[ale_three_fourth] The starting point for the full Great Ocean Walk is Apollo Bay.
Apollo Bay is a coastal town in southwestern Victoria, Australia.
Driving from Melbourne to Apollo Bay takes around 2 hours and 40 minutes.
For more information on Maps click here, and on Transport and Transfers, click here.
Difficulty, Fitness etc.
[ale_tabs] [ale_tab title=”– How fit do I need to be?”]
How fit do I need to be?
If you are going to walk independently and carry your own pack you need to be fitter than if you opt for a guided or self – guided walk of the Great Ocean Walk where your luggage is transferred for you. Training with your pack beforehand is essential so you can see how your body copes with the demands of a fully laden pack – practice with the gear you intend to use and don’t forget to add the weight of food and water! If you’re unsure of your fitness then the support of a guided walk is your best bet where you can have vehicle back up and pull out points. Read more….[/ale_tab]
[ale_tab title=”– What distances are required each day and what pace should I walk at?”]
What distances are required each day and what pace should I walk at?
Walking at your pace is important and an experienced leader will support and adapt to the groups pace when walking. The pace of your walk should consider the distance walking per day and the pace that you enjoy walking.
Self guided walks strike a balance between the two as you have the back up of a company in case anything goes amiss, but the freedom to walk your own way.
So it’s largely a personal choice as to which might suit you best! But if you’re new at this and at all uncertain then maybe opt for a guided package the first time and get a feel for the walk – you can always come back and try it independently once you’ve got a taste for it. Read more….
Guided, Solo, Groups, Individuals
[ale_tab title=” — Guided or independent walks? “]
There is no right or wrong answer here as it’s a personal preference. But there are a number of factors to consider when working out whether a guided / self – guided walk or an independent walk might suit you best.
Here are some frequently asked questions to consider when assessing the best choice for you.
Your past experience & skills
How experienced are you with multi-day walks; have you done anything like this before?
Do you have first aid knowledge & a first aid kit?
Are you comfortable being out in some fairly remote locations?
Does the possibility of close encounters with wildlife bother you?
Have you got good walking stamina to complete the distances?
[ale_tab title=”– Do I have to walk in a group or can I walk independently? “]
Do I have to walk in a group or can I walk independently?
Walking independently will require carrying all your own gear and sleeping in campsites and public huts. For many people, a group trip allows them to enjoy the tranquility, the beauty and the Great Ocean Walk attractions and make new friends as well. To some people, the camaraderie of a walking group is one of the highlights of their trip
A group trip can also be a private guided trip which will mean that a guide will be responsible for the safety and enjoyment of the group allowing each group member to enjoy the experience. Some of the tracks will take you through wilderness areas with rapidly changing conditions. If you want
Some solo walkers including female walkers also appreciate the feeling of security that comes with a group. Other people crave solitude and the ability to appreciate nature quietly and unobtrusively – not to mention the adventure factor of exploring on your own terms.
If you are travelling alone it’s probably best to have the back up of a self-guided or guided trip. If you choose a self – guided walk then you can choose to have accommodation arranged for you or there are camping grounds along the route.
[ale_tab title=”– What can I expect on a guided walk?”]
What can I expect on a guided walk?
Walking with a guide has its advantages and if learning about the history of the area, the plants, trees, wildlife, and beaches, important to your experience then a guide may be the best choice.
You can see more in our galleries and read more about the great ocean walk attractions and scenic highlights.
A guide also brings a measure of certainty to each day’s walk and makes sure everything goes to plan with transfers, accommodation, maps and food all arranged.
Some companies such as RAW Travel (www.rawtravel.com) also bring in specialist local guides to complement their walking leaders during their walks.
You should at the very least have a reliable mobile and emergency device (distress radio beacon (EPIRB) or similar) with you if travelling solo.[/ale_tab]
Accommodations, Services, Facilities
[ale_tab title=”– Transport and transfers”]
Transport and transfers – still needs work…
As some guided trips start in Melbourne the return transfers with a guided group can be an important factor. Self guided and independent trips mean you have to make your own way to Apollo Bay and back again. Have a look at the Transport section for more details on public transport options to get to the area and back.
One other factor to consider is whether you have a vehicle or not? As some guided trips start in Melbourne the return transfers with a guided group can be an important factor. Self guided and independent trips mean you have to make your own way to Apollo Bay and back again.
[ale_tab title=”– A real adventure with Great Accommodation as well?”]
I want the adventure of the walk but great accommodation at the end of the day, is that possible?
The Great Ocean Walk accommodation is excellent with choices to make the walk about walking and night times about comfortable and relaxing. Many of the accommodation choices have meals provided with the highest quality produce and some even offer a chef for groups.[/ale_tab]
[ale_tab title=”– What food can I expect, what if I have special requirements?”]
What food can I expect and what if I have special dietary requirements?
The guides or lodge staff will prepare delicious, nutritious meals daily. All walks can happily cater to special dietary requirements, just let the operator know in advance.
Gear and Equipment
[ale_tab title=”– What gear and equipment should I bring with me? “]
What gear and equipment should I bring with me?
The type of walk that you choose will dictate what you need to pack. There are operators that will transfer your packs or return you to your accommodation and your luggage every night making the weight of your luggage less important as only day packs are required each day. The ideal weight for a day pack is 5kms or less. If you are choosing to carry your own your own packs then the right mix of gear and not overloading yourself with unnecessary items is important. Serious walkers will have to carry enough gear for multiple days and anywhere between eight and 15 kilograms would be a good weight.
[ale_tab title=”– Will I need special hiking shoes? “]
Will I need special hiking shoes?
Walkers should have solid, closed-toe walking shoes or hiking boots, preferably with ankle support. Sports shoes, trainers or runners are not suitable for the Great Ocean Walk tracks and the varied terrain that you will encounter. Read more….[/ale_tab]
[ale_tab title=”– Mobile phone and internet coverage on the walk “]
Is there mobile phone and internet coverage on the walk?
Mobile telephone and internet coverage is intermittent along the Great Ocean Walk. Generally at high points with little overhanging vegetation it is possible to get some reception. The locations where reception is normally available include Blanket Bay beach area, Station Beach high-tide route, Johanna campsite, Ryans Den campsite, Moonlight Head and Devils Kitchen campsite ocean-view areas.
Please Note: All mobile telephone users, including international, can connect to the Police, Ambulance or CFA on 000 or another emergency mobile network by dialling 112 and dialling HELP.[/ale_tab]
[ale_tab title=”– Bushfire danger on the walk “]
Did the december 2015 bushfires affect the WALK?
The recent fires were in areas that don’t affect the Great Ocean Walk and walking trips continue there unaffected. The recent fires were burning around 20 kms East of Apollo Bay, and travelling further East towards Lorne (40+ kms away from Apollo Bay). All of our trips start in Apollo Bay or Cape Otway which was never in the recent fire danger zone.
As of mid last week, the roads have completely reopened from Lorne to Apollo Bay, so all visitors can drive through this area again. Be sure to check all fire warnings before you start your walk and if an extreme fire danger or any doubt postpone your walking plans.
[ale_tab title=”– USEFUL contacts”]
Please Note: All mobile telephone users, including international, can connect to the Police, Ambulance or CFA on 000 or another emergency mobile network by dialling 112 and dialling HELP.[ale_one_half]
Great Ocean Walk EMERGENCY NUMBERS
Police, Ambulance, Fire:000
Apollo Bay Police:(03) 5237 6750
Lavers Hill Police:(03) 5237 3200
Colac Police:(03) 5230 0000
Port Campbell Police:(03) 5598 6310
Apollo Bay Hospital:(03) 5237 8500
Apollo Bay RACV:(03) 5237 6720