Frequently Asked Questions

Where does the Great Ocean Walk start and end?

The signage for the walk starts next to the Information Centre in Apollo Bay. The Great Ocean Walk ends at the 12 Apostles. You cannot walk past this point as there is no track.

How long is the Great Ocean Walk?

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 lookout points you can expect to walk closer to 109km. (When the walk first opened over 20 years ago it was 91km long– hence our name! Since then little sections have been improved and added.)

Luggage transfers during your Great Ocean Walk.

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.

How do I get to the start of the Great Ocean Walk, using public transport?

Public transport using the v-line service is cheap, easy and reliable.

Please note:
If you are ending your walk at the 12 Apostles you do not get back into Apollo Bay until approx. 4:30 – 5pm, which is after the last v-line bus leaves town. 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 Great Ocean 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 (Railway Terrace) 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 Tullamarine Airport to Geelong (Railway Terrace) Train Station?

  1. The ‘Gull Bus’ leaves from the airport connects directly to the Geelong Railway Terrace train station, to meet the ‘V-line’ bus to Apollo Bay. You need to book the Gull bus in advance. The bus stop is right outside the airport departure lounge and easy to find. The Gull bus takes approx. 1 hour and 15 minutes, depending on traffic, so please allow plenty of time– approx. $38 one way (2024).
  2. You may also wish to take an Uber from the airport to Geelong Railway Terrace train station which takes approx 1 hour.

How do I get from Melbourne Tullamarine Airport to the Southern Cross train station to catch the v-line service?

  1. You can catch a taxi or Uber to Melbourne Southern Cross Station from the airport to catch the v-line train & bus service to Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road.
  2. A shuttle bus (Sky bus) from the airport leaves approx. every 15 minutes to Melbourne Southern Cross Station .The sky bus takes approx. 20 minutes depending on traffic – approx. $25-$30 one way (2024).

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.

To check or pre book for the Avalon Airport Shuttle Bus or call 1300 169 287 and get further information here.

When booking a multi day package, can I leave my car at the end of the walk and be transferred to the start point?

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 (and collect our emergency beacon and sticks/poles if you have borrowed them from us).

Where should I park my car in Apollo Bay?

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 20 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.

If I choose your catered package how does this work?

On the first day of your walk, you will be provided with a freshly made packed lunch which includes a delicious hearty roll or sandwich, a yummy treat and a piece of fruit.

Walk91 can offer the following special dietary options:
(NOTE – TRACES OF GLUTEN, DAIRY, NUTS AND SHELLFISH may be present in all meals).

  • Vegetarian
  • Meals made with gluten-free ingredients (NOT for those with anaphylaxis/allergies) in an environment where flour and gluten-containing products are present. While we take precautions to minimise cross-contamination, trace amounts of gluten may be present.
  • Dairy-free (NOT casein anaphylaxis / for those with allergies as there may be a risk of cross-contamination; an additional fee may apply).
  • No nuts/shellfish (NOT for those with anaphylaxis/allergies as food may be prepared where traces of nuts/shellfish are present, and food/sauces may contain traces of nuts/shellfish).
  • Vegan

Please note that we cannot ensure that our meals are prepared to meet specific health requirements, such as those for individuals with coeliac disease, food allergies, anaphylaxis, or preferences for FODMAP, sugar-free, or keto diets.

If you have other dietary needs, kindly contact us before booking so we may advise if we can meet your request. Alternatively, you may wish to explore our self-catered walking options.

When the accommodation hosts are not permitted to cook on their premises for guests, Walk91 delivers food to your accommodation, made by a local chef in Apollo Bay. You are required to self-serve your meals when you are ready to eat. There is no set menu to choose from but an example of the food provided might be something like this:

To Start – Nibbles or dip, crackers, cheese
Main – A hearty chicken or beef stew, chicken curry, or baked bolognese with Otway’s local fresh pasta and side salad, or roasted meat served with a filling summer salad or roasted vegetables. 

Dessert – Spiced apple cake, almond flour orange cake served with cream or yoghurt, or a simple and fresh fruit salad!

Breakfast – Muesli, yogurt, fruit, bacon, eggs (you cook up), locally fresh baked bread, jam, butter & milk.

Lunches – Cold meats or tuna, cheese, chutney & salad sandwich with a sweet treat and a piece of fruit.

If I choose your self-catered package, how does this work?

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). Please do not bring large hard eskis /cold boxes as they are too heavy for the driver to lift. You can buy your non-perishable 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. Please note that we can not store food in the fridge and there is no refrigeration in our vehicles.

Please remember to bring essentials such as tea bags/ coffee / milk/ cooking oil etc. as there are no shops on the walk & non perishable food is highly recommended as your provisions will be moved in a non refrigerated vehicle. Please note that we can not take any food directly to your accommodation as check in is not usually until after 3pm.

If you want to bring alcohol along, we can move this with your luggage/food provisions. There is a small cafe at the Lighthouse but this is often closed so do not rely on it being open for any supplies. You may refill your water bottles at the accommodations.

Can you buy food and water on the Great Ocean Walk?

A. 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 so please do not rely on this.

Is drinking water available on the Great Ocean Walk?

There is no ‘drinking’ water available along the Great Ocean Walk. The campsite water tanks only hold untreated rainwater. You may want to consider bringing water purification tablets with you which you can use if there is water in the tanks along the trail (but these have been known to be empty) but if you stay in our accommodation you will be able to refill your water bottles each day. We suggest 2 -3 litres of water per day and suggest bringing refillable water bottles.

Are fires allowed on the Great Ocean Walk?

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.

What do I do on the total fire ban days?

Call the Victorian Bushfire info line on 1800 240 667 or refer to https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions. 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 the Great Ocean Walk hike in campsites.

Are there toilets on the Great Ocean Walk?

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.

How difficult is the Great Ocean Walk? Do I need to be very fit?

A general level of fitness is required for all the segments of the walk, although Parks Victoria has 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. Remember that the walk involves several days of walking, with substantial walking every day of the trip, 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, for example, if you get injured or are struggling with distances, we can transfer you to your accommodation when we move your luggage. However, we ask that you are flexible with your pick up times so that we can support you as much as possible.

Does Walk91 offer transport during the Great Ocean Walk?

Yes. We certainly do. 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 returns you to Apollo Bay the afternoon your walk concludes. We also have a texting system which we will explain in detail when you arrive so that we know your walking pace and we can reduce your shuttle waiting times as much as possible.

Can I book Melbourne CBD or airport transfers to the start of the Great Ocean Walk?

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.

Can I end my walk at Port Campbell?

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:

Option 1
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. Allow approx 2 hours to return to Apollo Bay to be on the safe side.

Option 2
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.)

Is there a map I can order in advance to help me plan my Great Ocean Walk?

Yes. You may order the official Parks Victoria topographical ‘Great Ocean Walk Map’ here. 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.

Do we need to leave our medical details and next of kin details with you?

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.

Is camping allowed on the Great Ocean Walk?

If you require assistance whilst camping, please refer to our camping packages

Walk91 can arrange for you to use our trailer for storage whilst you hike the Great Ocean Walk. You simply lock your heavy packs and food into the trailer for the duration of your trip and we will move the trailer along the trail as you walk pack-free. (Please note however that some sites do not have car access, so please read our daily itinerary carefully so that you book the correct campsites and know what to expect each day). We still recommend packing light!

If you would like to mix things up, camping and staying in accommodation also, we can arrange this too. Just get in touch!

If I only want to book a 'one off shuttle' on the Great Ocean Walk, or just want to base myself in Apollo Bay for the duration of my walk, what would you recommend?

If all you require is one or two shuttles on the Great Ocean Walk you can contact www.greatoceanroadshuttle.com.au for a quote.

How Can We Be Flexible

What extra support can your locally owned business offer compared to other walking companies?

For some people the great ocean walk may be 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 with a great team on the ground, 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).

We use a special text system and use this to try and anticipate your walking pace and do our very best to keep your waiting times for transfers each day at a minimum. As we have several drivers and vehicles we can be flexible, but do ask walkers to keep in mind that there are only a limited number of access points on the track so logistics (and instant pick ups) can be tricky at times!

We can also custom make or change any of the walks we offer to suit you, so if there is something you would like to alter or request please just let us know!

Can I use the walk as a fitness challenge?

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 hometowns, 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.

But don’t worry if you start your Great Ocean Walk and just can’t walk as far as you thought you could. We ‘ve got your back and can alter your walk if needed after you arrive.

Am I able to plan for a rest day?

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 discuss with you where this rest day would fit into your walking itinerary nicely, based on the accommodation you are staying in, and where you would like the rest day to be. Please just get in touch via our custom-made walk enquiry page and we will create the perfect adventure for you!

What if our group has different levels of walking ability?

We know that everyone has different fitness levels and walking capabilities. You can plan for this in advance if you have some fast and slow walkers in the group.

For example, you can all be dropped off together in the mornings, but we can simply add the cost of two afternoon pick-ups into the price of your walk instead of one and monitor both groups if the faster group decides to walk on ahead. Just call us for a chat on +61 3 5237 1189 or get in touch via email and we will discuss the best option for you.

What if I want shorter walking legs so that I can stop and take photos, or even sketch/paint?

We can accommodate this, no problem. We can have a chat with you about how far you wish 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. You may also like to consider our 10 day walk. This walk is designed for those who would like to experience the full length of the Great Ocean Walk at a slower pace by walking shorter distances each day.

Can I select luxury accommodations, but still self cater?

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. (However, please note that there are no shops on the trail and we cannot store food and do not have refrigeration in our vehicles).

What happens if my old injuries flare up whilst walking?

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.)

You may even rest in your accommodation if you need to and not walk at all. But, if you are due to move accommodation that day, we will offer suggestions of the options available to you if a late check out and early check in is not available. (We do kindly ask you to be patient with the timing of this should this scenario occur. We aim to make this flow as well as possible for you but last minute changes do require some flexibility).

What if I find I'm walking too fast or too slow once the walk begins?

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).

What if I want to walk, but bring a friend along who might not want to walk every day?

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 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.

What if I'm walking with a partner, but they get injured and can't walk, but I want to carry on?

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.

I'm coming from the direction of Port Campbell. Can I leave my car at the end of the walk?

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.

Things To Take / Safety Tips For Your Great Ocean Walk

What clothing/protection should I bring?

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.

Are there any additional items I should consider taking on the Great Ocean Walk?

The official Great Ocean Walk Map, LINK 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.

Are there any other safety tips I should keep in consideration?

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.

Telephone Reception & Important Numbers

Is there telephone reception on the Great Ocean Walk?

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).

Are there any other numbers I should keep with me?

Police, ambulance, fire 000,
Apollo Bay Police non urgent 131444
Lavers Hill Police (03) 5237 3200
Port Campbell Police (03) 5598 6310
Apollo Bay Medical Centre (03) 5237 8500
Apollo Bay Hospital
Urgent Care is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, at the Apollo Bay hospital with a team of medical and nursing professionals able to provide first line treatment and care. However, in the event of an emergency, always call 000.
Phone: (03) 5237 8500
75 McLachlan St, Apollo Bay

RACV: 13 1111,
Parks Victoria, Apollo Bay (03) 5237 2500

Wildlife & Plants

Which types of wildlife could I possibly see on the Great Ocean Walk hike?

Koalas, Eastern grey kangaroos, black wallabies, echidnas, snakes, 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.

Which wildlife and plants should be avoided?

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).

What should I do if I see a snake or if I get bitten by a snake?

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:

Apply a pressure bandage immediately (as if you had a sprained ankle).
Do not cut off the blood flow or apply a constrictive bandage or tourniquet.
Place a bandage over the bite and then bandage as much as the limb as possible.
Use a splint to keep the limb immobilised.
Apply firm pressure to bites to the head, neck, and back.
Do not wash the bite (as the venom on the skin is required to positively identify the snake and administer the correct antivenin).
Do not cut or suck the area.
Get help by bringing the transport to the bitten person.
They should not attempt to walk any further.
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.

Facts & History

Who were the traditional owners of the land?

The Gadabanud people’s traditional Country transcends what is known today as the Otway coastline – The Great Ocean Walk trail. Today the Gunditjmara people are the traditional custodians of the Gadubanud 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 Gadubanud & Aboriginal people are closely involved with Parks Victoria in the protection, restoration and management of significant sites.

How did the idea of the Great Ocean Walk come about?

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.

How was the walk originally constructed?

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 reused as low boardwalks. Two hygiene stations were built at Blanket Bay and Parker Inlet to reduce the potential spread of Phytophthora 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.

Other Helpful Information

Do you recommend any other useful websites on the Great Ocean Walk?

Do you recommend any accommodation in Apollo Bay before I commence my walk?

We recommend the following:

Captains at the Bay – 200m from bus stop:
https://www.captains.net.au/

The Coastal Motel – 120m from bus stop:
http://www.coastalmotel.com.au/

The Beachcomber Motel – 2 blocks behind the main street, quiet & good value https://www.beachcombermotel.com.au/

The Seaview Motel -300m from bus stop:
https://www.seaviewmotel.com.au/

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).

https://www.captainsquarters.net.au/

The Sandpiper Motel – 400m from bus stop:
http://www.sandpiper.net.au/

Eco YHA – We can pick you up directly from the YHA office:
https://www.yha.com.au/hostels/vic/great-ocean-road/apollo-bay/

WATERFRONT Motor Inn
https://www.apollobaywaterfront.com.au/

Beachfront:
https://www.bookings247.com.au/booking2/booknow.php?property_id=3211

Get in Touch

We’re here to answer your questions!