We certainly enjoyed our GOW! In fact we LOVED it and rate it as one of the best we have done
This walk is sensational and exceeded our expectations. We loved the diversity of scenery and environment. The 3 brochures that Mark gave us (Flora, Wildlife and Fungi) were really great and we referred to them a lot when we saw things along the way. We really loved the eucalypt, beech and manna gum forest walks, the coastal heathlands and the stretches of beach we walked along. The track was really well maintained and signposted and the toilet facilities at the GOW campsites were excellent. I had done quite a bit of reading about the walk beforehand so was well prepared for the distances and the terrain.
We absolutely loved all our accommodation… The meal drop service was excellent and the food really high quality. The transfers to and from our accommodation each morning and night, worked really well (nice drivers). It would have been good to have been given the Walk91 Blog beforehand – i really didn’t discover this until afterwards and some of the comments from other walkers I found very helpful.
Thank you to Nancy and Mark for the fabulous time we had with your company, Walk 91, over the March long weekend just gone, on the Great Ocean Walk. The preparation work was thorough and professional, and thoughtful in that you suggested the bigger house with two bathrooms which was excellent. Also, the catered option was a resounding success. Good hearty food in plentiful supply.
And Alison was very grateful to you for the offer of the loan of your hiking boots. She ended up buying some runners from High on Heels! We also wanted to acknowledge the outstanding work done by Reuben during our tour. He was unfailingly helpful, punctual, understanding, funny and professional. He won the hearts of the seven 60-year old ( some of us are still 59 3/4) women! The walk was energetic, challenging and a lot of fun. We are so glad we did it, and highly impressed with Walk 91.
Thanks once again for organising yet another excellent walking experience. Everyone in the group had a great time and as usual the accommodation was second to none. I hope to come back and do it all again some time in the future.Thought you might like a photo from the Eco Centre. Thanks again!
As a more mature group 65-70+ we were delighted to have the walk crafted around our needs. Those who did not wish to walk for the entire day had options of places to come out included in the itinerary.
The walk was SPECTACULAR. Stunning vistas and varying vegetation, flora and fauna. Glorious wild beaches with ever changing colour of the surf the rocky plateau and towering headlands. Some parts pretty challenging walking, especially walking between Melanesia Gate and Moonlight Head. We were able to keep to the recommended times. Maps and brochures colourful and informative. (Perhaps more indication of distances between vantage points and suggested stops for lunch).
Accommodation providers were most attentive to our every need from meals and dietary needs through to accommodation, accessibility for non walkers, drop off and pick up after the walk , including pick up for walkers finishing early…
Our comments for Parks Victoria: The boardwalks and wooden steps were in good order… only complaint is the difficulty in maintaining a normal stride on the wooden elevated strips.Signage was clear and accurate… more distance markers on the long stretches could be helpful. The seats at vantage spots were very welcome… maybe a few more logs along the way for our resting spots… Due to inaccessibility of much of the walk. Emergency assistance advice signs and possibly emergency assistance stations along the track would be advantageous.
Our tips as requested for future walkers? Get fit. Practice hiking up and down staircases. Make sure your day pack fits well on your hips. Wear in your hiking boots before embarking. Carry at least 1.5 litres of water. Binoculars and a small umbrella can be useful (for both sun and rain). Carry first aid kit. Electrolytes in pack also helpful for dehydration. Carry an EPIRB. Be advised before walking where mobile phones have coverage along the track.
With life’s craziness back in full swing, I cherish my memories of that feeling of tranquility. Certainly the only catered walk I found for the dates I had available on the Great Ocean Walk, and probably the only catered walk with ANY start date, variable lengths/sections. Fantastic introduction to long walks. Immaculate rooms, hot showers and hearty meals… what else is required after 20km?
Scenery ranged from spectacular to picturesque, terrain from rugged to light, and track clearly signed in the vast majority. Personalised transport each morning and afternoon, all I had to do was walk! This was my first “walk” – a personal test before I set out to sate my curiosity of the ‘el Camino’. And I hiked alone. After lunch on Day 1 I began to treasure the solitude. Never doubted my ‘safety’, with a borrowed phone and ‘reception’ points clearly marked on my map, and an EPIRB for that final insurance. With life’s craziness back in full swing, I cherish my memories of that feeling of tranquility.
I looked up Great Ocean Walk on the net and saw your website and liked the fact that you were a local business organising walks for self guided walkers. Some of the distances allocated for each day were too long for us but probably not for all your walkers. However Walk 91 were extremely accommodating and picked us up or dropped us off in locations so we didn’t need to walk the entire distances.
The accommodation providers added greatly to our enjoyment of the walk and I couldn’t recommend them or their accommodation highly enough. Both were clean and comfortable and we had superb food and slept well each night. We found Shayne’s talk as he showed us around the eco lodge property at Cape Otway very interesting. We enjoyed seeing the spotted quoll and potoroo and holding a sugar glider. Susie’s cooking and hospitality was exceptional and I have never tasted such a delicious lemon tart as hers.
The lunches provided by all the hosts were excellent. It was easy to find the meeting spots each day. We found the walking itself easy and the track mostly good. We didn’t find the hilly parts too steep. The scenery was varied and interesting. We enjoyed the looking at the spectacular coast line and noticing the changing types of bush as we walked. As it was spring the wild flowers were out. There was a lot of wildlife. We stopped on the track and watched the birds, saw a couple of koalas, an echidna and lots of wallabies. Coming from NSW we had never seen and heard koalas in the wild so we were thrilled to see and hear them. On the second last day the track was muddy and steep in places…our tip would be to wear proper walking shoes
We were very happy with our walk and Walk 91 couldn’t have organised it better or been more helpful to us. We’d like to give a special thank you to Sam for his great driving!
We had a great time on our walk and you and Mark (with the help of everyone at all the accommodations) made this one of the best holidays we have had. The accommodation was wonderful, and the hosts were gracious.
The walk was very well planned and the notes were also good, we used these notes the most. It was very picturesque, Day 4 was a little hard but not nearly as hard as Day 5. A note for Parks Victoria could improve the walk from Elliot Ridge to Blanket Bay… very muddy…
Our tips for other walkers would be to… Train, particularly in walking distances, and different terrains, especially if they have not done this kind of walking before. It irons out the problems with boots, blisters and carrying packs, without the training we did before hand I think I would have been a lot more worse for wear, and had not enjoyed it.
Just letting you know we are both home safe and sound, back to work tomorrow after a wonderful holiday. We once again would like to thank you for your wonderful care, we loved the walk and would happily do it again.
I read about the Great Ocean Walk first in the Sunday paper a while ago, but when we decided to do a walk I simply googled Great Ocean Road Walk and found your Walk91 site.
I think the Great Ocean Walk itinerary is terrific with great flexibility to suit every walker – their ability and their time frame… we loved it. Challenging enough, and great variety of bush, track and scenery… The tracks are a credit to Parks Vic…
(However, if I was to be critical, there are not quite enough signs, and the weeds need to be controlled. Perhaps a few more seats would be good too.)
I was comfortable in that it wasn’t over managed, but I could imagine that some people would want to be told or shown exactly what and when and how, e.g. where to stop for lunch, when to stop for a rest etc.
Our tips would be: prepare for the hills and do plenty of practice walks – not just around the block!!
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.