Self-guided

OVERVIEW

This is your opportunity to walk the walk and unplug on Australia's most iconic coastal walk over 7 days at a relatively leisurely pace. Walk the whole linear track from Apollo Bay to the 12 Apostles, along the coast through the Great Otway National Park.   Walk via mountain ash forest, pristine deserted beaches and finish at the grandest sea cliffs of all, the 12 Apostles.

The diversity of landscape, fauna and flora on this walk is truly amazing.  It snakes along the coast with the massive swells of the southern ocean on your left and the stunning Otway mountains on your right for much of the way. The koalas, roos, and abundant birdlife that make this place their home all add to the joy of walking the Great Ocean Walk.

Highlights

  • Traverse pristine beaches, many only accessible by foot
  • Cliff-top track with breathtaking views showcasing the incredible power of the Southern Ocean
  • The picture-postcard perfect Parker Inlet
  • Ample opportunities to spot wildlife in their natural habitat, from kangaroos and koalas to sea eagles and even whales
  • Gables lookout, a great spot for whale watching between June and September
  • Explore the two wrecks at Wreck Beach and marvel at the grand Twelve Apostles

WALK OVERVIEW

TYPE OF WALK
SELF GUIDED
TRIP LENGTH
7 DAYS
WALK GRADE
Moderate to Challenging

Grade 4 - Moderate to Challenging

Longer walking distances, up to 20km +. Steep hill sections and rough terrain. Walking experience and active lifestyle necessary.

PRICE FROM
$ 2895

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 990

Accommodations charge the same price per room regardless of whether there are one or two people occupying it. To cover the cost of a room when occupied by one person we need to charge the single occupancy fee.

per person

Book now

ITINERARY

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7

DAY 1
APOLLO BAY TO SHELLY BEACH

The walk starts in Apollo Bay, on the Great Ocean Road in the morning. Leave the tourists behind as you meander along the coast. The track follows the coast before heading inland through the forest; be surprised if you don’t spot at least a couple of koalas around Shelly beach. This is also a great place to spot echidnas, wallabies, seabirds, dolphins, and in-season whales.

Walking: Easy to moderate / 7.9 km / 3 -3.5 hrs

Meals: Walkers lunch and 2-course dinner

Accommodation: Cape Otway Lightstation or Bimbi Park in ensuite rooms

DAY 2
SHELLY BEACH TO BLANKET BAY

From Shelly Beach campground, you make your down to the beach once again across a delightful stream and then way up through magnificent Mountain Ash forest. The Mountain Ash is the tallest flowering plant in the world and one of the tallest trees on the planet. The walk down to the delightful Blanket Bay is one of the nicest parts of the whole 105 km track, as is Blanket Bay. This is the most ideal place for a swim on the track as it is safely protected from the ocean swells. It also was the port to which supplies were delivered for the Cape Otway lighthouse before the road was put in.

Walking: Moderate  / 15 km / 4-5 hrs / plus optional 1 hr walk

Meals: Breakfast, walkers lunch and 2-course dinner

Accommodation: Cape Otway Lightstation or Bimbi Park in ensuite rooms

DAY 3
BLANKET BAY TO CAPE OTWAY LIGHTSTATION

From Blanket Bay the track contours through coastal forests and along the cliff tops to Parker Inlet – a picture-postcard setting and definitely one of our favourite places. The track continues through Manna gum forests that are home to large numbers of koalas, eventually emerging at Cape Otway Lightstation.  There is a brilliant section that hugs the coast along an elevated track that allows you to take in the ocean views the entire way. The optional side-trip to Crayfish Bay with an opportunity to take a dip if you’re up for it is one of the real highlights of today’s walk. There’s also more time today to make the most of the exploration of the lighthouse and its surroundings.

Walking: Moderate to challenging / 10 km / 2.5- 3.5 hrs / plus optional 1 hr walk

Meals: Breakfast, walkers lunch, and 2-course dinner

Accommodation: Cape Otway Lightstation or Bimbi Park in ensuite rooms

DAY 4
CAPE OTWAY LIGHTSTATION TO CASTLE COVE

On to Station Beach and an optional short trek to pretty Rainbow Falls where a spring cascades down to the rocky coastal platforms below. The track then continues through wind-sculpted sand dunes and along the cliff tops to the Aire River estuary and wetlands. Stunning coastal scenery awaits you on the route to Castle Cove.

Walking: Moderate / 15.5 km / 5 hrs / plus 2 km (50 mins) optional walk

Meals: Breakfast, walkers lunch and 2-course dinner

Accommodation:  A Retreat at Castle Cove in ensuite rooms

DAY 5
CASTLE COVE TO MILANESIA GATE

Today’s section has some of the most spectacular coastal views of the entire track. It’s also a great day for wildflowers with colourful heathlands and numerous grass trees. In the winter months, there are native orchids and masses of pink heath – Victoria’s floral emblem. Another highlight is the long, white, sandy expanse of Johanna Beach.

Walking: Moderate / 15.2 km / 5 hrs

Meals: Breakfast, walkers lunch and 2-course dinner

Accommodation: A Retreat at Castle Cove in ensuite rooms

DAY 6
MILANESIA GATE TO THE GABLES

Milanesia Beach is one of those secret beaches, not many people get to and one of the most special places on the walk. It is only accessible on foot. From here the track continues along the cliff tops, and you can see all the way back to Cape Otway lighthouse. The walk is characterised by high sea cliffs, breathtaking views and coastal forests which lead you to Moonlight Head. The last highlight today is the Gables Lookout, perched on one of the highest sea cliffs in mainland Australia. This is a superb spot for whale watching between June and September.

Walking: Moderate to challenging / 15 km / 5 – 6 hrs

Meals: Breakfast, walkers lunch and 2-course dinner

Accommodation: A Retreat at Castle Cove in ensuite rooms

DAY 7
THE GABLES TO 12 APOSTLES

From the Gables, it is another walk through a grove of casuarinas to Wreck Beach, where you can inspect the remains of two shipwrecks. Next, follow the track through Princetown and finish at the impressive 12 Apostles, a group of limestone sea stacks that are constantly changing. We will collect you at 4 pm to take you back to either Apollo Bay or Camperdown, depending on how you got to Apollo Bay.

Walking: Moderate / 20.1 km / 6-7 hrs

Meals: Breakfast and walkers lunch

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Pack-free walking

  • 25+ years experience

  • Customised

  • Eco Travel

  • Pack free walking at your own pace, with who you want, when you want
  • Private vehicle transfers in the company of our friendly knowledgeable Auswalk driver who knows the area intimately, plus all luggage transfers
  • 6 nights’ accommodation in rooms with ensuites
  • Breakfasts daily, two-course dinners and substantial walkers lunches
  • National Park fees
  • Enjoy worry-free navigation with Auswalk’s comprehensive track notes, maps, map case, insulated lunch bag & info pack
  • 24/7 support with our local partner network on the ground
  • Enjoy Auswalks nearly 30 years of experience in organising these types of holidays

ACCOMMODATION & DINING

OVERVIEW

From Apollo Bay, it is on to Cape Otway where you will stay at the historic Cape Otway Lightstation or Bimbi Park. The exclusive use at night of the Lightstation’s environs is a special highlight of your walk. Both accommodations are more than comfortable and all rooms have ensuites.

The Great Ocean Walk Retreat or Chi farm is the next stop where you’re in for a showcase of regional produce for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

We sometimes have to swap accommodations around or out for others that are of equal standard. We will advise you when this occurs.

When we stay at remote retreats and guest houses, the meals are prepared by your expert hosts or a local caterer. The days start with a substantial breakfast and end with a 2-course meal. Each day you’ll be provided with a substantial walkers lunch and the opportunity to enjoy it whilst taking in some of the most breathtaking views in the world. A walker’s lunch is varied and may include a high protein type salad, roll or a wrap, muesli bar, cake or muffin and a piece of fruit.

Alcohol or drinks with meals are not included (except tea/coffee and juice with breakfast).

  • NIGHTS 1, 2 & 3

  • NIGHTS 4 , 5 & 6

FITNESS GUIDE

It’s well worth investing some time and effort preparing for your walking holiday. The graph shows the average daily distance, elevation and terrain difficulty for your hike. The dotted line indicates the average across all our walks, which will give you a feel for how challenging your walk is compared to all – and the recommended type, and amount, of preparation needed.  Of course, you can adapt this according to your existing fitness levels and lifestyle.

The graph and the information below can be used in conjunction with the fitness guide to help you prepare for your walking adventure. Across all walks, average daily distance is 16.8km, average daily elevation is 448m, average terrain difficulty is 5/10.

ngraph

DISTANCE - ABOVE AVERAGE

Distance training is a major consideration in your overall training program. As you progress, incorporate longer walks into your training plan.

Schedule one or two long walks each week, gradually increasing the distance until you can comfortably cover 17-25 km in a single day. Also include walks on consecutive days to help your body adapt to the demands of walking for multiple days in a row. Take every opportunity you can to walk. If you have a fitness watch or phone, you should try to reach >15,000 steps every day.

Ensure you can comfortably walk the average distance per day displayed in the graph, at least one month before you undertake your hike.

ELEVATION - ABOVE AVERAGE

Elevation training is a major consideration in your overall training program. You must include walks with serious hill climbs.

If you do not have access to hills, it is essential to replicate the elevation level you will be undertaking in any way possible such as on a treadmill or stair climber. Walking up and down stairs at work, at a local oval with a grandstand, or up and down small hills is incredibly useful. Also, prioritising resistance weight training will help you develop overall muscle strength.  Elevation is often where walkers encounter problems, opposed to distance, as it uses an entirely different set of muscles to everyday flat walking.

If high altitude is a factor, incorporate sessions at a higher altitude to acclimatise your body to reduced oxygen levels if you are able to. Ensure you can comfortably walk the average elevation per day displayed in the graph, at least one month before you undertake your hike.

TERRAIN

MOUNTAINOUS / UNDULATING TERRAIN

As terrain associated with mountain climbs is often somewhat uneven and rocky, balancing and core exercises are vital.

Try to also include some form of elevation in more than 50% of your walking and prioritise resistance training, whilst incorporating stairs anytime you can. Walking up mountains or hills, up and down stairs at work, or up and down at a local oval with a grandstand is incredibly useful. Elevation is often where walkers encounter problems not distance, as it uses an entirely different set of muscles to everyday flat walking. Concentrate on doing lots of squats and lunges to build your glute muscles.

UNEVEN TERRAIN

Preparation for hiking on uneven terrain demands a blend of physical and mental readiness.

Begin with balance-enhancing exercises, such as one-legged stands and stability ball workouts, laying a groundwork for stability and coordination. Strengthening the lower body is especially important, achieved through the incorporation of squats, lunges, and step-ups. Gradually increase the complexity of the terrain on which you walk, moving from gravel paths to rocky trails. Cultivate mindfulness during your practice, directing focused attention to both your immediate surroundings and precise foot placement.

The importance of suitable footwear cannot be overstated; prioritise options that offer robust support and reliable grip to navigate varying terrains with confidence. Build endurance through consistent hikes, progressively increasing distance and difficulty.

GENERAL INFO

Travel down on the Great Ocean Road to the start of the walk. You will have to arrive by 12:00 midday on your first day to commence the walking. This walk is for people that are wanting to condense the number of nights on the walk and/or are looking for a bit of a challenge.

Each day we move your luggage ahead for you to the next accommodation. All you need to carry is a daypack with what you need for the day. We provide comprehensive walk notes for you. It’s easy to find the way on this track but with our notes, you’ll also receive lots of information to help you better appreciate the flora, fauna, history and geology you’re experiencing along the route.

We’ve mapped a point-to-point walk to maximize the highlights, staying in different accommodations on the route. This means more variety, less backtracking and time spent in a vehicle and more time to relax at the end of the day. You’ll walk an average of 15 km each day, with some optional side walks for those wanting to extend themselves.

The walking terrain is varied following clifftops, wide forest tracks, rough trails, beach traverses, including Wreck Beach and tracks shaded by the forest canopy. It’s mostly easy-going, flat stretches, with some steady, challenging climbs and long downhill descents. The walk is moderate to challenging with some longer days, these provide a great opportunity for fit walkers to challenge themselves.

For what to bring please refer to Gear Advice on our FAQ section.

HOW TO GET THERE AND AWAY

The walk starts in Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road and ends in Port Campbell. As you are walking on day 1 we recommend starting your walk at 12pm to comfortably be at the pick up point on time. Fast walkers can explore Apollo or start slightly later if necessary.

Arriving / Departing via Private Vehicle – Self Drive 

This is the recommended way to travel for this trip. If you are driving you can park your car in a quiet street in Apollo bay near the Visitor Information Centre. At the end of your walk on the last day of your trip we will transfer you back to your car in Apollo Bay.

Important note: Please advise your arrival time to your destination consultant to arrange for your luggage to be collected from the Visitor Information Centre.

Arriving / Departing via Public Transport 

If catching public transport we recommend having a pre tour night in Apollo Bay to ensure you start on time. This is a combined train and coach service operated by PTV. You will first need to take a regional VLINE train from Melbourne to Geelong. In Geelong you will take a coach to Apollo Bay Visitors Information Centre the entire journey will take around 4hrs. You can plan your journey and purchase tickets here. At the end of your walk on the last day of your trip we will transfer you to Camperdown Station for train connections back to Melbourne. Alternatively, if you would like to stay a post tour night you can do so either at Port Campbell or Apollo Bay. Please bear in mind transport connections are 2hrs 45 mins from Camperdown (near Port Campbell) or 3hrs 45 mins from Apollo Bay.

If Flying into Melbourne Tullamarine / Geelong Avalon 

If you are flying into Melbourne Airport, there is a direct coach service that will transfer you to Geelong Train Station. The trip from Melbourne Airport to Geelong takes around 1 hour will Gull Airport Service. You will need to make a booking directly with them.

If you are flying into Avalon Airport, Avalon Airport Shuttle meets every flight that arrives into Avalon. They will transfer you to Geelong Train Station which will take around 30 minutes. This journey needs to be pre-booked. Please check online for the most up to dates prices and times.

Private Transfer 

Private transfers are subject to availability please ask you destination consultant at time of booking. Private transfers work best for groups of 4 or more.

 

WEATHER

December through February is usually warm to hot with excellent swimming weather. Book well in advance for January due to the summer school holidays as the Great Ocean Road walk gets very busy. March through May is usually cooler, with long sunny days, perfect for walking. The winter months (June to August) are cool and sometimes stormy, providing exhilarating walking along the beaches. In winter, the hills are covered with pink heath, Victoria’s floral emblem. September to November are usually cool to warm and this is when most of the colourful wildflowers appear.

See the Bureau of Meteorology’s information about average temperatures and rainfall at different times of the year.

climate graph for the Great Ocean Walk

Source; BOM

INSURANCE

We require that you have adequate travel insurance against potential losses, damage or injury, including cancellation costs and loss of luggage.

For all trips that require international travel, you must have purchased travel insurance that also includes medical evacuation coverage.

We also charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your walking holiday after we have confirmed it to cover costs incurred from our suppliers and in the office.  See the FAQ section for more information.

INFORMATION PACK

For nearly 30 years we have taken pride in providing seamlessly organised walking holidays, but we know, even with that in mind, that you’ll have many more questions. You will receive a very detailed information pack and itinerary approximately 6 weeks out from departure outlining all the fine detail and much more.

CONTACT

If you have any questions, feel free to ask one of our destination consultants or to speak with one of our guides. You can get in touch with us via our contact form, email us at info@auswalk.com.au, or call us on +61 3 9597 9767.

MAP

DEPARTURE DATES

  • DATES
    AVAILABILITY
    PRICE
    PER PERSON
    Single Occupancy
    DETAILS
  • 1 Feb 2024 - 15 Dec 2024
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $2895

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $990

    SCHOOL HOLIDAYS SURCHARGE APPLIES

  • 16 Dec 2024 - 31 Jan 2025
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $3445

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $1455
  • 1 Feb 2025 - 15 Dec 2025
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $2995

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $1040

    SCHOOL HOLIDAYS SURCHARGE APPLIES

REVIEWS

Customer Reviews

5

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  1. Judith R

    1 February, 2023 at 1:36 PM
    5

    A great well organised 4 night trip designed for keen walkers who like comfortable accommodation and good food at the end of the day. This trip allowed us to explore this corner of Australia while our luggage was moved along each day. We started with an overnight stay in the atmospheric Cape Otway Lighthouse but all the properties we stayed in had there own character and our hosts were welcoming.

  2. Jenny & Chris

    5 July, 2022 at 2:20 PM
    5

    We loved every step of the way, even the uphill ones! This walk rates highly among the great Australian Walks in our experience of several of them. It’s achievable without going too far off the grid, and by anyone of average fitness (for reference we are in our late 50s and not hugely fit but do have some multi-day walking experience). The variety of scenery is fabulous, from beaches and cliff tops, to fern glades and green lanes, to eucalyptus forests and grass tree plains. There is an astonishing amount of bird life, both visible and audible. Accommodation and food was wonderful, from the simple but atmospheric Cape Otway Lighthouse to the boutique B&Bs. Highly recommend this wonderful walk to anyone seeking a breath of fresh air.

  3. Chris S

    1 July, 2022 at 10:53 AM
    5

    So good we did it twice! Everything was great, but special props to Johnny both as an accommodation host and a driver. He really adds to the experience!

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Overview

OVERVIEW

This is your opportunity to walk the walk and unplug on Australia's most iconic coastal walk over 7 days at a relatively leisurely pace. Walk the whole linear track from Apollo Bay to the 12 Apostles, along the coast through the Great Otway National Park.   Walk via mountain ash forest, pristine deserted beaches and finish at the grandest sea cliffs of all, the 12 Apostles.

The diversity of landscape, fauna and flora on this walk is truly amazing.  It snakes along the coast with the massive swells of the southern ocean on your left and the stunning Otway mountains on your right for much of the way. The koalas, roos, and abundant birdlife that make this place their home all add to the joy of walking the Great Ocean Walk.

Highlights

  • Traverse pristine beaches, many only accessible by foot
  • Cliff-top track with breathtaking views showcasing the incredible power of the Southern Ocean
  • The picture-postcard perfect Parker Inlet
  • Ample opportunities to spot wildlife in their natural habitat, from kangaroos and koalas to sea eagles and even whales
  • Gables lookout, a great spot for whale watching between June and September
  • Explore the two wrecks at Wreck Beach and marvel at the grand Twelve Apostles

WALK OVERVIEW

TYPE OF WALK
SELF GUIDED
TRIP LENGTH
7 DAYS
WALK GRADE
Moderate to Challenging

Grade 4 - Moderate to Challenging

Longer walking distances, up to 20km +. Steep hill sections and rough terrain. Walking experience and active lifestyle necessary.

PRICE FROM
$ 2895

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 990

Accommodations charge the same price per room regardless of whether there are one or two people occupying it. To cover the cost of the accommodation when occupied by one person we need to charge the single occupancy fee.

per person

Book now
Itinerary

ITINERARY

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7

DAY 1
APOLLO BAY TO SHELLY BEACH

The walk starts in Apollo Bay, on the Great Ocean Road in the morning. Leave the tourists behind as you meander along the coast. The track follows the coast before heading inland through the forest; be surprised if you don’t spot at least a couple of koalas around Shelly beach. This is also a great place to spot echidnas, wallabies, seabirds, dolphins, and in-season whales.

Walking: Easy to moderate / 7.9 km / 3 -3.5 hrs

Meals: Walkers lunch and 2-course dinner

Accommodation: Cape Otway Lightstation or Bimbi Park in ensuite rooms

DAY 2
SHELLY BEACH TO BLANKET BAY

From Shelly Beach campground, you make your down to the beach once again across a delightful stream and then way up through magnificent Mountain Ash forest. The Mountain Ash is the tallest flowering plant in the world and one of the tallest trees on the planet. The walk down to the delightful Blanket Bay is one of the nicest parts of the whole 105 km track, as is Blanket Bay. This is the most ideal place for a swim on the track as it is safely protected from the ocean swells. It also was the port to which supplies were delivered for the Cape Otway lighthouse before the road was put in.

Walking: Moderate  / 15 km / 4-5 hrs / plus optional 1 hr walk

Meals: Breakfast, walkers lunch and 2-course dinner

Accommodation: Cape Otway Lightstation or Bimbi Park in ensuite rooms

DAY 3
BLANKET BAY TO CAPE OTWAY LIGHTSTATION

From Blanket Bay the track contours through coastal forests and along the cliff tops to Parker Inlet – a picture-postcard setting and definitely one of our favourite places. The track continues through Manna gum forests that are home to large numbers of koalas, eventually emerging at Cape Otway Lightstation.  There is a brilliant section that hugs the coast along an elevated track that allows you to take in the ocean views the entire way. The optional side-trip to Crayfish Bay with an opportunity to take a dip if you’re up for it is one of the real highlights of today’s walk. There’s also more time today to make the most of the exploration of the lighthouse and its surroundings.

Walking: Moderate to challenging / 10 km / 2.5- 3.5 hrs / plus optional 1 hr walk

Meals: Breakfast, walkers lunch, and 2-course dinner

Accommodation: Cape Otway Lightstation or Bimbi Park in ensuite rooms

DAY 4
CAPE OTWAY LIGHTSTATION TO CASTLE COVE

On to Station Beach and an optional short trek to pretty Rainbow Falls where a spring cascades down to the rocky coastal platforms below. The track then continues through wind-sculpted sand dunes and along the cliff tops to the Aire River estuary and wetlands. Stunning coastal scenery awaits you on the route to Castle Cove.

Walking: Moderate / 15.5 km / 5 hrs / plus 2 km (50 mins) optional walk

Meals: Breakfast, walkers lunch and 2-course dinner

Accommodation:  A Retreat at Castle Cove in ensuite rooms

DAY 5
CASTLE COVE TO MILANESIA GATE

Today’s section has some of the most spectacular coastal views of the entire track. It’s also a great day for wildflowers with colourful heathlands and numerous grass trees. In the winter months, there are native orchids and masses of pink heath – Victoria’s floral emblem. Another highlight is the long, white, sandy expanse of Johanna Beach.

Walking: Moderate / 15.2 km / 5 hrs

Meals: Breakfast, walkers lunch and 2-course dinner

Accommodation: A Retreat at Castle Cove in ensuite rooms

DAY 6
MILANESIA GATE TO THE GABLES

Milanesia Beach is one of those secret beaches, not many people get to and one of the most special places on the walk. It is only accessible on foot. From here the track continues along the cliff tops, and you can see all the way back to Cape Otway lighthouse. The walk is characterised by high sea cliffs, breathtaking views and coastal forests which lead you to Moonlight Head. The last highlight today is the Gables Lookout, perched on one of the highest sea cliffs in mainland Australia. This is a superb spot for whale watching between June and September.

Walking: Moderate to challenging / 15 km / 5 – 6 hrs

Meals: Breakfast, walkers lunch and 2-course dinner

Accommodation: A Retreat at Castle Cove in ensuite rooms

DAY 7
THE GABLES TO 12 APOSTLES

From the Gables, it is another walk through a grove of casuarinas to Wreck Beach, where you can inspect the remains of two shipwrecks. Next, follow the track through Princetown and finish at the impressive 12 Apostles, a group of limestone sea stacks that are constantly changing. We will collect you at 4 pm to take you back to either Apollo Bay or Camperdown, depending on how you got to Apollo Bay.

Walking: Moderate / 20.1 km / 6-7 hrs

Meals: Breakfast and walkers lunch

What’s Included

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Pack-free walking

  • 25+ years experience

  • Customised

  • Eco Travel

  • Pack free walking at your own pace, with who you want, when you want
  • Private vehicle transfers in the company of our friendly knowledgeable Auswalk driver who knows the area intimately, plus all luggage transfers
  • 6 nights’ accommodation in rooms with ensuites
  • Breakfasts daily, two-course dinners and substantial walkers lunches
  • National Park fees
  • Enjoy worry-free navigation with Auswalk’s comprehensive track notes, maps, map case, insulated lunch bag & info pack
  • 24/7 support with our local partner network on the ground
  • Enjoy Auswalks nearly 30 years of experience in organising these types of holidays
Accommodation & Dining

ACCOMMODATION & DINING

OVERVIEW

From Apollo Bay, it is on to Cape Otway where you will stay at the historic Cape Otway Lightstation or Bimbi Park. The exclusive use at night of the Lightstation’s environs is a special highlight of your walk. Both accommodations are more than comfortable and all rooms have ensuites.

The Great Ocean Walk Retreat or Chi farm is the next stop where you’re in for a showcase of regional produce for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

We sometimes have to swap accommodations around or out for others that are of equal standard. We will advise you when this occurs.

When we stay at remote retreats and guest houses, the meals are prepared by your expert hosts or a local caterer. The days start with a substantial breakfast and end with a 2-course meal. Each day you’ll be provided with a substantial walkers lunch and the opportunity to enjoy it whilst taking in some of the most breathtaking views in the world. A walker’s lunch is varied and may include a high protein type salad, roll or a wrap, muesli bar, cake or muffin and a piece of fruit.

Alcohol or drinks with meals are not included (except tea/coffee and juice with breakfast).

  • NIGHTS 1, 2 & 3

  • NIGHTS 4 , 5 & 6

Fitness Guide

FITNESS GUIDE

It’s well worth investing some time and effort preparing for your walking holiday. The graph shows the average daily distance, elevation and terrain difficulty for your hike. The dotted line indicates the average across all our walks, which will give you a feel for how challenging your walk is compared to all – and the recommended type, and amount, of preparation needed.  Of course, you can adapt this according to your existing fitness levels and lifestyle.

The graph and the information below can be used in conjunction with the fitness guide to help you prepare for your walking adventure. Across all walks, average daily distance is 16.8km, average daily elevation is 448m, average terrain difficulty is 5/10.

ngraph

DISTANCE - ABOVE AVERAGE

Distance training is a major consideration in your overall training program. As you progress, incorporate longer walks into your training plan.

Schedule one or two long walks each week, gradually increasing the distance until you can comfortably cover 17-25 km in a single day. Also include walks on consecutive days to help your body adapt to the demands of walking for multiple days in a row. Take every opportunity you can to walk. If you have a fitness watch or phone, you should try to reach >15,000 steps every day.

Ensure you can comfortably walk the average distance per day displayed in the graph, at least one month before you undertake your hike.

ELEVATION - ABOVE AVERAGE

Elevation training is a major consideration in your overall training program. You must include walks with serious hill climbs.

If you do not have access to hills, it is essential to replicate the elevation level you will be undertaking in any way possible such as on a treadmill or stair climber. Walking up and down stairs at work, at a local oval with a grandstand, or up and down small hills is incredibly useful. Also, prioritising resistance weight training will help you develop overall muscle strength.  Elevation is often where walkers encounter problems, opposed to distance, as it uses an entirely different set of muscles to everyday flat walking.

If high altitude is a factor, incorporate sessions at a higher altitude to acclimatise your body to reduced oxygen levels if you are able to. Ensure you can comfortably walk the average elevation per day displayed in the graph, at least one month before you undertake your hike.

TERRAIN

MOUNTAINOUS / UNDULATING TERRAIN

As terrain associated with mountain climbs is often somewhat uneven and rocky, balancing and core exercises are vital.

Try to also include some form of elevation in more than 50% of your walking and prioritise resistance training, whilst incorporating stairs anytime you can. Walking up mountains or hills, up and down stairs at work, or up and down at a local oval with a grandstand is incredibly useful. Elevation is often where walkers encounter problems not distance, as it uses an entirely different set of muscles to everyday flat walking. Concentrate on doing lots of squats and lunges to build your glute muscles.

UNEVEN TERRAIN

Preparation for hiking on uneven terrain demands a blend of physical and mental readiness.

Begin with balance-enhancing exercises, such as one-legged stands and stability ball workouts, laying a groundwork for stability and coordination. Strengthening the lower body is especially important, achieved through the incorporation of squats, lunges, and step-ups. Gradually increase the complexity of the terrain on which you walk, moving from gravel paths to rocky trails. Cultivate mindfulness during your practice, directing focused attention to both your immediate surroundings and precise foot placement.

The importance of suitable footwear cannot be overstated; prioritise options that offer robust support and reliable grip to navigate varying terrains with confidence. Build endurance through consistent hikes, progressively increasing distance and difficulty.

General Info

GENERAL INFO

Travel down on the Great Ocean Road to the start of the walk. You will have to arrive by 12:00 midday on your first day to commence the walking. This walk is for people that are wanting to condense the number of nights on the walk and/or are looking for a bit of a challenge.

Each day we move your luggage ahead for you to the next accommodation. All you need to carry is a daypack with what you need for the day. We provide comprehensive walk notes for you. It’s easy to find the way on this track but with our notes, you’ll also receive lots of information to help you better appreciate the flora, fauna, history and geology you’re experiencing along the route.

We’ve mapped a point-to-point walk to maximize the highlights, staying in different accommodations on the route. This means more variety, less backtracking and time spent in a vehicle and more time to relax at the end of the day. You’ll walk an average of 15 km each day, with some optional side walks for those wanting to extend themselves.

The walking terrain is varied following clifftops, wide forest tracks, rough trails, beach traverses, including Wreck Beach and tracks shaded by the forest canopy. It’s mostly easy-going, flat stretches, with some steady, challenging climbs and long downhill descents. The walk is moderate to challenging with some longer days, these provide a great opportunity for fit walkers to challenge themselves.

For what to bring please refer to Gear Advice on our FAQ section.

HOW TO GET THERE AND AWAY

The walk starts in Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road and ends in Port Campbell. As you are walking on day 1 we recommend starting your walk at 12pm to comfortably be at the pick up point on time. Fast walkers can explore Apollo or start slightly later if necessary.

Arriving / Departing via Private Vehicle – Self Drive 

This is the recommended way to travel for this trip. If you are driving you can park your car in a quiet street in Apollo bay near the Visitor Information Centre. At the end of your walk on the last day of your trip we will transfer you back to your car in Apollo Bay.

Important note: Please advise your arrival time to your destination consultant to arrange for your luggage to be collected from the Visitor Information Centre.

Arriving / Departing via Public Transport 

If catching public transport we recommend having a pre tour night in Apollo Bay to ensure you start on time. This is a combined train and coach service operated by PTV. You will first need to take a regional VLINE train from Melbourne to Geelong. In Geelong you will take a coach to Apollo Bay Visitors Information Centre the entire journey will take around 4hrs. You can plan your journey and purchase tickets here. At the end of your walk on the last day of your trip we will transfer you to Camperdown Station for train connections back to Melbourne. Alternatively, if you would like to stay a post tour night you can do so either at Port Campbell or Apollo Bay. Please bear in mind transport connections are 2hrs 45 mins from Camperdown (near Port Campbell) or 3hrs 45 mins from Apollo Bay.

If Flying into Melbourne Tullamarine / Geelong Avalon 

If you are flying into Melbourne Airport, there is a direct coach service that will transfer you to Geelong Train Station. The trip from Melbourne Airport to Geelong takes around 1 hour will Gull Airport Service. You will need to make a booking directly with them.

If you are flying into Avalon Airport, Avalon Airport Shuttle meets every flight that arrives into Avalon. They will transfer you to Geelong Train Station which will take around 30 minutes. This journey needs to be pre-booked. Please check online for the most up to dates prices and times.

Private Transfer 

Private transfers are subject to availability please ask you destination consultant at time of booking. Private transfers work best for groups of 4 or more.

 

WEATHER

December through February is usually warm to hot with excellent swimming weather. Book well in advance for January due to the summer school holidays as the Great Ocean Road walk gets very busy. March through May is usually cooler, with long sunny days, perfect for walking. The winter months (June to August) are cool and sometimes stormy, providing exhilarating walking along the beaches. In winter, the hills are covered with pink heath, Victoria’s floral emblem. September to November are usually cool to warm and this is when most of the colourful wildflowers appear.

See the Bureau of Meteorology’s information about average temperatures and rainfall at different times of the year.

climate graph for the Great Ocean Walk

Source; BOM

INSURANCE

We require that you have adequate travel insurance against potential losses, damage or injury, including cancellation costs and loss of luggage.

For all trips that require international travel, you must have purchased travel insurance that also includes medical evacuation coverage.

We also charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your walking holiday after we have confirmed it to cover costs incurred from our suppliers and in the office.  See the FAQ section for more information.

INFORMATION PACK

For nearly 30 years we have taken pride in providing seamlessly organised walking holidays, but we know, even with that in mind, that you’ll have many more questions. You will receive a very detailed information pack and itinerary approximately 6 weeks out from departure outlining all the fine detail and much more.

CONTACT

If you have any questions, feel free to ask one of our destination consultants or to speak with one of our guides. You can get in touch with us via our contact form, email us at info@auswalk.com.au, or call us on +61 3 9597 9767.

Map

MAP

Departure Dates

DEPARTURE DATES

  • DATES
    AVAILABILITY
    PRICE
    PER PERSON
    Single Occupancy
    DETAILS
  • 1 Feb 2024 - 15 Dec 2024
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $2895

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $990
  • 16 Dec 2024 - 31 Jan 2025
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $3445

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $1455
  • 1 Feb 2025 - 15 Dec 2025
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $2995

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $1040
Reviews

REVIEWS

Customer Reviews

5

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  1. Judith R

    1 February, 2023 at 1:36 PM
    5

    A great well organised 4 night trip designed for keen walkers who like comfortable accommodation and good food at the end of the day. This trip allowed us to explore this corner of Australia while our luggage was moved along each day. We started with an overnight stay in the atmospheric Cape Otway Lighthouse but all the properties we stayed in had there own character and our hosts were welcoming.

  2. Jenny & Chris

    5 July, 2022 at 2:20 PM
    5

    We loved every step of the way, even the uphill ones! This walk rates highly among the great Australian Walks in our experience of several of them. It’s achievable without going too far off the grid, and by anyone of average fitness (for reference we are in our late 50s and not hugely fit but do have some multi-day walking experience). The variety of scenery is fabulous, from beaches and cliff tops, to fern glades and green lanes, to eucalyptus forests and grass tree plains. There is an astonishing amount of bird life, both visible and audible. Accommodation and food was wonderful, from the simple but atmospheric Cape Otway Lighthouse to the boutique B&Bs. Highly recommend this wonderful walk to anyone seeking a breath of fresh air.

  3. Chris S

    1 July, 2022 at 10:53 AM
    5

    So good we did it twice! Everything was great, but special props to Johnny both as an accommodation host and a driver. He really adds to the experience!

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