The Guided Highlights Trip
Take in the highlights of the Great Ocean Walk on this 4-day walking adventure through one of Victoria’s most spectacular regions. The Great Ocean Walk takes in the breathtaking coastal scenery from the Cape Otway Light Station, Johanna Beach, Moonlight Head and the Gibson Steps all the way to the Twelve 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.
In the company of a small group and led by an experienced hiking guide, you’ll discover magical coastal landscapes, pristine forest and exquisite natural beauty.
You’ll learn about Indigenous culture and shipwreck history with expert local guides. Staying at comfortable lodgings each night with great food to enjoy, this trip makes an excellent short getaway.
Get ready for
- Explore some of the best trails of the Great Ocean Walk
- Learn about Indigenous culture as you take a walk with a local elder
- Explore koala habitat and forests, rugged capes, and the Twelve Apostles
- Great base accommodation in Apollo Bay and Port Campbell
- Discover the maritime history of the area at Cape Otway Light Station
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.
An early morning 7.15am pick up from the Melbourne Arts Centre on St Kilda Road today. We will drive through Anglesea and Lorne and follow the spectacular Great Ocean Road to Apollo Bay before our lunch spot at Blanket Bay looking out over the ocean.
Our first walking section then starts from Blanket Bay. The track 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. Leaving Parker Inlet we walk around the foreshore and along the beach (tide permitting) to see some of the shipwreck relics in this area. Today we are joined by an indigenous guide for an interpretive walk from Parker Inlet.
We continue walking in open terrain along the coast to the Cape Otway Light Station via Crayfish Bay with an option for a pleasant swim or dip in the ocean.
Accommodation: Apollo Bay
Meals: L, D
After breakfast we explore the grounds of the Light Station including the light tower. We gain an insight into the Light Station’s history and hear some fascinating stories that make the Cape and Otway Ranges unique. Built in 1848, it was Australia’s oldest continuously operating lighthouse and marks the entrance to Bass Strait.
After a short drive to the Aire River we start a spectacular day of walking beneath the soaring cliffs towards Castle Cove located on a sweeping 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 near here.
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 by walking along this beautiful beach which must rate as one of the best in Australia for its views and crashing surf.
Accommodation: Apollo Bay
Meals: B, L, D
Descending to the trail which traverses along the high sea cliffs to Ryan’s Den with breathtaking distance views way back to Cape Otway and forwards to Cape Volney.
Continue through coastal forests and undulating headlands. This section has a few short climbs that lead us to the evocatively named Moonlight Head with more breathtaking views to Cape Otway and a well-deserved lunch stop. Groups in September may be lucky enough to see one of the departing Southern Right Whales that frequent this coast in the winter months.
We may visit the Gables Lookout perched on one of the highest sea cliffs in mainland Australia if time permits.
This afternoon we visit the iconic Wreck Beach. Walking along the high forest track through the Devil’s Kitchen before descending onto Wreck Beach. Exploring the amazing rock formations and pools while hearing stories of the shipwrecks is a unique opportunity.
Accommodation: Port Campbell
Meals: B, L, D
Our final day on the Great Ocean Walk! We start our walk above the wetlands around Princetown which supports a wide variety of birdlife. We’ll walk through to the Gellibrand River Estuary before embarking on our final leg of this journey into Port Campbell National Park where the world-famous Twelve Apostles come into view. Tides permitting, we will descend Gibsons Steps to view two of the Apostles from sea level. From here we will transfer to the Twelve Apostles Visitor Centre before heading to the spectacular Loch Ard Gorge and then into the quaint seaside town of Port Campbell for lunch (own expense). We’ll drive back to Melbourne after lunch, arrival time approximately 5pm.
Tucked away in the foothills of the incredible Otways, this popular and picturesque coastal town is the gateway to Victoria’s stunning Great Ocean Walk. With bohemian vibes, lively pubs, great beaches and arts & crafts stores it is a lovely place to explore.
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The secluded and postcard-worthy Parker Inlet on the Great Ocean Walk offers amazing geology and wildlife. Two lookouts along the way provide wonderful views into the estuary and over the ocean.
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.
Aire River is a beautiful estuary, surrounded by wetlands with an array of birdlife making its home here. At the Aire River Lookout there are great views down to the estuary where the Aire River meets the Southern Ocean and Glenaire Beach.
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.
Secluded, rugged and hidden, Milanesia Beach is a 2km stretch of beautiful white sand that receives very few visitors. It makes an excellent spot for a picnic lunch.
From Ryans Den the track continues through coastal forests that lead over Cape Volney to the evocatively named Moonlight Head, a treasure of the Great Ocean Walk. Moonlight Head is believed to be the headland seen by Matthew Flinders on his circumnavigation of Australia on 20 April 1802. A shell midden in a rock shelter in the area indicates First Nations Peoples had been using the shelter a thousand years ago.
The challenging descent (more than 350 steps) to Wreck Beach brings you to the anchors of the shipwrecks Marie Gabrielle and Fiji, embedded in the reef and visible at low tide. These are a highlight of the Great Ocean Walk and a haunting reminder of the treacherous nature of the sea. Watch out for large waves!
This world-famous collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park rise up majestically from the Southern Ocean. They mark 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.
- 3 nights’ accommodation on a twin share basis in ensuite accommodation
- 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners (a surcharge may apply for complex dietary requirements)
- Experienced hiking guides
- Driver and support vehicle for the duration of the trip
- All transfers while on tour and return transport from Melbourne CBD
- Interpretive walk by local Indigenous guide
- Cape Otway Light Station entrance fee
- 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
- Surcharge for complex dietary requirements (may apply)
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.
I’m very glad I did the walk although I found it quite challenging. Fred was an exceptional guide whose knowledge was amazing and he was very friendly and attentive to everyone on the tour. He and Lee made an excellent team. The scenery along the Great Ocean Walk is amazing and we were very fortunate to have perfect weather. I could not fault any aspect of this trip.
Lyndal Johnston, Eastwood (NSW) – October 2023
Amazing experience. Attention to detail was excellent. Chi Medicinal Farm & Guesthouse was above and beyond expectations, and Shane and Jody were exceptional hosts.
Ruth Mackay, Mount Lofty (QLD) – October 2023
Fantastic trip, well organised, great accommodation. Lee and Fred were friendly, experienced hikers, and very knowledgeable. I felt confident with RAW Travel – easy to contact and friendly helpful staff.
Desrae Gant, Gleneagle (QLD) – October 2023
The walks each day were great – magical views! The food at the local cafes was fabulous. Our guides Lee and Darren was so helpful and knowledgeable.
Rhonda Underwood, Yatala (QLD) - May 2023
The experience was excellent from start to finish. A very well-run trip with an excellent tour guide (Lee) and driver (Darren).
Sue Ducret, Shailer Park (QLD) - May 2023
Eric and Lee were excellent guides with great local knowledge. They worked hard to accommodate our group and make our trek the best it could be. Each day offered new vistas of Victoria’s beautiful coastline and we loved seeing koalas in the wild. Cape Otway Lighthouse was also a highlight.
Julianne Horsnell, Lisarow (NSW) - March 2023
It was nice to get away and just walk and have the other stuff sorted. The support staff were excellent and the food choices were plentiful. The walk is outstanding – around each cove was different terrain, a different landscape, and the vegetation was just amazing. Thank you!
Kevin Margach, Canberra (ACT) - March 2023
My walk with RAW Travel was amazing and exceeded my expectations! The group size was great, the food was high quality and plentiful (and they were flexible with fussy eaters). The scenery and weather helped make it extra special. The trip was undertaken to celebrate a friend’s 50th birthday and RAW went out of their way to assist with this celebration. David and Lee were fantastic guides.
Robyn Gallagher, Ormond (VIC) - April 2021
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 Self-Guided Highlights Trip – Great Ocean Walk
- Personalised locally based service
- Different accommodations booked along the route
- Briefing from our knowledgeable local driver
- Walk over half of the Great Ocean Walk
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The End to End Self-Guided Trip – Great Ocean Walk
- Walk the full length of the Great Ocean Walk
- Entry to the Cape Otway Lightstation
- Emergency satellite messenger beacon
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- Taste the Peninsula’s many food offerings each day
- Explore the very best of the Mornington Peninsula’s varied trails
- Walk sections of the clifftop between Flinders and Cape Schanck
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Grampians Peaks Trail 5 day highlights: Guided
- 5-day guided highlights of the Grampians Peaks Trail
- Walk Northern, Central and Southern sections and peaks
- Stay in central location accommodation in Halls Gap
- Walk waterfall trails and mountain peaks
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