It’s Adventure Time! Planning the Great Ocean Walk, Victoria

It has been way too long between adventures AND blog posts. Covid19 clipped my wings so severely last year that I simply had to stay home in lockdown and I completely lost my blogging mojo.

Setting out on the Great Ocean Walk. Source: visitapollobay.com
Setting out on the Great Ocean Walk. Source: visitapollobay.com

I have now decided that 2022 is going to be a year of domestic adventures and my Year ofYes’. There has been far too much ‘No’ over the past two years (‘No, you can’t do that – No, you can’t leave home – No, your plan has been cancelled’) and that has to change.

So, it is Yes to adventure, Yes to positivity and Yes to new challenges.

Both large and mini-adventures are in the wind, and in the short-term one of the mini ones is a stroll, or more like a clamber, along the Great Ocean Walk trail.

Grab your backpack and your tent, we are off again AT LAST!

What is the Great Ocean Walk (GOW)?

The GOW is a 103km walk hugging the coastline and mirroring the vehicular scenic route that is the Great Ocean Road. Located on the southern coastline of one of our southern states, Victoria, it starts at Apollo Bay and ambles along the coastline to the official end at the Twelve Apostles Visitor Information Centre. Of course, there is nothing stopping you walking in either direction, however we are going to take the traditional East-to-West route.

Walking the Great Ocean Walk, Victoria
Source: auswalk.com.au

What are the Stages and Distances?

There is no limit to the length of time you can take or where to stop and start your stroll. We are aiming for:

Day 1: Apollo Bay to Blanket Bay – 21.6km

Day 2: Blanket Bay to Aire River – 20km

Day 3: Aire River to Johanna Beach – 13.6km

Day 4: Johanna Beach to Ryan’s Den – 13.6km

Day 5: Ryan’s Den to Devil’s Kitchen – 13.4km

Day 6: Devil’s Kitchen to Twelve Apostles back to Princetown – 21.2km

Map of the Great Ocean Walk, Victoria
Source: greatoceanwalk.info

As an alternative, there are plenty of options to tackle this path as day-walks only if you can arrange shuttle transport. Numerous commercial operators are based in the local region who would, no doubt, be happy to assist with this.

Where to Stay?

Being the fearless adventurers, or completely deluded individuals, that we are, we are walking the distance unsupported. This means camping in the dedicated GOW campsites. These sites are owned and operated by Parks Victoria and must be booked in advance to secure your spot. Each tent site is $17.10 per night.

Walking along the Great Ocean Walk, Victoria
Source: visitvictoria.com

The GOW campsites have a small shelter, a long-drop toilet and water tank. In some locations there are also public campsites, but apparently the GOW sites are located in more scenic areas and are more private. I will let you know what we find and whether we are still talking to each other! This will be our first hike relying on tent accommodation! Interesting times ahead…

What to Take?

Basically, everything you will need for the 5 nights/6 days. Apparently, there is a café at the Cape Otway Lighthouse, however its opening hours can be a little sporadic. I so hope it is open as no doubt I will be desperate for a ‘real’ coffee and food that is more than ‘just add boiling water’.

Walking the Great Ocean Road, Victoria
Source: visitgreatoceanroad.org.au

Timing & Weather

Being located on the southern coast of Australia, I am expecting the weather to be changeable and we will be packing for all conditions. We are planning a start date in mid-March, so we could have everything from heat waves to torrential rain.

Please send us all your fine-weather vibes and prayers. I know it just has to be endured, but if I can avoid walking in the rain, I will.

Getting There & Getting Away

Trains and buses connect Apollo Bay to Melbourne with a bus change at Geelong. It is not the fastest option, but a good one if you have the time available and are traveling on a budget.

From the Twelve Apostles, a bus service operates on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (double check its schedule before you travel, just to make sure) which will connect you back to Apollo Bay. It is around $11.00 per person and takes 1.25hrs. Alternatively leave your car at the Princetown Camping Ground & Reserve for $5 per night. We will do that the day before the start of our walk, bus to Apollo Bay and on our last day walk to the Twelve Apostles and walk back to Princetown to collect the car.

Walking the Great Ocean Road, Victoria
Source: thegreatoceanwalk.com

Waymarking & Information Resources

According to my research, the path is well-marked/signposted and I guess, all we will really need to do is to keep the ocean on our left.

Maps of the walk are available from Vic Parks or grab a copy of the guide book researched and written by Julie Mundy and Debra Heyes. It is really comprehensive and was only released in December 2021, so is current. It can be ordered here.

The Vic Parks website is also good for general overview information and you can book your campsites online.

Needless to say, YouTube has a tonne of stunning clips and the landscape is both breath-taking and inspiring.

Walking the Great Ocean Road, Victoria
Source: inspirationoutdoors.com

New Challenges

While the whole walk will be a new challenge for us as it is our first extended independent walk, we will also need to learn about tides. Living four hours from the ocean, we don’t normally need to stay up to date with tides and moon phases etc. Apparently, some of the path crosses beaches and rocky headlands, and we need to be aware of how to do that safely.

I am so excited!

What adventures have you planned for 2022?

The Basics

What: The Great Ocean Walk follows the coastline NOT adjacent to the road. People have looked at me with horrified faces when I first mention our hiking plans as apparently the road is heavily trafficked and dangerous.

Where: 196km South West of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

When: Early Autumn 2022.

Why: To alleviate desperation for adventure of any type! Just get me out of the house!

Walking the Great Ocean Road, Victoria
Source: visitmelbourne.com

How: Drive to the area and deposit your car or fly to Melbourne and then catch the train to Geelong and bus to Apollo Bay.

Who: Myself and my Better Half.

Related Posts: For a little insight into other, much larger adventures I have planned this year, read about West Australia’s Bibbulmun Track.

Related Blogs: For a great summary of the path including links to her YouTube clips, check out Elisha’s blog.

Read About it: For tonnes of great information and inspiring photos, grab your own copy of the Great Ocean Walk Guidebook. Available from Book Depository

#travelinspo #greatoceanwalk #bucketlist #adventurebeforedementia #longdistancewalks #australianbush #victoria #bushwalks #greatoutdoors #twelveapostles #apollobay #coastalwalks

43 thoughts on “It’s Adventure Time! Planning the Great Ocean Walk, Victoria

  1. Teresa February 9, 2022 / 12:14 pm

    So you are from Melbourne I am guessing? Happy that you’re back to it now. i haven’t gotten out of it yet…but hopefully soon!
    Have fun!

    Like

  2. wetanddustyroads February 9, 2022 / 4:51 pm

    Yes, Yes, Yes!! This sounds so exciting … and looks beautiful! I agree, any conditions are acceptable when hiking, but rain – I don’t like that. Therefore, I’m sending all of our wonderful and warm sunny weather here from South Africa a little bit further south to you guys 🌞.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rich February 9, 2022 / 7:01 pm

    What a great plan and a wonderful adventure ahead. We had a few days along the Great Ocean Road back in 2016, so really looking forward to following your journey to remind us of that trip and places to note for the next time we visit Australia. Happy travels!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure February 10, 2022 / 9:44 am

      Thanks Rich. This trip could be the start of something BIG or it could all end in tears! 🙂 The planning is exciting if nothing else! Have a good day

      Liked by 1 person

  4. restlessjo February 9, 2022 / 7:08 pm

    You see! I knew this had to be coming! Otherwise I thought you might be working on a book. Don’t think you mentioned the subject of food or where or what you’ll eat, or wasn’t I paying attention? Presumably himself will carry the tent. I don’t fancy lugging your stuff but I guess 6 days isn’t long and the scenery looks breathtaking. Not dissimilar to some of the Algarve coastline, of course. Looking forward to following along, Mel. Good luck with the weather!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure February 10, 2022 / 9:43 am

      I hope you enjoyed the silence while it lasted, Jo! 🙂 Yes, plenty more posts to follow including experimenting with dehydrating food to carry. Seeing I am a reluctant cook, this could be interesting!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. pam@ichoosethis February 9, 2022 / 10:56 pm

    Have the BEST time Mel!!! I am sooo happy you have something on the books. Can’t wait to read about it. Sending no rain vibes to you! Hiking in the rain is not my fave. Enjoy friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Diana February 10, 2022 / 1:49 am

    Wow wow wow, this is going to be so beautiful! I can’t wait to hear about it. Good luck and enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Heyjude February 10, 2022 / 3:17 am

    How wonderful, I shall follow your hike with great joy, 6 days isn’t too bad for camping as long as the weather is fine. I have done the Great Ocean Road via a mini coach trip which involved overnighting in a hostel and on a sheep farm. It was a lovely trip with fabulous scenery and some steep steps onto the beach! Also in March.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure February 10, 2022 / 9:39 am

      I suspect there will be moments when I will think longingly about viewing this all by mini-coach, but I’ll never know unless I have a crack…

      Like

  8. Jen February 10, 2022 / 9:31 pm

    This is very exciting. I’m looking forward to reading about your planning and adventures. In August 2019 my husband and our university-aged daughters traveled to Melbourne and started off their vacation driving and exploring the Great Ocean Road. Their photos were gorgeous and I hope to one day visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure February 11, 2022 / 7:32 am

      Thanks for reading, Jen. Yes, it all looks so breath-taking and I suspect I will experience that word in every sense! 🙂

      Like

  9. Jyothi February 12, 2022 / 5:58 am

    Great…going to be beautiful!!

    Like

  10. kayfuzz February 13, 2022 / 5:19 pm

    You’ll love it Mel. It very excited for you. So great to finally be back out there doing things again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure February 14, 2022 / 3:00 pm

      And I am loving watching your Tassie adventure. If that is what retirement looks like….let me at it!! 🙂

      Like

  11. The Travel Architect February 14, 2022 / 7:10 am

    I thought of you last week and looked up your blog to see if WordPress accidentally unfollowed you (it’s done that before to me). I saw that no, that hadn’t happened, and that you hadn’t posted since, what, October? I figured you were just taking a blog break. I’m sorry to hear you’d been down, but I’m glad to see you’re back and have what looks to be a great adventure planned. As for my 2022 plans? Those are coming out in a post on Friday, so you’ll have to just wait and see! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure February 14, 2022 / 2:59 pm

      Thanks for thinking of me. Just had to step away from the blog for a little while to come back bigger (waistline anyway) and better than ever. I am so excited about 2022 and can’t wait to hear your plans too.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Left Lane February 23, 2022 / 10:17 am

    Australia is so beautiful. I Can’t wait to see more photos in the year of “Yes”!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. rkrontheroad March 9, 2022 / 2:12 am

    This will be a gorgeous adventure! I did the Great Ocean Road by bus some years ago. The ocean rock sculptures were stunning, and met a few koala along the way. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure March 9, 2022 / 9:38 am

      We are experiencing some big rains/flooding down our East coast. I so hope it blows itself out by the time we get there. I would love to see some koalas too!

      Liked by 1 person

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