We are often asked here at Walk91, as locals in Apollo Bay, when is the best time to experience the Great Ocean Walk? Our answer is generally most of the time – but only if you come prepared. There is no such thing as a bad walk…..just bad preparation!
What are the best months of the year to consider walking?
Spring, autumn and summer (if it is not too hot) are the best times to explore the Great Ocean Walk trail with us. However, if you decide to tackle the walk in the winter, although it is still beautiful, remember that you will be walking through the lush, beautiful rain forest. It has been known to rain quite a lot and get quite muddy in sections!
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 consider walking. September to November is a really nice time to choose walking. This is also a fantastic time to see the spring flowers emerge and the wildlife and birds spring back to life.
You will find that December in this part of Victoria can start warming up quite a bit, but it is still a lovely time to explore the Great Ocean Walk. By January and February however, the weather can get really 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 the hot weather, we would suggest avoiding these peak summer months. (February, in particular, is the time of year that can be affected by fire warnings).
Going into March and April the weather starts cooling down a little, so its a perfect time to walk if you enjoy the sunshine but don’t want to be walking in extreme heat. Easter is a really nice time to walk but if you want to walk at this time you have to book early as it is probably the most popular time for bookings.
May and June start cooling down further, so you may experience the odd light shower, but it’s still a great time to enjoy walking the track. Walk91 are still operating at this time and this is one of our favorite times of year.
In July and August we start to get 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 it is not great if you’re walking in it every day of your walk! However, if you come prepared with good-quality wet weather gear and sturdy walking boots there is no reason why you shouldn’t consider a walk at this time. If you do have a choice we would suggest walking at kinder times of the year as listed above.
One of the problems you may experience walking at this time, 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.
And remember, although we offer a mix of supported camping packages, either with accommodation or without accommodation in the summer months, we do not offer these in the winter months. We would only suggest staying in accommodation in the winter.
So, matter what month you choose to walk, it pays to be prepared for any weather eventuality… sun, wind or rain. And always remember to leave details of when and where you will be walking with friends and family before you start your walk, especially if you are not walking with a support team behind you 🙂