The signage for the walk starts next to the Information Centre in Apollo Bay and ends at the 12 Apostles. You cannot walk past this point as there is no track.
The Great Ocean Walk’s official Parks Victoria Topographical Map lists the camping legs of the walk as 100km. However, walking in and out of access points on the walk increases its length to approx. 104km. If you add on a walk around the Cape Otway Lighthouse and several small detours to look out points you can expect to walk closer to 109km. (When the walk first opened over 10 years ago it was 91km long– hence our name! Since then little sections have been improved and added.)
A general level of fitness is required for all the segments of the walk, although Parks Victoria have graded them clearly to help indicate which sections of the walk are more difficult. (Please refer to our self-guided walking pages). We would suggest doing some walking training before you come, if you have not enjoyed a long distance walk before or for a long period of time. Remember that the walk involves several days of walking every day, with no rest days in between, unless specified on your itinerary. (Please ask if you would like a rest day added to your itinerary and we will happily arrange that for you). If you cannot walk for any reason once you arrive, we can transfer you to your accommodation when we move your luggage. However, we ask that you are flexible with times.
After your personal walk briefing on arrival, you are transported to the start of your walk, or you walk out of Apollo Bay (depending on the itinerary you have chosen). You will either walk into your accommodation or will be transported to and from your accommodation each day as per your itinerary provided. All transfers are included as listed on your itinerary quote and Walk91 also return you to Apollo Bay the afternoon your walk concludes.
You leave your luggage with us and only carry a day pack. Your luggage is transported to your accommodation. On any day that you change accommodation, your luggage is moved ahead of you. On the final days walk you will be transported back to Apollo Bay and your luggage returned to you.
If you have luggage with you that you do not need on the track, Walk91 can store it for you.
Public transport using the v-line service is cheap, easy and reliable.
If you are ending your walk at the 12 Apostles you do not get back into Apollo Bay until approx. 5pm, which is after the last v-line bus leaves. We suggest staying the night in Apollo Bay when your walk concludes or asking Walk91 about staying the night in Port Campbell instead.
Between Melbourne and Geelong it is a public v-line train service. Between Geelong and Apollo Bay it is a public v-line coach/bus service. You only buy one ticket from v-line for the whole journey. If you are travelling from Melbourne the train stops at Geelong Station and the coach/bus waits for the train to arrive before travelling on to Apollo Bay. It is only a small station so you can’t get lost!
If you sit on the left hand side of the coach/bus, you will have magnificent views of the ocean and coastline for most of your journey. The bus stops outside the Apollo Bay Information Centre, next to the start of the walk.
Check the bus time table to Apollo Bay from Melbourne (or Geelong if you are flying into Avalon airport) before you book your flights. This may avoid long wait times at Geelong station. There are usually only three buses per day to Apollo Bay from Geelong station. The buses are very punctual so you can rely on the time table. (The staff are also very helpful if you wish to call them in advance to check times on 136 196).
To check your train times on line go to http://www.vline.com.au Click on, “Plan trip/Buy tickets”
Select for e.g. Melbourne Southern Cross Station (or Geelong if you are flying into Avalon) to Apollo Bay, the date you wish to travel and the relevant bus and train options will be listed. You cannot always reserve a seat on this service, but we have never had any report that it was full. It takes approx. 1 hour from Melbourne to Geelong and 2 ½ hours from Geelong to Apollo Bay.
How do I get from Melbourne Tullamarine Airport to the Southern Cross train station to catch the v-line service?
You can catch a taxi to Melbourne Southern Cross Station from the airport to catch the v-line train & bus service to Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road.
A shuttle bus (Sky bus) from the airport which leaves approx. every 15 minutes to Melbourne Southern Cross Station .The sky bus takes approx. 20 minutes depending on traffic – approx. $25 one way (2017) https://www.skybus.com.au/ .
The ‘Gull Bus’ which leaves from the airport https://gull.com.au/airport-transfer/timetables/ connects directly to the Geelong train station, to meet the ‘V-line’ bus to Apollo Bay. You need to book the Gull bus in advance. The Gull bus takes approx. 1 hour and 15 minutes, depending on traffic, so please allow plenty of time– approx. $35 one way (2017).
How do I get from Avalon Airport to Geelong train station to catch the v-line service?
When you fly into Avalon airport you can catch the shuttle bus or a cab from Avalon airport to Geelong train station to catch the bus to Apollo Bay. You need to check these bus times match your flight times. It is approx a 20 minute to half hour drive to Geelong train station, but we would allow more time than this to be on the safe side.
The Avalon Airport Shuttle Bus meets every flight for simple access to these regions. Pre-book by calling +61 3 5278 8788 or book online and get further information here.
However there are usually only 2 or 3 buses a day from Geelong, so it is best to look at the train timetable first before you book your flight to avoid long waiting times at Geelong train & bus station.
Please note: All walkers need to check current bus/train timetables for their own travel arrangements.
If you are walking in group, a private transfer may be a cheaper, more convenient option than using public transport.
However please keep in mind that the V-line service is cheap, reliable and easy to use.
Our private transfer service is subject to availability, but if you are interested in receiving a quote please email us and we will check availability and price for you.
You cannot walk from the 12 Apostles to Port Campbell as there is no track. The Great Ocean Walk ends at the 12 Apostles (and a transfer back to Apollo Bay is included in your walk package.)
However, if you would like to extend your trip to stay the night in Port Campbell, after your walk concludes, Walk 91 can arrange this for you for an additional fee. (If you have no car this option works well as you do not need to return to Apollo Bay.)
After your evening in Port Campbell, you may choose from the following two options to return to Melbourne:
If you have left your car in Apollo Bay we return you to your vehicle by picking you up at approx. 11am from Port Campbell.
We will arrange transport to take you to Camperdown Station to catch a train to Melbourne or Geelong.
(Please note that v-line train fares will NOT be included in this additional fee when quoted. Walkers book and pay for their own train tickets using the link provided and advise us which train they would like to catch. (Bus/train link: https://www.vline.com.au/ Click on plan trip/buy tickets.)
Yes. Walk 91 can quote you on this option depending on availability. Even though you are walking back to your car, this service incurs an additional fee as we still have to drive out to meet you at the end of your walk to return your bags to you.
If you are driving along the Great Ocean Road to Apollo Bay, Parks Victoria suggest that you park your car close to the police station in Nelson St whilst you are on your walk. Or you may leave your car at the Marengo Beach car park free of charge.
Alternatively you can leave your car at the Apollo Bay Recreation Reserve for a small fee. Their number is 03 5237 6577.
Vehicles are left at your own risk. Walk 91 will not guarantee that your car will be safe, but in over ten years we have not had any incidents of damage or theft to vehicles.
Please note: Walk 91 will not take any responsibility for the safety of your vehicle. Walk 91 will not take any responsibility for any outcome, resulting from any recommendations given regarding parking locations. Vehicles are left at your own risk.
Yes. Please email us if you wish to order the official Parks Victoria topographical ‘Great Ocean Walk Map’ and we will post one to you. Price $20 including postage fee ($25 for international postage). Please note that if you are booking a package with us this map is included. It will handed to you on your arrival at your personal walk briefing and we will discuss the decision points with you in detail, our ‘text’ points, and answer any other questions you may have.
There is no ‘drinking’ water available along the Great Ocean Walk. The campsite water tanks only hold untreated rainwater. Walk 91 can provide water purification tablets but if you stay in our accommodation you will be able to re-fill your water bottles each day. We suggest 2 -3 litres of water per day and suggest bringing refillable water bottles.
There are no shops on the track itself, and you do not walk through any towns. However there is a café in the Cape Otway Lighthouse which sells coffee/sandwiches but opening times vary.
Walk 91 can deliver your own pre packed food to you at your self-catering accommodation. We suggest buying fold away ice bags (the cheap, square, fold away ice bags at the supermarket are perfect). You can buy your provisions for the entire walk in Apollo Bay before you start walking, and we will move your food bags at the same time we move your luggage.
Our accommodation hosts love to cook with local produce, sourced where possible from the local countryside, and some even like to impress walkers with their own home grown produce and freshly laid chook eggs! We ask all walkers to advise us of any special dietary requests / allergies before they walk and we pass these on to the accommodation chefs. The accommodation owners will discuss dinner, breakfast and pack lunch arrangements on your arrival.
On the first day of your walk you will be provided with a freshly made pack lunch provided by the local Apollo Bay Bakery which includes a delicious hearty roll or sandwich, a yummy treat and piece of fruit. A menu will be provided for you to select from.
This is optional, but we strongly suggest that you leave any personal details with us that may be required in an emergency. For example, we ask you to list any medical conditions/ medicines/ allergies that you feel a medic may need to know about. We also ask you to provide next of kin details and car registration details. These details are kept highly confidential and only passed on if relevant in an emergency situation.
No. However you are able to use gas or fuel stoves in the hike-in campsites. Please beware of total fire ban days. Carry a transistor radio and tune into 774 Melbourne for information and updates.
Call the Victorian Bushfire info line on 1800 240 667 or refer to https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/homerestrictions. Once you commence your walk, it is your responsibility to follow fire restrictions if they are in place. If it is fire season it is strongly recommended to carry an AMFM radio in order to check for days of Total Fire ban or emergency warnings. In case of fire, evacuation points are signed at Great Ocean Walk hike in campsites.
Yes. There are several official camping spots which follow the Great Ocean Road Walk. These include Shelly Beach, Elliot Ridge, Blanket Bay, Parker Hill, Cape Otway, Aire River, Johanna Beach, Devils Kitchen and Ryan’s Den. You need to book your sites with Parks Victoria in advance of your hike. If you require assisted camping and water drops, or shuttles / transfers on the Great Ocean Walk please refer to www.greatoceanroadshuttle.com.au for more details.
If all you require is one or two shuttles on the Great Ocean Walk you can contact www.greatoceanroadshuttle.com.au for a quote.
There are several toilets on the Great Ocean Walk and most of them are composting toilets. There are toilets in Apollo Bay, Marengo Caravan Park (but they may not be open to the public) Shelly Beach car park, Eliot Ridge campsite, Blanket Bay, Parker Hill, Cape Otway Lighthouse car park, Cape Otway hike in campsite, Aire River, Johanna car based camping and the ‘hike in’ campsite, Ryans Den campsite, Devils Kitchen, 12 Apostles. Please do not leave toilet paper on the track. There are no bins in the National Park so please take a bag with you to remove your rubbish.
For some people the great ocean walk maybe the first multi day walk that they have ever experienced and they want to feel 100% supported in the backup that is offered.
Living locally in Apollo Bay, we can bring some great peace of mind as we are always close by. Walkers love the fact that they can meet us on day one of the hike and be briefed on all the details they need to know before they step on to the trail. We hand over an epirb and a Telstra mobile phone if needed (as Telstra offers the best reception to stay in contact with you).
Some walkers come to the Great Ocean Walk not only for its beauty, but for the challenge of walking the trail in four or five days. This is only recommended for really fit walkers (or runners). Some fitness groups book their great ocean walk trip and have fun training together in their home towns, using the walk as an end goal.
Others use the Great Ocean Walk trail as a training tool to use in preparation for a much more difficult walk elsewhere in the world.
It is not unusual for people to really want to give the Great Ocean Walk a go, but sometimes they can be worried that old injuries from past adventures might resurface. This can often happen unexpectedly on multi day walks. If this does happen to you, don’t worry! We are flexible and here to help. If you need to shorten your walking itinerary once you start walking we can accommodate this. As long as you’re happy to ‘go with the flow’ with alternative walking legs and transfers, so are we.(However, please remember that for us to shorten your walk you do need to walk to the section of track each day that we can access by car.)
We have a TEXT system so that we monitor your pace of walking as you progress along the track (where we know you will have access to phone reception), so there is no pressure to walk fast to make strict car transfer/ shuttle deadlines.
We also have several drivers and vehicles so we aim to be as flexible as possible with pick up times at the end of each day. We don’t like anyone to feel rushed.
If you are a fast walker we can also send our drivers out earlier to collect you.(We just ask you to keep in mind that if you are a fast walker and are moving on to the next accommodation along the trail, you may need to start walking a little later in the day, as most accommodation check in times are not until 3pm).
If you want to hike the walking legs we have advertised, but want a rest day included in your trip, we can plan this for you. We can chat to you about where this rest day would fit in nicely into your walking itinerary based on the accommodation you are staying in and where you would like the rest day to be.
We know that not everyone has the same fitness levels.If you and your friends have decided to take this adventure together but you know you have some fast walkers and slow walkers in the group and you want to plan for this in advance, we can arrange this for you.
We can plan for you to all stay together in the same accommodation, but split your walk into two groups. You can all be dropped off together in the mornings, but we can just add the cost of two afternoon pick ups into the price of your walk instead of one. Just call us for a chat and we will work out the best option for you.
If you enjoy holidaying with family or friends who are not as keen on walking as you, this is not a problem. You can all walk a day or two together, but if one of you wants to rest at the accommodation and not walk, that is fine too. They can just relax in at the accommodation enjoying amazing views and reading a book whilst the others go and enjoy the track.
If you know that this is definitely what you would like included as part of your walking plan, call us for a chat and we will discuss the best way to make this option flow nicely for you.
This is not a problem as you can just rest at the accommodation whilst the other person, or the rest of the group carries on walking.
The only thing to remember is that if you are scheduled to move to different accommodation on the day you cannot walk, we can move you with your luggage on to the next accommodation, but we do ask you to be patient with the timing of this. We aim to make this flow as well as possible for you but last minute changes do require some flexibility.
We can accommodate this, no problem. We can have a chat with you about how far you want to walk each day and how long you may want to stop and rest and enjoy your surroundings.We can then book your afternoon pickups taking this time into consideration.
We totally understand that not everybody who wants to self cater is doing so to reduce the cost of their walk. There are some walkers who enjoy staying in premium accommodation each evening after a long days walk but who may have very complicated dietary needs, or who simply love cooking! If this is the case, and you feel that self catering is the best option for you, please let us know and we can have a chat about what type of accommodation you would prefer and we can organise the perfect walk for you.
The great ocean walk runs from east to west but if you are driving here from the Western end of the walk and want to leave your car at the 12 Apostles end of the trail (instead of the start in Apollo Bay) we can organise this for you. We can pick you up from Port Campbell where you can leave your car and then transfer you to the start of your walk ( either Apollo Bay or to any of the other starting spots on the walk if you’re not walking the whole Trail). We can then transfer you from the end of your walk back to Port Campbell. Just let us know and we can advise you of any additional costs incurred.
No matter the weather always take protective clothing with you. We recommend the minimum of a weather proof jacket/ trousers, jumper, hat, sunscreen, and sturdy footwear and socks. (No jeans). Some walkers like to bring sneakers/ trainers/ runners for use on the beach. Some walkers like to bring gaiters but this is personal choice. Gaiters can protect your clothes from mud in the winter and leeches / snakes in the summer, but in general most of our walkers tend not to use them. Also remember to take insect repellent, and for the summer months hat fly screens (if you find flies bothersome). More information regarding what to bring will be on your walkers notes emailed to you on booking.
Map, Emergency numbers, Parks Victoria hike in campsite reservation numbers, matches, first aid kit (including blister cream/ dressings), compass, whistle, GPS, mobile, EPIRB, tide chart, water. Please note these are guidelines only.
Please take note of the decision points on the ‘Great Ocean Walk Map’ in consideration with tide times, and safety tips whilst crossing rivers, swimming and dealing with wildlife. Also follow all Parks Victoria recommendations for fire safety. Remember to take any regular prescribed medication with you on your walk. Walk within your ability.
There is patchy reception on the walk, with a Telstra mobile. However, most mobile phone users can call 112 for connection to Police, Ambulance or CFA. Please note that Walk 91’s Great Ocean Walk packages offer free rental of an ‘EPIRB’ (Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacon).
We recommend you keep the following numbers with you :
Police, ambulance, fire 000,
Apollo Bay Police (03) 5237 6750
Lavers Hill Police (03) 5237 3200
Port Campbell Police (03) 5589 6310
Apollo Bay Hospital (03) 5237 8500
RACV: 13 1111, Parks Victoria, Apollo Bay (03) 5237 2500
Eastern grey kangaroos, black wallabies, echidnas, king parrots, rufous bristle birds, singing honeyeaters, crimson rosellas, gang gang cockatoos, yellow tailed black cockatoos, wedge-tailed eagles, white-bellied sea-eagles. It is also possible to see crested terns, sooty oystercatchers and penguins. Also look out for dolphins or migrating whales between June and September.
Look out for snakes in the bush. Also watch out for leeches, wasps, bees, ticks and ants. Hide your food from foxes and do not feed or handle wildlife. Please keep to tracks and clean down your shoes at the various clean down stations, to prevent spreading the Cinnamon Fungus disease (which infects the roots of native plants).
Be aware where you rest your feet and hands and do not walk barefoot in long grass. If you see a snake do not touch it, frighten or threaten it. Stay still and it will only attack if you threaten it. Snakes do not like people so it escapes given the opportunity.
If you do get bitten it is fairly easy to restrict the venom and delay the onset of symptoms for hours if you:
Call 112 / 000 in an emergency.
Please note: All of the above information may change at any time, and is offered as general advice. If in doubt please check details with Parks Victoria before you commence your walk. Walk 91 bears no responsibility or liability /costs / claims / libel action whatsoever for any errors, faults, defects or omissions in the information given.
The Gadabanud people’s traditional Country transcends what is known today as the Otway coastline – The Great Ocean Walk trail. Today the Gundidjmara people are the traditional custodians of the Gadabanud lands. This area, rich and diverse in plant and animal life, has been a gathering, ceremonial and feasting place for thousands of years. Many sites and spiritual links remain today. Local Gadabanud & Aboriginal people are closely involved with Parks Victoria in the protection, restoration and management of significant sites.
The Great Ocean Walk (GOW) launched in January 2006, is located between the Great Ocean Road and the sea. It is three hours and 200km west of Melbourne Australia. The Great Ocean Walk, originally 91km, now a 104 kilometre track, stretches from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles, and passes through the Great Otway and Port Campbell National Parks.
Members of the local business community developed the concept for a Great Ocean Walk trail in 1994 over bottles of port in a shed near Cape Otway. Initially known as the Great Ocean Road Walk Track, it was refined to be known as the ‘Great Ocean Walk’.
The original establishment cost for the Great Ocean Walk was $2.3 million which created an integrated, linked trail system from Marengo to Glenample Homestead (and eventually the 12 Apostles).
The alignment of the Great Ocean Walk was originally designed after review of the extensive environmental, cultural, risk and cost investigations spanning five years, referring to past track marking and involving hundreds of hours of fieldwork. 22km of new walking track was built between 2002 and 2005 by expert track builders.
Geological and geo-technical investigations were also completed to assess coastal stability and erosion issues. The track surface is predominantly made of natural soils or sand, however boardwalks and crushed rock have been laid to protect areas from erosion.
Nearly the entire Great Ocean Walk trail was constructed by hand with basic tools such as mattocks, shovels and crowbars adding greatly to the natural feel of the walk and ability of the track to blend into the surrounding environment. Over 25km of track previously built was repaired and cleared. Over 1200 rock steps were laid in the new sections of track from local and imported stone. Rock steps were hand built with stone moved around the track by power carriers and Tirfor winches. Rocks weighing over 300kg were moved by the crews.
Two major elevated sets of steps were constructed at Ryans Den (2 flights 45 steps) and Cape Volney (7 flights 131 steps). Rock stepping stones and small rock bridges were used to cross small water courses and a timber bridge was built to cross a creek near Cape Volney. Four hundred and fifty four timber on-ground and elevated steps were built in steeper terrain along the Great Ocean Walk. Timber was carried in by hand and power carrier for up to 1.5km. Harnesses have been used by the crews to work safely in steep areas.
In 2007 over $1.2 million dollars was spent on the construction of tracks / trails along the walk. 300 volunteer days have supported track clearing and construction work from Conservation Volunteers Australia, international volunteers, Greencorps, Deakin University and the Regional Employment and Education Program.
More than 300 new signs were installed along the Great Ocean Walk. Fallen logs were repositioned and re-used as low boardwalks. Two hygiene stations were built at Blanket Bay and Parker Inlet to reduce the potential spread of Phytopthora cinnamomi. (Walkers are asked to clean down their gear and footwear at these points.)
1km of informal Great Ocean Walk tracks were closed and rehabilitated around station beach to protect sensitive sand dunes and cultural sites. Sections of disturbed land were revegetated with indigenous species along the walk. The track crews spent over 100 nights camping out in and nearby the park.
For more details regarding shuttles:
The Parks Victoria Website for the Great Ocean Walk:
For helpful details on the Great Ocean Walk and surrounding area:
We recommend the following:
Captains at the Bay – 200m from bus stop:
The Coastal Motel – 120m from bus stop:
The Waterfront Motel – 140m from bus stop:
The Beachcomber Motel – 2 blocks behind the main street, quiet & good value https://www.beachcombermotel.com.au/
The Seaview Motel -300m from bus stop:
Captains Quarters – we can collect you from here – nice and quiet at the back of town. A 5 minute walk to the main street and harbour. (A 10 minute walk to the bus stop).
Heather can provide breakfast and a packed lunch if requested:
The Sandpiper Motel – 400m from bus stop:
The Beach Front Motel – 40m from bus stop:
Eco YHA – We can pick you up directly from the YHA office: