Great Ocean Walk: go big
From cliff-top vistas to surf-pounded beaches and eucalypt woodlands, this multi-day trek showcases the best of coastal Victoria. The walk starts at Apollo Bay, 150km south-west of Melbourne. The track clings to the coast along the Otway Ranges, through patches of eucalypts and rainforest, then up over undulating cliff tops and hills, and down to wind- and wave-battered beaches. The track is travelled one way only, towards its iconic end at the Twelve Apostles.
The beautiful and varied walk is notionally split in two – the ‘mild side’ in the east, from Apollo Bay to the Aire River campsite; and the more dramatic scenery of the western ‘wild side’, from the Aire River to the Twelve Apostles. The most spectacular views are found in these western sections, where walkers climb to some of Australia’s highest sea cliffs at Moonlight Head and are often able to spy remnants of the many ships sunk along this tract of the Shipwreck Coast at Wreck Beach.
Best in spring and autumn, this relatively easy track is suitable for hikers of different levels, from novices to experienced bushwalkers. You can do things solo – carrying your own food, water and gear, and staying at the basic campsites along the way – or you can go with one of the guided options and get dropped off at the track and then picked up each day, and driven to local accommodation.
It’s also possible to choose a day walk at any point if you can organise
a car shuffle or book a taxi – sections five and seven are highlights.
The Surf Coast Walk
This picturesque 44km coastal walk (above) takes you through traditional Wathaurung Country, from the tall dunes of Point Impossible, 5km east of Torquay, to Fairhaven in the west. The walk can be done in one stretch or broken down into shorter half-day and day walks, making it ideal for walkers of all ages. The Surf Coast Walk is true to its name, passing through famous surf towns such as Torquay, as well as Anglesea and Aireys Inlet.