The Walk91 Journey

My years as a Park Ranger on the Great Ocean Walk

I’m Mark Kininmonth and my passion for the Great Ocean Walk was ignited when I first helped build some of the track as a Parks Victoria Ranger in the early 2000s.

During this time, I was in charge of several projects but the real highlight was working on a new trail Parks Victoria were planning on opening… the Great Ocean Walk!

With a shovel and a few power tools, we worked as a team clearing bush and helping the contractors to build this now world-renowned trail. The other rangers and I are really proud of how popular the Great Ocean Walk has become over the years and I look back on those days as a real highlight of my time living and working here in Apollo Bay.

Once the walk was complete, Nancy and I created Walk 91 in order to help walkers navigate the logistics of this amazing trail and to offer local support and back up for hikers. We were the first tourism business to offer this service, and are still the only locally owned business based in Apollo Bay offering this support.

If you have any questions about us, our Great Ocean Walk Package Tours, our custom Great Ocean Walk tours, or anything else related to the Great Ocean Walk, please feel free to get in touch.

A Little History About Me (Mark) and Nancy

Nancy loves looking up the history and wonderful stories to share with our walkers. She has popped many of these stories into our walking notes, so think of her whilst you are reading them. However, we have had to cull them a bit so they are not a hundred pages long!

I have come from a tourism background, working in London, Egypt, Central America, and on the Barrier Reef (in offices, clam farms and on scuba dive sites); Nancy is from a fashion design background. After travelling extensively (Nancy & I met whilst working on the dive boats in Cairns) Nancy worked in production and design rooms in London and China, and has developed a real attention to detail. She takes pleasure in making sure all our walks run seamlessly. (Excuse the pun!)

Working Together on the Great Ocean Walk

It has been really rewarding creating unforgettable experiences on the Great Ocean Walk and we have had so much fun offering our ‘Walk91’ service for over 20 years. As a result, we have a few good stories to tell too! (One of the best was when an eagle dropped a huge koala on the roof of one of our buses when it tried to get airborne with more than it could chew!)

The Walk91 Name

When the walk first opened to the public in 2005, it was 91 kilometers long, hence our name. We did not realise at the time that the walk would be extended to 104km, due to its soaring popularity. It was wonderful to see the trailhead marked with local sculptures in Apollo Bay (see us holding the old sign) and to see the walk extended to end at the iconic 12 Apostles from its previous endpoint at Glenample. We were blown away when new Glenample viewing platform was built (don’t forget to pause here and utilise the selfie-post for your camera!) and even more impressed when the new Great Ocean Walk underpass was built to help hikers navigate crossing the popular Great Ocean Road to reach the magnificent 12 Apostles viewing platforms.

Another highlight was having the privilege of taking part in the filming of ‘The Art Of Walking’ movie, where we got to spend time with the planet walker, John Francis. John is an environmentalist and truly believes that when it comes to walking “It is the journey and not the destination” that matters.

Along with our love of the Great Ocean Walk (we got married at the start of the trail!) we also love our local community of Apollo Bay, our ‘Paradise-by-the-Sea’, and in the last 20 years we have learned so much about the local environment, met some wonderful people and had two children. We have been proud to create jobs for the local community and to support our tremendous local clubs.

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