea’ campaign and take your rubbish, plus three additional items of litter, from the beach and dispose of it in bins provided. This helps protect our precious marine wildlife.

Plastics are a major issue for the Great Ocean Road environment and the animals residing in it. You can help reduce your impact by swapping single-use plastics for sustainable, reusable products.

Smoke-free coast

Cigarette butts are the most discarded item of rubbish worldwide and are a threat to our precious marine wildlife. Animals often mistake cigarette butts for food floating on the surface of the water and then die from ingesting them. With an estimated 4.5 trillion cigarette butts (worldwide) littered every year, please make sure you do your bit and ‘bin your butt’.

We are proud to be involved in the Smoke-free Beaches Partnership Project, which aims to reduce smoking and cigarette butt litter on local beaches.

Penalties apply if you smoke on the sand area of any beach within the Surf Coast Shire. The Smoke-free Beaches Partnership Project comes close to two decades since Surf Coast Shire became the first Victorian local government to introduce a smoke-free beaches local law.

Stay out of the dunes

Coastal sand dunes have incredibly fragile ecosystems which form an important habitat for much of our native wildlife. While it may seem like fun, playing in the sand dunes is not only destructive but can also be dangerous to your safety.

It is illegal for people or dogs to enter any of the dunes along the Great Ocean Road, even if there are no fences. Running and jumping in the dunes causes severe damage to the vegetation holding the dunes together, destroying the habitat for native animals and causing other serious environmental issues such as flooding.

We are proud to be delivering dedicated dune restoration projects along the Great Ocean Road, click the button below to read more about the project.


Environmental volunteers are the backbone of support for the landscape in our region and conduct essential conservation work along the Great Ocean Road coastline.

You can help to protect and preserve our natural coastal environment by volunteering your time with our fantastic Conservation Team or one of the many active volunteer groups along the coast.