No Roads Expeditions

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7 Day Great Ocean Walk

  • London Bridge
  • Gibson Step
  • Walking GORd
  • Waterfall
  • Overlooking Great Ocean Rd

Highlights

  • Walk one of the most beautiful coastlines in Australia 
  • See sweeping coastal cliffs and rugged shores 
  • Trek through pristine a ecologically diverse forests 
  • This is the full length of the Great Ocean Rd Track 
  • Learn about the colourful local shipping and colonial history from local experts

Overview

FREE TREKS : Put together a trip of 10 people and You will travel for free. Or we can distribute the cost of your trip over the rest of the group to give them a discount.  

Want just a weekender with the main highlights? Check out our 3 day Great Ocean Rd Track!

Trek one of Australia's most stunning sections of coastline on a full week walk of the Great Ocean Rd Track. You will enjoy great accommodation, incredible food & the company of new friends. Each day will present different terrain & spectacular views giving you a full appreciation of what this amazing landscape and ecosystem has to offer. Breathtaking coastal scenery, deserted wild beaches, sheer cliffs, historical lighthouses and shipwrecks, giant mountain ash forests, pristine river estuaries, abundant wildlife, dunes and coastal heathlands all await the adventurous hiker on this exciting 7 day expedition.


The Great Ocean Walk extends from Apollo Bay through the Great Otway National Park, to the famous Twelve Apostles near Port Campbell. Along the way it traverses some of Australia's most amazing coastal scenery, cutting through the Otway National Park where mountains and forest plunge dramatically to meet the Southern Ocean. The trail is rich with wildlife as the Otway National Park is home to over 60 threatened species, so expect to see Wallabies, Koalas, Echinda's and other iconic Australian wildlife on your hikes as well as abundant birdlife.

This walk encompasses the full length of the walking trail so you experience all of the most spectacular and remote sections of the trail, showcasing all the wonderful diversity of scenery and habitats. We have also included a 'rest day' on Day 4 with a shorter, leisurely walk with a local shipwreck historian who will bring the incredible history of this coast alive. We will also be accompanied by an Indigenous guide who join us on a section and present to us on the culture and traditions of the Aboriginal people who occupied this area for thousands of years. Both presentations are fascinating and at the end of the week you'll leave with a much richer understanding of the natural and man made history that makes this area so unique.

Itinerary

Day 1 Melbourne - Apollo Bay / Walk Apollo Bay - Shelly Beach 8km walking
Day 2 Walk Shelly Beach to Parker Inlet 20.5km walking
Day 3 Cape Otway - Johanna Beach 22.5km walking
Day 4 Parker Inlet - Cape Otway 6km walking Rest Day
Day 5 Johanna Beach - Ryan's Den 14.5km walking
Day 6 Ryan's Den - Wreck 14km walking
Day 7 Wreck Beach - 12 Apostles 17km walking 

Private Expeditions: If our dates don't suit and you have a group of 8 or more we can run this expedition on any date you wish.

Note 1: From mid November to mid January, millions of flies inhabit the track and make the walk very uncomfortable. We suggest not to walk in this period.

Note 2: This walk traverses the coastline of Southern Victoria with all of its ascents, descents and forested areas. The distances covered on some of the 3 consecutive hiking days exceed 20kms and walking on soft sand can make this tougher than the distances suggest. There are some very challenging sections throughout the walk and a reasonable level of fitness is required. Each day you'll be transferred back to base which means you'll only have to carry your day pack.

Routes

Day 1 Melbourne - Apollo Bay / Walk Apollo Bay - Shelly Beach 8km walking (D)

7.30am pick up from the Melbourne Arts Centre, St Kilda Road. Transfer to Apollo Bay approx. 3 hours drive and where we stop for lunch and check into our accommodation. After a briefing from your walking leader we'll head out that afternoon on the first section of the walk. The Great Ocean walk starts from the Apollo Bay visitor's centre and winds out through the town to the beachside suburb of Marengo, named by a passing French explorer.

Marengo is home to a colony of Australian fur seals who hang out on rocks in the bay. The walk follows the foreshore as we leave Marengo and enters the Otway forests, eventually coming out at Shelly beach where we end for today and transfer back to Apollo Bay for the evening. That night we'll enjoy a good meal out on the town and prepare for a big walk the next day.

Accommodation: Apollo Bay

Walking distance: approx. 8 km / 3 - 4 hours walking

Meals included: Dinner only

Day 2 Walk Shelly Beach - Parker Inlet 20.5km walking (B,L,D)

The first section of our walk today takes us away from the coast and into the towering forests of mountain ash that characterize this part of the Otway National Park. At up to 65m high these are some of the biggest trees in Australia and walking through the heart of the giant forest is a wonderful experience though there are some hills to be negotiated!

We rejoin the coast at Blanket Bay, an isolated stretch of coast that was one of the original ports for unloading supplies for the Cape Otway light station. The track meanders along the cliff tops and through coastal forests to the quiet haven of Parker's inlet. Expect to see Black wallabies, Echidna's, Black Cockatoo's, Rosella's and other wildlife along our route. At Parker's inlet we transfer to our accommodation at Cape Otway. You will be in shared bunk house style accommodation in natural surroundings - a great place to see the resident Koalas of Cape Otway.

Accommodation: Cape Otway

Walking distance: approx. 20.5 km walking / 6 - 7 hours

Meals included: Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner

Day 3: Cape Otway - Johanna Beach 22.5km walking (B,L,D)

This morning we start from the Cape Otway light house, which is Australia's oldest continuously operating lighthouse. We then ascend back up to the escarpment overlooking the beach and walk along a narrow coastal path overlooking Station beach.

The path winds through along the cliff tops and then wind sculpted sand dunes before descending to the beautiful Aire River estuary and surrounding wetlands. After stopping for a break at Aire river we continue along the coastal path with stunning coastal views ahead en route to Castle Cove. Located on a spectacular bend of the Great Ocean Road at Glenaire, Castle Cove is a beautiful beach surrounded with towering cliffs which have high archaeological significance, as dinosaur fossils have been found here.

Continuing on from Castle Cove we encounter some of the most spectacular coastal views of the entire walk. The track winds its way along the cliff tops, through heathlands and forests, occasionally emerging to give breathtaking and extensive views along the coast. The forest here is an interesting mixture with grass trees and manna gums. Eventually we emerge onto the broad expanse of Johanna Beach. We finish the day by walking along this beautiful beach which must rate as one of the best in Australia for its views and crashing surf.

We transfer back from Johanna Beach to our accommodation at Cape Otway.

Accommodation: Cape Otway

Walking distance: Approx. 22.5 km walking / 6-8 hours

Meals included: Breakfast and packed lunch and dinner

Day 4: Parker Inlet - Cape Otway 6km walking / rest day (B,L,D)

Today is a relatively relaxing day where we take time to explore Cape Otway at a leisurely pace. This morning we return to Parkers Inlet and join a local Shipwreck Historian who'll inform us of some of the fascinating and often tragic history of Cape Otway and it's significance in Australia's development. We meander along the waters edge following rock shelves and beaches before we ascend the cliffs along the coast to the Cape Otway light house (Australia's oldest continuously operating lighthouse). We take a tour around this historic structure with it's museum and telegraph station.

Remainder of the day can be spent relaxing or enjoying further short walks in the area.

Accommodation: Cape Otway

Walking distance: Approx. 6 km walking / 2-3 hours

Meals included: Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner

Day 5: Johanna Beach - Ryan's Den 14.5km walking (B,L,D)

Our afternoon walk is one of the wildest and most challenging sections of the entire track. We take the track from Johanna beach where the track rises through rolling hills and farmland as it cuts inland before returning to the coast and one of the walk's highlights: Milanesia Beach.

Isolated, rugged and hidden, Milanesia receives few visitors and is all the more special for it. From here the trail continues along the high sea cliffs to our take out point at Ryan's Den with breathtaking views all the way back to Cape Otway lighthouse.

Accommodation: Port Campbell

Walking distance: Approx. 18 km walking / 6-8 hours

Meals included: Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner

Day 6: Ryan's Den - Wreck Beach 14 km walking (approx based on tide and access) (B, L, D)

We continue through coastal forests that lead us to the evocatively named Moonlight Head and Cape Volney with more breathtaking views to Cape Otway. After Moonlight head the track dips down into a valley to follows an a newly cut section of track which will bring us to the Gables Lookout, perched on one of the highest sea cliffs in mainland Australia. Groups in September may be lucky enough to see one of the departing Southern right whales which frequent this coast in the winter months. We continue through a grove of Casuarina trees to come out near Wreck Beach where at low tide we can descend and see the anchors of two of the many shipwrecks that lie submerged along this coast ('The Fiji' and the 'Marie Gabrielle').

Accommodation: Port Campbell

Walking distance: Approx. 14 km walking /4-6 hours

Meals included: Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner

Day 7: Wreck Beach - 12 Apostles 17 km walking (B, L)

Our final day on the Great Ocean walk! We continue our walk from Wreck Beach passing the Devil's Kitchen we follow a new section of track that hugs the wild coastal cliffs towards Princetown and the Twelve Apostles marine park. The wetlands around Princetown support a wide variety of birdlife and we cross the Gellibrand River on a trestle bridge. We are now on the home stretch into Port Campbell National Park and the world famous Twelve Apostles soon come into sight.

The Great Ocean walk currently finishes by Glen Ample homestead and we'll have a drink to celebrate our achievement. For those who are keen the last few kilometers can be walked to reach the visitor centre at the Twelve Apostles (time permitting). That evening we return to Melbourne, anticipating arriving by 8pm after stopping en route for dinner.

Walking distance: Approx. 17 km walking /4-6 hours

Meals included: Breakfast, packed lunch

Inclusions

  • Return transfers from Melbourne 
  • Experienced walking guides, first-aid trained 
  • 6 nights accommodation, 2 nights beach front hotel in Apollo Bay and Port Campbell and 4 nights private cabin Cape Otway (twin share)
  • Support vehicle 
  • Luggage transfers each day 
  • Safety radios 
  • Park fees 
  • Water and snacks 
  • 6 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches & 6 Dinners

Exclusions

  • Beverages
  • Insurance

Maps