The Great Ocean Walk is a 104 km walk along Victoria’s incredible coastline, starting from Apollo Bay on the east, running westwards along the edge of Cape Otway until it reaches Glenample, near the Twelve Apostles. One of Walk91’s founders, Mark Kininmonth, helped build this now-iconic walk whilst working as a Parks Victoria Ranger with Parks Victoria back in the mid 2000s, giving Walk91 an inside scoop on the best spots along the way. And that’s what we’d like to talk about today: great attractions on the Great Ocean Walk. If anything here whets your appetite further, please feel free to check out some of our self-guided walking tours. To get a sense of what’s on offer, take a look at our 3-day Great Ocean Walk Tour and our 7-day Great Ocean Walk Tour. And please reach out if you have any questions whatsoever.
Rainbow Falls along Station Beach
The Great Ocean Walk has many little detours, but one of the best is a visit to Rainbow Falls. Once you reach Station Beach, if you feel like an extra 2km walk, it is well worth backtracking to see this wonderful rock formation. The best time to visit Rainbow Falls is in Autumn, Winter, and Springtime when you will see the waterfall cascading down the rockface. In the right conditions, the water catches all the colours of the rainbow – so for the keen photographer, Rainbow Falls is a must-do!
We think Milanesia Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia, let alone Victoria, so we highly recommend checking it out on your journey along the Great Ocean Walk. Adding to the charm of this beach is the fact that it is off the beaten path, giving visitors the sense that they are discovering somewhere isolated and special. And this is relatively true as there are usually remarkably few people on Milanesia Beach — especially when you consider the pristine sand and how stunning the views are.
To access the Beach you need to make your way to Milanesia Gate, at the bottom of Hiders Access Road, and follow the path down to the ocean. Whilst you are there stop and admire the amazing rock formations created by millions of years of exposure to the relentless Southern Ocean swells and rainfall.
Wreck Beach is a short walk northwest from the Gables Lookout and it is well worth checking out if you have the time on your walk. If you need more time to see specific places like Wreck Beach, Walk91 can customise any of the tours we offer, giving you the time and freedom to see the places you are most interested in. A little bit of local knowledge is required to visit Wreck Beach as you can only visit it safely during low tide, so we will be happy to offer advice as to the best time to visit. This beach has a particularly fitting name as it is the sight of two famous ships who were wrecked off the coast. Today, the anchors of both ships, the Fiji and the Marie Gabrielle, can be found on the beach as a grim reminder of the rocky, treacherous waters along Victoria’s coastline.
The Twelve Apostles
You’ll find the Twelve Apostles close to the western end of the Great Ocean Walk, not far from the Great Ocean Walk viewing platform at Glenample. It is perhaps one of Victoria’s most famous natural landmarks, and the prestige is absolutely deserved. This formation of several large limestone stacks off the coast makes for some dramatic scenery on an already impressive coastline. When people want to enjoy epic seaside views in Victoria, the Twelve Apostles is usually the first destination on their list. This is why almost all of our tours tend to finish with the Twelve Apostles — it gives walkers something excellent to look forward to but it also makes sure the walking tour ends on a huge high.
One of Victoria’s most beautiful spots, Johanna Beach is a must for anyone who likes to feel the sand between their toes. Johanna Beach is named after a ship that was wrecked here in 1843, and it’s difficult to square the grisly origin of its name with the picturesque setting. Surfers love coming to Johanna Beach as the swells are especially powerful, with surfing competitions being held here on occasion. Johanna Beach is also only a short walk from the next spot on our list…
Cape Otway Lighthouse
Cape Otway Lighthouse was built in 1848 to help keep ships safe on this dangerous stretch of Victoria’s coastline. There were many shipwrecks at that time, and the lighthouse has probably saved hundreds, if not thousands of lives since it was built. It is the oldest intact lighthouse in mainland Australia and you’d be forgiven for expecting it to be in a state of disrepair after over 150 years, but it’s actually in remarkably good condition. We highly recommend visiting Cape Otway Lighthouse, both for the lighthouse and for the incredible scenery surrounding it. Set out on the tip of Cape Otway, the views of the rugged cliff faces are breathtaking.
That’s all we have time for today. We hope this short guide has given you a few brilliant attractions to add to your list when you choose to embark on your own epic Great Ocean Walk. If you would like us to arrange accommodation, luggage transport, food, activities, and more, please enquire, telling us what kind of trip you’re looking for. We can customise one of our pre-existing walking tours along the Great Ocean Walk or we can make an entirely bespoke trip. It’s completely up to you!