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7-day Great Ocean Walk

Park Trek Walking Holidays - 7 days

  • 7-day Great Ocean Walk
  • 7 days / 6 nights
  • Max. group: 10 Persons
  • Difficulty: Medium
Overview
Route
What's Included
Accommodation
Meals
FAQ
Packing List
Safety
Park Trek Walking Holidays
How to Book

Overview

> Do the full Great Ocean Walk
> Walk through the towering forests of Mountain Ash in the Great Otway National Park
> Visit Australia’s oldest continuously operating lighthouse

Take up the challenge to complete one of Australia’s great journeys – The Great Ocean Walk. The seven-day end to end trip traverses the entire 105km coastal trail that winds its way from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles. Spot koalas and echidnas and stay at the iconic Cape Otway Lightstation. It will be an experience you will not forget.

Route

What's the plan?

Day 1: Apollo Bay to Shelly Beach, 8.75 km (walking 3 hours) – moderate grade

The walk officially starts by the Visitor Centre in Apollo Bay and you will travel the entire 105 km journey of the Great Ocean Walk. The trail winds out through the town to the beach-side suburb of Marengo, named by a passing French explorer. Marengo is home to a colony of Australian Fur Seals who hang out on rocks in the bay.

At several points along The Great Ocean Walk we have the choice of walking along the beaches or rock platforms at low tide or following the inland trail. Due to the unpredictable nature of the tides our guides will make a decision which is the safest route for the day.

Continuing onwards the countryside becomes more rural farmland. The trail continues up a small hill with a stile to climb over a fence. There are good views along the coast looking south-west towards Cape Otway and north-east over the ranges surrounding Apollo Bay. There is a conveniently placed rest bench, followed by a steep descent past The Blowhole. We descend down to a beach where we typically rest before heading into a small section of delightful Otway rainforest. The area after Three Creeks Beach can get a bit boggy after rain so be prepared with appropriate footwear.

The trail enters low forest initially, and then starts to climb into the higher forests of the Great Otway National Park just above Shelly Beach. There is a junction on the trail which leads left down to Shelly Beach or right to the car park at Shelly Beach picnic area.

Accommodation: Cape Otway Lighthouse / Bimbi Park
Meals: lunch and dinner.

Day 2: Shelly Beach to Parker Inlet, 20.5km (6-7hrs walking) - moderate grade

The first section of today’s walk leads 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.

The trail rejoins the coast at Blanket Bay, an isolated stretch of coast that was one of the original ports for unloading supplies for the Cape Otway Lightstation. Blanket Bay is one of the few safe swimming locations along the walk.

The track then meanders along the cliff tops and through coastal forests to the quiet haven of Parker Inlet. Expect to see black wallaby, echidna, black cockatoo, rosella and other wildlife along the way.

Accommodation: Cape Otway Lightstation / Bimbi Park
Meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 3: Parker Inlet to Aire River, 16.5km (4.5-5.5hrs walking) - Moderate grade

At Parker Inlet, you can walk along the water’s edge following rock shelves and beaches around Point Franklin or take the inland route. A worthwhile side trip is the short walk to idyllic Crayfish Bay, another safe swimming location. The trail then heads inland through manna gums to the Cape Otway Lightstation, which is Australia’s oldest continuously operating lighthouse. You are sure to see koalas along this section. We will take some time out to explore this fabulous historical precinct.

The walk from the lighthouse to Aire River winds its way through wind-sculpted landscapes of sand dunes, coastal scrub-land and magnificent calcified cliffs. At the Aire River Lookout there are great views down to the estuary where the Aire River meets the Southern Ocean and Glenaire Beach. The wetlands look quite spectacular from this vantage point and it is a nice steady downhill walk from to the Aire River Bridge which crosses the river to the picnic and campsite areas.

Accommodation: Cape Otway Lightstation / Bimbi Park
Meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 4: Aire River to Johanna Beach, 14km (5-6hrs walking) - Moderate grade

From Aire River, the track heads inland for a while, climbing up and around the next headland through tea-tree forests, and then continues along the coastal path with sweeping views of the rugged coastline. Expect some ups and downs with a little climbing before you get to 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.

From Castle Cove the track winds its way along the cliff tops, through heath-lands and forests, occasionally emerging to give breathtaking and extensive views along the coast. The forest here is an interesting mixture of manna gums, spring wildflowers and magnificent expanses of grass trees. Make sure you keep an eye out above for Peregrine Falcons. Eventually, you will emerge onto the broad expanse of Johanna Beach. This beautiful beach is one of the best in Australia with superb views and enormous crashing surf.

Accommodation: Cape Otway Lightstation / Bimbi Park
Meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 5: Johanna Beach to Moonlight Head, 12km moderate/hard, 8km hard grade

The walk from Johanna Beach to Ryan’s Den is the wildest and most challenging section of the entire track. From Johanna Beach the track rises through rolling hills and farmland as it cuts inland before returning to the coast and one of the walk’s highlights: Milanesia Beach.

Expect to see Eastern Grey Kangaroo in the grassy valleys out from Johanna Beach.

Isolated, rugged and hidden, Milanesia Beach receives few visitors and is all the more special for it. Look for the “beachcomber’s cottage” when you reach the beach. From here the trail continues along the high sea cliffs to Ryans Den with breathtaking views all the way back to Cape Otway, and west to Cape Volley.

Accommodation: Loch Ard Motor Inn or Southern Ocean Villas in Port Campbell

Day 6: Moonlight Head to Devils Kitchen and onto Princetown, 17 km (6.5 - 7 hrs walking) - Moderate grade

After Moonlight Head the track dips down into a valley and follows a newly cut section of track which will lead to The Gables Lookout, perched on one of the highest sea cliffs in mainland Australia.

Continuing along the track through a grove of casuarina trees you will come out near Wreck Beach where at low tide you can descend and see the anchors of two of the many shipwrecks that lie submerged along this coast (The Fiji and the Marie Gabrielle). From Devils Kitchen, you will follow a new section of track that hugs the wild coastal cliffs towards Princetown where our days walking concludes.

This evening we will dine at a local hotel (dinner at guest own expense).

Accommodation: Loch Ard Motor Inn or Southern Ocean Villas in Port Campbell
Meals: breakfast & lunch (dinner at guest own expense)

Day 7: Princetown to Gibson’s Steps / Twelve Apostles, 8.5 km (2.5 - 3 hrs walking) - Moderate grade

Our walk starts above the wetlands around Princetown which support a wide variety of birdlife. We’ll walk down through the Gellibrand River Estuary and reconnect with the Great Ocean Walk on a new track section. This section replaces 1.5km of road walking with about 2km of pleasant walking through the coastal scrub and escarpment. We are now on the home stretch into Port Campbell National Park and the world-famous Twelve Apostles soon come into sight.

The Great Ocean Walk now finishes at Twelve Apostles car park, and we recommend, tides allowing, you descend Gibson’s Steps to view Gog and Magog (not strictly counted as two of The Twelve Apostles) up close from sea level. The last few kilometers can be walked to reach The Twelve Apostles Visitor Centre where you can celebrate your achievements and view The Twelve Apostles up close.

We’ll then head back into Port Campbell where walkers can buy their lunch, have a coffee before we departing back to Melbourne. Our arrival time in the CBD outside the National Gallery of Victoria (same location as pick up) is approximately 5 pm. 

Meals: breakfast (lunch at guest own expense)

What's Included

Included:

√ Transport
Transport which includes collecting from Melbourne and returning back is included. We use a comfortable 12-seater mini coach with a trailer attached for luggage. Plus, we use the coach to drop off and pick up during the course of the day.

√ Guides
Our Park Trek guides will drive, cook and care for you. You will enjoy guided walks each day with experienced and mature guides.

√ Meals
This trek includes 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 5 dinners, all freshly prepared using local produce where possible. The meals consist of two-course dinners, lunches, continental breakfasts, fresh fruit, trail mix, tea/coffee, and other non-alcoholic beverages.

√ Accommodation
During this 7-day trek, you will spend 6 night’s accommodation on a twin share basis at Cape Otway Lighthouse / Bimbi Park & Loch Ard Motor Inn in Port Campbell. Single supplement available at extra cost.

√ Park tickets
All national park entry fees are covered.

Excluded:

× Flights
The total amount excludes flights to and from Australia.

× Accommodation before and after the trek
Before and after the trek you have to take care of your own accommodation.

× Personal expenses
All personal expenses such as drinks at the bar, washing and other similar expenses are for your own account.

× Travel Insurance Including Repatriation
Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. It is important that your travel insurance also covers trekking trips. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before you travel to Australia.

× Tipping
Tips for guides and porters are exclusive. You decide what you want to tip, but be generous.

Accommodation

Accommodation

During this 7-day trek, you will spend 6 night’s accommodation on a twin share basis at Cape Otway Lighthouse / Bimbi Park & Loch Ard Motor Inn in Port Campbell. 

Cape Otway Lightstation Cottages
These historic houses are located in one of the most spectacular settings found along the Great Ocean Road. Cape Otway Lighthouse is the oldest surviving lighthouse  in mainland Australia and considered the most significant. Built in 1848, the lighthouse known as the ‘Beacon of ope’ sits 90 metres above the pristine ocean of Bass Strait.
Fully self-contained, this renovated property with open plan lounge and large kitchen provides a great place for groups to enjoy this unique location. The Lighthouse Lodge houses 4 bedrooms and 2 shared bathrooms. You can choose a single supplement if you would prefer not to share a room, this means you would have one room to yourself in the Lodge and would be sharing the bathroom with one or two other guests. Hairdryers are unable to be used at the Light station as they require excessive electricity to operate. There is an emergency landline onsite, and Park Trek always carry a Satellite phone in case of emergencies. There is no WIFI and limited phone service at the Lightstation, a digital detox is something we promote on our Great Ocean Walk.

Bimbi Park
Bimbi Park is in Cape Otway, the centre of the Great Ocean Road and the Great Ocean Walk, an area of magnificent forests, beaches, secluded bays and spectacular coastline. It is sheltered among tall manna gums far away from the wearing noise of towns and traffic. The grounds of the park are full of wild life including koalas, echidnas, wallabies, kangaroos and up to 70 variety of birds. We stay in comfortable deluxe cabin style accommodation where all linen is supplied.

Loch Ard Motor Inn
The Loch Ard Motor Inn is a stylish modern motel set in beautiful gardens with absolute beach front position. Each queen or twin-share suite has stunning ocean views and private balconies, air-conditioning, private bathroom, kitchenette and WIFI broadband to each room. Located only 50 metres from a safe swimming beach, restaurants, shops, cafes and the breathtaking 12 apostles are only 10 minutes away.

Single Supplement for the 6 nights accommodation: USD 268,- /EUR 242,- per person

Meals

Meals

The food we serve is healthy, hearty and home style. Our menus are designed to showcase the fabulous regional produce. Fresh local cheese, yoghurt, fruit, vegetables, fish and meats are used, supporting local farmers and minimising our food miles. We don’t offer five-star dining, but our guides take pride in ensuring that all meals are delicious and plentiful, prepared with top-quality fresh seasonal ingredients. 

Breakfast: is a continental spread of cereals, stewed fruit, yoghurt, toast and spreads. Coffee and tea are always available at your base accommodation. 

Lunch: can vary from day to day, but includes meat, salad, bread and wraps. Some days might include something different like roasted chicken. 

Dinner: is a casual two-course meal of main and dessert prepared by your guides. The menu changes to suit available fresh produce but could include a classic roast lamb, salmon fillet or Thai chicken. Dessert may include things like maple baked apples, pears in red wine or seasonal fruit salad. 

Snacks: Guests can prepare their own trail mix each morning from our self-serve trail mix selection. There will be fresh fruit for the trail and biscuits or fruit cake for tea breaks. 

Pre-dinner antipasto: Each evening we prepare a selection of antipasto delights, dips, cheese and crackers before dinner. 

Dietary requirements: We are able to accommodate guests’ specific dietary requirements and can prepare meals to meet individual needs. 

Alcohol: Our tours do not include alcoholic beverages, however guests are most welcome to bring wine/beer along with them. If you are bringing bottled wine, please pack this well in your main bag to avoid breakages. There may also be an opportunity to visit a local bottle shop while on the tour. There are opportunities for guests to purchase alcohol in Apollo Bay on route.

FAQ

The Great Ocean Walk
The Great Ocean Walk is a walking trail on the south-west coast of Victoria, in Australia. During the walk, trekkers get to see several areas of historical and cultural significance, as well as cliff tops and sandy beaches.  This stunning path stretches 104 kilometers from Apollo Bay to Glenample Homestead, situated near The Twelve Apostles, a famous rock formation on the Victorian coast.

Best Season

Australia is such a huge country, that the best season to visit it depends on where you are going, and even so, it can get tricky. Victoria, in southern Australia, has quite a varied climate for being a small region. The best time to visit Victoria is during late spring, summer, and early autumn. October to April are great months to go trekking and watch wildlife. December to February, in Summer, are great if you are planning on doing a trek by the coast.

Do I need to carry all my gear with me on the walk?
You are only required to carry a day back pack with you on the walking trails. This should contain your lunch/snacks, plenty of water (bottled or in a water bladder), sunscreen/sunhat, light waterproof jacket, and a hat/beanie is a good idea if the weather is likely to be changeable.

Are Hiking Boots compulsory?
Although not compulsory, comfortable hiking boots are strongly encouraged on the hikes. Often the ground underfoot is rocky and uneven, and hiking boots make the walking a little easier. If you are going to purchase new boots specifically for the hike, we suggest you wear them in well before the walk begins.

Tipping
Tipping in Australia is not customary. Workers in tourism generally make a sufficient income and do not depend on gratuities left by tourists. However, it always depends on the situation: If you feel that the service was exceptional it's good etiquette to leave a tip.

Packing List

Packing List

Please bring your gear in a soft bag rather than hard suitcase to help guides pack the trailer. 

DAY PACK—recommend approx. 20 liters, with a load-bearing harness. 
As a walker, you will need to have your own day pack and water bladder and suitable hiking shoes/boots. Here is a suggested list of what walkers will need to be wearing and to have in their day pack: 

• rain jacket 
• a fleece jacket 
• wide-brimmed hat for sunny days 
• beanie or woolen hat for cold days 
• water bottle or drinking bladder, min 2 liter 
• high factor sunscreen 
• lip balm 
• blister pads and / or tape for rubbing and/or blisters 
• antiseptic hand gel 
• sunglasses 
• walking poles (optional) 
• gaiters (optional) 
• camera 
• binoculars 
• spare batteries for all devices/charger 

MAIN BAG 
Your main bag stays at Cape Otway Lighthouse for the duration of the trip. You only carry your light day pack while walking.

• 2 pairs long and/or short pants. Preferably loose-fitting, lightweight and quick drying 
• 2 x Long-sleeved shirts 
• 4 x T-shirts 
• fleece jacket/woolen sweater – something warm 
• rain jacket/ spray jacket 
• Swimmers/bathers and towel (optional)
• walking socks 
• if rain is expected, then having a set of thermal under garments can keep you warm in the face of blustery conditions 
• a woolen or fleece hat for cooler weather 
• lightweight, quick-drying towel 
• waterproof, reusable bag for worn clothing 
• comfortable shoes and clothing for evenings and activities 
• underwear 
• toiletries— shampoo/conditioner, body wash, deodorant, sanitary products, insect repellent, toothpaste etc

Safety

Safety

Safety is of the utmost importance to us. That is why this is an area in which we simply do not compromise when it comes to keeping the cost of our trekkings low. Our guides have been selected on the basis of their technical competence, proven safety performance, impeccable judgment, friendly attitude and ability to provide useful and expert instructions. They are also very professional and well trained in first aid and personal protection equipment.

Park Trek Walking Holidays

Park Trek Walking Holidays

Park Trek was founded in 2000 by Alan Fenner. As an ex Outward Bound Field Instructor and avid bushwalker, Alan brought together his love of the great outdoors and his enthusiasm for creating a social, safe and fun bush walking experience for others to enjoy.

Paul and Ingrid Huitema, took over the business in late 2014. They also share a love of travel and the great outdoors. Over the past 15 years, Park Trek has delivered hundreds of tours and gained a solid reputation for providing guests with spectacular scenery, thoughtfully planned itineraries, plenty of time to absorb and enjoy the natural world and a great social environment for like-minded travellers.

All tours are fully accommodated and hosted by professional and experienced guides. Most meals are included and walking distances are suitable for most healthy adults. Our guided walking tours have a maximum of 10 to 12 guests, depending on the tour destination. We have two Park Trek guides on tour who cook, care and guide you through some of the country’s most spectacular hiking trails. Our focus is on walking and exploring the natural environment first and foremost. We are an authentic walking tour company and the hiking component of our tours is the focus. Evening meals are mostly prepared by our talented guides, breakfast is a continental spread, lunch, fruit and snacks are layed out each day for you to help yourself. We don’t offer chef prepared meals and fine wines, but our meals are very important and we offer fresh, wholesome and healthy meals while you are on tour with us. In general, the first and last day of your tour will include half a day travelling from and back to the closest major city/ captial and half a day of walking.

How to Book

How does it work?
On Bookatrekking.com you can find and compare the adventures of your dreams. Is this trekking adventure your match? In that case, you can proceed to book. For the Australian products, you can book your trek by paying 15% of the total amount. However, 45 days before your trek, you must pay the remaining 85%. If you book within 45 days of your trip, then you must pay the full amount. 

Bookatrekking.com uses only the safest payment methods. Once your booking has been received, your place is reserved, your place is safe and you can look forward to your chosen trekking.

After you have made your booking, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with all the necessary information and the contact details of the trekking company. If you have any questions or if you want to clarify something, you can obtain information directly from the right person. Of course, you can also always ask us your question. Send us an e-mail on support@bookatrekking.com

The trekking company will also receive your details and can therefore always contact you and provide you with extra information.

Cancellation Policy
You wish you didn’t have to, but there is no other way: You find yourself having to cancel your plans. In this case, you lose your deposit, but since you haven’t paid the large sum yet, you at least save that. If you cancel your trip within 45 days before the trek, then the amount is non-refundable. Please do let us know if you cannot make it. A no-show can be a small disaster for your trekking provider, who did its best to block your dates. View our complete cancellation policy here.

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