Australia’s Great Ocean Walk
The Great Ocean Road stretches across the southern border of Victoria, Australia, running 151 miles. Cutting across dense forests, along stunning coastlines, and around steep hills, the Great Ocean Road is considered one of the most beautiful roads in the world.
With countless inspiring views along the Great Ocean Road, there’s a path laid out for you to catch as much as possible: the Great Ocean Walk. For those in the mood for a hike (or several hikes), the Great Ocean Walk provides a 62-mile journey, stretching from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles.
Apollo Bay to Marengo
The path starts at the Apollo Bay Information Center and leads to Marengo. This is a short, hour-long walk which you can take either through the town or along the beach.
Marengo to Elliot Ridge Campsite
Slightly more difficult and about three hours long, the next section leads from Marengo and runs to Elliot Ridge Campsite. You can walk through boardwalks or over the rock shelves, eventually moving into the Great Otway National Park. Once in the park, go left to Shelly Beach or right to the car park where you can climb to the Elliot Ridge Campsite.
Elliot Ridge Campsite to Blanket Bay
The next section is a four-hour walk to Blanket Bay. Not everyone is enthralled by this section, which is mostly trees and undergrowth, but others consider it a peaceful day-hike over rolling hills.
Blanket Bay to Cape Otway
During the three-and-a-half hour walk from Blanket Bay to Cape Otway, the vegetation becomes forests where parrots, echidnas, and koalas live. The path deposits you at the Cape Otway Lightstation, the oldest functioning lighthouse in Victoria.
Cape Otway to Aire River
The four-hour walk from Cape Otway to Aire River gives the choice between the beach route to Rainbow Falls and the cliff route to Escarpment Lookout. After, you’ll follow a grassy path to the Aire River.
Aire River to Castle Cove
During the two-and-a-half hour walk from Aire River to Castle Cove, follow the river, climbing until you’re on clifftops from which people fish.
Castle Cove to Johanna
At Castle Cove, if you’re in the mood for an extra walk and the tide is low, follow the beach around the corner to visit the hidden lagoon. Even if you decide to hurry on, be prepared to take off your shoes and wade through the river at Johanna.
Johanna to Melanesia
At Johanna, follow the path up a hill that offers wide views of the ocean and of the kangaroo mob in this area. Then the path leads down to follow the Old Coach Road which leads all the way to Melanesia Beach.
Melanesia to Ryan’s Den
Melanesia Beach is quieter than the other beaches along the path. This unpopularity is because the walk from Melanesia Beach to Ryan’s Den is the hardest part of the walk, leading up and down steep hills.
Ryan’s Den to Devil’s Kitchen
The path between Ryan’s Den and Devil’s Kitchen takes you to Gables Lookout, one of the tallest cliffs in the country. Wreck Beach, dotted with shipwrecks, is also along this section. While the tide is low you can walk straight to Devil’s Kitchen, but if the tide rises, you’ll have to climb back to the higher path.
Devil’s Kitchen to Twelve Apostles
The path from Devil’s Kitchen to the Twelve Apostles is the longest and last of your journey. Walk along the coastal cliffs almost all the way to the Twelve Apostles, a collection of twelve limestone pillars off the coast. Over time, the rocks have eroded and only eight remain standing. However, the remaining apostles make a divine image on their own; it’s considered one of the most iconic views on the entire walk.
There are plenty more sights along the Great Ocean Road worth seeing, but if you haven’t got time for them all, the Great Ocean Walk provides an excellent sampling of the best of the Great Ocean Road.