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  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
  • Duration:  7 days (approx.)
Spend a week communing with nature on the Great Ocean Walk, one of the Great Walks of Australia. Follow the Great Ocean Road to the seaside village of Apollo Bay, hike through cool-climate rainforest past remote beaches and along coastal cliff tops, and spend each night in comfort at a relaxing eco lodge. See fur seals, seabirds, wallabies, koalas and endemic plant species, and learn why this shoreline is called the Shipwreck Coast. Choose from a guided seven-day walk, with transport from Melbourne or Johanna, accommodation and a spectacular helicopter flight over the Twelve Apostles included. Or take the self-guided route, departing from Johanna and including accommodation but not the helicopter flight. Tour numbers are limited to a dozen, ensuring a tranquil walking experience.

Highlights

  • Great Ocean Road 7-day walking tour
  • Spot wildlife, enjoy pristine coastal views and hear tales from the wild Shipwreck Coast
  • Choose from a guided hike or a self-guided experience
  • Join a guided hike and finish the walk on a helicopter tour over the 12 Apostles
  • 6 nights of comfortable lodge accommodation included
  • Walking groups no larger than 12 hikers at a time
  • 3-course gourmet dinners, hearty breakfasts and packed lunches included

What You Can Expect

Great Walks of Australia: 7-Day Great Ocean Walk

Johanna walking lodge

This 7-day Great Ocean Walk is one of the Great Walks of Australia, a collection of walks that take you into ancient rainforests and vast national parks, among other breathtaking environments, on highly customized walking journeys. With a guide, meals, and comfortable lodging included, you’ll make the most of your journeys to these special national parks and other spectacular locales.

Itinerary

Day 1: Apollo Bay -- Shelley Beach, 5 miles (8 km) of walking (L,D)
Your Great Ocean Walk starts at the eco lodge in Johanna, or with pickup from Melbourne’s central Travelodge Southbank if you choose the guided walk with transport from Melbourne option, which includes a relaxing three-hour journey by road. Today’s walk starts with a stroll through the seaside village of Apollo Bay to Marengo Marine Sanctuary, home to a New Zealand fur seal colony visible from Marengo Point. Have a swim at this sheltered cove in summer, or spot birds, marine life and wildflowers in the cooler months. Continue walking through cool-climate forests of mountain ash and tree ferns before being returned to your lodge in Johanna. Spend a relaxing evening with dinner accompanied by wine.

Overnight: Johanna walking lodge


Day 2: Shelley Beach -- Parker Inlet, 11.5 miles (18.5 km) of walking (B,L,D)

After breakfast at the lodge, start today’s walk at Shelley Beach just outside Apollo Bay, where old-growth myrtle and mountain ash trees tower over wide grassy trails. See native birds, wallabies and rare Otway carnivorous snails along the trail. In the afternoon, walk to Blanket Bay and Parker River, both perfect for a swim if the weather is warm. Keep an eye out for koalas on this part of the trail. Returning to the eco lodge, take a soothing foot spa and relax over dinner in the evening.

Overnight: Johanna walking lodge

Day 3: Parker Inlet -- Aire River, 10 miles (16 km) of walking (B,L,D)

Following breakfast, be returned to Parker Inlet to continue your walk through this ideal koala habitat. As you continue, the gum trees give way to the coastal shrubs of the Cape Otway Lightstation, where the sandy trail provides expansive ocean views. Continue on to the beautiful Aire Valley, a wetland estuary home to rare birds and flora, before being returned to your lodge for the evening.

Overnight: Johanna walking lodge


Day 4: Aire River -- Johanna Beach, 8.5 miles (13.5 km) of walking (B,L,D)
After breakfast, be returned to Aire River to continue your walk through a canopy of coastal heath to Castle Cove; a breathtaking coastal lookout over the Southern Ocean. The walk from Castle Cove to Johanna Beach is a favorite section for many walkers, taking you above cliffs dropping sharply down to the ocean, flanked by forests of eucalypt gum trees. Pass by forests of grass trees and wildflowers before reaching your lodge at Johanna.

Overnight: Johanna walking lodge


Day 5: Johanna Beach -- Moonlight Head, 12.5 miles (20 km) of walking (B,L,D)

After breakfast at your lodge, experience the wild side of the Great Ocean Road on a day walk that takes you from Moonlight Head along grassy hills and country lanes to the highest point of the whole trail. Dramatic changes in elevation deliver wild and remote Southern Ocean views, taking you to secluded Milanesia Beach which can only be accessed on foot. Follow undulating goat trails leading off the beach and along the cliff for exclusive vistas, and feel on the edge of the world at remote Ryan's Den. Return to the lodge to unwind and relax.

Overnight: Johanna walking lodge


Day 6: Moonlight Head to Princetown, 10 miles (16.5 km) of walking (B,L,D)

Following breakfast at your lodge, be returned to Moonlight Head to begin today’s gentle forest walk to the Gables -- the highest ocean cliff lookout on the walk. If the tide is out you can take the 366 stairs down to Wreck Beach for a glimpse of shipwrecks and anchors embedded in the sandstone. If the tide is in, take the high road past Devil's Kitchen for a bush 'cuppa' with a stunning view, before being returned to the walking lodge at Johanna.

Overnight: Johanna walking lodge

Day 7: Princetown to the Twelve Apostles, 5 miles (8.5 km) of walking (B,L)

The final day of your seven-day walk takes you to the Twelve Apostles, one of Victoria’s signature sights. If you’re taking the guided tour, enjoy a sensational helicopter flight over the Twelve Apostles for an aerial view of your week-long route. The round-trip transport inclusion returns you to Melbourne at around 5pm.

Accommodation:

All nights of the walk are at the one lodge, which means there’s no packing up until the last day, and you’ll only carry day-packs containing lunch, water and personal needs.

Walks start and end at the four-star walking lodge in Johanna, specially designed to ensure walkers have all the comforts they need at the end of a hard day on the trail: a hot shower, a comfortable bed and a gourmet meal. The purpose-built retreat is ideally positioned halfway along the Great Ocean Walk, and features best practice sustainable design and a serene bush setting. In the evenings, fabulous regional food prepared on-site by an internationally trained chef is served, along with some of Victoria's best wines. There is no single-room surcharge.
From USD $ 1,986.20

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Tour code: 6023_OW7

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