Spring and Autumn, and summer if it is not too hot. Winter can be a nice time to walk, but as you are near the rainforest…it has been known to rain quite a bit!
If you prefer to hike in slightly cooler weather and don’t mind a possible rain shower here and there, spring is a perfect time to walk. (i.e. Sept -Nov). This is also a fantastic time to see the spring flowers emerge.
December in this part of Victoria can start warming up but is still a lovely time to explore the Great Ocean Walk. However, by January and February the weather can get quite hot and the flies come out in force! If you are not used to walking long distances in the heat and have not been training for your walk in hot weather we would suggest avoiding the summer months. (In February, in particular, you also need to consider the possibility of fire danger).
March and April generally see the weather cooling a little, so perfect if you enjoy the sunshine but don’t want to be walking in extreme heat. May and June cool down further, so and you may experience the odd light shower, but it’s still a great time to enjoy the track.
In July, August and the start of September we start to receive a lot of rain (if we’re lucky!). The wet weather is perfect for refilling the water tanks on the track and to rejuvenate the rainforest, but not great if you’re walking in it every day! However, if you come prepared with good-quality wet weather gear and sturdy walking boots there is no reason why you wouldn’t consider a walk at this time. The only problem you may experience, other than the rain, is higher tides and swell than usual. However, the Great Ocean walk offers several decision points where you can choose to walk the high tide or low tide route, so this should not prevent you from completing the trail all the way from Apollo Bay to the 12 Apostles.
No matter what month you choose to walk, it pays to be prepared for any weather eventuality… sun, wind or rain. A successful walk is a well-planned walk!
When you are thinking about a packing list for the Great Ocean Walk, Walk 91 suggest the following:
- Bring protective & comfortable clothing with you. We recommend the minimum of;
- A warm lightweight weather proof jacket preferably with a hood
- Waterproof ‘over’ trousers if walking in winter
- Sturdy walking boots which you have worn in
- A spare pair of shoes in case of blisters & comfortable shoes to wear at the accommodation
- A few pairs of good quality socks
- A hat with a brim to protect you from hot sun
- Sunglasses are great to protect your eyes from bright sun.
- Hand towel. This can be handy to carry in your day pack so that you may dry your feet after river crossings or to dust sand off your feet if you decide to go barefoot on the beach! (Our accommodation hosts provide bath towels/bedding)
- Trousers that dry quickly are recommended and trousers that zip off at the knee are great to double up as shorts if you have them
- A warm jumper/fleece is recommended (try a ‘walking brand’ as they are designed to dry quickly and are lightweight and warm).
- Clothes that you can layer for warmth are best and a long sleeve shirt with a collar is perfect to protect from the sun and wind.
- Swimming costume / bathers are handy if you want to pop in for a swim in the designated swimming areas. Ask at your private walk briefing (included in your Walk 91 Great Ocean Walk package) where it is safe to swim.