End to End Guided Trip
Experience one of Australia’s most stunning sections of coastline on a full week hike while enjoying great accommodation, specialist talks with locals, incredible food and the company of new friends.
Each day is stunning 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 popular coastal town is the gateway to Victoria’s stunning Great Ocean Walk. Get ready for a walk of ever-changing landscapes, from giant rainforests and deserted wild beaches to rocky cliffs and coastal heathlands.
This is the southern tip of Victoria’s western coast, where the Southern Ocean collides with Bass Strait. To get here you’ll need to walk through the magical towering forests of mountain ash that characterise the Great Otway National Park. Perched on towering sea cliffs, the Cape Otway Lightstation is Australia’s oldest and most important lighthouse.
After walking along the cliff tops through heathland and forests you’ll emerge onto the broad expanse of beautiful Johanna Beach – one of Australia’s best beaches for views and surf. The walk from here to Ryan’s Den is one of the wildest and most challenging sections of the Great Ocean Walk.
The challenging descent to Wreck Beach brings you to the anchors of the shipwrecks Marie Gabrielle (1870) and Fiji (1890), embedded in the reef and visible at low tide. These are a real highlight of the Great Ocean Walk. Watch out for large waves!
This famous collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park is the end of the wild and wonderful Great Ocean Walk. Descend the stone staircase of the Gibson Steps for unique views of Gog and Magog.
Get Ready For
- Fully cooked breakfast provided every morning
- Be led by our experienced guide and driver
- Comfortable well-appointed accommodation
- Fascinating insights; history, culture, landscape
- Exclusive talks by our shipwreck historian & a local Indigenous Elder
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 specialist. 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.
On the trail
A winding track which follows the contours around the coastal headlands. You will walk down to isolated beaches and across soft sand and then walk up the other side over steps. A well-marked track that has been constructed and managed with your safety in mind. Walk through forested areas where the track is firm under foot, while others can be muddy depending on weather conditions. The track progresses from ‘mild to wild’ as you draw further to cliffs of the western section and more climbing on the latter sections of headlands. Expect to walk between 4 and 8 hours a day with regular stops to take in the natural beauty, and for snacks and lunch.
Your day starts with a 7:15-7:30am pick up from the Melbourne Arts Centre, St Kilda Road in Melbourne. We drive to Apollo Bay where you will stay for the next two 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. On the way home, time permitting, we will call into Maits Rest, a pocket of spectacular old-growth temperate rainforest that is home to giant Mountain Ash trees and groves of fern trees amongst other attractions. We enjoy a circuit walk through this beautiful forest,
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
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
After a hearty local breakfast we return to Parker inlet, 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.
This evening we move to our next accommodation located at Moonlight Heads/Glenaire for the next 2 nights.
Meals: B L D
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 day’s walk at the start of the Milanesia Track (3 Ways).
NOTE: Recent severe weather has resulted in the closure of a section of the Great Ocean Walk between Johanna beach and Ryan’s Den due to a landslip and fallen trees. (This does not affect the majority of the track, almost 90% is still open for walkers.) We will accordingly adapt the itinerary on this day and finish our walk at Johanna Beach. An estimated re-open date has not yet been given by Parks Victoria.
Meals: B L D
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.
NOTE: Recent severe weather has resulted in the closure of a section of the Great Ocean Walk between Johanna beach and Ryan’s Den due to a landslip and fallen trees. (This does not affect the majority of the track, almost 90% is still open for walkers.) We will accordingly adapt the itinerary on this day and focus on the section from Ryan’s Den to Wreck beach. An estimated re-open date has not yet been given by Parks Victoria.
Meals: B L D
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
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.
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.
- 2 nights in twin share accommodation in Apollo Bay
- 2 nights in twin share accommodation in Moonlight Head/ Glenaire
- 2 nights 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 talk’ with Lighthouse historian at Cape Otway Lightstation
- ‘Walk and talk’ with Indigenous elder at Johanna beach
- 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
- Travel insurance
- Meals not listed above
- Single supplement – please enquire, limited single rooms available
Private group tour
With friends and family
This trip can be run as your own private tour! Get a group of friends or family together and share a memorable pack-free adventure. Private tours are the perfect way to celebrate special events and special people. And they are so much fun! Contact us to get started. It’s that’s easy.
Discover Australia’s best coastal walk! Our comprehensive destination guide is bursting with inspiration, travel essentials, practical advice and more to help you prepare for a memorable journey along this breathtaking trail.
Great Ocean Walk
The Guided Highlights Trip – Great Ocean Walk
- Embark on some of the best trails of the Great Ocean Walk
- Conveniently located accommodation in Apollo Bay and Port Campbell
- Learn about indigenous culture as you take a walk with a local elder
- Discover the maritime history of the area with a resident shipwreck historian
Great Ocean Walk
Great South West Walk – Guided
- Discover wild dramatic coastlines and white secluded beaches
- Stroll along the limestone Gorges of the Glenelg river
- Immerse yourself in 6,600 year-old UNESCO World Heritage listed Budj Bim
- Spot Australian and New Zealand fur seals at Cape Bridgewater
- Exclusive historical & cultural talks and visits
Food, Wine and Walking – Mornington Peninsula
- Walk some of the best trails, accompanied by taste sensations
- Feast on lunches featuring fresh and local cuisine
- Learn about wine production at one of the best vineyards
- Local food producers, behind-the-scenes on a farm, vineyard and olive grove
‘The Aussie Camino’
- Capture the essence of the Camino de Santiago
- Learn about the life of Mary MacKillop
- Walk with like-minded people in this centuries-old tradition
- Stunning beauty and diversity of Australia’s landscapes
TRIP date selection
when would you like to travel?
Please select your preferred dates for on-demand trips or select a scheduled date for group departures. If you have booked a self-guided trip please understand that because your trip date is on demand and we must check availability of all properties on your chosen dates before it can be fully confirmed