Location

Departs Melbourne

Difficulty

3-4

Moderate

Length

7

Trip Cost

From $2595
twin share

Overview

  • Gain fascinating insights into the local history, culture, and landscape with exclusive talks by our shipwreck historian and a local Indigenous Elder
  • Comfortable well-appointed accommodation in three great locations
  • Afternoon and morning teas along the track
  • Be led by our experienced guide and driver
  • Challenge yourself by walking this spectacular Great Ocean Walk
  • Benefit from our 13 years experience taking groups on the Great Ocean Walk
  • Travel in a small group of like-minded walkers, maximum 10
  • Satellite phone & satellite messenger emergency back-up

Experience one of Australia’s most stunning sections of coastline on a full week hike while enjoying great accommodation, incredible food and the company of new friends. Each day is different in terms of terrain and spectacular views. Breathtaking coastal scenery, deserted wild beaches, sheer cliffs, historic lighthouses and shipwrecks, giant Mountain Ash forests, pristine river estuaries, abundant wildlife, dunes and coastal heathlands all await the intrepid hiker on this exciting adventure.

This walk encompasses the full length of the hiking trail so you experience the most spectacular and remote sections of the trail, showcasing all the wonderful diversity of scenery and habitats.

A local Indigenous Elder will join us on a section of the walk and present to us on the culture and traditions of the Aboriginal people who occupied this area for thousands of years. You will also gain incredible insights into the local history from a local shipwreck historian. Both presentations are fascinating and at the end of the week you will leave with a much richer understanding of the natural and man-made history that makes this area so unique.

Please note that this trip requires a minimum of 6 clients to depart.

What makes our Great Ocean Walk trip different?

RAW travel does not miss any of the ‘must do’ sections of the walk*. With us, you will experience all the spectacular, remote and hidden gems of this trail. We offer walking options on most days to accommodate the individual ability of our clients.

  • Personalised locally based service, call us to discuss your travel plans
  • Experience – we have operated GOW trips since the track first opened
  • An experienced and knowledgeable guide and driver on all tours
  • Advanced eco-accreditation
  • Fully cooked breakfast provided every morning
  • Accommodation booked in three great locations
  • Local shipwreck historian will walk and talk on a short section with you
  • Local Indigenous Elder will walk and talk on a short section with you

* Blanket Bay, Parker Inlet, Crayfish Bay, Otway Lighthouse, Aire River, Castle Cove, Johanna Beach, Milanesia Beach, Ryans Den, Moonlight Head, The Gables, Wreck Beach, Rivernook, Gibson Steps and The Twelve Apostles

Are you a first-time or solo traveller?

We’ll support you all the way! View our preparation and training resources.

Itinerary

Day 1: Transfer from Melbourne; Trek Apollo Bay to Shelly Beach (9km)

Your day starts with a 7:15-7:30am pick up from the Melbourne Arts Centre, St Kilda Road in Melbourne. We stop for a picnic-style lunch in the Great Otway National Park surrounded by a spectacular forest of California Redwood trees. After lunch we drive to Apollo Bay where you will stay for the next three nights. Apollo Bay is a divine little seaside village and the gateway to the Otway ranges and the start of the Great Ocean Walk.

After you have checked into your accommodation, we’ll head out that afternoon on the first section of the walk. The Great Ocean Walk starts from the Apollo Bay Visitor Centre and winds out through the town to the beach-side suburb of Marengo, named by French explorer Nicolas Baudin.

Marengo is home to a colony of fur seals who hang out on rocks at Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary in the bay. Leaving Marengo the walk follows the foreshore past Storm Point and over Bald Hill to Three Creeks Beach before entering the Otway forests, eventually emerging at Shelly Beach where we end for today and transfer back to Apollo Bay for the evening. Tonight we’ll enjoy a fabulous meal and prepare for a big walk the next day.

Meals: L D

Day 2: Trek Shelly Beach to Point Franklin (21km)

Crossing the Elliot River the first section of our walk today takes us away from the coast and into the towering forests of Mountain Ash that characterise this part of the Great Otway National Park. At up to 65m high these are some of the biggest trees in Australia and walking through the heart of the giant forest is a wonderful experience, though there are some hills to be negotiated.

We rejoin the coast at Blanket Bay, an isolated stretch of coast where we stop for a wonderful beachside lunch. Before rail transport, Blanket Bay was one of the safer location that allowed supplies to be brought ashore and then carried to the Cape Otway Light Station. The track meanders along the cliff tops and through coastal forests to the quiet haven of Parker Inlet, the original landing for light station supplies.

We then continue on to our final spot of Point Franklin.

Meals; B L

Day 3: Point Franklin to Aire River (14km), walk with a shipwreck Historian

After a hearty local breakfast we return to Parker inlet, we join our local guide Mark, who will regale us with stories of Shipwreck history from the Goldrush era and also inform us of the fascinating and vibrant ecology of this area as we walk. We usually take the coastal track to Cape Otway, passing shipwreck remains, Seal Point and Crayfish Bay we get our first glimpses of the Cape Otway Lighthouse on the way. Expect to see black wallaby, echidna, koala, black cockatoo, rosella and other wildlife along our route today.

We explore the Cape Otway Light Station to reveal some of the fascinating and often tragic histories of Cape Otway and its significance in Australia’s development,  with its museum, Telegraph Station and Indigenous cultural centre. Climbing to the top of the lighthouse is an experience not to be missed. In wonderful sunshine or a screaming wind storm, the hardships and stories of the first families living at the light station will create lasting impressions.

Our walk begins again from the light station  along a winding sandy track through low coastal heath, visiting the secluded pioneer cemetery and scaling some impressive sand dunes. If sea conditions allow we walk a few kilometres along a wild stretch of Station Beach before ascending back up to the escarpment to walk along a narrow coastal path overlooking Station Beach. The path winds along the cliff tops and wind-sculpted sand dunes before descending to the beautiful Aire River estuary and surrounding wetlands.

Meals: B L D

Day 4: Aire River to Milanesia Track (19km), walk with local Koori family member

We return to the tranquil Aire River estuary to begin a walk through low coastal scrub towards Castle Cove, on the last section we emerge on a roller coaster section of track by the sea with spectacularly eroded formations above us. From the lookout and beach at Castle Cove we encounter some of the most spectacular coastal views of the entire walk. The track winds its way along the cliff tops, through heathland and forests, occasionally emerging to give breathtaking and extensive views along the coast. The forest here is an interesting mixture of grass trees and manna gums. Eventually, we emerge onto the broad expanse of Johanna Beach which must rate as one of the best in Australia for its views and crashing surf. We are joined by an indigenous guide for an interpretive walk west along the old coach road which traces the route of the early explorers through the coastal valley. We finish the days walk at the start of the Milanesia Track (3 Ways). This evening we move to our next accommodation located at Moonlight Heads for the next 2 nights.

Meals: B L D

Day 5: Milanesia Track to Moonlight Head (15km)

Today is one of the wildest and most challenging sections of the entire track. Depending on the weather and tides we may vary the itinerary to suit. We start by descending into one of the coastline’s hidden treasures walking into one of the trip highlights; Milanesia Beach is an isolated and hidden beach that receives few visitors and is all the more special for it. From here the walk continues along the spectacular high sea cliffs to Ryan’s Den with breathtaking views all the way back to Cape Otway. The scenery along this stretch of the Great Ocean Walk is stunning, the rocky cliffs, bays and caves provide plenty of points of interest to stop and take in. The morning walk continues to the evocatively named Moonlight Head with more breathtaking views to Cape Otway. After Moonlight Head the track dips down into a valley and follows a newly cut section which will take us to the Gables, one of the highest sea cliffs in mainland Australia. Groups in September may be lucky enough to see one of the departing Southern Right Whales which frequent this coast in the winter months. The last section of todays walk involves some effort as the track climbs and descends several times towards the finish point at Moonlight head, but the dramatic views of this high coastline make the effort worthwhile.

Meals: B L D

Day 6: Wreck Beach to Gibsons Steps (17km)

We continue our walk from Wreck Beach, where at low tide we can descend and see the anchors of two of the many shipwrecks that lie submerged along this coast. Your guides will explain the stories of the shipwrecked Fiji and Marie Gabrielle.

Passing across the Devils Kitchen we follow a new section of track that hugs the wild coastal cliffs towards Princetown and The Twelve Apostles Marine Park, with views of The Twelve Apostles coming ever-closer.

The wetlands of the Gellibrand River, near our lunch stop, support a wide variety of bird life and is a significant wetland habitat.

After lunch, we embark on the last section of the Great Ocean Walk, which although quite short, presents us with tantalising glimpses of the Twelve Apostles as we approach the walk end viewing platform near Gibson Steps. Tide permitting we can descend the stone staircase down the cliff face. You will be at the water’s edge the crashing surf at your feet and towering cliffs behind you as you walk along the beach. This is a unique view of the amazing rock platforms of Gog and Magog from the beach at Gibson Steps.

Meals: B L D

Day 7: Early morning at 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge. Drive to Melbourne

We will return to the 12 Apostles and enjoy a quiet morning here and at the wonderful Loch Ard gorge without the crowds. For those who are keen there is also the option for a helicopter ride over the 12 Apostles coastline to finish your trip ( optional extra)

There are also some wonderful headland walks to explore around the cove at Port Campbell so you will have a wonderfully relaxed finish to your Great Ocean Walk experience. We commence our journey back to Melbourne after lunch and arriving in Melbourne around 4pm.

Meals: B

IMPORTANT NOTE: All daily distances are approximate and itinerary is subject to change. RAW Travel reserves the right to make necessary itinerary changes based on local conditions, group safety, extreme weather or unforeseen difficulties with local suppliers due to COVID-19 effects.

Dates

From May 8th to October 1st 2020 our special offer of $1 deposit applies to new bookings made in this period for website trips*. $1 is all you will pay in 2020 for trips departing in 2021.

From January 1st 2021 we will invoice you the remainder of the standard deposit ($499*) and the remaining balance payment at the standard 2 months before departure. All your arrangements will be fully confirmed then, as per usual. The $1 deposit offer does not apply to private groups or significant tailormade trip requests, please speak to one of our consultants if you have any questions.

If Government restrictions don’t allow for any travel in your chosen destination at that time (when the balance is due at 60 days prior to departure) then we will either postpone your trip or allow you to transfer to another destination and trip that has availability instead.

*Note - the standard deposit for Peru Lodge trips is $1000.

Start date
03 Sep 2020
End date
09 Sep 2020
Price
$2450
Availability
Available
Start date
17 Oct 2020
End date
23 Oct 2020
Price
$2450
Availability
Available
Start date
07 Nov 2020
End date
13 Nov 2020
Price
$2450
Availability
Available
Start date
07 Mar 2021
End date
13 Mar 2021
Price
$2450
Availability
Available

Inclusions

  • 3 nights in twin share accommodation in Apollo Bay
  • 2 nights in twin share accommodation in Moonlight Head/ Glenaire
  • 1 night twin share accommodation in Port Campbell with private ensuite
  • Most meals (excluding dinner on Day 2 and lunch and dinner on Day 7)
  • All transfers while on tour and return transport from Melbourne
  • Refreshment stops during walks
  • Experienced hiking guide
  • ‘Walk and talks’ by local ship wreck historian and Indigenous guide
  • Driver & support vehicle for duration of tour
  • National Park fees
  • RAW Travel carbon offset for your trip and an Australian tree planted on your behalf

Not Included

  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not listed above
  • Single supplement$395 2019, $445 2020 (limited single rooms available and conditions apply)

Map & Guide

Reviews

Debbie McKay, Toowoomba (QLD) – March 2019
Seven enthusiastic and friendly walkers with two knowledgeable, wise and fun guides (Eric and Katie) in the midst of amazing scenery, fauna and flora across 6 days and 100+ km (Apollo Bay to the 12 Apostles) – the recipe for a wonderful and memorable walk. The tracks are well formed and user-friendly. Photo opportunities at every turn. Helpful that the accommodation was comfortable (including Bimbi Park where you really do get to see koalas up close in the wild) and food excellent. If a bit of ‘creature comfort’ at the end of a long day of intermediate walking appeals, you’ll love this walk with RAW Travel.

Kenneth Blake, South Yarra (VIC) – April 2019
RAW Travel has again delivered an experience beyond my expectations. Friendly guides. Well organised and managed. Great food and accommodation. I’m looking forward to more walking adventures with RAW.

Nadia Baker, Hunters Hill (NSW) – October 2018
An extremely well-organised trek to a beautiful part of our country. Everything was laid on and so well planned. All we had to think about was walking! The guide (Eric) and support crew (Lee) were very experienced, helpful and very funny which added to the ambience of an already amazing group of travelling partners. Just a fabulous trip. Cannot speak more highly of RAW. Thank you.

Robyn Gallagher, Macgregor (ACT) – October 2017
We had five strong women on this trip and the two RAW lads dealt with us with great patience and good humour. The accommodation at Bimbi Park was fantastic. This was probably the best coastal walk I have done.

Janet Anderson, ACT – May 2017
The whole experience was great. We were well looked after by the RAW Travel team of Eric, Warren and Lee. The walk and the weather were challenging at times. It was good having a small group and we all got on very well. I would thoroughly recommend this guided walk to anyone who loves walking. What a beautiful part of Australia, so lucky to have walked it.

Gerald Vassallo, Canberra – March 2017
On my first ever long walk I was guided and supported by Eric and Lee from RAW Travel who made it into such an interesting and achievable walk. We were well looked after both physically and for catering. No request was too trivial or demanding to be considered. I didn’t want the walk to finish and am looking forward to my next walk with RAW Travel in Japan later this year. Very impressed.

Matthew Meredith, Gold Coast – March 2017
Just completed a 110km hike along the Great Ocean Road with Eric from RAW Travel. Highly recommend both the route and the itinerary. Both Eric and Lee from RAW Travel provided expertise beyond our expectations. Excellent historic and cultural insights provided by local speakers Mark and Richard. A must-do trip for all travellers seeking a little adventure.

Bronwyn Kosman, ACT – March 2017
We loved the fabulous scenery, the trees, the beaches, the birds and, in our case, the perfect weather! All complemented by super tasty food and wonderful hosts, especially Robyn and Deco.

Janice Baker, Perth – October 2016
Very comfortable and safe way to complete the Great Ocean Walk. No big packs to lug around! The Great Ocean Walk is a beautiful experience. I felt challenged by parts of the walk and felt good about my result – grateful that I trained prior!

Alison Millar Price, WA – October 2016
This was the second time I’ve used RAW Travel and it won’t be the last! I have found the organisation of my trips, the promptness to respond to enquiries, communication, care and attention to detail impeccable. I have recommended RAW Travel to friends who have taken up the suggestion, and would have no hesitation in recommending them again and again. They must daeal with hundreds of people at any one time, but they have the skill to make you feel as if you are their most important client at the time you are communicating with them. This makes one feel special and important. They bend over backwards to fit in with what you want and have fantastic advice when needed.

Michael Young, Perth – October 2016
The Great Ocean Walk was a unique opportunity to experience nature at its best along this ancient coastline. In addition to the magic flora and fauna were the stories and relics of shipwrecks and Indigenous culture. Accomodation at Bimbi Park was very comfortable and the food tasty and healthy. The Loch Ard in Pt Stephens was also very comfortable. Our guide Eric was fantastic: his skills and experience along with his easy going demeanour made him popular with the whole group. Our driver, Darren, on his first trip on the Great Ocean Walk, was excellent with his passion for nature and photography a nice extra.

Margaret Ryan, NSW – October 2016
The scenery and wildlife were spectacular and we were well supported in every way for our sometimes quite challenging 7 day walk. I felt we didn’t miss a thing due to our passionate and very experienced guide from RAW Travel. Eric, many thanks for showing us the best of everything this walk has to offer. Thanks for the informative talks and showing us the most scenic lookouts and beaches. Your organisation was exceptional with great food, enjoyable activities on our ‘day off’ and our great accommodation at Bimbi Park and Port Campbell. Frank’s (at Bimbi Park) cooking was another highlight. Thank you too to Darren who contributed so much more to the walk than just driving the van. What a terrific photographer who was happy to share many photographic tips as well as taking lots of amazing photos during the trip. Eric and Darren and our 7 other adventurers made the trip lots of fun.

Lile, NSW – November 2015
The RAW Travel Great Ocean Walk End to End was one of the best walking experiences I’ve had!

Kathy Austin, NSW – October 2014
Fabulous scenery, good accommodation, great food, great group of people, well organised, a once in a life time experience.

What our Clients Say

Wise and fun guides. Amazing scenery, fauna and flora. The tracks are well formed and user-friendly. Photo opportunities at every turn.

Debbie McKay, QLD – March 2019

RAW Travel has again delivered an experience beyond my expectations. Friendly guides. Well organised and managed. Great food and accommodation. I'm looking forward to more walking adventures with RAW.

Kenneth Blake, VIC – April 2019

An extremely well-organised trek to a beautiful part of our country. All we had to think about was walking! The guide and crew were very experienced and helpful. Cannot speak more highly of RAW!

Nadia Baker, Hunters Hill (NSW) – October 2018

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Trip Expert

Stuart Holland

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Trip Grading

This trip is rated as Moderate