Self-guided

OVERVIEW

Challenge yourself to walk the Great Ocean Walk, Australia's most iconic coastal walk, in just 5 days. A walk that stretches for 105kms from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles, via a diverse range of landscapes with changing flora. The walk slices through the Great Otway National Park and meanders along the coast on top of some of the highest sea cliffs in Australia.

It makes its way through Mountain Ash and Manna gum forest, with koalas only metres from the track. The massive sea cliffs at the 12 Apostles, which have made this location famous, are a fitting end to this stunning walk.

Highlights

  • Walk beneath Mountain Ash forest, the tallest flowering plants in the world
  • Traverse inaccessible pristine beaches and witness the awesome power of the Southern Ocean
  • Ample opportunities to spot wildlife in their natural habitat from kangaroos and koalas to wedge-tailed eagles and even whales
  • Walk the full track from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles passing Castle Cove, the Gables, as well as Wreck and Johanna Beaches, one of the world's ultimate beach walks
  • The challenge of averaging 21kms a day

WALK OVERVIEW

TYPE OF WALK
SELF GUIDED
TRIP LENGTH
5 DAYS
WALK GRADE
Challenging

Grade 5 - Challenging

Longer, tougher, steeper hill sections, rough surfaces and many steps. Active lifestyle, good fitness and walking experience required.

PRICE FROM
$ 2185

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 640

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 1
APOLLO BAY TO BLANKET BAY

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 Mountain Ash forest with an array of other flora; be surprised if you don’t spot at least a couple of koalas around Shelly beach. This is also a great place to spot black wallabies, echidnas, seabirds, dolphins and in season whales.

The walking finishes at delightful Blanket Bay an ideal place for a swim. This day can be split into two parts if you wish which adds another nights accommodation to the trip.

Walking: Moderate to challenging / 23.4 km / 6.5 – 8 hrs
*This day can be split into two parts if you wish which adds another nights accommodation to the trip.

Meals: Walkers lunch and 2-course dinner

Accommodation: Cape Otway Lightstation or Bimbi Park in ensuite rooms

DAY 2
BLANKET BAY TO CASTLE COVE

From Blanket Bay, we walk to the beautiful Parker Inlet, the track contours through coastal forests and along cliff tops. There’s an optional side-trip to Crayfish Bay. The track continues through Manna Gum forests that are home to large numbers of koalas, eventually emerging at Cape Otway Lightstation. Visit the Lighthouse grounds walking up the 18m high lighthouse, one of the oldest in the region. There’s also a fascinating indigenous centre here. It’s then onto Station Beach. The track continues through wind-sculpted dunes and along the cliff tops to the Aire River estuary and wetlands. Stunning coastal scenery awaits you on the route to Castle Cove, the end of today’s walk. This day can be split into two parts if you wish which adds another night’ accommodation to the trip.

Walking: Moderate to challenging / 25.8 km / 6-7 hrs
*This day can be split into two parts if you wish which adds another night’ accommodation to the trip.

Meals: Breakfast, walkers lunch and 2-course dinner

Accommodation: Ensuited rooms at Castle Cove

DAY 3
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. The last part of the walk has you walking briefly through farmland before ending at Milanesia Gate.

Walking: Moderate / 15.2 km / 5 hrs / plus a 2 km optional 50 min  walk

Meals: Breakfast, walkers lunch and 2-course dinner

Accommodation: Ensuited rooms at Castle Cove

DAY 4
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 possible to access this beach 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 that 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 / 18.5 km / 5 hrs

Meals: Breakfast, walkers lunch and 2-course dinner

Accommodation: Ensuited rooms at Castle Cove

DAY 5
THE GABLES TO 12 APOSTLES

From the Gables, it is another walk through a grove of casuarinas to Wreck Beach, where the remains of two shipwrecks can be inspected. Walk via the small town of Princetown before finishing the hike at the impressive 12 Apostles, a group of limestone sea stacks that are constantly changing. An epic way to finish this epic trek.  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 and 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
  • 4 nights’ accommodation in rooms with ensuites
  • Breakfasts, 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
  • Nearly 30 years of Auswalk’s experience in organising these types of holidays

ACCOMMODATION & DINING

OVERVIEW

From Apollo Bay, it is on to Cape Otway where you will either stay at the Cape Otway Lightstation or Bimbi park. Both properties offer something a little extra. The exclusive use of the Lightstation’s environs is a special start to your walk. Bimbi is in a bush setting and allows you to further explore the national park. The accommodations are more than comfortable and all rooms have ensuites. We may have to swap accommodations out for each other or replace them with a similar level from time to time. We will let you know if this happens.

The retreat we use at Castle Cove is excellent. Here you’re in for a showcase of regional produce for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

When we stay at remote retreats and guesthouses the meals are prepared by your expert hosts or a local caterer. The days start with breakfast and ends 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 walkers 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).

  • NIGHT 1

  • NIGHTS 2, 3 & 4

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 in Apollo Bay. You will have to arrive early in the morning (by 9:00 am) on your first day. This walk is for people that would like to challenge themselves or who are limited on time (or both).

We move your luggage for you each time you change accommodations. 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 your 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 the various 2 accommodation locations that best services the route. Due to the regions diversity and the remoteness of area, along with the limited accommodation and access roads (taken by vehicles) to drop-off and/or collect, this means less backtracking, and you will pick up where you left off from the day earlier. All necessary morning and afternoon transfers (transportation) from/to accommodation and at each Start/Finish of the walk (which, the most spent would be around 30km at 30/35mins travel) are included. You’ll walk an average of 21kms each day, with some optional sidewalks for those wanting to extend themselves.

The walking terrain is varied following clifftops, wide forest tracks, rough trails, beach traverses (including Wreck Beach) and sections shaded by the forest canopy. It’s mostly relatively easy-going, flat stretches, some steady, challenging climbs and long downhill descents. The walk is moderate to challenging with some longer days. This is 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

The walk starts in Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road and ends in Port Campbell.

As you have a 23.5km walk on day 1 we recommend starting your walk at 9am to comfortably be at the pick up point on time.

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 and 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

    $2185

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $640

    SCHOOL HOLIDAYS SURCHARGE APPLIES

  • 16 Dec 2024 - 31 Jan 2025
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $2645

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $960
  • 1 Feb 2025 - 15 Dec 2025
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $2295

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $670

    SCHOOL HOLIDAYS SURCHARGE APPLIES

REVIEWS

Customer Reviews

5

Leave a Reply

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  1. Louise H

    8 July, 2022 at 2:54 PM
    5

    Auswalks are a great company to deal with – really friendly and have excellent walks across Australia. I highly recommend them.

  2. Susie E

    11 February, 2021 at 12:38 PM
    5

    This was a fantastic trip that my husband and I will always remember. Everything was lovely – the food, the accommodation and of course the scenery. Kimbra was a fantastic lady who cheerfully transferred us around. We would highly recommend the 3 Capes self guided walk to anyone!

  3. Daniel A

    11 November, 2020 at 1:44 PM
    5

    Great walk. accommodation was great. meals were excellent. really liked the flexibility that was provided. Tasha and Anne did a great job. although Anne needs to work harder on minimizing the rain days!

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Overview

OVERVIEW

Challenge yourself to walk the Great Ocean Walk, Australia's most iconic coastal walk, in just 5 days. A walk that stretches for 105kms from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles, via a diverse range of landscapes with changing flora. The walk slices through the Great Otway National Park and meanders along the coast on top of some of the highest sea cliffs in Australia.

It makes its way through Mountain Ash and Manna gum forest, with koalas only metres from the track. The massive sea cliffs at the 12 Apostles, which have made this location famous, are a fitting end to this stunning walk.

Highlights

  • Walk beneath Mountain Ash forest, the tallest flowering plants in the world
  • Traverse inaccessible pristine beaches and witness the awesome power of the Southern Ocean
  • Ample opportunities to spot wildlife in their natural habitat from kangaroos and koalas to wedge-tailed eagles and even whales
  • Walk the full track from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles passing Castle Cove, the Gables, as well as Wreck and Johanna Beaches, one of the world's ultimate beach walks
  • The challenge of averaging 21kms a day

WALK OVERVIEW

TYPE OF WALK
SELF GUIDED
TRIP LENGTH
5 DAYS
WALK GRADE
Challenging

Grade 5 - Challenging

Longer, tougher, steeper hill sections, rough surfaces and many steps. Active lifestyle, good fitness and walking experience required.

PRICE FROM
$ 2185

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 640

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 1
APOLLO BAY TO BLANKET BAY

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 Mountain Ash forest with an array of other flora; be surprised if you don’t spot at least a couple of koalas around Shelly beach. This is also a great place to spot black wallabies, echidnas, seabirds, dolphins and in season whales.

The walking finishes at delightful Blanket Bay an ideal place for a swim. This day can be split into two parts if you wish which adds another nights accommodation to the trip.

Walking: Moderate to challenging / 23.4 km / 6.5 – 8 hrs
*This day can be split into two parts if you wish which adds another nights accommodation to the trip.

Meals: Walkers lunch and 2-course dinner

Accommodation: Cape Otway Lightstation or Bimbi Park in ensuite rooms

DAY 2
BLANKET BAY TO CASTLE COVE

From Blanket Bay, we walk to the beautiful Parker Inlet, the track contours through coastal forests and along cliff tops. There’s an optional side-trip to Crayfish Bay. The track continues through Manna Gum forests that are home to large numbers of koalas, eventually emerging at Cape Otway Lightstation. Visit the Lighthouse grounds walking up the 18m high lighthouse, one of the oldest in the region. There’s also a fascinating indigenous centre here. It’s then onto Station Beach. The track continues through wind-sculpted dunes and along the cliff tops to the Aire River estuary and wetlands. Stunning coastal scenery awaits you on the route to Castle Cove, the end of today’s walk. This day can be split into two parts if you wish which adds another night’ accommodation to the trip.

Walking: Moderate to challenging / 25.8 km / 6-7 hrs
*This day can be split into two parts if you wish which adds another night’ accommodation to the trip.

Meals: Breakfast, walkers lunch and 2-course dinner

Accommodation: Ensuited rooms at Castle Cove

DAY 3
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. The last part of the walk has you walking briefly through farmland before ending at Milanesia Gate.

Walking: Moderate / 15.2 km / 5 hrs / plus a 2 km optional 50 min  walk

Meals: Breakfast, walkers lunch and 2-course dinner

Accommodation: Ensuited rooms at Castle Cove

DAY 4
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 possible to access this beach 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 that 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 / 18.5 km / 5 hrs

Meals: Breakfast, walkers lunch and 2-course dinner

Accommodation: Ensuited rooms at Castle Cove

DAY 5
THE GABLES TO 12 APOSTLES

From the Gables, it is another walk through a grove of casuarinas to Wreck Beach, where the remains of two shipwrecks can be inspected. Walk via the small town of Princetown before finishing the hike at the impressive 12 Apostles, a group of limestone sea stacks that are constantly changing. An epic way to finish this epic trek.  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 and 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
  • 4 nights’ accommodation in rooms with ensuites
  • Breakfasts, 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
  • Nearly 30 years of Auswalk’s experience in organising these types of holidays
Accommodation & Dining

ACCOMMODATION & DINING

OVERVIEW

From Apollo Bay, it is on to Cape Otway where you will either stay at the Cape Otway Lightstation or Bimbi park. Both properties offer something a little extra. The exclusive use of the Lightstation’s environs is a special start to your walk. Bimbi is in a bush setting and allows you to further explore the national park. The accommodations are more than comfortable and all rooms have ensuites. We may have to swap accommodations out for each other or replace them with a similar level from time to time. We will let you know if this happens.

The retreat we use at Castle Cove is excellent. Here you’re in for a showcase of regional produce for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

When we stay at remote retreats and guesthouses the meals are prepared by your expert hosts or a local caterer. The days start with breakfast and ends 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 walkers 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).

  • NIGHT 1

  • NIGHTS 2, 3 & 4

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 in Apollo Bay. You will have to arrive early in the morning (by 9:00 am) on your first day. This walk is for people that would like to challenge themselves or who are limited on time (or both).

We move your luggage for you each time you change accommodations. 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 your 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 the various 2 accommodation locations that best services the route. Due to the regions diversity and the remoteness of area, along with the limited accommodation and access roads (taken by vehicles) to drop-off and/or collect, this means less backtracking, and you will pick up where you left off from the day earlier. All necessary morning and afternoon transfers (transportation) from/to accommodation and at each Start/Finish of the walk (which, the most spent would be around 30km at 30/35mins travel) are included. You’ll walk an average of 21kms each day, with some optional sidewalks for those wanting to extend themselves.

The walking terrain is varied following clifftops, wide forest tracks, rough trails, beach traverses (including Wreck Beach) and sections shaded by the forest canopy. It’s mostly relatively easy-going, flat stretches, some steady, challenging climbs and long downhill descents. The walk is moderate to challenging with some longer days. This is 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

The walk starts in Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road and ends in Port Campbell.

As you have a 23.5km walk on day 1 we recommend starting your walk at 9am to comfortably be at the pick up point on time.

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 and 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

    $2185

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $640
  • 16 Dec 2024 - 31 Jan 2025
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $2645

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $960
  • 1 Feb 2025 - 15 Dec 2025
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $2295

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $670
Reviews

REVIEWS

Customer Reviews

5

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  1. Louise H

    8 July, 2022 at 2:54 PM
    5

    Auswalks are a great company to deal with – really friendly and have excellent walks across Australia. I highly recommend them.

  2. Susie E

    11 February, 2021 at 12:38 PM
    5

    This was a fantastic trip that my husband and I will always remember. Everything was lovely – the food, the accommodation and of course the scenery. Kimbra was a fantastic lady who cheerfully transferred us around. We would highly recommend the 3 Capes self guided walk to anyone!

  3. Daniel A

    11 November, 2020 at 1:44 PM
    5

    Great walk. accommodation was great. meals were excellent. really liked the flexibility that was provided. Tasha and Anne did a great job. although Anne needs to work harder on minimizing the rain days!

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