Expeditions
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Outback to Ocean

Why we love this trip!

  • It combines two wonderfully contrasting landscapes of beautiful Victoria
  • In the Grampians, you get a real sense of being in the outback 
  • Along the Great Ocean Walk, the scenery and nature is wild and dramatic
  • The food is delicious and regional, so you will get a taste of what is produced close to where you are walking
  • The guides are insightful and informative and great companions of these journeys

Background

This has got to be one of the most unique treks in Australia where we combine the ancient land of Gariwerd, the traditional name for the Grampians and the equally dramatic Great Ocean Walk. The sheer contrast of landscapes showcases two of Victoria's best hiking trails, one a rugged mountainous outback region and the other a coastline carved by wind and ocean over the millennia. Couple this with delicious food and insightful guides and you have an 8-day adventure like no other.

Overview

Our journey begins in the Grampians located in western Victoria only 3 hours from Melbourne. This 160-kilometre long mountain range is made up of a series of giant escarpments that run parallel to each other and jut out from the surrounding plains. 80% of all Victorian Aboriginal art can be found in and among these escarpments. Our journey takes us deep into an ancient landscape, one dominated by cliffs of red rock and flora and fauna reminiscent of the dry outback. We will trek to summits with incredible views throughout the Grampians range and at night camp in beautifully designed bush camps. The camping however won't stop us from feasting on wonderful food freshly prepared each night. 

After 3 days of hiking, we will head toward the ocean and begin our journey along the iconic Great Ocean Walk at Johanna Beach. Unpack your bags, as we will call our accommodation home for the next 5 nights. Each day we will head out on a trek along this wonderful coastline, taking in its history and its raw beauty before heading back to our very comfy accommodation in the evening. 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 5-day expedition.

Throughout this journey, there is no need to carry a large heavy backpack. In the Grampians, your large backpack will be transferred to the next campsite and on the Great Ocean Walk, we stay in the same accommodation each night so no need to pack up and leave each day. A day pack is all that is needed to be carried each day. The perfect way to hike.

Who is this trip for?

If you love multi-day treks that have some demanding sections.

If you love supporting local businesses.

If you love camping out in nature but don't like to set up camp or cook meals.

If you love trekking through rugged Australian landscapes.

If you also appreciate a nice place to stay as well.

Other Australian Trips We Offer

Grampians Sip and Scramble: Four Day Hiking and Dining Experience

Yarra Valley Traipsing and Tasting: Four Day Hiking, Wining and Dining Experience

High Country Pedal and Pinot: Four Day Cycling, Hiking and Dining Experience

Epic Victorian Traverse: Seven Day Trekking Adventure (not for the faint-hearted)!

As part of our risk mitigation plan, all domestic Australian group sizes have been capped at 8 guests, and New Zealand at 10.  

If you'd prefer a private group with family or friends, don't hesitate to contact us to discuss

Itinerary

Day 1 Halls Gap to Bugiga Hiker Camp (L, D) (5 hours trekking)
Day 2
Bugiga Hiker Camp to Borough Huts Campground (B, L, D) (6 hours trekking)
Day 3
Borough Huts to Halls Gap and then travel to Johanna Beach on the Great Ocean Rd (B,D) (5 hours trekking)
Day 4 Blanket Bay to Cape Otway Lighthouse (B,L,D)
Day 5 Cape Otway to Aire River (B,L,D)
Day 6 Castle Cove to Johanna Beach (B,L,D)
Day 7 Milanesia Gate to The Gables (B,L,D)
Day 8 The Gables to The Apostles (B,L)

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 on the Great Ocean Walk and make the walk very uncomfortable. We suggest not to walk in this period.

Routes

Day 1: Halls Gap to Bugiga Hiker Camp

Day 1 we will all meet at the Halls Gap Post Office by 9am before heading deep into the Grampians escarpment along one of the most popular day trails and beyond. The trail winds its way from Halls Gap via Splitters Falls and then through the famed Grand Canyon. After a few ladder climbs we will continue on through narrow rocky trails to the wonderful Pinnacle before heading south to Lakeside Lookout and ultimately our Bugiga Hiker Camp. This trail offers incredible views for most of the day. The actual walk is 8.6km and should take us 5 hours. (L, D)

Day 2: Bugiga Hiker Camp to Borough Huts Campground

This is a wonderful days trekking as we will summit Mt Rosea (1009 meters). To reach Mt Rosea along the Grampians Peak Trail, we must first negotiate our way through a maze of sandstone outcrops before reaching her summit. The views from the top are incredible with panoramas of the Serra and Mt William Ranges. Our long descent is through a sheltered forest to the Borough Huts Campground. The trek is 13.8km and should take us 5-6 hours. (B, L, D)

Day 3: Borough Huts to Halls Gap then onto Johanna Beach, Great Ocean Road.

After a delicious breakfast, we will walk along Bellfield Lake via the Bellfield Track and the Terraces Fireline all the way into Halls Gap for lunch at the Brewery. While this part of the trail is not part of the main Grampians Peak Trail, it is the only way at present to loop back to Halls Gap. We will cover approximately 14km which should take us about 5 hours.

From Halls Gap, we head to our accommodation at Johanna and settle in for the night. We stay at the same accommodation for the entire week, so after each day of walking, we come back to a nice hot shower and a home-cooked meal. (B,D)

Day 4: Blanket Bay to Cape Otway Lighthouse

Today we commence our walk from Blanket Bay.  The walk follows the coastline with some rocky platforms and spectacular views. At Parker Inlet, we will make the decision whether to follow the inland track or walk along the beach. This decision is subject to tides and weather conditions.  We end our day of walking at the historic Cape Otway Lighthouse. A local historian will explain to us the history of the lighthouse and the coastline we just walked. From the lighthouse, we head back to our accommodation for a delicious meal. In total, we walk approximately 11km today. (B,L,D).

Day 5: Cape Otway Lighthouse to Aire River 

Today we head from the Lighthouse to Aire River. Subject to tide and weather conditions, we may be lucky enough to walk along Station Beach. If not, we follow the inland track and experience amazing views. There will be an option to see Rainbow Falls where a natural spring spills out onto a rocky coastal outcrop below. The day will end at the Aire River estuary. This is a pretty big day of walking, as we cover approximately 12km of coastline. (B,L,D)

Day 6: Castle Cove to Johanna Beach

The section between Castle Cove and Johanna Beach has some of the most spectacular landscapes of the entire trek. The hike along Johanna Beach with its expansive sand is definitely a highlight. It does get tiring on the legs though so we will take it easy and take in the incredible beauty of the place.  Approximately 14km of walking today. (B,L,D)

Day 7: Milanesia Gate to The Gables.

Today’s walk is affectionately called “The Rollercoaster”. That is because the track is a series of ups and downs. High sea cliffs, expansive views and coastal forests lead to Moonlight Head. It is a great day of walking as we pass Bowker Point, Ryan’s Den Campground and Cape Volney. The Gables themselves are the highest sea cliffs on mainland Australia, providing us with unsurpassed views of this incredibly rugged coastline. Approximately 15km of walking today. (B,L,D).

Day 8: The Gables to The Apostles

Our last day on the Great Ocean Walk. We start walking from the Gables and head towards the world-famous 12 Apostles.  We will pass through Wreck Beach where two shipwrecked hulls lay testament to the coastlines dangerous history.  From Wreck Beach we head to Gellibrand River and wetlands. From there we start to see the impressive 12 Apostles, a site you will never forget. We will walk down Gibson's Steps which were cut into the limestone cliffs by early explorers and explore the various viewing platforms and boardwalks of the 12 Apostles. Today is a long, 18km of walking, but we are rewarded with a sense of achievement in having completed the Great Ocean Walk. (B,L).

Note: Some people prefer to stay in Halls Gap the night before the trip. If you would like some suggestions for places to stay please let us know.

 

Inclusions

  • Experienced walking guides, first-aid trained 
  • 2 nights camping in the Grampians
  • 5 nights accommodation at Johanna Beach on the Great Ocean Walk section
  • Support vehicle 
  • Safety radios 
  • Park fees 
  • Water and snacks 
  • 7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches & 7 Dinners

Exclusions

  • Transfers between the Grampians and the Great Ocean Walk
  • Beverages
  • Insurance

Maps

Extensions