Location

Departs Frankston

Difficulty

3

Length

3

Trip Cost

$100
twin share

Overview

Join this walking challenge and help raise valuable funds for Peninsula Home Hospice and get to walk one of the most spectacular stretches of coastline in Australia. Pay AUD100 and commit to raise a minimum of AUD2000 to join this stunning walk.

Speeding along a windy road with the occasional nervous sideways glance isn’t the only way of seeing the world’s most spectacular coastline. If you were impressed by the Great Ocean Road, wait until you set both feet on the Great Ocean Walk!

Beginning at Apollo Bay, this walk traverses through the rainforests of the Great Otway National Park to the majestic Twelve Apostles. On the way you’ll see kangaroos, koalas and other wildlife, wild deserted beaches, waterfalls plunging gracefully to the Southern Ocean, a historical lighthouse and remains of several shipwrecks.

We have chosen what we consider the best sections of the track to showcase the wonderfully diverse scenery and habitats. We’ll show you a walk of real contrasts from the secluded Parker River Inlet to the wild Station Beach and the magnificent sea cliffs at remote Milanesia. The walk progresses from ‘mild’ to ‘wild’ walking as we head further west towards The Twelve Apostles.

The beauty of the Great Ocean Walk is that the scenery and habitats change each day so there is a real variety of experiences. At times you’ll be walking through river estuaries, other times following a path through grass tree forests or a cliff top walk. There are several beach walks including the remote Wreck Beach, where tides and times permit! We call in at the end of the trip to The Twelve Apostles before returning to Frankston.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Transfer from Frankston, Trek Blanket Bay to Parker Inlet/Cape Otway (11km)

Your day starts with a 6-6.30am pick up in Frankston. We drive to the very start of the Great Ocean Road near Bells Beach. This is the world renowned road route that all travellers come to see (3 hours drive with a stop for coffee near the coastal town of Lorne). The Great Ocean Walk starts at Apollo Bay and explores what cannot be seen by vehicle. We will stop briefly at Apollo Bay to pick up last-minute supplies.

Our beachside lunch stop and the start of our walk is a beautiful location at Blanket Bay. The track on our first walking section meanders along the cliff tops and through coastal forests to the quiet haven of Parker Inlet. Expect to see black wallabies, echidnas, black cockatoos and rosellas along our route. At Parker Inlet we meet our Shipwreck Historian who will point out some of the unique features of the Cape and illuminate us on the human and natural history of the area. We’ll slow the pace right down as we get to hear some fascinating stories and are shown various natural features that make the Cape and Otway Ranges unique. Leaving Parker Inlet, we walk around the foreshore and along the beach (tide permitting) to see some of the shipwreck relics in this area.

We continue walking along the coast to Crayfish Bay and then up on top of the sea cliffs and dunes through open terrain to the Cape Otway Lightstation. Built in 1848, it is Australia’s oldest continuously operating lighthouse and marks the entrance to Bass Strait. We will then be transferred by minibus to our accommodation at the edge of the Great Otway National Park. We stay in cabins surrounded by Manna gum forest and you’ll have frequent sightings of koalas, kookaburras and other native wildlife.

Meals: L D

Day 2: Trek Cape Otway to Aire River & Castle Cove to Johanna Beach (22.5km)

After a hearty breakfast we will have an early start as we have a good day’s walk ahead of us along the magnificent stretch of coast from Cape Otway to Johanna Beach. Our walk starts from the Lighthouse entrance 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.

After stopping for lunch at Aire River we head inland for a while, climbing up and around the next headland through spinifex forests before we get to our next break at Castle Cove located on a spectacular bend of the Great Ocean Road at Glenaire, Castle Cove is a beautiful beach surrounded by towering cliffs which have high archaeological significance, as dinosaur fossils have been found here recently.

Continuing on from 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. We finish the day’s walking along this beautiful beach which must rate as one of the best in Australia for its views and crashing surf.

We transfer back to our accommodation and have some time to freshen up and relax prior to dinner.

Meals: B L D

Day 3: Trek Wreck Beach to The Twelve Apostles (19km), Transfer to Frankston

Our final day on the Great Ocean Walk! 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 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. Time 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. This is a unique view of the amazing rock platforms of Gog and Magog from the beach at Gibson Steps.

After a brief stop at The Twelve Apostles Visitor Centre, we commence our journey back to Frankston, stopping for dinner (not included) en route at Colac arriving late evening.

Meals: B L

Dates

Pay AUD100 and commit to raise a minimum of AUD2000 to join this stunning walk.

Start date
23 Mar 2018
End date
25 Mar 2018
Price
$100
Availability
Available

Inclusions

  • Experienced RAW Travel leader
  • 2 nights quad share deluxe cabin accommodation
  • Meals (2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners)
  • All transfers and return transport from/to Frankston
  • Refreshment stops during walk
  • Driver and support vehicle

Not Included

  • Flights to/from Melbourne
  • Travel Insurance
  • Dinner on the journey back to Frankston
  • Spending money and any additional activities undertaken

Map & Guide

Reviews

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