The Great Ocean Walk, Victoria – Day 6 & Final

My feet had wings this morning as I set out on the very final stage of the Great Ocean Walk. I was filled with anticipation to finally see the famous Twelve Apostles in all their glory AND I had swapped my +16kg backpack for a featherlight daypack. Bliss!

I started walking just after 7am and it was cool and dark with heavy clouds. It felt like the path was all mine as I scooted the final stretch westwards.

Logistics:

Date: Thursday 24 March, 2022

From: Princetown, Victoria

To: Twelve Apostles Visitor Information Centre

Map Day 6. Source: greatoceanwalk.info

Official Distance: 7.2km

Actual Distance: 7.2km

Total: 104.41/103km

Time: 1h38m

Ascent: 209m

Descent: 151m

Weather: Cool and cloudy.

Stayed At: Sadly, on our way home.

General Comments:

  • The path throughout this section was clear, wide and very well maintained. Obviously this section sees many more feet and Vic Parks takes extra care to make a good impression.
  • The first 3.5km are fairly non-descript as the path twists and turns through head high scrub. You can’t see a thing other than the path in front of you. At one stage my footsteps were accompanied by the sound of bleating sheep! How weird was that to have the sound of tumbling waves on my left and sheep on my right?
  • Never fear there are still plenty of ups and downs to keep you honest. This section is rated ‘Easy’ and it certainly is that with a day pack on your back. I suspect it may be a different story if you tackled this section at the end of a long, hot day. It may be a case of ‘close and yet so far’.
  • Eventually the bushes start to shrink away from the track and the landscape opens up. Yes, you do start to get your first tantalising glimpses of the Apostles in the far, misty distance.
  • The kilometres seemed to flick by and I was making good time in the cool temperatures. Such a contrast to the previous five days of a slow-and-steady-wins-the-race approach.
  • We didn’t see any other signs of life until we spotted a solitary car parked at the Gibson Steps. On any other day the 86 steps down to the beach would have been appealing, but I was close to being done and it was an easy decision to keep walking right past the Lookout.
  • Crossing under the main road and making our way to the Visitor Information Centre, I could taste the coffee already. I was shattered to find it closed for renovations. One of the major attractions in Victoria AND Australia with no information or retail/food outlets! Go figure! Talk about a missed business opportunity.
  • In contrast, The Twelve Apostles were anything but disappointing. Even in the cloudy, early morning light they were simply majestic.
  • It’s funny to think that piles of rock can be majestic, but maybe it has something to do with the inanimate sitting amidst the frenetic energy of the wild ocean. Perhaps it has something to do with their solidity and ability to withstand the unrelenting forces of Nature to outlast us all?
  • Back at the car and pulling off my boots for the final time, I felt a true sense of achievement and enjoyment that we had set ourselves a goal and nailed it, still smiling at the end.
  • I also felt, and still feel, incredibly privileged that we could enjoy such beauty with much of it only accessible on foot. We are so lucky to live in a gorgeous, free and peaceful country. May it always be so.
The Twelve Apostles - Great Ocean Walk - Victoria
The Twelve Apostles

Top Tips for this Section:

  • Don’t assume that even though this section is rated ‘Easy’ that it is dead flat. It’s not. A few rocks to clamber over and sets of steps and stairs await you.
  • If you want to get up close to an Apostle, head down the Gibson Steps mentioned earlier and you can walk along the beach for a completely different perspective of the sandstone plinths. Looking up, instead of down.
  • Don’t rely on the Visitor Information Centre for either information or coffee.
The Twelve Apostles - Great Ocean Walk - Victoria
The Twelve Apostles – Great Ocean Walk – Victoria
  • It is possible to leave your car in the carpark at the Centre and catch the bus to Apollo Bay. There is no cost to park there, but also no security. You park at your own risk.
  • When you get to the Twelve Apostles and only count seven of them, don’t fear that you have missed something. Apparently only eight stacks were ever really visible in the local area (the others are further west). One fell down in 2005 – leaving seven remaining.

Thanks for reading along and following the adventure. Long may all our adventures continue.

Read About:

The Great Ocean Walk

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

63 thoughts on “The Great Ocean Walk, Victoria – Day 6 & Final

  1. [rapturous applause] Bravo, Mel! (and shower-toting Husband!) What an achievement! And how right you are about our privilege to have such beauty so freely available to us. Your photographs are magnificent and give a true feeling of the majesty of the place.

    I wouldn’t be too hard on the Visitor Centre. All the businesses along the Great Ocean Road have suffered greatly through the pandemic, having gone from busloads of tourists daily to almost nothing. I’m sure they are still trying to recover. Although, luckily for those of us visiting, we get a lovely clear view of the Apostles without jostling with 500 other people.

    I hope this walk has given you confidence and things learned to go forward to even bigger and bolder challenges. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks. It was an achievement and I learned so lot from this – our first hike AND camp. I thought there may have been a chance that I would not enjoy the camping bit, but for 5 days it was doable. The Great North Walk may be a completely different story!! 🙂

      Sorry to be critical of Vic Parks and the VIC. I guess I figured they would be open and making up for lost time. Having said that, I agree it was a joy to have the path mostly to ourselves. Happy packing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Studying the guidebook I think the challenge with GNW camping will be the complete lack of facilities or even water. It’s slightly freaking me out!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yep…I am with you. I bought a very tricky foldable 2litre bottle from Paddy Pallin the other day. I am figuring it may be handy if I need to lug some extra water between camps. Ugh!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I have enjoyed reading all about your Great Ocean Road walk. Made me feel I was walking with you. You really give a vivid description of your daily walk. Loved all the photos as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading along, June. I always enjoy sharing our adventures even when they feature dirty washing or wombat pooh! 🙂 Have a good day, Melx

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  3. Well done for completing this walk. The scenery looks stunning. If ever you get to walk England’s South-West Coast Path you’ll probably see similarities between the impressive Twelve Apostles and the smaller Bedruthan Steps in Cornwall.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooo – I look forward to that. Thanks for the heads-up

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your photos are awesome. I go there whenever we take relatives and friends who are here for a holiday. So as you may have guessed, I haven’t been there for quite a long time now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you. I was surprised at how quiet it was all along the path, so I guess things are just cranking back up again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think so. Especially now that it’s school holidays and the government is offering travel vouchers to encourage people to spend and visit Victoria.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. We have those in NSW and they are a great incentive to travel, dine out and do stuff. It feels so good to be traveling again.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I am availing the voucher next week! But not as long a walk as yours.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Well done! This has been such an enjoyable read to follow your journey, with wonderful photos and hike details. I toured along the GOR in 2016 and it was great to see again but particularly those parts I missed out due to time pressures. Thanks for the memories! Rich

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rich. I am glad you enjoyed my walk as much as I enjoy yours. Too many fabulous walks, not enough time! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a fabulous achievement, and one to be so proud of. Lots of memories too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your support. Onwards and upwards to the next adventure…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Those rock formations are incredible, what a wonderful end to the walk. Congrats on such an awesome achievement 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. To me it’s important to look for beauty everywhere…even if it’s a rock! 🙂

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  8. Stunning photos dear Mel and…congratulation!! You did it💪❤😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, thank you. You know well that fabulous feeling you get at the end of a long walk. x

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  9. Wonderful – I love your pictures of the Twelve Apostles! No coffee … ugh, that’s a bummer! But hey, I presume congratulations are in order – it was a great walk through your camera lens – one that I thoroughly enjoyed 👏.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you could come along on my little stroll. Where are you guys planning to go next? Anymore caminos on the agenda?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I would love to do another Camino!! But it seems we will have to do local hikes this year – my husband will soon start with a few months of study (don’t know where he gets the energy for THAT) … but we are planning a week long hike on the south coast of SA (it’s called the Whale Trail) and is really beautiful!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. There are always lovely places to explore in our own backyard, but that is not stopping me dreaming of Spain in late April 2023. 🙂 Happy trails….

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Hooray, you made it! I always knew you would 😀 Those photos of the Apostles are wonderful and they do indeed look majestic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. I really appreciate your support and I am going to need it in spades for the next walk! Gulp!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Well done you! [clapping]

    Three years ago my husband and daughters were in Melbourne and the surrounding area. (I could not travel with them.) They saw the Twelve Apostles and still talk about how gorgeous they are. I hope to see them myself one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, Aus is now fully open for business again and we are welcoming back more and more visitors every week. Pack your bags! 😉

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  12. This has to be one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world…wowza

    Liked by 1 person

    1. …and of course, well done on completing this!!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I can’t wait for u to teach me more lingo. 🤣🤣

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Add it to your list! I bet it is a long list, just like mine!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s so freakin long…not sure how I’m going to get it all done!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Yay! Congrats on the completion. What an accomplishment. I really enjoyed following along with you and seeing the sights of the Australian coast. How neat to end with the Apostles. I agree, it’s strange how rocks can be so majestic and beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for following the adventure, Diana. It was such a special experience. Tough, but special.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow! Your pictures of the Twelve Apostles are gorgeous! On my bucket list for sure. Congrats on completing the trek!! Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Maggie. It would be a mere day walk for you both! 🙂

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      1. Not necessarily. Our’s are usually up and down, not up and down and up and down and up and down….😊

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Mel, those individual photos of the stacks are incredible. What a fantastic achievement. Well done you 🤗💟💟

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jo. All that walking, take a photo, go home. Tell me why I do this again??? 🙂

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      1. Because you love it 🤣💟

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Well done! Thank you for taking me back to a wonderful part of your country, without the pain of hiking and camping! I remember the Gibson steps well, but it was well worth the effort of climbing down (and back up) for a walk among the stacks. This would have been before that last one fell into the ocean – 2000 it must have been. I’d certainly think twice about going down them now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The husband tackled the steps and took those photos. Such a different perspective to have them looming out of the sea and over you. Have a happy Easter.

      Like

  17. Well done, Mel, and I thoroughly enjoyed your trip via your posts. Yes, here’s too more adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And wishing you wonderful walks too when you can squeeze them into your schedule. x

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  18. Mel, this is one hike I wish I had taken while I was in AU. The rocks are indeed gorgeous and your pictures do them credit. I’m with you about the coffee, though! Fabulous post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You can always plan a return visit??? Our country has finally let down the drawbridge and we are welcoming visitors back again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, that’s good to know. I would love to come back. It’s a very long ride, and since I came last, I have developed deep vein thrombosis, so I’m not willing to chance it – at least not for a while. I’m still doing surgeries each month to strip the clots from the inside of the central vein in my left leg. It’s been going on since September, so you can imagine, it’s a pretty big deal. I did love Australia very much. I went there soley to meet up with my blogging friend there. What a kick. You can always come to Arizona, though.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for the kind offer. I hope you feel better soon and are planning travel and adventures once more! Take care.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Hi again Mel, I haven’t stopped traveling or having adventures, thank goodness, but just not to go so far. Our first big trip this year, well since I was hurt, is to go back to CA. It’s about a 9 hour trip and probably more with some frequent walking. Thanks for the well-wishes. I hope you have a wonderful Easter and a great adventure too. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  19. Well done on your achievement! I think you’re ready to come to Minnesota and start the Mississippi River trek!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t worry, it has been under discussion! I am thinking we need to tackle that adventure before we get too long in the tooth! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Duwan @MakeLikeAnApeman April 23, 2022 — 9:23 am

    Those rocks are stunning. I often wonder why some rocks are so appealing to look at. But these- standing up in the ocean like that, worn away at their base by the water – they seem like they have stories to tell. Congrats on completing your walk.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you – the Apostles are pretty stunning in their statuesqueness….if there is such a word! 🙂 Many thanks for following the adventure.

      Like

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