12 reasons to choose a self-guided Great Ocean Walk

There are so many great reasons to do the Great Ocean Walk, so we have just listed a few for you here. This amazing walk is in South West of Victoria on the Shipwreck Coast and its a wonderful rugged part of Australia.

Is the walk easy to navigate?

1) The walk is well signposted. The signage has improved immensely since the walk first opened over 10 years ago. This makes the Great Ocean Walk easy to do self-guided and as a result, you can walk at your own pace.

2) There is a clear-cut track along the majority of the walk, much of it being boardwalk or compacted dirt. Therefore, the trail is well worn and obvious in most places, so it is relatively easy to follow the route.

3) You can walk at your own pace if you choose a self-guided walk. On a guided walk you have to walk at the pace of the slowest walker, or if you are the slowest walker, you may feel pressured to keep up with a faster pace which may not comfortable for you. If you choose a self-guided walk and are a slow walker, you can take your time and stop for several rests along the track. If you are a fast walker, you can move along the trail at a quicker pace if you wish. For different lengths of Great Ocean Walks, from 3, 4 5, 6 and 7 days, refer to Walk91’s website https://walk91.com.au/

When is the best time to walk and how to start planning

4) You may choose any day or month you wish to commence your walk (pending accommodation availability). There are no set departure dates when booking a self-guided walk with Walk 91.

5) Walk 91 can be flexible with your transfer/shuttle times as you are not held within the time restraints of a guided group. We have text points in place so we have a good idea of your walking pace, so whether you are a fast or slow walker we are happy to ‘tweak’ these times as much as logistics allow on the day.

6) You can choose with whom you wish to walk. If you prefer to walk with a group of friends just bring them along, but if you prefer to walk alone, or walk just as a couple, this is also an option.

Wooden trail marker for the Great Ocean Walk, with emergency location code GOW003, surrounded by forest vegetation.

Is the Great Ocean Walk safe and easy to navigate?

7) Don’t worry about your safety when choosing a self-guided walk. We provide an EPIRB (emergency location beacon) to those who book our accommodation packages. Parks Victoria have also introduced emergency markers along the track so that if there were ever an emergency, you would just need to advise the last marker number that you walked past and emergency services would have a good idea of your location.

8) A personal walk briefing is provided to any self-guided walkers booking an accommodation package with Walk 91. We will provide information on the tides, decision points on the Great Ocean Walk and answer any questions you may have before you commence your hike.

What is the best map to buy on the Great Ocean Walk?

9) Parks Victoria provides a fantastic official Great Ocean walk topographical map which not only offers details of the track, look out points, camping spots, toilets, but it also offers advice on safety whilst walking and what to do if there were ever a bushfire.

There are two versions of the map; one is a typical two-sided large map which folds up neatly, the other is a ring binder booklet which also makes a nice souvenir. Great Ocean Walk map is a must for the self-guided walker and complements Parks Victoria’s signage well. This map is provided when booking a self-guided walk with Walk 91. To buy a Great Ocean Walk map online click here.

Meeting other people on the Great Ocean Walk

10) You will still meet other people on the Great Ocean Walk if you choose to go it alone! If you enjoy a peaceful walk listening to the sound of the bush and the ocean without a lot of chatter a self-guided walk is perfect. But if you like some company at the end of the day, you will often meet other walkers at your or campsite or accommodation. Some of the accommodation providers serve dinner in the dining room, others in your room; but all of the accommodation owners are wonderfully friendly hosts.

You also have the opportunity to chat to your personable driver during the course of your walk. Lastly, sometimes walkers on a self-guided walk may decide to pair up with others they meet along the track, but this is purely a personal decision.

A sandy beach with rocky areas, surrounded by misty forested hills in the background. Footprints are visible leading towards the shoreline where two people are walking by the ocean.

11) You can be your own guide quite comfortably! Information on the flora and fauna of the walk is available, along with detailed walking notes and a detailed itinerary provided by Walk 91. Parks Victoria also have podcasts available on their official website that you can download and listen to whilst you are walking.

12) There is a greater feeling of accomplishment at the end of the Great Ocean Walk if you choose a self-guided option. With just a little help from the local experts at Walk 91, you will have navigated your own walk, successfully completing what will be an unforgettable adventure!