Great Ocean Walk Adventure

$4,199.00

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Venture from South Australia and hike the Great Ocean Walk end to end in comfort

9 DAYS | 8 NIGHTS

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Challenge | Discover | Fulfil

Overview

Great Ocean Walk Adventure

Guided walking tour

Experience Victoria’s Great Ocean Walk in Gunditjmara, Giraiwurung, and Gadubanud Country.

Join Big Heart Adventures for a 9 day Great Ocean Walk Adventure starting in Mount Gambier.

Skip flying into Melbourne for a tour along this coastal trail. Choose to self-drive, fly to, or join us in Mount Gambier. Or, if you are from Adelaide or you live en-route, we include comfortable private transport to Mount Gambier plus a hot beverage.

Starting in Mount Gambier its a short drive to the first nights accommodation in Nelson. But before the sun sets, we kayak or cruise along the Glenelg River in the beautiful Lower Glenelg National Park.

Then for the next 7 days you walk pack-free along the full length of the Great Ocean Walk. Guided along the way from the seaside town of Apollo Bay to the majestic Twelve Apostles.

This is an all-inclusive experience with comfortable private transport, tasty meals, great company and pre-departure training walks. Book with confidence, knowing a lot of research has gone into planning your itinerary. Allowing you time to connect with the trail and its highlights without rushing. So don’t worry about flights, you can keep your feet on the ground and see this gorgeous coastline with us.

Itinerary

Day 1 | Depart Mount Gambier / Glenelg River

Your Great Ocean Walk Adventure starts today in Mount Gambier.

Our meeting spot this afternoon will be at the Mount Gambier Visitor Information Centre. Here we provide a quick briefing before we travel to Victoria and Nelson.

In Nelson we venture on to the stunning Glenelg River for a guided kayaking experience or river cruise. A chance for you to unwind on the water before starting your hike.

Your accommodation tonight is a rural property in Nelson. Here we’ll enjoy a yummy 2 course dinner, relax, and discuss the next days walk.

If you want to travel with us to Mount Gambier, we will be leaving Adelaide at 7:00am in the morning. Our vehicle is a comfortable minibus. We will journey through Keith, Naracoorte and the Coonawarra wine region. You are welcome to purchase a fine cab sav or shiraz as we pass through. We also provide a hot beverage in Tailem Bend.

Meals Included: – Trail Snacks, 2 Course Dinner
Walking Distance: n/a

Day 2 | Great Ocean Walk - Apollo Bay to Shelly Beach

After breakfast we drive to Apollo Bay along the scenic Great Ocean Road. Apollo Bay is a pretty seaside town and the starting point of the Great Ocean Walk. You will be staying in Apollo Bay for the next 2 nights.

We enjoy a fresh and healthy lunch, then prepare for our walk. Your walk today meanders along coastline from the Apollo Bay Visitor Centre trailhead towards Shelly Beach. Its not long before you pass Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary, home to a colony of Australian Fur Seals. Then it’s a comfortable afternoons walk with fine views as you enter the Great Otway National Park.

Upon reaching Shelly Beach, you will be transported comfortably back to Apollo Bay. Where tonight, you can relax and enjoy a sumptuous 2 course dinner. A wonderful introduction to your first day along the Great Ocean Walk adventure.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Trail Snacks, 2 Course Dinner
Walking Distance: 9km

Day 3 | Great Ocean Walk - Shelly Beach to Point Franklin

Creeks, beach and forest trails with towering eucalypts await.

Your morning trail section follows easy walking inland tracks. These tracks are sheltered by large Mountain Ash canopy and provide comfortable walking to beautiful Blanket Bay. Once arriving at this pretty little bay, we enjoy lunch on a clearing overlooking the picturesque beach.

After lunch we continue to Point Franklin. The trail runs parallel to the coast for this section. Negotiating the Parker River crossing we ascend stone steps and reach our days finishing point.

Our vehicle will be waiting to return you back to your accommodation in Apollo Bay this evening.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Trail Snacks, 2 Course Dinner
Walking Distance: 21km

Day 4 | Great Ocean Walk - Point Franklin to Aire River

Shipwreck spotting and soaking up the views and maritime history is on the cards today.

We re-join the Great Ocean Walk trail at Point Franklin. Then continue west along the cliff line with Cape Otway Light Station in the distance. Passing Crayfish Bay we arrive at the lighthouse for morning tea. Here we have time to wander and explore. Plus if in luck the café may be open for a treat.

Walking from Cape Otway we come across a small pioneer cemetery. The final resting place for deceased lightkeeper families and shipwrecked sailors.

There is an opportunity for you to walk along Station Beach to spring-fed Rainbow Falls this afternoon, if the tides and weather permit.

The end point today is the peaceful Aire River.

This afternoon you also change accommodation for the next 2 nights. Your new accommodation is close by to our current trail location, and prevents lengthy transfers.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Trail Snacks, 2 Course Dinner
Walking Distance: 14km

Day 5 | Great Ocean Walk - Aire River to Milanesia Track

It’s all about amazing coastal views today.

Returning to Air River we continue west along cliff lines. Then we wind our way up to Castle Cove Lookout. You are rewarded with spectacular vistas peeping out from the forested trail along this section.

Down to the powerful surf we follow Johanna Beach for 2 kilometres. Including a crossing of Johanna River as it flows out to sea. Then we head inland off the beach and uphill for more amazing views.

Finishing todays Great Ocean Walk section with an incline to the Milanesia Track. Then we return to our accommodation for a hearty 2 course feed and relaxation time.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Trail Snacks, 2 Course Dinner
Walking Distance: 19km

Day 6 | Great Ocean Walk - Milanesia Track to The Gable

A big day of walking and plenty of challenge for you today.

Todays section of trail is regarded as the most difficult but also the most rewarding. The start of the Great Ocean Walk trail today is a decline on unsealed road but soon enters a wildlife reserve. Here the gradient increases as we approach Milanesia Beach. This remote beach may be a challenge to get to, but this is what makes it so special and isolated.

Then the trail undulates and winds it’s way to Ryans Den, Moonlight Head and to The Gable. All three lookouts provide you with amazing views. Expect steep descents into valleys and some steep climbs today. Including wet gully forests and varying landscapes. Also, keep an eye out for Southern Right Whales which may still be making their way south.

Finishing 130m above sea level at The Gable. Take a breathe and sit back as we drive to our accommodation in Port Campbell this evening for the next 3 nights.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Trail Snacks, 2 Course Dinner
Walking Distance: 19km

Day 7 | Great Ocean Walk - The Gable to Gellibrand River

After a challenging hike on the most difficult section the previous day, your legs might be getting tired. Therefore, today’s walking distance is shorter.

This shorter distance also allows you the best opportunity to follow Wreck Beach if the tides are low. Wreck Beach is the final resting place of the Marie Gabrielle and the Fiji. Two shipwrecks from the late 1800’s who’s ghostly anchors are reachable at low tide. There are 382 steps down to Wreck Beach but it is well worth the visit.

You will experience dense coastal vegetation and sandy trails today. A great chance for wildlife and bird-life spotting. Especially by the river mouth at Princetown.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Trail Snacks, 2 Course Dinner
Walking Distance: 12km

Day 8 | Great Ocean Walk - Gellibrand River to Twelve Apostles / Loch Ard Gorge

Our final day on the Great Ocean Walk. Plus a leisurely sunset visit for you to spectacular Loch Ard Gorge.

Today, we reach the end of the trail from the peaceful Gellibrand River.

Along the way, we capture first glimpses of the famed Twelve Apostles as we approach the Port Campbell National Park. With plenty of lookout locations there is plenty of time allocated for you to admire the views.

Finishing with enough energy to marvel and enjoy the spectacle that this land form is famous for is what our itinerary is about. Upon reaching the end of the trail, it’s packs down and sandals on, as we explore at a leisurely pace.

Not rushed, we then make our way to the nearby Loch Ard Gorge. An equally spectacular coastal wilderness with towering vertical cliffs, sandy beaches and maritime history. Being here with the sun setting is awesome.

Completing the full trail over 7 continuous days is a fabulous achievement and one to celebrate this evening.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Trail Snacks, 2 Course Dinner
Walking Distance: 9km

Day 9 | Drive to Mount Gambier

Congratulations on completing our Great Ocean Walk Adventure!

Today we make our way back to Mount Gambier via Warrnambool and Port Fairy. You arrive back in Mount Gambier at midday. Where we say our goodbyes.

If you are travelling to Adelaide, we provide a stop for lunch en-route.

Meals Included: Breakfast
Walking Distance: n/a

Need To Know

Inclusions

Travel
  • Comfortable private vehicle transport
Meals
  • All meals and snacks as per the itinerary
  • 2 course dinners
  • B x 8 | L x 7 | D x 8
Accommodation
  • 1 night Nelson
  • 2 nights Apollo Bay
  • 2 nights Cape Otway
  • 3 nights Port Campbell
  • Combination of twin and single rooms with shared bathrooms (only lower bunks are offered if applicable)
Activities
  • Professionally guided Great Ocean Walk
  • Guided kayaking / river cruise
Safety
  • Group First Aid kit and emergency communication device
  • Leaders certified in Remote Area/Wilderness First Aid
  • Qualified Bushwalking Leaders
Environmental
  • Small group guided experience
  • Leave No Trace principles
  • Invitations to connect with nature
  • Reduce waste through recycling, reusing and composting
  • National Park entry fees
Big Heart Extras
  • Big Heart Adventures designed ioMerino hiking top
  • Big Heart Adventures designed head sock
  • Big Heart Adventures journal
  • Guided pre-departure training walks and or program (trip specific)
  • Discount card for pre-departure purchases at Exurbia
  • A charity contribution to our Give Back program

Exclusions

  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance
  • Meals and drinks not stated on itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature

Packing List

A detailed packing list is provided prior to travel

  • Gear you will need:
  • Rainproof jacket and pants
  • Daypack (35 litre approx.)
  • Water bottles/hydration kit (min 3Ltrs)
  • Personal medications
  • Clothing suitable for bushwalking that is quick drying, warm layers if chilly – consider merino/synthetic clothing
  • Sun protection such as hat, sunglasses and suncream, insect repellent (if joining us in warmer months consider a head net for the flies)
  • Sleeping attire
  • Sleeping bag (we can provide or you can bring your own) for 1 night in Nelson

Details

  • Type: Challenge Trek Guided
  • Adventure: Great Ocean Walk Adventure
  • Destination: South West, Victoria
  • Traditional Country: Gunditjmara, Giraiwurung, and Gadubanud
  • Group Size: Max 12 plus leaders

Fitness Requirement

  • A good level of fitness is required to walk the trails on this trip
  • You will be walking pack free (day packs only)
  • You will walk on a variety of surfaces including undulating trails, rocky paths and soft sand
  • Our longest walking day is 21km on hilly trails and we walk 7 consecutive days on this adventure
  • Shorter distances will be offered where possible
  • Trail rating: Moderate

Important Information

  • Read terms and conditions before booking
  • Itinerary and price subject to change at any time
  • Travel Insurance is recommended – get a quote from Covermore
  • Note weather, group member welfare and a range of circumstances outside our control can mean last minute changes to our itinerary are necessary once on tour
  • A limited number of single rooms are available on a first-come basis
  • Please contact us before booking any flights. Depending on flight arrival and departure times extra nights accommodation may be required at own expense
  • A minimum of 6 travellers are required for this trip to depart. If minimum numbers aren’t reached, we may decide to still go or we will provide a full refund
  • If this trip departs during Fire Ban Season – last minute changes to our itinerary or walking days may be required for safety reasons
  • Combination of twin and single rooms with shared bathrooms (where bunk rooms are used, only lower bunks are offered)
  • Private transport to and from Apollo Bay is included from Adelaide, with multiple pick up points available in transit between Adelaide and Nelson
  • Private vehicle transport on tour plus daily transfers is included

Adventure Leaders

Our team is qualified, experienced and super friendly. We will ensure you have a fun and connecting adventure. Leaders are certified in Remote or Wilderness First-Aid. All leaders carry a group first-aid kit, emergency communications device, emergency documentation and equipment.

Testimonials

Main image courtesy of Sputnik