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Great Ocean Road Walk

Solo Travellers 40 years & over
Sunday 15 - Wednesday 18 October 2017

Itinerary

HOLIDAY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Sunset at the Twelve Apostles
  • Experience the best sections of the Great Ocean Walk
  • See the most spectacular settings anywhere along the Great Ocean Walk
  • Optional helicopter ride over Great Ocean Road

 

PRE WALK ARRANGMENTS – SATURDAY 14 OCTOBER 2017
Arrive Melbourne

If you are travelling to Melbourne to commence the tour there is the option to book the group hotel with us, as an add-on for to your walking trip.

Mercure Melbourne Treasury Garden is the group hotel. It’s also the pickup point on day 1 of the tour Sunday 15 October 2017.

We will coordinate a group meet up at the hotel for 6:00pm. Walkers generally take advantage of this meetup to enjoy a drink or even a meal together in Melbourne this evening. The evening is not hosted, so group members can make these arrangements between themselves once they meet up.  As the group hotel is at Southbank there’s lot of options for going out for a meal together. 

Breakfast is from 7am – 10am on weekends 

DAY 1 – SUNDAY 15 OCTOBER 2017
Melbourne – Apollo Bay

After breakfast, please meet in the hotel lobby of Mercure Melbourne Treasury Garden at 7:40am for your 7:45am departure.

This morning, we make our way to the coastal village of Anglesea where a ‘cuppa’ of whatever you fancy, a muffin and a comfort stop gives us a quick break from the vehicle. Afterwards, we’ll follow the famous Great Ocean Road all the way to Apollo Bay for lunch and walk briefing.

Begin at the very start of the Great Ocean Walk in Apollo Bay. We Walk via Marengo and Elliot River, past exposed headlands, wild beaches and lush rainforest.

Then it’s on to Cape Otway and the region’s most famous landmark, The Cape Otway Light Station. Here you can wander to the top of the lighthouse. From the top of this highpoint you can see over a vast area and enjoy the most spectacular scenery, where waves crash over reefs and where the notorious Bass Strait meets the great Southern Ocean.

You can walk around the Cape Otway area encompassing Parker River Inlet, Point Franklin and Crayfish Bay. This is a truly spectacular part, with the chance to see Koalas lazily grazing in the eucalypt forest.

Dinner is a two course menu (dietary requirements taken into account) prepared by your guides. 

Walking distance: 7 km 
Walking time: 2-3 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 2 – MONDAY 16 OCTOBER 2017
Great Ocean Walk

After breakfast, we take the 10km walk from the lighthouse to Aire River winds its way through wind sculpted landscapes of sand dunes, coastal scrub-land and magnificent calcified cliffs. At the Aire River Lookout there are great views down to the estuary where the Aire River meets the Southern Ocean and Glenaire Beach. The wetlands look quite spectacular from this vantage point and it is a nice steady downhill walk from to the Aire River Bridge which crosses the river to the picnic area and toilets. At this point the Park Trek coach offer support for those who wish to wind up their days’ walking.  

Optional Extra:
From here, we have the option, following on from Aire River, with a six kilometre walk through to Castle Cove. 

From Aire River the track heads inland for a while, climbing up and around the next headland through tea-tree forests, and then continues along the coastal path with sweeping views of the rugged coastline. Expect some ups and downs with a little climbing before you get to Castle Cove. Located on a spectacular bend of the Great Ocean Road at Glenaire, Castle Cove is a beautiful beach surrounded by towering cliffs which have high archaeological significance, as dinosaur fossils have been found here. At his point you will have walked six to 16 kms. You do have the option of walking through to Johanna Beach which is an additional seven kms.

From Castle Cove the track winds its way along the cliff tops, through heath-lands and forests, occasionally emerging to give breathtaking and extensive views along the coast. The forest here is an interesting mixture of manna gums, spring wildflowers and magnificent expanses of grass trees. Make sure you keep an eye out above for Peregrine Falcons.

Eventually you will emerge onto the broad expanse of Johanna Beach. This beautiful beach is one of the best in Australia for superb views and enormous crashing surf.

Two-course dinner prepared by guides 
Walking distance: 10 kms (plus optional 6km more)
Walking time: 5-6 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3 – TUESDAY 17 OCTOBER 2017
Great Ocean Walk

We are off to a healthy start with a continental breakfast.

The walk from Johanna Beach to Ryans Den is the wildest and most challenging section of the entire track. From Milanesia Gate we descend to a beautiful and remote beach. Isolated, rugged and hidden, Milanesia Beach receives few visitors and is all the more special for it. Look for the “beachcomber’s cottage” when you reach the beach.

From here the trail continues along the high sea cliffs to Ryans Den with breathtaking views all the way back to Cape Otway, and west to Cape Volney. This is our lunch spot and it is arguably the most scenic location along the walk. There are toilets here also. From Ryans Den the track continues through coastal forests that lead over Cape Volney to Moonlight Head (named by Matthew Flinders during a break in showery weather at night in April 1802). 

Optional Extra:
There is the option of continuing on for another four kilometres through to the Gables.

After Moonlight Head the track dips down into a valley and follows a newly cut section of track which will lead to The Gables Lookout, perched on one of the highest sea cliffs in mainland Australia. We might stop into Lavers Hill for a cup of tea/coffee on the way back home.

Tonight you’ll enjoy a two course dinner prepared by your guides.

Walking distance: 10kms (plus optional 4kms)
Walking hours: 5-6 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4 – WEDNESDAY 18 OCTOBER 2017
Depart

After breakfast, it’s a superb final section, as we walk from Princetown to the Twelve Apostles.

Our walk starts above the wetlands around Princetown which support a wide variety of bird life. We’ll walk down through the Gellibrand River Estuary and reconnect with the Great Ocean Walk on a new track section. This section replaces 1.5km of road walking with about 2km of pleasant walking through the coastal scrub and escarpment. We are now on the home stretch into Port Campbell National Park and the world famous Twelve Apostles soon come into sight.

At Gibson’s Beach Car Park, and we recommend, tides allowing, you descend Gibson’s Steps to view Gog and Magog (not strictly counted as two of The Twelve Apostles) up close from sea level. The last kilometre of the Great Ocean Walk takes you through to the Twelve Apostles Visitor Centre where you can view The Apostles up close. We’ll have our lunch here and then onto Colac where we stop at a local café for a coffee/tea (at own expense). This afternoon we will depart the Great Ocean Road and head back to Melbourne.

If you are departing from Avalon airport, you will be transferred to the airport enroute to Melbourne city. There will be two drop off points in the city, Southern Cross Station and then Mercure Treasury Garden Melbourne. An estimated time of arrival into the city is 5.00pm. We recommend not booking any flights prior to 7pm.

Walking distance: 8km 
Walking hours: 2-3 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

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OPTIONAL TOURS – Helicopter Ride

12 Apostles – London Bridge (15 minutes)

On Day 4, after your walk, there is the opportunity to go on a helicopter ride.  This flight includes the 12 Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge, plus along the majestic coast to London Bridge, which collapsed in 1990 leaving two people stranded on the newly formed island. Along the way take in The Sentinel,Two Mile Bay and Point Hesse.

On this flight you will see:

  • 12 Apostles
  • Loch Ard Gorge
  • The Sentinel
  • The Arch
  • London Bridge 

Distance: 45 km
Cost: $145 per person
Min: 2 people

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Encounter Travel
ATAS Accreditation No: A10439

Encounter Travel provides holidays for solo travellers. Since 2006 we've been creating tour, cruise and resort packages for solo travellers that like to share their travel experiences. Visiting destinations across Australia and around the globe our holidays include short tropical escapes, leisurely touring, cruises and active walking trips.   


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