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When visiting famous art galleries around the world, people don’t look at their feet they look at the art. When we walk we often make the mistake (or at least I do) of looking too much at our feet. We don’t stop enough to appreciate nature’s gallery, especially on the Great Ocean Walk.

While walking Victoria’s Great Ocean Walk this week I was reminded of this fact when I observed a koala having its midday nap. After this very sleepy and timely awakening, I decided to take a step back, look up more and enjoy nature’s gallery.

Koala Great Ocean Walk

At once I started to take in the natural beauty and stunning ‘art’ that is along this beautiful 104km coastal walk. Windswept trees growing at unusual, awkward angles and their under-storey of dense tree ferns; the deep, royal blue waves of the Southern Ocean crashing onto a deserted wild beach; the vivid and outlandish native wildflowers. To name but a few.

Wildflowers Great Ocean Walk

By walking with my eyes up off the track I saw nature at its best, and the further I got, the more I took in. I noticed the way the rivers, creeks and waves had carved out the terrain. I surveyed the odd objects and the giant, entangled lumps of seaweed washed up onto the sandy shore. I marvelled at the anchors from ships that sank long ago, creating the need for the lighthouse. I held my breath as a wallaby in the heathland scrub intently watched me pass by, just a few metres away.

Stuart Holland Great Ocean Walk

The highlight of my 4-day walk was the creek that spills into Milanesia Beach. The colours of the sand and the way it changed from dark to light from the way the water has run along this section were mesmerising. Walking this stretch of the trail last year I was far more interested in how I could cross without getting wet!

Milanesia Beach, Great Ocean Walk

Yes, the galleries of the world where you can see the works of Picasso, Rembrandt, Warhol and Da Vinci are amazing and truly worth a look; however, for me the best ‘art’ galleries are nature itself and they can be explored with all your senses.

If you haven’t experienced the Great Ocean Walk, you’re missing out! It’s where you’ll find some of the most beautiful natural attractions in Australia.

Great Ocean Walk Twelve Apostles

Discover the Great Ocean Walk

Each day on the Great Ocean Walk promises varied terrain and spectacular views. Take in the breathtaking coastal scenery from the Cape Otway Light Station and the Gibson Steps all the way to the 12 Apostles. Deserted wild beaches, sheer cliffs, shipwrecks, giant mountain ash forests, pristine river estuaries, abundant wildlife, dunes and coastal heathlands all await you on this exciting adventure.

Find out more

Get inspired!

For the most inspiring and comprehensive information about hiking the Great Ocean Walk, check out our dedicated Great Ocean Walk Information Website. Enjoy the journey!