Great Ocean Walk

Great Ocean Walk

Great Ocean Walk

Great Ocean Walk

The Great Ocean Walk is a one-way, long-distance walk extending just over 110km. This once-in-a-lifetime hike will take you eight days.

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Start at Apollo Bay, passing through Great Otway National Park and Port Campbell National Park on the way. You'll conclude your journey at the world-famous Twelve Apostles. Alternatively, you can sample sections on a range of short, day, and multi-day hikes.

The Great Ocean Walk shadows the iconic Great Ocean Road. Every day is different as those stunning coastal landscapes you see from your car window pass beneath your feet. The big skies and wild nature will astound you.

Discover the region’s diversity of plants, animals and scenery. Weave your way through tall forests, coastal heathlands and beside rocky shore platforms. Cross creeks and rivers and pass above wild-rocky shores and deserted beaches with panoramic views from windswept cliff-tops.

Walkers can stay at one of the dedicated campsites or find off-walk accommodation nearby with the comfort of hot showers and soft beds. There are seven small hike-in campsites, which must be booked prior to walking. Campgrounds are small and walking groups need to consider their noise and environmental impacts.

What might you see along the way:

  • Koalas resting in the eucalypt trees.
  • Cape Otway Lighthouse and its friendly guides ready to share stories of the Shipwreck Coast.
  • Wreck Beach at low tide with its rusting shipwreck anchors from the Marie Gabrielle and Fiji.
  • Rockpools at Blanket Bay and the pounding surf of Johanna Beach.
  • Wet fern and rainforest gullies sheltered by the world’s tallest flowering plant.
  • Remote and rarely visited places such as Station Beach, Milanesia Beach, Ryans Den, and Devils Kitchen.
  • Winter migrations of Humpback and Southern Right Whales passing just off-shore.
  • The high coastal cliffs of Moonlight Head.

 

Please note: Day 6 section - Johanna Beach Campground to Ryans Den is closed. All campgrounds along the Great Ocean Walk are open however walkers cannot continue along the trail from Johanna Beach Campground to Ryans Den.

A section of natural rock wall cliff face has subsided to the east of Ryans Den, with large boulders blocking the track. With recent severe weather conditions, there is potential for further landslides and rock falls in this area. It is not safe for walkers and it will be closed at least until 19 December pending further geotechnical advice.

If walking from Johanna Beach Campground, arrange transport to take you to Ryans Den Access Track in order to continue the Great Ocean Walk. A Licensed Tour Operator along the Great Ocean Road may be able to assist. All campgrounds along the Great Ocean Walk remain open including Johanna Beach Campground and Ryans Den. Visitor safety is our top priority and we are working to re-open this section of the walk as soon as it is safe.

A map of the Great Ocean Walk

Walk Experiences

The Great Ocean Walk offers a range of options for walkers with varying skill levels. Tackle the whole eight days, or experience it in shorter snippets. Choose from a variety of short, day and overnight hikes. You can experience the walk independently, use a licensed tour operator, or mix and match.

Two female hikers pose for a camera at the end of the Great Ocean Walk

Licensed tour operators

Local knowledge can make all the difference when planning for a spectacular hiking experience. Great Ocean Walk tour operators offer a range of services for walkers, including guided tours, transport, camping equipment hire and food provision.
A woman with a small backpack walks along a road surrounded by hills

Short and Day Walks

Take a day trip and choose from a variety of hikes up to six hours in length. Hikes range in difficulty from easy to hard, through varying terrain.
A woman with a large hike pack stands on a rock next to the ocean

Hike for 1–3 nights

If you don't wish to tackle the whole Great Ocean Walk, you can experience it in shorter snippets. Get a taste of the Great Ocean Walk on these 1-3 night itineraries.
Two female hikers follow the Great Ocean Walk trail down to Wreck Beach

Hike for 4–6 nights

Have a little longer to taste the Great Ocean Walk? Choose from these itineraries to plan your hiking adventure according to how much time you have.
Six friends sit on a boardwalk that has Great Ocean Walk written on it. Their backs are to the camera and the Twelve Apostles are in front of them

Hike the whole 8 days

Create your own unique experience and discover the nature of Australia as you walk beneath tall trees, across rock seashore platforms, along deserted beaches and soak in breathtaking cliff-top vistas.

Wildlife

Look and listen carefully and you will be rewarded. The Great Ocean Walk offers many opportunities to view wildlife in its natural settings – on land and out to sea.

Echidnas
Koalas
Kangaroos
Wallabies
Little Penguins
Seals

How to get there

Great Ocean Walk

Apollo Bay — the start of the Great Ocean Walk — is three hours' drive from Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road. If you have one vehicle we recommend that you park at the Twelve Apostles Carpark and get shuttled back to Apollo Bay to start your walk. If you don't have a vehicle, you can go with a Licensed Tour Operator or use one of the shuttle services. 

We suggest the following shuttles:


Alternatively, use public transport. The V/Line bus stops at the Twelve Apostles Carpark, Princetown and Apollo Bay.

Explore the region

Chairs surround a firepit with cabins surrounded by trees in the background

Off-walk accommodation

If you're looking for a little more luxury in nature, consider the wide range of accommodation options along the Great Ocean Road. Enjoy the extra comfort of a soft bed, hot shower, or even a spa.
A woman sits on the beach, behind her is boats on the ocean and hills in the distance

Towns and Villages

Each with their own history, culture and highlights, towns & villages along the Great Ocean Road have plenty of unique experiences. Read more and discover which regions suit you.
Four friends with tasting paddles do cheers

Eat and Drink

Discover where the popular bars, breweries, cafes, restaurants and wineries are around the Great Ocean Road region. Regardless of your dining preference, there is a venue for everyone!
A koala sits in a tree beside a Visitor Information sign on a tin building

Visitor Information Centres

Discover where & how to contact Visitor Information Centres along the Great Ocean Road. Each have local experts ready to ensure you make the most of your journey to the region.

Camping & accommodation

The Great Ocean Walk shadows the route of the iconic Great Ocean Road. Those stunning coastal landscapes you see from your car window are even better enjoyed at walking pace. The walk extends just over 100km and takes eight days, but you can also sample the experience with a range of half-day walks.
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Need to know

Great Ocean Walk

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I have a campfire?

    Campfires are NOT permitted within Great Ocean Walk hike-in campsites at any time.

    The nearby car-based Blanket Bay Campground and Aire River West Campground permit campfires. Campfires are only permitted in the designated fireplaces and campers must bring their own firewood from outside the national park.

    It is prohibited to light a campfire on a declared Total Fire Ban day in the South West Weather District, inside or outside tents, shelters or toilets. A portable gas stove is permitted to use for the sole purpose of meal preparation, providing it is in a stable position, in a 3m area cleared of flammable material. You have at least 10L of water immediately available and an adult must be present.

  • What if I cannot complete the walk?

    To assist park staff to locate and contact people on the walk when emergencies occur and to ensure hiker safety, it is important that you inform Parks Victoria if you do not complete any section of your registered hike.

    For your safety, and your role and responsibility in supporting efficient search and rescue, we recommend you register your trip intentions to aid emergency support should the need arise.

    A Trip Intention Form is advised for any hikers undertaking walking/hiking overnight.

  • Where can I park my car?

    No designated long-term parking exists for the Great Ocean Walk. It is strongly recommended that hikers use the shuttle services available.

    There are unsecured public car parks on the foreshore between Apollo Bay and Marengo. No designated long-term parking exists in this area. Unsecured public parking exists in the Great Otway National Park at day-visitor car parks and camping areas.

    Parking may be available at Princetown Recreation Reserve for hikers completing the ‘end’ of the walk. You should confirm with the Princetown Recreation Reserve caretaker (call 0429 985 176) BEFORE parking there. This is relatively secure parking and walkers can drop their packs off at their cars here before continuing the final 5km to end at the Twelve Apostles.

    Great Otway and Port Campbell National Park carparks are open to the public at all times. Please note:

  • The Twelve Apostles carpark is not patrolled after hours.
  • Hikers leave their vehicles in these areas at their own risk.
  • Please remember to remove valuables and lock your vehicle.
  • It is NOT recommended that visitors use Gibson Steps carpark for overnight parking. (very small, no facilities)
  • Your car safety remains your responsibility. Be sure to advise police if you intend to leave a vehicle for any length of time beyond one day.

  • Is there drinking water available along the walk?

    There are rainwater tanks at the Great Ocean Walk hike-in campgrounds, which collect untreated rainfall water. Due to the remote nature of the campsites, Parks Victoria cannot guarantee rainwater availability at each campsite.

    Hikers are responsible for their own water requirements. Tank-rainwater, when present, can be treated in several ways such as filtering and boiling or adding sterilisation tablets. Hikers should carry extra water in warm weather.

    There are a number of licensed tour operators who provide options to have water dropped off or delivered ahead of your hike.

  • Can I purchase food along the way?

    It is recommended you carry enough food for the walk as options for purchasing food are very limited. You may be able to purchase food from the following locations:

    • The historic Cape Otway Lightstation precinct café serves light meals and refreshments during business hours. Entry fees apply.
    • The Lightstation entry station sells cold drinks and snacks to visitors choosing not to enter the historic area.
    • Apollo Bay has supermarkets for comprehensive shopping needs and nearby villages are located at Lavers Hill and Princetown and Bimbi Park on Cape Otway.

    Parks Victoria’s licensed tour operators can provide a food and water drop-off service

  • What should I bring?

    Whether you are planning a multi-day hike or an afternoon walk, it is important to plan in advance. Coastal weather can change quickly and be unpredictable in all seasons. Be prepared for strong winds, heavy rain; as well as hot or cold weather throughout the year.

    • Protective clothing such as a jumper, weatherproof jacket, hat and sunscreen.
    • Sturdy footwear with a good tread.
    • First Aid Kit — for blisters, sunburn, stings and bites (especially if you have extreme reactions/allergies).
    • A large waterproof bag – may be useful for keeping gear dry inside your pack when crossing rivers.
    • A portable radio (not mobile phone/internet access) for immediate access to Emergency broadcasting and updates (e.g. fire and storm warnings and updates) including ABC Local Radio.
    • Food and Water — Carry food, water, water treatment methods, and equipment for up to 15km per day if you are walking unsupported. Alternatively, you may consider linking your walk to nearby accommodation and service providers. Water is untreated rainwater and not guaranteed to be available at campgrounds.
    • Leave no trace — please ensure that you carry all your rubbish out with you. Do not deposit rubbish into the composting toilets as this stops the systems from working and staff then have to physically remove your rubbish by hand.
  • Is there mobile phone and internet coverage on the walk?

    Mobile coverage is intermittent along the Great Ocean Walk. Generally, Telstra mobile coverage can be found at high points where there is little overhanging vegetation.

    Known mobile phone reception areas (Telstra only) include; Blanket Bay beach area, above Station Beach, Johanna Beach, Milanesia Beach at creek crossing, Ryans Den campground, Moonlight Head and Devils Kitchen campground ocean-view areas.

  • Can I swim along the Great Ocean Walk?
    Beaches along the track not patrolled by lifesavers, therefore swimming is not recommended. For information on patrolled swimming beaches, contact the Apollo Bay or Port Campbell Visitor Information Centres.
  • Where can I book a tour to complete the walk?

    One of the best ways to experience the Great Ocean Walk is with a Licensed Tour Operator. Booking a Licensed Tour Operator gives you the confidence they are insured and comply with park regulations and best of all, they do all the hard work for you by planning and preparing your visit so you can enjoy your nature-based adventure to the fullest.

Change of Conditions

Nature being nature, sometimes conditions can change at short notice. It’s a good idea to check this page ahead of your visit for any updates.

  • Lemonade Creek Walk (Great Otway National Park)

    Lemonade Creek Walking Track Closure

    Due to an unsafe pedestrian bridge, Lemonade Creek Walking Track will be closed for the foreseeable future. 

  • Great Otway National Park

    Extension of Seasonal road closures

    The following seasonal closure tracks within the Great Otway National Park have remained closed due to ongoing wet weather for public safety and protect track and surrounding areas from damage. 
     
    Curtis Track 
    Coopers No 2 Track 
    Jamieson Track 
    Godfrey Track
    Halls Ridge Road

    Part closure of Gentle Annie Track

    A section of Gentle Annie Track within the Great Otway National Park is closed due to track works being undertaken until 31 December.
    Gentle Annie Track is closed at the Old Coach Road end and at the intersection of Moggs Creek Track and Gentle Annie Track. 

    Extension of Seasonal Track closure

    Brown Town Track within the Great Otway National Park has remained closed due to ongoing wet weather for public safety and protect track and surrounding areas from damage. 

  • Alcoa Powerline Trail head (Anglesea Heath Alcoa Agreement Area)

    Alcoa Powerline Track Closed until further notice

    Alcoa Powerline Track closed until further notice due to safety concerns.

  • Great Ocean Walk - Day 6 - Johanna Beach to Ryans Den (Great Otway National Park)

    Great Ocean Walk Section Closure

    This section of the Great Ocean Walk west from Johanna Beach Campground through to Ryans Den access track (14.2km) is closed.
    Subsidence of sections of the rock wall cliff face have resulted in large boulders falling onto the track near Ryans Den. With recent severe weather conditions, there is potential for further landslides and rock fall in this area. It is not safe for people to walk this section of the trail.
    If walking from Johanna Beach Campground, you will need to arrange transport to take you to Ryans Den Access Track in order to continue the Great Ocean Walk. A Licensed Tour Operator along the Great Ocean Road may be able to assist.
    All campgrounds along the Great Ocean Walk remain open including Johanna Beach Campground and Ryans Den. 

    Melanesia Track damage- walkers take care

    Melanesia Track and the Great Ocean Walk between Johanna and Ryans Den have been damaged by 4WD activity. Walkers are advised to take care while accessing Melanesia Beach as the track is very slippery and rutted. 

  • Twelve Apostles (Port Campbell National Park)

    Saddle Lookout - access change

    From mid-September 2021 there will be no access to the Saddle and Castle Rock viewing areas while a new lookout is being built.

    Visitors can continue to enjoy the other lookouts, boardwalks and visitor areas at the Twelve Apostles and the other spectacular visitor sites in the Port Campbell National Park.

    For more information: https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/projects/saddle-lookout

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