11 Useful Tips & Tricks for Hiking the Great Ocean Walk
Visit one of Australia’s most iconic walks, at the Great Ocean Road, Victoria. Spend some time on the Great Ocean Walk as you witness the area’s breathtaking coastal scenery, magnificent forests, abundant wildlife and sheer diversity of landscape.
With a 104 km track that meanders its way through Manna Gums with koalas only meters away, traverses massive sea cliffs of limestone and sandstone, passes through a giant Mountain Ash forest and beneath the tallest flowering plants in the world, you will be amazed by the South-Eastern coast’s natural beauty.
Whether you choose a guided or self-guided tour, highlights of the walk include the Twelve Apostles, plus more stunning views as you progress along the track at Castle Cove and The Gables, as well as Wreck and Johanna beaches. One of the most fascinating stops is the geological formations at Loch Ard Gorge.
We offer walking packages that range between 4 and 8 days and we can tailor a walk to suit your needs. To help you decide on you next ultimate adventure, here are 11 useful tips and tricks for hiking the Great Ocean walk.
(1) Choose wisely
Whilst we only choose the best locations throughout Australia for our walks and hikes, it is important that the adventure will satisfy your intentions. All our walks have been designed to offer the ultimate experience. We want to make sure that you will enjoy your walk and will have memories for life. Our website contains detailed summaries of all our walks. We provide an overview of what to expect for each walk, including a detailed itinerary and walk grading summary, the inclusions, dining and accommodation specifics and other important tips.
(2) Plan Your Walk
We can help you design a walk that will achieve your objective. Whether you are commemorating a milestone in life, want to get that little bit closer to nature or wish to enjoy your holidays peacefully, we will help you make the most of your walk. Our professional team is familiar with the area and can help you plan a route that will be a pleasant and enjoyable experience. We understand that a walk or hike can be a struggle and we strive to keep the capabilities of our guests front of mind when planning your ultimate experience.
(3) Consider Transport and Accommodation
At Auswalk, we provide a walking experience that includes more than just the guided walk. We take care of everything from personally selected accommodation and delicious meals, through to luggage transfers and local transport, allowing you to spend more time to experience the best of each location. You need only carry a light day pack with you, as your luggage will be moved ahead to your next stay. In most cases, walks progress along a linear route, finishing up each day at boutique accommodation. Also, after every walk, you will meet friendly hosts and be immersed in aspects of each community, such as local food and wine.
(4) Guided vs Self-Guided Tours
We offer both guided and self-guided walking tours. Whether you choose the Great Ocean 8 day walk or the Great Ocean highlights hike, we will provide you with detailed maps and information guides to help keep you on track throughout your adventure. For those who wish to be guided through the Great Ocean’s natural beauty, various professional guides will help you along the way. For example, a local Indigenous Australian guide will walk with the group on a section of the track to share stories and information on local culture and traditions, and a local shipwreck historian will also give incredible insight into the history of famous shipwrecks in the area.
(5) Pack Appropriately
Before you leave for your trip, remember to pack appropriately. Try not to overpack as you will only need to use essential items. We take care of dining and accommodation, so you will only need to bring snacks and lunch, a water bottle and other items depending on the climate. We will help you forecast the temperatures for your walk so that you pack adequately. Remember, overpacking can make your bag heavy so remember to bring a comfortable backpack that is ideal for walking and hiking. All non-essential items for the walk will be transported separately to the end of your route each day.
(6) Clothing and Footwear
Wear appropriate clothing and footwear. Your casual or leisure shoes, or a t-shirt and jeans, might not be adequate for a walk through Australia’s iconic natural landscapes. Visit a professional walking or hiking store and invest in quality footwear and clothing. From our experience, these two things can make a significant difference for your experience during the walk. If you need help choosing appropriate clothing and footwear, feel free to contact us and we can help assess your needs and point you in the right direction. Also, remember to ask family and friends, and search the internet for additional information.
(7) Study the Area
Before you commence your walk, we will provide you with detailed maps and informative guides at least 6 weeks before the commencement date. Ensure that you study these materials well in advance of the walk. Especially for self-guided tours, it is recommended you hold a meeting, prior to the walk, with your fellow walkers so that you are all familiar with the route, terrain, emergency points, and other details.
(8) Preliminary Training
During the walk, you will be required to undertake physical exertion. The Great Ocean walk has a difficulty rating of ‘moderate’ to ‘challenging’. This means that there will be short steep hills and rough bumpy trails. A moderate active lifestyle and some walking experience is recommended. It is best you train comfortably for a couple of weeks prior to the walk so that you remain fit and healthy.
(9) Rest Up Before The Walk
Before the walk, ensure that you have rested appropriately and stay relaxed. Your mind controls your body and it is essential that you are not stressed or worried about something. The walk will be a very memorable part of your life, and we encourage our guests to enjoy the scenery and fresh air. With beautiful flora and fauna, remember to stay alert and bring a camera too (or use your phone!).
(10) Choose A Professional Service Provider
At Auswalk, our guides are all trained professionals who are equipped with strong leadership skills, local knowledge and experience in safely leading groups. Not only that, but they are also fun people who make the experience even more enjoyable. A guide’s role is to organise the logistics of the holiday and provide information about the areas you are visiting. They work to ensure that each person’s expectations are met and that everyone has a stress-free walking holiday.
(11) Stay Connected
During the walk, remember to have your mobile phone or other device that has appropriate satellite reception. In addition to its camera, your phone is important for its connectivity. Ensure you phone is fully charged and carry a back-up power pack. Also, it is critical that you store the phone numbers of your fellow walkers, guides and our office number. If you have any concerns, call or speak to us for support.
To enjoy any of our walking or hiking experiences, surf through our website to learn about all the walks and hikes we offer. To book a walk or hike package, book now online or call us on (03) 9597 9767.