We knew about the Great Ocean Walk and found Walk91 through an internet search. I called you last year to get advice on the best time to do the walk, and you recommended this timing for the best experience.
The itinerary was very well planned – daily start and finish times were realistic, allowing plenty of “rest” time. The first day briefing was excellent. We had done a lot of research, however it was essential to get those extra tips, particularly regarding beach crossings etc.
I don’t think you walking package needs improving. All aspects are well taken care of. I realised that there was no first aid kit given to us, however we had our own and I may have mentioned that to you in my earlier emails. The kit is essential, particularly for inexperienced walkers (blisters etc)…
The directions were clear regarding meeting spots each day and the transport was ready to meet us every day. The shuttle bus drivers are a great source of local info and very entertaining after a long day on the track!
Regarding the Great Ocean Walk itself… We think it’s one of the best planned and managed tracks we’ve walked on, particularly in Australia. Good and well marked signage, very well maintained tracks, fabulous boardwalks (not slippery), adequate warnings where necessary. I had envisaged more coastal clifftop walking so was surprised at the amount of inland and gully content, the variety is great. It’s a shame that the walk up the road section on Day 3, Hider’s Access, is relentless and shared with traffic, although there is probably no way to avoid that. Walking out of the pristine bush at the Twelve Apostles is a culture shock to say the least! We should have allowed ourselves more time to return there either very early morning or early evening to appreciate the area without the tour buses. That’s life though – next time…
NSW Parks and Wildlife could certainly learn a few lessons from Parks Victoria regarding track planning and maintenance! Track distance signage would be ideal and could be incorporated into the directional markers. It would be great to know how close we are to the 91km…
Our tips for future walkers on the Great Ocean Walk, self guided walk, would be:
If not camping, it’s great to carry a small gas canister and burner in a day pack for a hot drink enroute.
Carry a map – we were the only ones we saw on the track using the map enroute. It’s much more enjoyable to get track and area info as you go.
Here’s a tip we’ve shared with fellow walkers on every walk we’ve done here and overseas – the foolproof anti-blister trick. Rub your feet all over with Vaseline BEFORE putting on your socks. Make sure you put plenty on, concentrating on the toes and in between, the heels and ankles. Put on your socks immediately, then boots. You may still get sore feet or bruises, but will never get a blister!
Walk 91 is an excellent very professional tour operator and one that I’ll definitely recommend. It’s not cheap, but good value for the service and facilities provided. It’s reassuring to have a local company that has the area knowledge and is available for any emergency. We appreciated you doubling back to meet us on Day 3 to check our progress.