The Great Ocean Walk on the Great Ocean Road is one of the premier multi-day hikes near Melbourne, Australia.
For nature lovers and hikers of any age, the Great Ocean Walk is a rewarding multi day hike. The trail is from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles, following the Great Ocean Road. However, you will discover more of the coast on foot than you can discover by driving the road.
The walk takes approximately seven days to complete and can be completed at any time of the year. With incredible scenery and a chance to leave civilisation behind, this is a walk well worth undertaking.
If you’re thinking about embarking on the Great Ocean Walk, read our guide for this fantastic attraction. If you only have a limited time to explore this incredible coastline, consider taking a tour. Go West Tours offers both day tours and sunset tours of the Great Ocean Road, both departing from Melbourne.
What is the Great Ocean Walk?
The Great Ocean Walk is a long thru-hike trail located in Australia. Spanning just over 100 kilometres, the trail takes you through stunning coastal scenery. It finishes at the Twelve Apostles, the famous limestone stacks in the Southern Ocean.
The track was officially opened in January 2005, and since then, it has become a popular hiking destination. It is both a beautiful and challenging walk, but the reward of completing the Great Ocean Walk is worth it.
What you’ll experience on the Great Ocean Walk
Hiking the Great Ocean Walk will allow you to enjoy beautiful coastal views, rainforest walks, and desert beaches.
A challenging walk
Taking on the entire Great Ocean Walk is a great challenge for experienced hikers. With a distance of over 100km, it requires a lot of effort and planning. If you want to experience the beauty of this coastline, but don’t want to walk it all, consider just walking a section or two.
Highlights of the Great Ocean Walk
- Koalas sleeping in the eucalyptus trees
- Cape Otway Lighthouse
- Wreck Beach at low tide with its rusting shipwreck anchors protruding from the sand
- Rock pools at Blanket Bay and the world-class waves at Johanna Beach.
- Visit secluded places such as Station Beach, Milanesia Beach, Ryans Den, and Devils Kitchen.
- Humpback and Southern Right Whales can be seen in winter
- High coastal cliffs of Moonlight Head.
Planning your hike
Despite its popularity, the Great Ocean Walk is a challenging trail through some tough terrain. It requires preparation, planning and booking campsites in advance. You’ll need to be able to check weather conditions and be prepared for any wildlife encounters. This will require the proper equipment and supplies.
Use the information we provide as a guide only and make sure to properly research your trip before setting out.
Sections of the Great Ocean Walk
- APOLLO BAY TO MARENGO (3KM / 1-HOUR / EASY)
- MARENGO TO ELLIOT RIDGE CAMPSITE (7KM / 3 HOURS / EASY TO MEDIUM)
- ELLIOT RIDGE CAMPSITE TO BLANKET BAY (12KM / 4 HOURS / EASY)
- BLANKET BAY TO CAPE OTWAY (11KM / 3 HOURS / EASY TO MEDIUM)
- CAPE OTWAY TO AIRE RIVER (10KM / 4 HOURS / MEDIUM)
- AIRE RIVER TO CASTLE COVE (6KM / 2.5 HOURS / MEDIUM)
- CASTLE COVE TO JOHANNA (7KM / 2.5 HOURS / MEDIUM)
- JOHANNA TO MELANESIA (4.5KM / 2 HOURS / MEDIUM)
- MELANESIA TO RYAN’S DEN (9.5KM / 3.5 HOURS / HARD)
- RYAN’S DEN TO DEVIL’S KITCHEN (13KM / 5 HOURS / MEDIUM TO HARD)
- DEVIL’S KITCHEN TO 12 APOSTLES (16KM / 5 HOURS / EASY TO MEDIUM)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Great Ocean Walk?
The Great Ocean Walk is a coastal walking track in Victoria, Australia. It stretches for 104 kilometres from the mouth of the Otway Ranges to the Twelve Apostles, a group of limestone stacks that rise out of the ocean.
Where is the Great Ocean Road?
The Great Ocean Road starts in Torquay which is just over one hour’s drive from Melbourne. The road stretches for just over 250km all the way to the seaside town of Peterborough.
How can I plan my visit to the Great Ocean Walk?
Visit one of the official websites for the Great Ocean Walk to properly plan your hike before you set out.
Take a tour to the 12 Apostles coastline
If you have a limited time only to explore the Great Ocean Road tour you can join us on a Day Tour or Sunset Tour of the Great Ocean Road. Here’s what each tour includes:
Great Ocean Road Day Tour
- Walk through lush rainforest trails at Maits Rest
- Enjoy morning tea on the picturesque beaches of Victoria’s Surf Coast
- See the Twelve Apostles in Port Campbell National Park
- Visit the Loch Ard Gorge, the site of the Loch Ard shipwreck
- See koalas in their natural habitat in the eucalyptus forests of the Kennett River township
- Visit the charming coastal township of Apollo Bay
Sunset Tour of the Great Ocean Road
- Drive through the Great Otway National Park
- Spot wild koalas while strolling in the sweetly-scented eucalyptus forest
- Visit the beaches of Victoria’s famous Surf Coast
- Marvel at the natural beauty of Loch Ard Gorge and hear the famous tale of shipwreck survival
- Visit the 12 Apostles Lookout at Sunset
Written by: Leah Furey – Digital Content Coordinator @gowest.com.au