The Great Ocean Road is a well-known destination for holidaymakers who are keen to experience an Australian road trip, but those who prefer to rely on their own two feet can also get plenty out of the region. The Great Ocean Walk is a popular Australia travel choice. Stretching 104kms from Apollo Bay to within sight of the towering Twelve Apostles, the walk offers ample opportunity to enjoy some of the wonders of Australia’s stunning south-eastern coastline.
The Great Ocean Walk route is suitable for walkers of most abilities. For those who don’t fancy hiking the full 65 miles, it can be broken up into several smaller walks and travellers can arrange car shuttles to pick them up and drop them off at various destinations en-route. Those who do have time to do the full route over a seven night, eight day period, though, can be sure it will be an Australia travel experience to remember. Starting at the Apollo Bay visitor centre, visitors walk on average 15km per day, taking in the scenic beaches of Storm Point, Three Creeks, Shelley and more. Highlights include watching seals bask on the rocks just off Marengo Bay, viewing the anchors on Wreck Beach and learning about the polar dinosaurs of Castle Cove.
Accommodation along the Great Ocean Walk is varied and caters to all budgets. One recommendation is Bothfeet, a lodge that has been designed especially with walkers in mind. The boutique hotel only caters for ten people at a time, but their walk and stay packages are one of the best ways to experience the Great Ocean Walk. The 104km six day package takes in the full walk from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles. After a day’s walking, a personal chauffeur will meet you and drive you back to the lodge where a free massage and a pre-dinner drink will help you unwind before dinner. Many visitors opt to camp along the route, instead, however. Forward-planning is vital here. A camping permit needs to be secured from Parks Victoria at least two weeks before embarking on the walk.
Those who only have time for a flying visit can take in some of the highlights of the Great Ocean Road over a weekend period. The most popular of the walks available starts at Shelley Beach and ends 22km later at the Cape Otway light station. Walkers who still have the energy left after their active weekend are invited to descend the steep spiral staircase of the lighthouse and enjoy the stunning views out over the bay. Visitors can often spot whales in the distance leaping around in the waters. Meanwhile, a lot of holidaymakers choose this walk because of the koala viewing opportunities it presents. Whatever the motivation for visiting, however, there is no doubt that the Great Ocean Walk is a great addition to any Australia travel experience.
Kate Taylor writes articles on travel and accommodation in top destinations around the world.
Australia travel ideas go to Visitmelbourne.com