5 days, 4 nights
Duration

The Great Ocean Walk is one of Australia’s most iconic hikes. If you are new to walking or hiking, and are keen to give it a go, then this is the perfect trip for you.

The spectacular route weaves its way through national parks full of tall forests, coastal heathlands, wild rocky shores and windswept cliff-tops, presenting amazing views as nature truly unfolds at every step. If you have driven the Great Ocean Road you are in for even more of a treat, as walking it gives you a unique perspective of the remote and dramatic landscape which cannot be fully appreciated from a vehicle window.

We have handpicked our three favourite walks, averaging 13-20 kms a day over three days. This means that you get to see the best bits of the truly majestic coastline. These walks can be undertaken by anyone with a reasonable level of fitness, with an average walking pace of 3 kms an hour. It is not technically difficult, but the walk is certainly worth training for if you are not used to long distance walking. You probably won’t notice how far you’ve walked as you’ll be distracted by the natural scenery around you and the friendships you will make with your fellow walkers. You will only need to carry your day pack with you and you will be fully supported with a hand-picked local guide. There will also be a support vehicle which will meet you along the way (usually at lunch if you want to take a break half way along).

At night we’ll stay in a holiday cottage in a relaxed rural setting at Glenaire (half way along the Great Ocean Walk) with with a beautiful fire place, super comfy beds and warm showers. No need to do it too tough! You will only need to unpack once as we will stay in the same location for the duration of the walk. We will be driven by the support vehicle to the starting point each day, then met at lunch time and picked up in the afternoon. The accommodation includes a continental breakfast, lunch supplies to make your own lunch and a healthy and wholesome catered dinner. Whilst all food will be provided as indicated, help with preparation and cleaning up will be part of your experience.

It doesn’t matter what your motivation is. You may be on a weight loss program, or coming back from illness or injury. You may have reached the stage where you want to do something for yourself or you’re simply not confident in walking alone. Whatever your reason, this trip will give you the support, guidance and friendship you need to feel empowered and to gain that sense of achievement. Director Sharon Thrupp will be your support for the September and November walks, with local insiders Alan and Lynda being the walking guides.

If you have a private group then chose from one of our 3 private group departures and Alan and Lynda, our local insiders, will provide the pickups (if required) and guide you each day on the walk. All food will be provided for you.

Want to see Melbourne? Ask us about the option of staying for the weekend before or after the walk.

 

TOUR DATES

27 September – 1 October, 15 – 19 November 2018 (Group departures)

20 – 24 September, 18 – 22 October, 29 November – 3 December 2018 (Private group departures)

TOUR COST

$1,350 per person twin share

$350 single supplement

DURATION

05 Days, 04 Nights

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Castle Cove
  • Blanket Bay
  • Otway Lighthouse
  • Hike: Blanket Bay to Cape Otway
  • Hike: Gables Lookout to Princetown Recreation Reserve

TOUR ROUTE

Melbourne – Glenaire – Blanket Bay – Cape Otway – Aire River – Castle Cove – Johanna Beach – Gables Lookout – Princetown Recreational Reserve – 12 Apostles – Melbourne

INFO

Sharon Thrupp +61 437967819

EMAIL

tour@eknotravels.com.au

Insider Guides

Sharon-GOW Sharon Thrupp is an experienced tour guide and bush walker, having lead groups throughout India, Nepal and Australia. She has spent her life travelling and exploring many continents, which has included living in India for the past 15 years and enjoying walks in all parts of the world. She was born and raised on a sheep farm just outside of Roma in Queensland.
Alan-GOW Lynda-GOW Alan & Lynda are both native Victorians and are our experienced insider guides for the Great Ocean Road. Alan was born and bred close to Ferguson in the Otway Ranges. The Great Ocean Road has been his playground forever and he is particularly interested in the local flora and fauna (fungi being his speciality). Lynda was bought up in Eastern Victoria and currently lives close to the Great Ocean Road in Colac. She has a deep love of bush walking and has a lot of experience walking in many parts of Australia, as well as the rest of the world.

 

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Additional information

DestinationAUSTRALIA
Day 1
You will be collected from Melbourne airport at 12:00pm, and then you can meet your fellow travellers, sit back and enjoy the 3hr drive to Castle Cove in a private vehicle. We’ll stop for lunch at Colac, where you will also have the option to do a quick supermarket shop to collect supplies. We’ll arrive in the late afternoon at our accommodation at Glenaire on the Great Ocean Road . The rest of the day is at your leisure to take a short walk to the lookout at Castle Cove or to simply enjoy the quiet surrounds.
Day 2
After breakfast we’ll drive to Blanket Bay (starting at 8am) to meet our local guide. We’ll follow a boardwalk to Point Lewis Lookout, for your first glimpse of the spectacularly rugged coastline. Then we’ll wander through majestic coastal forests until we reach Parker Inlet. Here you will get your feet wet on an unbridged river crossing. You’ll need to have your camera ready as the next few kilometres offer stunning cliff edge views. We will arrive at the Otway Lighthouse (entry $20) at lunch time, where you can either finish your walk for the day and spend some time learning about the fascinating local history or walk to the next pickup up point at Aire River Camp Site.

Hike: Blanket Bay to Cape Otway (11kms), Cape Otway to Aire River Camping Ground (10kms) – Total 21kms

Day 3
Today we are almost guaranteed to meet some Koalas lazing in the low hanging branches of the eucalyptus trees when we start our walk back at Aire River. From here we will head inland, climbing up and around the headland through spinifex forests. There will be some hills today so you have the choice of a short or longer walk. At lunchtime we’ll take a break at our accommodation and you can decide to take the next section off or push on with us to Johanna Beach. Through heath lands and forests we’ll make our way to one of the best beaches on the walk. Prepare to get your feet wet again before leaving the beach to return to our accommodation for the evening.

Hike: Aire River to Castle Cove (6km) or Johanna Beach (13km) – Total 19kms

Day 4
If the tides allow us, today we’ll head to the most exciting part of the walk – Wreck Beach. Starting at Gables Lookout, we’ll experience one of the highest cliffs in mainland Australian with views right out to to sea. Then it’s just a short walk to the top of the steps down to Wreck Beach. It’s important we get the timing right as there are 366 steps down to the beach, that’s too many steps to come back up if the tide is in! This beach is seriously impressive with its towering cliffs, intriguing rock formations and half buried anchors from long ago seafaring tragedies. There will be some rock scrambling, so we’ll need to work as a team and help each other.

If the tides are right we’ll see anchors of two of the many ships which give the bay its name. The stopping point for lunch is the Princetown Recreation Reserve. Here you will be met by the support vehicle and you can choose to either walk on to the 12 Apostles (a further 7.6 kms away) or travel by vehicle. The 12 Apostles (although now only 7) will come into view as we approach the end of our walk at the visitor centre. After admiring the view and our sense of achievement we will be met and transferred back to our accommodation where a celebratory dinner is in order.

If you really want to treat yourself after all of your hard work we can arrange for a masseuse to come to the accommodation for an optional private massage.

Hike: Gables Lookout to Princetown Recreation Reserve (12 kms), Princetown Recreation Reserve to the 12 Apostles (7.5kms) – Total 19.5kms

Day 5
After breakfast we’ll depart at 7.30am to allow us to be back at Melbourne Airport by 10:30am.

Not ready to leave yet? Why not take the option of staying for a weekend in Melbourne, just ask if you’d like assistance with arranging accommodation, transport or activities.

If you’re not a Victorian, you might assume the weather on the Great Ocean Walk will be similar to Melbourne, and although the weather is changeable by the hour, as it is in the capital city, the natural air-conditioner of the Bass Strait keeps the extreme highs and lows at bay. The graph may help you decide your preferred time to join us on the Great Ocean Walk.

INCLUDES

Private group transfer to/from Melbourne Airport (pickup 12pm on Day 1 and drop off 10:30am Day 5)

Daily transfers to/from the GOW each day

Met by the support vehicle each day at lunchtime

Opt out options midway through day if required – pickup in support vehicle at lunch time

Fully hosted walk each day by local guide

Holiday home accommodation in Glenaire with shared bedroom/bathroom facilities (2 per bedroom/bathroom and 1 bedroom with max 4 person with bathroom)

All linen and towels

Maps/trip notes/packing suggestions

Meals – 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners

EXCLUDES

Lunch on the first and last day

Flights to/from Melbourne

Travel insurance

OPTIONAL EXTRA

  • Entrance fee to the Otway Lighthouse on Day 2 ($20)
  • Massage on Day 4 ($100 an hour or part thereof)
  • Download of the Great Ocean Walk App for Audio stories
  • Got a friend or partner who’d like to join you but doesn’t want to walk? Ask us about the options we can offer them.
  • Extend your holiday with a weekend in Melbourne. Assistance available with accommodation and transportation package.
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