Great Ocean Walk
it ecotourism. It’s here. Call it
adventure tourism. That’s here too.
Call it sustainable tourism. Check. Call
it nature-based tourism. Ditto. We
have beaches, mountains, lakes, waterfalls,
hills, forests, trails and tracks. What
you do with them is up to you. We guarantee
you there’s plenty to do, provided
you respect the country we’ve made
our home. The Otways formed 130 million
years ago; sea changes brought the coast
to the Otways maybe 30 million years ago;
indigenous Australians have lived with the
land for the last 10,000 years at least;
European settlement is not yet 200 years
old. Out of that came the Great Ocean Road.
Together these events have brought to you
the region you’ve come to visit. Walk,
hike, ride, fish, fly, glide, swim, surf,
sail: do one, do them all, but what do they
say? Take nothing but memories and photographs,
leave nothing but footprints. This place
is so beautiful it’s sure to have
a huge impact on you. We ask in return that
you leave no impact on it. For us, for you,
for others, for ever.
Officially opened in December 2005, the
Great Ocean Walk is the result of millions
of years of planning by nature and five years
of joining the dots by Parks Victoria. It’s
here to stay for you to come here to stay
… and wander. The walk is designed to
be a “step on and step off” trail
for the 91kms it follows from Apollo Bay to
Glenample Homestead, adjacent to the Twelve
Apostles (or Nine, however many there are
left now.) That means you don’t have
to take the whole walk to be part of the experience.
Planners have provided 11 “Decision
Points” for you to plot your own course.
They are short walks of varying difficulty
and intensity to break up the trek. Along
the way are seven hike-in campsites and four
For a quick taste of how good the whole walk
is, try the drive-in campsite at Johanna Beach.
Unbeatable. For good reasons, Parks Victoria
directs walkers to always travel east to west.
Parks people don’t want to overload
hikers with rules and laws, especially when
the idea is to enjoy the freedoms of the bush,
but everyone has to be responsible for themselves
and to others. That’s a big part of
being an ecotourist. Hand in hand with responsibility
is respect, a mighty word that goes a long
way. In this case, 91kms. Respect the bush,
the beach, the indigenous heritage (found
around Cape Otway and Parker River) and other
walkers. It’s not hard. It comes with
ocean road trip
in an emergency.
In many places in the Otways you won’t
be in network range. In an emergency you can
contact police, ambulance or the CFA by dialling
112 then pressing the YES key.
If you want to camp overnight on the Great Ocean
Walk you must register with Parks Victoria on
13 1963 preferably six weeks in advance.
All hikes on the walk must proceed from east
Make camp at existing sites where provided.
If you make camp, create as little disturbance
to the natural environment as possible.
Do not dig drainage ditches.
|Keep on track.
Follow defined walking tracks where they are
marked. If you are walking off-track, spread
out so you don’t walk in each other’s
footsteps, deepening the tracks.
never walk alone.
For the times when you can’t help yourself.
Advise at least two people about your planned
walk and always have at least one companion.
Four is considered a safe number for a group.
||At least a litre.
If your mouth is dry you are already dehydrated.
You should have at least a litre of water with
you to rehydrate, two litres in hot weather.
||Missed a blister.
Blisters are bummers. Rub Friar’s Balsam,
methylated spirits or petroleum jelly on your
feet to harden the skin. Keep your toenails
short. That way they won’t rub or lift.
Always carry with you a waterproof jacket and
wool coverings for hands and head. The jacket
is best with a hood and must be long enough
to sit on. Headgear should cover the nape of
The rule is that the group walks at the speed
of the slowest walker. It’s a nature trip,
not an ego trip.
Most places you’re going in the Otways
and coast have well-worn tracks. But if you
do feel lost, stay where you are. Make your
location visible. Rest and wait. Don’t
Not all of Victoria’s parks are on land.
Along the coast 24 marine parks and sanctuaries
protect just over 5% of Victoria’s coastal
waters. Eight of them lie between Barwon Heads
Of the 270 licensed tour guides that Parks
Victoria has accredited, 145 have operations
west of Geelong. They promote eco-tourism
and recreation in a manner consistent with
the aims and values of Parks Victoria.
You can be sure they will give you a safe
and sensational experience.
At Blanket Bay, Parker Hill, Aire River and
Johanna Beach, you can drive within metres of
At Aire River and Johanna Beach
you get tent pads, toilets, shelters, rainwater
tanks and camp tables. Luxury. At Johanna, you
camp right on the cliff edge with the mighty
ocean booming below you.
Luxury with the best view on the coast. All
free, but you must
register on 13 1963 or at www.greatoceanwalk.com.au.
If you’ve been to Triplet Falls before
they were re-opened in April 2006, you haven’t
been to Triplet Falls. This is an entirely different
experience. Instead of an old walking track,
you have state-of-the-art tracks and steps that
take you in a much wider sweep of the area with
more and better viewing platforms. The walk
makes a highlight of the site of Knotts No 1
sawmill, complete with boiler, trolleys and
sawpit. The forest has reclaimed the mill site
but what’s left serves as a reminder of
the way the forest was worked well into the
Ocean Walk at Blanket Bay