Why you should take a walk during the Melbourne Cup Holiday

Melbourne Cup Weekend is the first public holiday in Spring in Victoria, and a wonderful time of the year to experience the Great Ocean Walk with Walk91. Get away from the hustle and bustle and make the most of this public holiday, getting out into the great outdoors experiencing everything the Great Ocean Road has to offer.

Wooden post with a "Great Ocean Walk" sign and arrow, by a sandy beach with the ocean and rocky shoreline in the background.

From September onwards the Otway National Park comes alive as the temperature gets warmer,and as November begins it is the perfect time to experience the trail. The warmer weather has an immediate effect on the Great Ocean Walk, with insects coming to life and plants blooming. Many different types of birds such as colourful parrots, tiny wrens, and large wedge tailed eagles appear to feast on the insects and emerging blossoms. Wallabies’ families give birth to Joeys who travel in their mums pouch, only hopping out to eat when they spot some fresh grass. You will often see groups of three wallabies on the walk.

A kangaroo standing on a wooden walkway in the woods.

Other unique animals you may see include echidna’s, snakes and lizardskangaroos and koalas.

Koalas are dear to Australians hearts and are our best known ambassadors. Soon after European settlement koala populations began to dwindle as the settlers hunted them for their fur and cleared the forest habitat. Koalas are only found in Australia and are adapted to life in the trees. Their paws with rough grips help them cling to the trees and they are solitary animals. Koalas are marsupials which means that they carry and suckle their young in their pouch.

Last November there were also three Southern Right Whales spotted from the beach in Apollo Bay, at the beginning of the Great Ocean Walk trail. Whilst the Southern Right Whales are migrating south to Antarctica for summer, Apollo Bay historically offers protected waters where they can rest. Whale, seal and dolphin populations are increasing in this area and whales can be seen from high points of the walk e.g. the long escarpment from Cape Otway to Aire River.

For a small area the Otways region has a remarkable variety of micro climates and eco systems.This is due to the highest point of the Otways being at 500 metres altitude. Also, Cape Otway juts into the Southern Ocean with not much else between it and Antarctica. So as weather systems travel from east to west, the Otways receives a high amount of rainfall.

Up high the rainforest is lush and green and is the beginning of many creeks and rivers which wind through hidden valleys towards the ocean.

Coastal landscape with cliffs and greenery, overlooking a bay with waves crashing against the shore under a partly cloudy sky.

As the days grow longer, spring is a lovely time of ‘new life’, as the vegetation soaks up the rainwater and sunshine. It’s one of our favorite times to enjoy the Great Ocean Walk trail after the short, cold days of winter. The whole trail is 104km, but you can hike shorter sections of the walk and still see and enjoy amazing clifftop views, long deserted beaches and all the flora and fauna in its springtime glory.

Our Melbourne Cup weekend holiday package includes a night in Apollo Bay before your walk commences, and three nights’ accommodation in a great location, not far from the Great Ocean Walk track. You are looked after by relaxed friendly hosts and provided wholesome and delicious food whilst on the trail. Luggage transfers and shuttles are also included. All you have to do is relax and enjoy this magnificent section of track which ends at the breathtaking 12 Apostles.

So, if you feel like stretching your legs this spring and getting away from it all, book your Melbourne Cup Weekend adventure now with Walk 91! Try something new and make the most of your long weekend, walking with friends and family!

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