From Apollo to the Apostles, this is one of the world’s great walks traversing one
of the most dramatic ocean coastlines.
The Great Ocean Walk traverses a mythic landscape of sweeping beaches, serrated sandstone cliffs and
misty rainforests that begs to be appreciated at a
walker’s pace. This virulent stretch of Victorian coastline
from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles is really only accessible in its
entirety via the 104-km Great Ocean Walk since,
sadly, the Great Ocean Road heads inland
through rainforest and farmland when the coastal scenery is at its most
This is where the walker will find the tallest cliffs in mainland
Australia, hidden fern forests,waterfalls shimmering down limestone walls,
wide, wild and windswept ocean beaches, ancient shipwrecks, Aboriginal middens, manna gums with resident koalas and one of
Australia’s most significant lighthouses.
You don’t even have to be a diehard bushwalker to enjoy it. The walk has been
cleverly designed with lots of access points so that you can sample sections or do the complete trip
in about eight days. And the options don’t stop there. You can
bring your own camping gear; local operators can provide tents and
provisions; you can arrange a drop-off
and pick-up service with bed and breakfast providers or you can
join a guided walk.
Please remember that it is not safe to swim in the
ocean here because of the force of the waves and the many rip
currents. If you are in any doubt, just reflect on how many shipwrecks there
have been along this coast.
The best time to walk is during the warmer months from November to April.
WHERE TO STAY:
Some of the most interesting accommodation providers, offering Great Ocean Walk
drop off and pick up and picnic lunches, include:
* the Aire Valley Restaurant
and Guest House whose restaurant relies heavily on its expansive kitchen
* Cape Otway Cottages, self-contained
cottages tucked into the bush on Cape Otway;
* Cape Otway Lightstation renovated
self-contained lighthouse keeper’s cottages;
* Great Ocean Eco Lodge, with its marsupial
hospital and wilderness restoration program, and comfortable accommodation and
hearty meals and
* Johanna Seaside Cottages with a broad array of cottages and a walkers lodge spread across a rolling
green dairy farm right behind Johanna Beach. Guest have access to a kitchen
garden, fresh eggs and a hearted indoor pool.
There are seven purpose-built hike-in camps at Elliot Ridge, Blanket Bay, Cape Otway, Aire
River, Johanna Beach, Ryan’s Den and Devils Kitchen. Each
campsite has between 8 and 15 camping pads, a composting toilet (often with a
spectacular ocean view!), untreated rainwater tanks, camp benches and shelter.
Overnight hikers must get a camping permit, register their walking and camping
plans, and walk east to west. Four drive-in campsites are also at Blanket Bay,
Parker Hill, Aire River East and West and Johanna Beach.
GUIDED WALK OPERATOR:
The Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk offers fully catered,
guided trips along the Great Ocean Walk with accommodation in a charming
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