OVERVIEW

The Great South West track has got to be Victoria's best-kept secret, a 250km continuous loop of untouched environment, from dramatic isolated coast with massive limestone cliffs and pristine beaches, to meandering rivers and remote bushland teeming with wildlife. Aboriginal heritage sites, the mighty Southern Ocean and freshwater lakes make this one of the most varied walks in Australia.

This highlights walk gives you all the best bits! The first stage is the picturesque Glenelg River, which stretches out as it nears the coast then carves its way through a spectacular limestone gorge. Then it is onto the pristine sandy beaches, rocky outcrops and freshwater lakes of Discovery Bay Coastal Park. The grand finale is the Three Capes and Bays section where the track hugs the clifftop all the way.

Highlights

  • Picturesque Glenelg River section with plentiful opportunities to take a dip
  • The stunning sandy beach of Discovery Bay
  • The Three Capes section and a wonderful seal colony
  • Sparkling and inviting large freshwater lakes
  • Whale watching opportunity in season
  • Excellent clifftop hiking to Cape Nelson Lighthouse

WALK OVERVIEW

TYPE OF WALK
SELF GUIDED
TRIP LENGTH
8 DAYS
WALK GRADE
Moderate

Grade 3 – Moderate

Short, steep hill sections. Chance to ride out on longer walks greater than 12km. A moderate active lifestyle and some walking experience is recommended.  C

PRICE FROM
$ 2695

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 445

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 8

DAY 1
PORTLAND WALK ALONG THE FORESHORE

The walking trip starts in Portland any time after 2 pm. There is no scheduled walk today, but there’s plenty of walking options to take up, including exploring the old historic buildings on the foreshore. There’s also a beautiful beach walk or the informative Maritime Discovery Centre to explore.

Walking: Optional easy walking available

Accommodation: Beautiful B&B Portland

DAY 2
GLENELG RIVER SECTION FROM MOLESIDE TO SAPLING CREEK

Hike the picturesque Glenelg River section of the Great South West Walk from Moleside Creek to Sapling Creek. The track follows the contours of the river almost all of the way with many opportunities to take a swim.

Walking: Moderate / 27.6km / 5.5–6.5 hrs / shorter 18km option available

Meals: Cooked breakfast, Walkers Lunch and a 2-course dinner

Accommodation: Nelson

DAY 3
SAPLING CREEK TO NELSON ON THE GLENELG RIVER

Today’s walk finds its way through the Glenelg River Gorge and continues to aside the river all the way into the settlement of Nelson. The character of the river changes dramatically through the gorge as it widens nearing the coast. Here you’ll see boat sheds that have been converted into waterfront houses. From here we walk into our accommodation.

Walking: Moderate / 24.4kms / 6–7 hrs / shorter option available

Meals: Cooked breakfast and Walkers Lunch

Accommodation: Nelson

DAY 4
DISCOVERY NATIONAL PARK NELSON TO LAKE MONIBEONG

We walk out of your Nelson accommodation out of town via Oxbow Lake and out of Lower Glenelg National park into Discovery Bay National park.  From here on it’s a beautiful beach walk on hard sand in Discovery Bay. For the afternoon, head back onto the track inland, parallel to the coast, emerging at a huge freshwater lake. This can be a moderate to challenging walk at high tide.

Walking: Moderate / 21.7kms / 6–7 hrs

Meals: Cooked breakfast, Walkers Lunch and a two-course dinner

Accommodation: Nelson

DAY 5
THREE CAPES SECTION FROM BRIDGEWATER LAKES TO BRIDGEWATER BAY

Today’s walk is one of the best. We begin the walk on the Three Capes Section of the track on a track that hugs the cliff the entire way with photo opportunities aplenty. As you walk we pass by blowholes and a “Petrified Forest”. The last section of the hike today is called “Enchanted Walk” where vines of bower spinach are decoratively draped over limestone boulders and twisted Moonah trees.  Today we have the pleasure of walking into your accommodation at Bridgewater Bay.

Walking: Moderate / 17.7km / 5–6 hrs

Meals: Breakfast, Walkers Lunch and a two-course dinner

Accommodation: Bridgewater Bay

DAY 6
BRIDGEWATER BAY TO CAPE NELSON LIGHTHOUSE

From your Bridgewater Bay accommodation, we continue on the beach for a short while and then back up on a clifftop track with superb views over the beach and the huge swells of the Southern Ocean.  Keep an eye out for whales. We end at Cape Nelson Lighthouse where there’s a cafe, so why not reward yourself at the end of today’s hike with a nice cold beer or if it’s cooler, warm yourself up with a coffee.

Walking: Moderate / 19km / 4.5–5.5 hrs

Meals: Breakfast, Walkers Lunch and a two-course dinner

Accommodation: Bridgewater Bay

DAY 7
CAPE NELSON LIGHTHOUSE TO PORTLAND

The final section of the Great South West Walk continues from Cape Nelson all the way into Portland.  The walk hugs the cliffs via Yellow Rock and Cape Sir William Grant, an endangered Australasian gannet colony and the Portland Battery. Then it’s back to the B&B in Portland where you can relax. Portland is quite big for a country town so you can enjoy many of the things that a large town might offer, like a massage or having a choice of a variety of eating establishments.

Walking: Moderate / 23km / 5.5–6.5 hrs

Meals: Cooked breakfast and Walkers Lunch

Accommodation: Portland

DAY 8
PORTLAND AND END OF WALK

Your walking holiday finishes after breakfast in Portland. If you loved this area you could consider walking the whole track, it’s only 250kms.

Meals: Cooked breakfast

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Pack-free walking

  • 25+ years experience

  • Customised

  • Eco Travel

  • 8 day pack free walking holiday
  • The Great South West Walk highlights
  • 7 nights’ accommodation with ensuite (except at Nelson)
  • Cooked breakfasts, two-course dinners and substantial Walkers Lunches
  • Luggage transport and vehicle transfers
  • We shift you along the track from accommodation to accommodation to limit time in a vehicle, creating more time to relax and enjoy the region
  • National Park admission
  • Enjoy worry-free navigation with Auswalk’s comprehensive track notes, maps, map case, insulated lunch bag & info pack
  • 24/7 support from Auswalk’s transfer company and representatives on the ground

ACCOMMODATION & DINING

OVERVIEW

This hike has you supported all the way. We have you walk in and out of remote towns and stay at small bed and breakfasts and lodges. Your hosts have been with us in some cases for decades. They love accommodating and feeding our walkers. All of the rooms have ensuites except at Nelson. Nelson Lodge was an old police station and has real character, and it is most likely that you will have the place to yourself. The views from your room at Bridgewater make you feel like you never left the track.

The Bridgewater cafe or a local restaurant prepares the food in Bridgwater Bay.

Each day whilst you’re walking, you’ll be provided with a substantial Walkers Lunch and get to eat it at a fabulous location on the track. 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).

  • NIGHTS 1 & 7

  • NIGHTS 2, 3 & 4

  • NIGHTS 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 - BELOW AVERAGE

Elevation is not a major consideration in your overall training program. However, you should still incorporate some form of resistance training to increase your endurance.

TERRAIN

SAND TERRAIN

To prepare for walking on sand you will need specialised training owing to the soft and yielding nature of this type of terrain. It has a distinct impact on the body, especially the calf muscles as you get older. Sand moves when we walk and can lead to the overextension of the calf muscles resulting in discomfort and aches over prolonged periods.

To avoid this you should target exercises for lower body strength such as lunges, squats, and calf raises. Incorporate barefoot walks on soft surfaces such as grass to improve balance and foot muscle strength. Practice walking on the beach or sand dunes if you can to acclimatise to the unique demands of a sandy terrain.

FLAT TERRAIN

Whilst training for walking on flat and hard terrain, you should focus on building endurance and ensuring you can maintain a comfortable pace.

Start with regular walks on sidewalks, roads, or paved paths to get used to the surface. Maintain a proper posture and engage your core muscles to support your back, keeping a steady gait. Ensure that you have comfortable, supportive footwear with adequate cushioning. If endurance is important, consider incorporating low-impact cross-training activities like swimming or cycling into your routine.

GENERAL INFO

This trip starts and finishes in Portland, which is a 5-hour drive from Melbourne, or a 6-hour drive from Adelaide. If you prefer, there are regional airports located at Warrnambool, VIC and Mt. Gambier, SA that service’s Portland by onwards coach travel from far afield of either Melbourne or Adelaide. Alternatively, the public transport offers a combination of trains and coaches from Melbourne or Adelaide also. Contact us for more details.

We have rated this walk as moderate as some days are quite long. Full-day walks average about 22km, 5 to 7.5 hours walking each day. The walking is mostly flat over reasonably well-walked paths, bush tracks and some sandy sections.

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

WEATHER

This walk can be done any time of the year except for the winter months of June, July and August. September to April is the ultimate time of the year for walking. Sea breezes usually keep the temperatures comfortable in summer, although there can be a period of quite hot weather, especially during February.

Warning about tide times – we may have to be a little flexible with your start date to make sure that walking on the beach at high tide is avoided.

This walking holiday includes some sections of beach walking, so you need to take into account the tide times when choosing a starting date. To check tide charts, go to the Bureau of Meteorology and select your location as Portland. We can assist you if you need help understanding the charts.

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 Apr 2023 - 31 Mar 2024
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $2695

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $445

    8 day itinerary

  • 1 Apr 2024 - 31 Mar 2025
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $2795

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $495

    8 day itinerary

REVIEWS

Customer Reviews

5

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  1. Simon B

    11 February, 2021 at 11:03 AM
    5

    I’d never done a supported walk before and it made it all very easy. Al the arrangements worked perfectly. Accommodation etc. and meals were excellent. And I don’t know if we were tracked by the epirb I carried – but both times John (from Nelson) picked us up, we walked in to the pick up point just as he drove in! An extraordinary coincidence. No waiting for either of us.

  2. Kevin

    11 November, 2020 at 1:23 PM
    5

    I did the Auswalk 8 day Great South West Walk with my sister in early October 2018. Right from the time we engaged with Auswalk, we found them helpful and supportive. Once we were close to the walk they checked in with us to ensure that we were ready (and I wasn’t and it was a great reminder to get my head into that space). The walk itself was absolutely great – we followed the Glenelg River and along the coastline and were greeted with many types of fauna and animal life. The accommodation and hospitality of our hosts were outstanding. They were the other side of the trip that made the comfort factor after a day of walking so much more bearable. They also gave us an insight into how much they care about their community and their habitat. Although I have lived in Victoria my whole life I do not know this part well at all and I am so glad that I now have some seen some of the most breathtaking parts of State. I have not hesitation recommending Auswalk, the Great South West Walk as a nature trip and the opportunity to engage with some of the local and their nature fauna and flora.

  3. Carol

    11 November, 2020 at 12:38 PM
    5

    Thanks for your effort it is much appreciated. If you require more room for your response feel free to email us.:
    My brother and I did the self guided 8 day Great South West Walk from the 8 – 15 October. The weather was cool with light showers for the first 2 days then perfect walking weather. The landscape changed from river to cliff top to the beach. At all times we felt looked after, both by Auswalk and our lovely B&B hosts. The walking notes were detailed and informative. We are both on the far side of 60 but look forward to doing it all again somewhere else. Thanks Auswalk!

  4. Kevin S

    17 October, 2018 at 4:28 AM
    5

    We did the 8 days, Great South West Walk, that follows the Glenelg River and the south-west coastline. While I love walking along rivers and pathways through bushland I found on this occasion the highlights were equalled by spectacular views and interesting insights into the formation of the landscape along the coastline. The variety and notes provided by Auswalk were informative. The advice they provide on what to bring, such as cameras and what to be careful about was sound. I would suggest that you have your camera handy at all times – so many times I was too slow to catch a photo of a kangaroo, wallaby or another of the natural wildlife. The hosts at the various locations were outstanding.

  5. Karen B

    29 November, 2016 at 5:40 AM
    5

    I have just completed a 7 day guided walking trip, including 4 days on the Great South West Walk. Auswalk guided tour has selected 4 sections (from the 250 km walking track) to walk on this tour and they were outstanding. Two days walking along near Glenelg River and two days along the tops of the cliffs looking out over the Southern Ocean. Three travel days over the week provided opportunities to visit and walk around local destinations, attractions and wildlife colonies in the south west corner of Victoria and into South Australia. All the details and logistics were handled by Auswalk, leaving the walkers to thoroughly enjoy each day. Good company with like-minded people, good food, very comfortable accommodation and great guides made for a sensational trip ( my 10th with this company)

  6. Leonie S

    25 November, 2016 at 2:08 PM
    5

    My sister-in-law and I completed the Auswalk 8 day self-guided Great South West Walk on Tuesday.
    Tucked away on the Victorian/SA coastal border, this beautiful walk is like a well-kept secret. Spectacular cliffs, quiet forest, deserted beaches, clear lakes, abundant wildlife and stately river.
    Photos advertising this walk do not represent a rare highlight or two. The scenery constantly changes and is consistently magnificent.
    Auswalk are friendly to deal with and very well organized. We could tell there are years of experience behind the planning of our walk. Our comfortable accommodations at Portland, Nelson and Bridgewater each had their own unique charm. The owners have longstanding relationships with Auswalk and that knowledge and experience shows.
    The meals were great; when you are walking you especially look forward to what is in that insulated lunch-bag! The walk notes and kit were also excellent.
    This is a great way of having a comfortable hiking holiday with someone else doing the planning. You really do unwind. Life becomes simple. Rest, Eat, Walk (with beautiful scenery all around you), Rest, Eat, Sleep. All the hard stuff has been done by Auswalk.
    Many thanks for a wonderful experience.

  7. JmRToM

    28 October, 2016 at 6:47 AM
    5

    We have just completed the GSWW self guided walking holiday staying at B & B’s each night. Auswalk staff before and during the walk were so helpful, supportive and generous with their time. There were some ‘interesting’ moments due to significant weather patterns that had caused flooding in some areas and the staff at Auswalk kept us up to date with information and other options. We always felt so safe and supported that no matter what the weather threw at us we knew Auswalk had an eye out for us. This holiday was amazing plus awe inspiring experience on so many levels and Auswalk were the key part in bringing it all together. We will certainly be doing more walks with Auswalk and would highly recommend them to anyone considering this type of holiday. Thanks so much to everyone at Auswalk.

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Overview

OVERVIEW

The Great South West track has got to be Victoria's best-kept secret, a 250km continuous loop of untouched environment, from dramatic isolated coast with massive limestone cliffs and pristine beaches, to meandering rivers and remote bushland teeming with wildlife. Aboriginal heritage sites, the mighty Southern Ocean and freshwater lakes make this one of the most varied walks in Australia.

This highlights walk gives you all the best bits! The first stage is the picturesque Glenelg River, which stretches out as it nears the coast then carves its way through a spectacular limestone gorge. Then it is onto the pristine sandy beaches, rocky outcrops and freshwater lakes of Discovery Bay Coastal Park. The grand finale is the Three Capes and Bays section where the track hugs the clifftop all the way.

Highlights

  • Picturesque Glenelg River section with plentiful opportunities to take a dip
  • The stunning sandy beach of Discovery Bay
  • The Three Capes section and a wonderful seal colony
  • Sparkling and inviting large freshwater lakes
  • Whale watching opportunity in season
  • Excellent clifftop hiking to Cape Nelson Lighthouse

WALK OVERVIEW

TYPE OF WALK
SELF GUIDED
TRIP LENGTH
8 DAYS
WALK GRADE
Moderate

Grade 3 – Moderate

Short, steep hill sections. Chance to ride out on longer walks greater than 12km. A moderate active lifestyle and some walking experience is recommended.  C

PRICE FROM
$ 2695

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 445

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 8

DAY 1
PORTLAND WALK ALONG THE FORESHORE

The walking trip starts in Portland any time after 2 pm. There is no scheduled walk today, but there’s plenty of walking options to take up, including exploring the old historic buildings on the foreshore. There’s also a beautiful beach walk or the informative Maritime Discovery Centre to explore.

Walking: Optional easy walking available

Accommodation: Beautiful B&B Portland

DAY 2
GLENELG RIVER SECTION FROM MOLESIDE TO SAPLING CREEK

Hike the picturesque Glenelg River section of the Great South West Walk from Moleside Creek to Sapling Creek. The track follows the contours of the river almost all of the way with many opportunities to take a swim.

Walking: Moderate / 27.6km / 5.5–6.5 hrs / shorter 18km option available

Meals: Cooked breakfast, Walkers Lunch and a 2-course dinner

Accommodation: Nelson

DAY 3
SAPLING CREEK TO NELSON ON THE GLENELG RIVER

Today’s walk finds its way through the Glenelg River Gorge and continues to aside the river all the way into the settlement of Nelson. The character of the river changes dramatically through the gorge as it widens nearing the coast. Here you’ll see boat sheds that have been converted into waterfront houses. From here we walk into our accommodation.

Walking: Moderate / 24.4kms / 6–7 hrs / shorter option available

Meals: Cooked breakfast and Walkers Lunch

Accommodation: Nelson

DAY 4
DISCOVERY NATIONAL PARK NELSON TO LAKE MONIBEONG

We walk out of your Nelson accommodation out of town via Oxbow Lake and out of Lower Glenelg National park into Discovery Bay National park.  From here on it’s a beautiful beach walk on hard sand in Discovery Bay. For the afternoon, head back onto the track inland, parallel to the coast, emerging at a huge freshwater lake. This can be a moderate to challenging walk at high tide.

Walking: Moderate / 21.7kms / 6–7 hrs

Meals: Cooked breakfast, Walkers Lunch and a two-course dinner

Accommodation: Nelson

DAY 5
THREE CAPES SECTION FROM BRIDGEWATER LAKES TO BRIDGEWATER BAY

Today’s walk is one of the best. We begin the walk on the Three Capes Section of the track on a track that hugs the cliff the entire way with photo opportunities aplenty. As you walk we pass by blowholes and a “Petrified Forest”. The last section of the hike today is called “Enchanted Walk” where vines of bower spinach are decoratively draped over limestone boulders and twisted Moonah trees.  Today we have the pleasure of walking into your accommodation at Bridgewater Bay.

Walking: Moderate / 17.7km / 5–6 hrs

Meals: Breakfast, Walkers Lunch and a two-course dinner

Accommodation: Bridgewater Bay

DAY 6
BRIDGEWATER BAY TO CAPE NELSON LIGHTHOUSE

From your Bridgewater Bay accommodation, we continue on the beach for a short while and then back up on a clifftop track with superb views over the beach and the huge swells of the Southern Ocean.  Keep an eye out for whales. We end at Cape Nelson Lighthouse where there’s a cafe, so why not reward yourself at the end of today’s hike with a nice cold beer or if it’s cooler, warm yourself up with a coffee.

Walking: Moderate / 19km / 4.5–5.5 hrs

Meals: Breakfast, Walkers Lunch and a two-course dinner

Accommodation: Bridgewater Bay

DAY 7
CAPE NELSON LIGHTHOUSE TO PORTLAND

The final section of the Great South West Walk continues from Cape Nelson all the way into Portland.  The walk hugs the cliffs via Yellow Rock and Cape Sir William Grant, an endangered Australasian gannet colony and the Portland Battery. Then it’s back to the B&B in Portland where you can relax. Portland is quite big for a country town so you can enjoy many of the things that a large town might offer, like a massage or having a choice of a variety of eating establishments.

Walking: Moderate / 23km / 5.5–6.5 hrs

Meals: Cooked breakfast and Walkers Lunch

Accommodation: Portland

DAY 8
PORTLAND AND END OF WALK

Your walking holiday finishes after breakfast in Portland. If you loved this area you could consider walking the whole track, it’s only 250kms.

Meals: Cooked breakfast

What’s Included

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Pack-free walking

  • 25+ years experience

  • Customised

  • Eco Travel

  • 8 day pack free walking holiday
  • The Great South West Walk highlights
  • 7 nights’ accommodation with ensuite (except at Nelson)
  • Cooked breakfasts, two-course dinners and substantial Walkers Lunches
  • Luggage transport and vehicle transfers
  • We shift you along the track from accommodation to accommodation to limit time in a vehicle, creating more time to relax and enjoy the region
  • National Park admission
  • Enjoy worry-free navigation with Auswalk’s comprehensive track notes, maps, map case, insulated lunch bag & info pack
  • 24/7 support from Auswalk’s transfer company and representatives on the ground
Accommodation & Dining

ACCOMMODATION & DINING

OVERVIEW

This hike has you supported all the way. We have you walk in and out of remote towns and stay at small bed and breakfasts and lodges. Your hosts have been with us in some cases for decades. They love accommodating and feeding our walkers. All of the rooms have ensuites except at Nelson. Nelson Lodge was an old police station and has real character, and it is most likely that you will have the place to yourself. The views from your room at Bridgewater make you feel like you never left the track.

The Bridgewater cafe or a local restaurant prepares the food in Bridgwater Bay.

Each day whilst you’re walking, you’ll be provided with a substantial Walkers Lunch and get to eat it at a fabulous location on the track. 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).

  • NIGHTS 1 & 7

  • NIGHTS 2, 3 & 4

  • NIGHTS 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 - BELOW AVERAGE

Elevation is not a major consideration in your overall training program. However, you should still incorporate some form of resistance training to increase your endurance.

TERRAIN

SAND TERRAIN

To prepare for walking on sand you will need specialised training owing to the soft and yielding nature of this type of terrain. It has a distinct impact on the body, especially the calf muscles as you get older. Sand moves when we walk and can lead to the overextension of the calf muscles resulting in discomfort and aches over prolonged periods.

To avoid this you should target exercises for lower body strength such as lunges, squats, and calf raises. Incorporate barefoot walks on soft surfaces such as grass to improve balance and foot muscle strength. Practice walking on the beach or sand dunes if you can to acclimatise to the unique demands of a sandy terrain.

FLAT TERRAIN

Whilst training for walking on flat and hard terrain, you should focus on building endurance and ensuring you can maintain a comfortable pace.

Start with regular walks on sidewalks, roads, or paved paths to get used to the surface. Maintain a proper posture and engage your core muscles to support your back, keeping a steady gait. Ensure that you have comfortable, supportive footwear with adequate cushioning. If endurance is important, consider incorporating low-impact cross-training activities like swimming or cycling into your routine.

General Info

GENERAL INFO

This trip starts and finishes in Portland, which is a 5-hour drive from Melbourne, or a 6-hour drive from Adelaide. If you prefer, there are regional airports located at Warrnambool, VIC and Mt. Gambier, SA that service’s Portland by onwards coach travel from far afield of either Melbourne or Adelaide. Alternatively, the public transport offers a combination of trains and coaches from Melbourne or Adelaide also. Contact us for more details.

We have rated this walk as moderate as some days are quite long. Full-day walks average about 22km, 5 to 7.5 hours walking each day. The walking is mostly flat over reasonably well-walked paths, bush tracks and some sandy sections.

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

WEATHER

This walk can be done any time of the year except for the winter months of June, July and August. September to April is the ultimate time of the year for walking. Sea breezes usually keep the temperatures comfortable in summer, although there can be a period of quite hot weather, especially during February.

Warning about tide times – we may have to be a little flexible with your start date to make sure that walking on the beach at high tide is avoided.

This walking holiday includes some sections of beach walking, so you need to take into account the tide times when choosing a starting date. To check tide charts, go to the Bureau of Meteorology and select your location as Portland. We can assist you if you need help understanding the charts.

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 Apr 2023 - 31 Mar 2024
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $2695

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $445
  • 1 Apr 2024 - 31 Mar 2025
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $2795

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $495
Reviews

REVIEWS

Customer Reviews

5

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  1. Simon B

    11 February, 2021 at 11:03 AM
    5

    I’d never done a supported walk before and it made it all very easy. Al the arrangements worked perfectly. Accommodation etc. and meals were excellent. And I don’t know if we were tracked by the epirb I carried – but both times John (from Nelson) picked us up, we walked in to the pick up point just as he drove in! An extraordinary coincidence. No waiting for either of us.

  2. Kevin

    11 November, 2020 at 1:23 PM
    5

    I did the Auswalk 8 day Great South West Walk with my sister in early October 2018. Right from the time we engaged with Auswalk, we found them helpful and supportive. Once we were close to the walk they checked in with us to ensure that we were ready (and I wasn’t and it was a great reminder to get my head into that space). The walk itself was absolutely great – we followed the Glenelg River and along the coastline and were greeted with many types of fauna and animal life. The accommodation and hospitality of our hosts were outstanding. They were the other side of the trip that made the comfort factor after a day of walking so much more bearable. They also gave us an insight into how much they care about their community and their habitat. Although I have lived in Victoria my whole life I do not know this part well at all and I am so glad that I now have some seen some of the most breathtaking parts of State. I have not hesitation recommending Auswalk, the Great South West Walk as a nature trip and the opportunity to engage with some of the local and their nature fauna and flora.

  3. Carol

    11 November, 2020 at 12:38 PM
    5

    Thanks for your effort it is much appreciated. If you require more room for your response feel free to email us.:
    My brother and I did the self guided 8 day Great South West Walk from the 8 – 15 October. The weather was cool with light showers for the first 2 days then perfect walking weather. The landscape changed from river to cliff top to the beach. At all times we felt looked after, both by Auswalk and our lovely B&B hosts. The walking notes were detailed and informative. We are both on the far side of 60 but look forward to doing it all again somewhere else. Thanks Auswalk!

  4. Kevin S

    17 October, 2018 at 4:28 AM
    5

    We did the 8 days, Great South West Walk, that follows the Glenelg River and the south-west coastline. While I love walking along rivers and pathways through bushland I found on this occasion the highlights were equalled by spectacular views and interesting insights into the formation of the landscape along the coastline. The variety and notes provided by Auswalk were informative. The advice they provide on what to bring, such as cameras and what to be careful about was sound. I would suggest that you have your camera handy at all times – so many times I was too slow to catch a photo of a kangaroo, wallaby or another of the natural wildlife. The hosts at the various locations were outstanding.

  5. Karen B

    29 November, 2016 at 5:40 AM
    5

    I have just completed a 7 day guided walking trip, including 4 days on the Great South West Walk. Auswalk guided tour has selected 4 sections (from the 250 km walking track) to walk on this tour and they were outstanding. Two days walking along near Glenelg River and two days along the tops of the cliffs looking out over the Southern Ocean. Three travel days over the week provided opportunities to visit and walk around local destinations, attractions and wildlife colonies in the south west corner of Victoria and into South Australia. All the details and logistics were handled by Auswalk, leaving the walkers to thoroughly enjoy each day. Good company with like-minded people, good food, very comfortable accommodation and great guides made for a sensational trip ( my 10th with this company)

  6. Leonie S

    25 November, 2016 at 2:08 PM
    5

    My sister-in-law and I completed the Auswalk 8 day self-guided Great South West Walk on Tuesday.
    Tucked away on the Victorian/SA coastal border, this beautiful walk is like a well-kept secret. Spectacular cliffs, quiet forest, deserted beaches, clear lakes, abundant wildlife and stately river.
    Photos advertising this walk do not represent a rare highlight or two. The scenery constantly changes and is consistently magnificent.
    Auswalk are friendly to deal with and very well organized. We could tell there are years of experience behind the planning of our walk. Our comfortable accommodations at Portland, Nelson and Bridgewater each had their own unique charm. The owners have longstanding relationships with Auswalk and that knowledge and experience shows.
    The meals were great; when you are walking you especially look forward to what is in that insulated lunch-bag! The walk notes and kit were also excellent.
    This is a great way of having a comfortable hiking holiday with someone else doing the planning. You really do unwind. Life becomes simple. Rest, Eat, Walk (with beautiful scenery all around you), Rest, Eat, Sleep. All the hard stuff has been done by Auswalk.
    Many thanks for a wonderful experience.

  7. JmRToM

    28 October, 2016 at 6:47 AM
    5

    We have just completed the GSWW self guided walking holiday staying at B & B’s each night. Auswalk staff before and during the walk were so helpful, supportive and generous with their time. There were some ‘interesting’ moments due to significant weather patterns that had caused flooding in some areas and the staff at Auswalk kept us up to date with information and other options. We always felt so safe and supported that no matter what the weather threw at us we knew Auswalk had an eye out for us. This holiday was amazing plus awe inspiring experience on so many levels and Auswalk were the key part in bringing it all together. We will certainly be doing more walks with Auswalk and would highly recommend them to anyone considering this type of holiday. Thanks so much to everyone at Auswalk.

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