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Great Ocean Walk Scheduled Tour

The Great Ocean Walk is a 100 km continuous walk exploring the stunning scenery of the Great Otway and Port Campbell National Parks.  It is the ultimate guided tour with great hiking, time to relax at the end of each day, award-winning luxury accommodation and fabulous food and wine.  Completing the route from start to finish produces a very real sense of achievement.

The Great Ocean Walk starts in Apollo Bay, 180 km west of Melbourne, and ends at the Twelve Apostles near Port Campbell.  The trail is wonderfully varied and includes an amazing variety of coastal environments with a diverse array of flora and fauna - towering gum trees, deserted beaches, steep cliffs and fertile farmland.  It is fabulous hiking enhanced by the enthralling history of the Shipwreck Coast and Cape Otway Lightstation, the oldest surviving lighthouse on mainland Australia.

We offer this exclusive tour once a year in March but for other dates we can offer bespoke tours for private groups.  For more photos of this tour click here.

Cost:
$3095 per person including GST.

There is no single supplement on this tour.   Single guests will have their own bedroom but may be required to share a bathroom with other guests.   The price is fully-inclusive and represents the true cost of your holiday. No hidden extras.

What's Included?

•    Experienced and knowledgeable guides who will look after your every need and bring this stunning area to life
•    Luxury accommodation.  We have selected luxury accommodation close to the trail to guarantee your comfort and to minimise driving times at the start and end of each day. At Johanna Seaside Cottages there are some two and three bedroom cottages (max 4 people per cottage) with a shared bathroom.
•    All meals including wine.
•    Gourmet picnic lunches each day and snacks en route
•    Delicious dinners each evening.
•    Support vehicle, enabling you to walk as little or as much of the trail as you please
•    Transport to/from Melbourne in air-conditioned minibus
•    Comprehensive pre-trip information.
•    Luggage transported for you so all you need to carry is a small backpack with water etc.


Tour Dates
12th - 19th March 2015
Itinerary

Day 1: Melbourne to Apollo Bay (3½ hour drive)
The tour starts in Melbourne where we offer two meeting points, either at the Radisson Hotel on Flagstaff Gardens in the Central Business District at 12.00 pm or at Tullamarine Airport at 1.00 pm.   Please ensure you let us know where you will meet the tour. It is also helpful if you supply us with a mobile phone number.  We drive 3h 30mins to Apollo Bay, stopping en route for a light lunch. Our accommodation for 1 night is Chris’s Restaurant & Villas set in the hills at Beacon Point above the town of Apollo Bay. In the afternoon there is time to unwind and relax in your accommodation. Welcome drink and introductory chat before dinner in Chris’s Restaurant, the best restaurant in the region and awarded one Chef's Hat in 2012.

Day 2: Marengo to Blanket Bay (19.9km)
We check out of Chris’s after breakfast and a short drive takes us to Marengo Beach just west of Apollo Bay. This morning’s walk follows the coast on walking tracks and beaches, passing through farmland before arriving at Shelley Beach.  After a picnic lunch we have a gradual climb through tall wet forests on wide open paths before we descend to Blanket bay where we are transported to our accommodation at Johanna Beach Cottages where we stay for 4 Nights. This evening we cook an in-house dinner at Johanna Cottages

Day 3: Blanket Bay to Cape Otway (10.7km)
After breakfast we return to Blanket Bay to start the walk. This morning we walk through dry coastal forest with stunning views over Parkers Inlet, we descend and cross the river before climbing up to our picnic spot. After lunch we travel on cliff top paths through manna gums to Cape Otway Lighthouse. Enjoy a guided visit of the historic lighthouse at Cape Otway then transfer to our accommodation. Dinner in a local restaurant this evening.

Day 4: Cape Otway to Castle Cove (17.7km)
After breakfast we transfer you to the start of the walk at Cape Otway. This morning we have a morning walk with open views then descending to Station beach. We walk along the beach before climbing back up into the forest before descending to Aire River for our picnic lunch. In the afternoon we hike along small paths keeping close to the coast to finish the walk at Castle Cove from where it is a short drive back to our cottages. Dinner in the cottage this evening.

Day 5: Castle Cove to Milanesia Beach (13.6km)
We drive to the start of the walk at Castle Cove. We enjoy a gentle walk which undulates through coastal heath land with stunning ocean views. We have our picnic at Johanna Beach and then in the afternoon the trail follows the old coach road which gradually climbs away from the coast to where we finish the walk at Milanesia Beach. Dinner at Johanna Seaside Cottages

Day 6: Milanesia Beach to The Gables (19.2km)
We depart Johanna Seaside Cottages after breakfast and drive to the start of the day’s walk at Milanesia beach. Today’s walk is the most remote of the walks, travelling up and down for most of the day through wood land and open countryside often close to the coast with stunning views. Lunch this day is a hike in picnic carried by your guides. In the afternoon we continue our hike passing remote Ryans Den and Moonlight Head to finish at The Gables lookout. We stay the next two nights in the heart of the pretty town of Port Campbell. Dinner in a local restaurant.
 
Day 7: Wreck Beach to Twelve Apostles (17.8 km)
We start the day with a hike along haunting Wreck Beach with vestiges of some of the tragic shipwrecks which have given this coastline its name. After the beach we follow a new section of track which hugs the coast affording fabulous ocean views before arriving at the Gellibrand River where we have our final picnic in Princetown. This afternoon we have a leisurely walk along the old coach road and coastal paths to the finish of our 91km walk overlooking the Twelve Apostles. Final night dinner in Port Campbell.

Day 8 :
Transfers to Melbourne.   There is the opportunity for a short visit to Loch Ard Gorge before we return to Melbourne. We will arrive at Tullamarine for 1pm and then drop off in Melbourne at the Radisson at 1.30-2pm.  

Walking
6 days of walking
Shortest day: 10.7km
Longest.day: 19.9km

Hilly terrain with frequent ups and downs. Significant (up to 300 m) ascents/descents. The trails are a combination of beach walks, purpose built paths, vehicle tracks and gravel roads. Sturdy boots with good ankle support are recommended. It is important to ensure your boots are worn in before the trip.   Walking poles are an advantage, especially for the descents. There is always the opportunity to walk in half day sections if you don’t wish to walk the entire route.  In order to maximize your enjoyment of your holiday we recommend you exercise regularly prior to the trip in order to build up your fitness level. To see how we grade the walking we have a simple comparison of all our tours taking into account ascents/descents, distances and terrain. 

Extra Info

We have a Reading List of books relating to the Great Ocean Walk which you might enjoy.

Walking Gear
For helpful hints on what to wear, visit our Kit List page.

Weather

Max. 20° Min. 13°. Average monthly rainfall 55mm


It is generally mild during the day with cooler evening temperatures. The sea is warm enough for paddling and one can expect warm sunny days with occasional rain. Weather can be unpredictable so bring good rain gear and strong water proof walking boots.  In extreme heat or very wet conditions we may adjust the walking route accordingly.


View Apollo Bay in a larger map