Great Ocean Walk Guided Tours

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Great Ocean Road Guided Walk Itinerary

Great Ocean Walk Shuttle Trips Starting On Sunday:

GUIDED 6 Day Self-Guided Walk Tour. Apollo Bay to 12 Apostles (Approx 104km) Departs Sunday 2PM

Experience the stunning beauty of the Great Ocean Walk, whilst basing yourself in the beautiful foothills of Apollo Bay.

1. Walk with a truely local business:

  • Gain insights into the hidden gems and secrets of the Great Ocean Road from our seasoned local guide.

  • With nearly two decades of helping walkers safely explore the Great Ocean Walk, you can trust us to provide a safe and authentic experience.

2. Local Support and Safety:

  • Walk with confidence, knowing that local assistance is always nearby.

  • Receive daily updates on trail conditions, tides, and more.

  • Rest easy with a comprehensive packing list and secure walk recommendations.

3. Lighten Your Load:

  • Walk backpack-free and carry only a small day pack with essentials.

  • Enjoy the freedom of exploring without the burden of luggage.

4. Connect and Reconnect:

  • Base yourself in Apollo Bay for a seamless experience.

  • Meet like-minded hikers whilst exploring this magnificent trail.

  • Leave the hustle and bustle of town behind to reconnect with nature on this world famous trail.

  • Meet up with friends or family in the afternoons to share stories of your adventures.

  • Cool off and enjoy Apollo Bay’s ‘swimming beach’ in the afternoons. (Most beaches on the trail are not safe for swimming).

5. Accommodation Freedom:

  • Choose accommodations that match your budget and preferences.

  • Optimise accommodation savings by booking multiple night stays.

  • Or bring your caravan and set up in local caravan parks for added convenience.

6. Culinary Delights:

  • Savor the town’s culinary delights for breakfast and dinner.

  • Explore local cafes and supermarkets for an authentic dining experience.

  • Alternatively, pack a yummy lunch from Apollo Bay’s locally owned bakery for your hike.

7. Cape Otway Lighthouse Bonus:

  • Enjoy a delightful bonus with complimentary entry tickets to Cape Otway Lighthouse.

  • Climb the tower and explore the oldest surviving mainland Australian Lightstation on your journey.

8. Your Support, Our Commitment:

  • Your participation contributes to our local community and the environment.

  • We proudly support our local football and netball clubs, nurturing a close-knit community.

  • We also provide financial assistance to Wildlife Wonders, championing animal and plant conservation.

  • Additionally, we make monthly donations to The Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

Embark on a journey of challenge; get away from it all and re-connect with loved ones or enjoy meeting fellow explorers. Immerse yourself in amazing views, stunning scenery, and encounters with Australian wildlife. Join us for an unforgettable Great Ocean Road adventure!

Inclusions: 

  • A local guide.

  • Experience for 4 to 10 Guests. (Minimum 4 walkers to run). 

  • Spacious Van or Minibus for Your Comfort.

  • 11 Transfers/Shuttles Picking You Up from The Apollo Bay Information Centre.

  • Updates on Decision Points, Text Points and Tide and Swell Conditions.

  • The Official Great Ocean Walk Map.

  • The guide walks with a PLB – Personal Locator Beacon in case of an emergency.

  • Complimentary Use of Walking Poles. 

  • Complimentary Cape Otway Lighthouse Tickets on Day 3.

ITINERARY (APPROX 104KMS) 

DAY 1  SUNDAY 8.5KM    SHELLY BEACH TO APOLLO BAY

2PM Transfer to Shelly Beach. 2.15PM You walk back into Apollo Bay and your accommodation at approx 5.30PM.

We transfer you to Shelly Beach and you walk with your guide back into your accommodation in Apollo Bay. This is a nice easy to medium trek to start off your Great Ocean Walk and sets the standard for the rest of your fabulous journey. The walk follows the magnificent coastline with sweeping views of the Great Otway National Park and the Cape Otway region.

(Please note that the reason we walk back into town from Shelly Beach is because there is no phone reception at Shelly car park). 

DAY 2 MONDAY 19KM   SHELLY BEACH TO PARKER HILL CAMPGROUND 

[Or stop walking at Blanket Bay at 13.5KM. Note – waiting times incurred. We will need to collect the guide and other walkers at Parker Hill first before we return to Apollo Bay.]

8AM Bus transfer from Apollo Bay. ETA: Shelly Beach 8.15AM
3.30PM Bus transfer from Parker Hill Campground.  ETA Apollo Bay 4PM.

As you leave Shelly Beach and head onto the Elliot River Track, the trail meanders into the cool rainforest of the Great Otway National Park. You will enjoy watching the vegetation change as you pass lush tree ferns and tall eucalyptus found in the wet gullies. Spot black wallabies and kangaroos (and occasionally deer!) who enjoy the seclusion of this now quiet and deserted area. It is wonderful to see the clear blue sea visible between the trees as you reach the top of the Telegraph Track, before slowly winding down the trail onto beautiful Blanket Bay.

You will now enjoy wonderful views as you gently wind up to Point Lewis Lookout. The trail moves on past several creek foot bridges before slowly descending to Parker River. You might have to remove your shoes as there is no footbridge here, but this gives you a chance to stop and marvel at the wild ocean beating the rocks just outside the inlet. If you are very lucky, you might even see the remains of the ‘Eric the Red’ shipwreck rising tantalisingly out of the sand.

DAY 3 TUESDAY 16KM  PARKER HILL CAMPGROUND TO AIRE RIVER BRIDGE. 

[Or stop walking at the Lighthouse at 5KM. Note – waiting times incurred. We will need to collect the guide and other walkers at Aire River first before we return to Apollo Bay.]

8AM Bus transfer from Apollo Bay. ETA: Parker Hill Campground 8.40am
4PM Bus transfer from Aire River Shelter, western side of the bridge. ETA: Apollo Bay 4.45PM

On today’s walk you will notice the vegetation slowly changes to dry coastal forests inhabited by echidnas and king parrots. Remember to look up, as this is a popular spot for local koalas to rest in the manna gums. Enjoy fabulous views of the Bass Strait as you walk above Crayfish Bay, and enjoy your first glimpse of the Cape Otway Lighthouse from the sweeping staircase at Point Franklin.

Today, if opening hours allow, you may use our complimentary tickets to visit the Cape Otway Lighthouse where you may walk up the 18 metre, 150-year-old lightstation tower and learn about the lives of the hard-working, isolated and incredibly resourceful lighthouse keepers. If you still have the energy, you may also like to visit the telegraph station built in 1859 and the World War ll radar station.

After exiting the Lighthouse you will pass the old lightstation cemetery. The tombstones reflect the hardships experienced by the early settlers and make for somber reading. The track then meanders on towards the wild and wonderful Station Beach, which is littered with driftwood. If you have the energy, and the swell and tide allows, you may take a small detour to Rainbow Falls, or simply carry on walking to enjoy sweeping views from the cliff tops. You’ll slowly make your way towards walking along the heritage listed Aire River. This stunning river is so peaceful it is teaming with wildlife, but sadly it has a dark history. Tragically this spot was the location of a massacre of the Traditional Owners of the land, the Gadubanud, following a conflict at Blanket Bay with the new settlers.

DAY 4 WEDNESDAY 22.5KM     AIRE RIVER TO MILANESIA GATE.

[Or stop walking at Johanna at 15KM. Note – waiting times incurred. We will need to collect the guide and other walkers at Milanesia Gate first before we return to Apollo Bay.]

7.30AM Bus transfer from Apollo Bay. ETA: Aire River 8AM
4PM Bus transfer from Milanesia Gate. ETA: Apollo Bay 5PM

Start your day by walking over the Aire River bridge, towards Castle Cove beach. This magnificent beach has its own lookout platform. Stop and marvel at the prowess of local surfers and watch the wild waves rolling in!

Moving on, be prepared for walking on sand as you drop down onto the wild and wonderful Johanna Beach. This beach has been used as an alternative in the past for professional surfing competitions when surf conditions at the famous Bells Beach in Torquay were not big enough. Needless to say – don’t try and go for a swim here! Look out for majestic wedge-tailed eagles and white bellied sea eagles and remember to stop at the lookout platforms for unbelievable views.

After leaving Johanna Beach behind, you climb alongside picturesque farmland and winding valleys before heading towards Milanesia. As you climb, look out for kangaroos grazing in the sun and you may even spot the Otway Panther! (There is an ongoing debate in Apollo Bay as to whether this panther truly exists, which we will happily chat to you about when you arrive if your interest is piqued!) After passing ‘3 ways’ , (you may stop walking here if you wish) head on down to Milanesia Gate where we will pick you up after a great days walk!

DAY 5 THURSDAY 18.5KM     MILANESIA GATE TO THE GABLES.

[Or stop walking at Moonlight at 12KM. Note – waiting times incurred. We will need to collect the guide and other walkers at The Gables first before we return to Apollo Bay.]

7AM Bus transfer from Apollo Bay. ETA: Milanesia Gate 8AM.
4PM Bus transfer from ‘The Gables’ Beach. ETA: Apollo Bay 5PM

The trail starts by descending onto the rugged shoreline of Milanesia Beach. Stop and marvel at the stunning rock formations and think of Charles Joseph La Trobe who was ordered by his superintendent in 1846 to find a route from here to Cape Otway through this rugged landscape!

As the track rises back to the cliff tops you are presented with outstanding views from the coastal forests, high on the sea cliffs. Take the time to look back at how far you have already walked, and rest at Ryans Den campground. But, before you leave, be sure to check out some of the campsite locations for some amazing views.

Walking on you will pass the ‘Lost Apostle’ – a rather phallic rock formation standing surprisingly all alone. From Moonlight Head the track winds along boardwalks and tracks lined with fern trees. As this is quite a sheltered area, you will likely see more wildlife here than before with wallabies, kangaroos and echidnas rustling in the bushes. Walk on through the blue gums, ending amongst the heath at the breathtaking Gables Lookout.

DAY 6 FRIDAY 19.5KM       THE GABLES TO THE 12 APOSTLES.

[Or stop walking at Princetown at 13.5KM. Note – waiting times incurred. You will still have enough time to see the 12 Apostles. We
will need to collect the guide and other walkers at The 12 Apostles first before we return to Apollo Bay.]

7AM Bus transfer from Apollo Bay. ETA: ‘The Gables’ 8AM        
3.30PM Bus transfer from 12 Apostles. ETA: Apollo Bay 5PM.

You will now be transported back in time to discover the shipwreck history of this unforgiving and rugged section of coast. Your last day will start with a walk through the Sheoak trees, dropping down onto Wreck Beach (tide permitting). Marvel at the old anchors rising out of the sand from the lost shipwrecks of the ‘Fiji’ and the ‘Marie Gabrielle’ and stop and think of the many lives lost at sea. Hike on towards the Gellibrand estuary and as the track climbs up to the last section of the walk you will see the iconic 12 Apostles in the distance.

This is an exciting and memorable part of your walk as you slowly watch the 12 Apostles grow larger and more impressive as the end of your walk approaches. The vegetation starts to change into scrub, wedged deeply in the rocky limestone, and if the tide permits you can walk down ‘Gibsons Steps’ to enjoy amazing sea-level views of the 12 Apostles. At the end of your walk you will enjoy celebrating your great achievement, taking photos from the official 12 Apostles viewing platform. This is a truly memorable walk and an experience you will never forget!

Please note you will not be back in Apollo Bay in time to catch the early afternoon vline bus out of Apollo Bay, so please book an additional night’s accommodation in Apollo Bay if you have not travelled here by car/private vehicle.

Before You Book Your Great Ocean Walk Holiday Package

This guided Great Ocean Walk experience requires a minimum of four participants. If you are a single walker booking this service and receive a ‘booking pending’ email, it means you are the first to book this bus itinerary on your chosen date. We will contact you once other walkers are confirmed to see if you still wish to proceed with your booking.

Please ensure the tour dates are confirmed before booking your accommodation in Apollo Bay, flights, or other travel arrangements, especially if you are walking alone.

To be fair to all participants, we must depart at the advertised times. The bus departs from and returns to the Apollo Bay Information Centre. You are responsible for booking and paying for your own accommodation and food.

Get Ready for Your Great Ocean Road Walking Holiday

We recommend preparing and training for the walk. Only book this tour if you are confident in your walking ability and can meet us at the advertised pick-up times each day. This tour is suitable for those who can walk approximately 3 km per hour and handle extended distances with a small day pack, including breaks as needed. If you are a very fast or very slow walker, please contact us for alternative tour suggestions.

Please wear appropriate clothing, such as sunscreen, a hat, a waterproof rain jacket, and comfortable, broken-in walking shoes or boots. Bring a 2-3 litre refillable water bottle and a packed lunch. We will provide a more detailed packing list upon booking, but these items are essential for an enjoyable walk.

A Telstra phone is highly recommended as Telstra offers the best reception on the Great Ocean Walk trail. (Telstra sim cards are available at Aldi before you arrive in Apollo Bay.) We will give you ‘TEXT’ points to check in with us throughout the day.

In case of an extreme emergency, ensure you have travel insurance and that your ambulance registration is up to date (for Australian residents).

CHILDREN: Parents or guardians must accompany children under 16 years old. Infants cannot book a seat. The standard adult fare applies to children, with a minimum age of 10. Child seats are not available.

(Prefer a fully self-guided adventure? Explore our Best-selling Great Ocean Walk Tours.)

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