Return again and again and build your own Great Ocean Walk experiences. Several half-day walks explore the tall forests of the 'tamer side' or for the more experienced hiker, the remoter, steep and isolated coves of the 'wild side' in the sections closer to the Twelve Apostles.
Less than 3 hours in length, ranging in difficulty and all are accessible from established visitor car parks.
Lighthouse Cemetery and Lookout Walk – 800m, walk grade easy
The gravel path leads walkers from the carpark out through beard heath to a hilltop lookout. You will be rewarded with views across to the lighthouse, and the ocean. Visit the historic cemetery which bears witness to the realities of lives lost at sea and the harsh isolation of early light station life. Fee applies for Cape Otway Lightstation entry.
Start: Cape Otway Lightstation carpark
Marengo to Shelly Beach – 4.4kms, walk grade medium
A mixture of rocky foreshore, wind swept hilltop views and tall shady forest. The exposed, and aptly named, Bald Hill traverses on and off the beach through the sheltered forest to picturesque Shelly Beach and up to the picnic area. Take the coastal route at low tide and during calm seas.
Start: Marengo caravan park
End: Shelly Beach picnic area
Shelly Beach Walk – 900m loop, walk grade medium
This is one of the best short walks on the Great Ocean Walk. The track will take you through fern gullies, coastal scrub, to Shelly Beach.
Start: Shelly Beach picnic area
End: Shelly Beach picnic area
Princetown to the Twelve Apostles – 7.0kms, walk grade medium
The walk begins near the Gellibrand River Bridge. You will traverse cliff-tops and undulating heath-clad dunes as the distinctive rock stacks begin to reveal themselves. Continue past Gibson Steps Beach (which is not accessible at high tide) to end at the iconic Twelve Apostles kiosk and carpark facility.
Start: Princetown Recreation Reserve
End: Twelve Apostles kiosk and carpark facility
The Gables Lookout – 400m, walk grade easy
This easy return walk travels through a Casuarina tree grove to a spectacular clifftop lookout. Enjoy views over the ocean and the reefs surrounding Moonlight Head. This is one of the highest sea cliffs on mainland Australia. Keep a close eye out for seabirds, or whales from June to September.
Start: The Gable carpark
End: The Gable Lookout
Wreck Beach – 350m, walk grade medium/hard
This difficult but rewarding walk descends over 350 steps to Wreck Beach. At low tide the walk takes you to the anchors of the Marie Gabrielle and the Fiji – haunting reminders of the treacherous nature of the sea. Make this walk at low tide only and beware of large sea swells.
Start: Wreck Beach Carpark
End: Wreck Beach Carpark
Day walks are up to 6 hours in length. All walks start from the main visitor areas and the distance and terrain make these longer walks more challenging and requiring preparation for safety and enjoyment.
Aire River to Johanna Beach Day Visitor area –12.5 km, walk grade medium/hard
This is a long but satisfying walk through diverse terrain to beautiful Johanna Beach. Pass through heathland with spring wildflowers and experience awesome sea views. Watch above for Sea Eagles soaring overhead. Johanna River is an unbridged beach crossing, so carefully assess before wading across following heavy rains.
Start: Aire River Visitor Area (information shelter)
End: Johanna Beach Day Visitor Area.
Cape Otway to Aire River – 10kms, walk grade medium
Explore the lightstation before you set out. The walk to Aire River carves its way through a wind-sculpted landscape of sand dunes, coastal scrubland and calcified cliffs. Along the way Station Beach (and Rainbow Falls) is side trip well worth taking. Rainbow Falls is spring-fed water trickling down through algae to the rock platform below. The Falls are a 3-kilometre return journey from where you first enter Station Beach at Decision Point 8. When you return from Rainbow Falls, exit Station Beach at either Decision Point 8 where you first entered the beach, or further towards Aire River at Decision Point 8B, which will take you back onto the main GOW route. Continue along to the Aire escarpment lookout, before descending down to the beautiful Aire River Campground.
Start: Cape Otway Carpark
End: Aire River Visitor Area
More Great Ocean Walk Experiences
How to get there
Short and Day Walks
Explore the region
Need to know
Short and Day Walks
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.
Alcoa Powerline Trail head (Anglesea Heath Alcoa Agreement Area)
Alcoa Powerline Track Closed until further noticeAlcoa Powerline Track closed until further notice due to safety concerns.
Great Ocean Walk - Day 6 - Johanna Beach to Ryans Den (Great Otway National Park)
Walking Track Closed-Great Ocean Walk - Johanna to Ryans DenPlease 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 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 26th January 2022, pending further essential works to make this area safe.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.
Kalimna Tramline Link Walk (Great Otway National Park)
Kalimna Tramline link Walk is closedThe Kalimna Tramline link walk is closed due to damage to a pedestrian bridge. Walkers can still access the Lower Kalimna Waterfall via the Kalimna Falls Walking Track, which starts at Sheoak Picnic Area.
Kalimna Falls Walk (Great Otway National Park)
Upper Kalimna Falls are ClosedThe Upper Kalimna Falls viewing platform and access track are closed due to damage to the platform. Walkers can still access the Lower Kalimna Waterfall via the Kalimna Falls Walking Track, which starts at Sheoak Picnic Area.
Notices Affecting Multiple Sites
Garvey Track is ClosedGarvey Track is closed due to damage. Sharps Track is a suitable detour if required.
Great Otway National Park
Access restricted at Jarosite Headlands between Point Addis and Southside Beach
- A 450m section of beach at Jarosite Headlands, between Point Addis and Southside, has had access restricted.
- Do not enter exclusion zone 10m from base of cliff.
- Do not stay stationary within 10m - 30m from base of cliff.
- Visitors must take note of signage in place.
- Landslips and rockfalls are unpredictable and can occur without warning. Like all coastal environments, these cliffs are subject to dynamic weather events and prone to cracking, erosion, landslips and rockfall.
Twelve Apostles (Port Campbell National Park)
Saddle Lookout - access changeFrom 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