The Great Ocean Walk is a one-way hike that extends more than 110km. If you decide to walk the whole trail, it’ll take you at least 8 days to finish the trek.

Expect to be mesmerized by the beautiful landscape and gorgeous wildlife. The golden sand, pointy cliffs, pristine water, and the sounds of crashing waves are sure to leave you in awe of the beauty that Mother Nature bestows. And you’re likely to spot a range of wildlife, from Kangaroos and Koalas in the lush regions to dolphins and whales along the coast. This is indeed a hike you’re likely to always remember.

If you’re wondering how to navigate the area, read on. This brief review will go over the map and terrain of the trail so you’ll know what to expect if you plan on visiting the area anytime soon. 

Where the Great Ocean Walk Begins

The Great Ocean Walk begins at Apollo Bay and finishes at the iconic Twelve Apostles. You don’t have to do the entire walk. You can visit and complete sections of them. Parks Victoria has graded each section clearly to indicate the more complex areas than others. 

 Let’s dig in and see what’s featured at each part of the trail.

Apollo Bay to Elliot Ridge

Apollo Bay to Elliot Ridge

Image By Google Maps

The first section of the trail is Apollo Bya to Elliot Ridge. This part is 10km will take your about 3.5 hours. Start the walk by strolling through the town or along the beach. Eventually, you’ll need to follow the coastline until you reach the river, and from there, you’ll walk along the Great Ocean Road until you reach the Elliot Ridge Campsite.  This stretch is about 7 km and features some rocky terrain, beaches, and boardwalks. Conditions might become challenging if it rains. Think about bringing appropriate footwear.

Elliot Ridge Campsite to Blanket Bay

Elliot Ridge Campsite to Blanket Bay

Image By Google Maps

The next section of the trail is Elliot Ridge Campsite to Blanket Bay. This section stretches about 12 km and will take around 4 hours to complete. You’ll travel through a lush forest full of Mountain Ash trees and ferns.

 This is one of the few places where you can take a swim along the trail. But don’t go out too far. Swimming along the route in certain places can be extremely dangerous because of the tides and currents and can lead to death.

Blanket Bay to Cape Otway

Blanket Bay to Cape Otway

Image By Google Maps

Blanket Bay to Cape Otway is about 11 km and is marked as easy to medium. You can walk along the beaches or take an inland road. There is another safe swimming area designated at Crayfish Bay. While there, check out the Cape Otway Light station. It’s Australia’s oldest operating lighthouse.

Cape Otway to Aire River

Cape Otway to Aire River

Image By Google Maps

Make your way from Cape Otway to Aire River. It’s 10km long and will take you around 3 hours. This part of the walk features various landscapes, from sand dunes to cliff tops to Rainbow Falls. You’ll be exposed to the sun quite a bit during this part of the hike. Be sure to have your sunscreen ready.

Aire River to Johanna

Aire River to Johanna

Image By Visit Melbourne

Aire River to Castle Cove is 14km and will take about 5 hours to complete the trek. You’ll find yourself taking many pictures, as this stretch features many breathtaking ocean views. As you make your way, you’ll reach Castle Cove. This area features grasslands, forests, and a lot of fauna. Once you arrive at Johnna Beach, check out the waves. There might be some big ones here.

Johnna Beach

Image By Google Maps

Johanna to Ryan’s Dyan

Johanna to Ryan’s Dyan

Image By Google Maps

This is a 14km hike that will take around 5 hours to complete. You’ll see a lot of hills and countryside until you finally reach Melanesi Beach.  Following that is a rather secluded area that has come difficult hiking conditions.

Ryan’s Den to Devil’s Kitchen

Image By Google Maps

This is a longer stretch of the walk; at 13km, it’ll take around 5 hours to complete the trek. This is a challenging part of the walk because some terrain features are rugged and long. So, you’ll have to be fit to make it through. If there’s a low tide, you can check out Wreck Beach and check out some anchors. You won’t be able to see the area if there’s a high tide, though.  

Wreck Beach

Image By Google Maps

Devil Kitchen to the 12 Apostles

Devil Kitchen to the 12 Apostles

Image By Google Maps

You’ll go through Devil’s Kitchen to the 12 Apostles Marine Park at the end of your walk.  This is a long 16km stretch. Once you reach your final destination, be sure to take some pictures at the Great Ocean Walk platform, and there’s also a 12 Apostles visitor center where you’ll find cafes to celebrate the completion of your walk.

Ocean Walk Map

Ocean Walk Map

Image Source: The Great Ocean Walk

There are many signposts along the way to mark where you are, but carrying a map with you is a good idea.

Many decide to use the Great Ocean Walk Information Guide and Official Map. There is also the Great Ocean Walk Official Walker’s Maps Booklet. You can get these maps from Parks Victoria from the Great Ocean Road Apollo Bay Visitor Information Centre. 

The guides are beneficial for campers and hikers since they give you a lot of information to complete your hike safely.

But you can also use your phone to navigate the area. There are a lot of great apps for that purpose. Some of these include Topo Maps and the Hiking Project. Just remember you’re not likely to get consistent internet access. So be sure you have some maps on your phone or in hand before you embark on your journey.

Accommodations and Food

Accommodations are at various points along the trail if you’re not camping and didn’t bring tents. These include Johanna Seaside Cottages, Ryan’s Den, the Apollo Bay Accommodation, and the Great Ocean Walk Retreat. You need to reserve these, however.

You can check out a few places to enjoy some food along the way. There is Chris’s near the start of the walk. They offer fresh seafood, and you’ll find the Otway Junction Restaurant & Cafe at the highest point on the Great Ocean Road. Offering some of the most spectacular views, you can enjoy fresh fish delivered by local fishermen. If you’re planning on trekking the whole way, though, you’ll need to prepare accordingly.

When to Go

You can hike the Great Ocean Walk at any time during the year. However, popular times include spring (September to November) and fall (early March to mid-May). Summer can bring heat brushes and fire, and more snakes are present on the trails, so it might be a time to avoid them. Besides, springtime is the best to enjoy all the plants and flowers blooming to life. Note, however, that the Victoria weather is not always stable. Many have commented that seeing 4 seasons in a day is possible. Be sure to pack with that information in mind.

Great Ocean Walk

If you decide to trek the whole journey, it will likely be a lifetime experience. You’ll see waterfalls clear ocean views, and wildlife in its natural setting. Be sure to pack your essentials, and remember your map to help you guide your journey along the way. 

Resourceshttps://www.thegreatoceanwalk.com/camping-on-track/

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