The Great Ocean Walk is our most iconic coastal walk, for good reason, as it traverses one of Australia’s most dramatic coastlines from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles through the Great Otway National Park. The 104 km walk meanders its way through Manna gums with koalas only a few feet from the track, to traversing massive sea cliffs, cliffs that have made this location famous. You’ll walk through giant Mountain Ash forest, beneath the tallest flowering plants in the world and on along some of the most remarkable pristine beaches in Australia.

There are plenty of days when the ocean’s azure sparkle looks spectacularly inviting, but when you witness the awesome power of the Southern Ocean’s eternal tidal assault, you’ll see why this coastline is known as the Shipwreck Coast. There are also ample opportunities to spot wildlife in their natural habitat, ranging from kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas and koalas to black cockatoos, sea eagles, wedge-tailed eagles, dolphins and whales.

Cost
Type Indicative prices
Adult

Per person twin share. Single supplement of AUD 855 is payable for a single room.

$2,795.00 - $2,995.00

Inclusions

8-day pack-free walking holiday Accommodations & meals Luggage transport and vehicle transfers National Park admission Auswalk guide pack: notes, track maps, lunch bag & container 24hr support

Days of operation:
  • Departure details: 14/08/19 - 15/12/19

    Daily: 02:00pm - 10:00am

  • Departure details: 16/12/19 - 31/01/20

    Daily: 02:00pm - 10:00am

  • Departure details: 01/02/20 - 15/12/20

    Daily: 02:00pm - 10:00am

  • Departure details: 16/12/20 - 31/01/21

    Daily: 02:00pm - 10:00am

  • Departure details: 01/02/21 - 15/12/21

    Daily: 02:00pm - 10:00am

  • Departure details: 16/12/21 - 31/01/22

    Daily: 02:00pm - 10:00am

Tour highlights:
  • Marriners Lookout
    In the early days of European settlement, much of the coast had been explored by sea but the inland was largely undeveloped and considered by many to be inaccessible. After World War 1 Australia, like much of the rest of the world, suffered a Great Depression. The government of the day decided to build the Great Ocean Road to open up the coast and as a memorial to those who died in the Great War. Work commenced in 1919 by thousands of returned servicemen. It took 13 years to build and was constructed entirely by manpower with road gangs using picks and shovels, dynamite and horses. The returned “diggers” named various points as reminders of the war including Artillery Rocks, Mt Defiance, Shrapnel Gully and Cinema Point. Unlike their American counterparts, the road gangs were not prisoners - the men worked for "Susso", slang for sustenance pay sent home to their wives during the Great Depression. The road was eventually opened in 1932 and is 250km long.
  • Shelly Beach
    This area is an excellent koala habitat as is the forest to the north of the lighthouse. The koalas are an introduced species to this area and they have become prolific. So much so that they have destroyed much of the forest. The easiest way to spot koalas is to look for their droppings on the ground. The droppings are about 1cm long, tubular shaped, quite hard when dry, and contain coarse fragments of leaves. A koala is a marsupial that carries its hairless young in a pouch. The pouch is on mum’s belly and opens at the bottom so the baby doesn’t get hurt being dragged up trees. It has a muscle that can be tightened to hold the baby in. After leaving the pouch, the baby travels on mums back for another 6 mths. Koalas prefer to eat eucalyptus leaves from the Manna gum (which occur in this area), Red gum, Grey gum, Tallow wood, Swamp gum and Tasmanian Blue gum.
  • Elliot Ridge
    This is a good place for a rest. There are toilets and a shelter shed, the same as found at each of the campsites along the GOW.
  • Blanket Bay
    Blanket Bay earned it name from the primary role it played as a campsite for those using the Cape Otway, Apollo Bay to Birregurra to Geelong track in the 1840’s. A blanket was for resting - the bay gave fresh water and was, for over three decades, used as the landing place for the supplies (and staff) of the Cape Otway Lighthouse. Remains of the 1880’s jetty built for the easier handling of lighthouse supplies can still be seen at low tide.
  • Crayfish Bay
    Once on the beach turn R along the beach and explore the rock formations at the end of the beach.
  • Parker River
    This is Parker Inlet - a lovely place to enjoy a rest or a swim in the ocean or river or to do some beach combing. It is easy to find beach-cast fronds of bull kelp (Durvillaea potatorum), a thick, leathery seaweed that dominates exposed rocky coasts in the Southern Ocean. It is quick growing and can reach a length of 30m in its 8 year lifespan. The specimens here are one of the brown algaes, (Class Phaeophyceae) - there are also classes of red and green seaweeds.
  • Cape Otway Lighthouse
    The Cape Otway Lightstation was completed in 1848. Because of its inaccessibility the lighthouse keepers received all supplies by sea until 1937 - supplies were landed at Blanket Bay.
  • Station Beach
    There may be other rocky outcrops to cross from time to time. Violent storms and tumultuous oceans sometimes remove lots of sand, creating rocky areas, and on other occasions storms do the opposite, by adding sand to the beach and burying rocky areas. All the beaches along this walk are susceptible to this process.
  • Aire River
    Along this section of track there are fine examples of kangaroo apples. These tall shrubs have thin leaves that are shiny above and a paler colour beneath. They have large pink flowers with a yellow centre during spring and summer. Their name comes from the large yellow/orange fruits favoured by many native birds and animals.

The highlights of an Auswalk walking holiday go far beyond exploring the iconic landmarks that you are going to experience on the track.

Auswalk allows you to discover Australia's greatest landscapes in comfort. You will be carrying only a day pack as your luggage is transferred on to your next accommodation while you progress along the track. Arrive each evening to your next comfortable accommodation, ready to enjoy another display of the local produce. Rest assured that a wine list will also never be too far away.

On group guided trips you will travel with a group of like-minded people, accompanied by two professional guides allowing for the flexibility of easier and harder walk options.

For the ultimate adventure and flexibility Auswalk's self guided inn-to-inn trips allow you to walk any day in the season, with your own group of two or more people. You will still enjoy their full support as you progress along the track from one accommodation to the next with luggage transfers, marked maps and detailed walk notes.

Membership:
  • The Ecotourism Association of Australia
Apollo Bay, Victoria, 3233

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