Our Great Ocean Walk tours start and end in Melbourne, Victoria. It is possible to self-drive to the region if preferred but we do offer airport and city centre pick-ups. It is a 3.5 hour drive from Melbourne to Apollo Bay - the official start for the Great Ocean Walk.
We use a selection of delightful boutique accommodation close to the trail. We select places to stay according to the requirements of the group. The majority of the accommodation does not have en-suite facilities but two to four people will share a bathroom.
On several evenings Mick and Jackie demonstrate their culinary skills by cooking an intimate three-course dinner matched to local wines.
Hiking on the Great Ocean Walk
Hikes vary from 5.5km to 17km in length. On most days there is a short drive to the start and end of each walk. The different sections of the walk are described below. We recommend allowing at least 6 full days to complete the entire 100 km trail end-to-end. For those with less time we can suggest the most scenic and interesting sections to do, a four day Great Ocean Walk tour will give the walker most of the highlights of the walk. More information and a short film can be found on Visit Victoria - The Great Ocean Walk.
Shelly Beach to Cape Otway
Walk through beautiful, unspoilt mountain ash forest, home to black wallabies. We stop for a picnic near Blanket Bay and then continue, past picturesque Parker Inlet, to Cape Otway Lightstation. This is the oldest lightstation on the Australian mainland and it provided a beacon of light, and hope, to the early settlers after their long voyage. Private guided tour
Cape Otway to Castle Cove
Today we hike along remote Station Beach and marvel at the ancient geology of this region which has created fascinating rock formations along the coastline. Descend through the dunes to peaceful Aire River inlet for a delicious picnic lunch before continuing to Castle Cove.
Castle Cove to Johanna Beach, continuing to Milanesia Beach
Hike through heathland and keep an eye out for the shy echidna. We cross Johanna beach which is a haven for hooded plovers at nesting time and is also a popular spot for peregrine falcons. After a picnic lunch one can either return to the accommodation for a relaxing afternoon, lazing in the spa and maybe indulging in an in-house massage, or the more energetic can explore one of the bushwalks departing from the cottages or continue on the Great Ocean Walk to Milanesia Beach.
Milanesia Beach to Moonlight Head
This hike, with spectacular views, is one of our favourites. Explore the hidden gem of Milanesia beach, only accessible by foot. Follow the path along high sea cliffs to our picnic spot at remote Ryan's Den from where we have sensational views back to Cape Otway. Continue to romantic Moonlight Head or further to The Gables before returning to your accommodation.
Moonlight Head to the Twelve Apostles
Start the day with a visit to evocative Wreck Beach and hear the stories of some of the most infamous shipwrecks on this treacherous coast. Walk through blue gum forest, casuarinas trees and lush farmland to emerge at the small village of Princetown overlooking the Gellibrand River. In the afternoon we continue over the clifftops to emerge at the majestic limestone stacks of the Twelve Apostles.
Loch Ard Gorge
Loch Ard gorge was the scene of a tragic shipwreck in 1878. There are several hikes which let us explore the story in depth.
For information on other hikes in Australia, explore the informative website of Adventure.com
For similar hikes in New Zealand, contact Roads Less Travelled.