Finishing your hike with a view of the 12 Apostles is undoubtedly a stand out experience on the Great Ocean Walk, however there are many other highlights of the walk.
Popular features include the Cape Otway Lightstation (also known as the Cape Otway Lighthouse), Wreck beach, spotting wildlife including wallabies and koalas and the dramatically different scenery from the tall trees to the cliff top beach views.
We asked Great Ocean Walk hikers which were their favourite parts of the Great Ocean Walk and there was a general sentiment that the entire trail is worth doing for it's beautiful scenery which changes as you walk. However hikers told us if they had to choose, the walk between Cape Otway and Aire River has great views from cliff tops. There is also the bonus in this section of having the option to walk on Station Beach and down to Rainbow Falls if the tide permits. Other hikers said their favourite sections included Blanket Bay, Devil's Kitchen and Aire River to Johanna Beach. If planning on camping overnight, the Johanna Beach campsite is often the most mentioned as a favourite spot due to its views. Another Great Ocean Walker said if you are only going to do one section, Johanna Beach to the end of the walk has many spectacular highlights.
For those new to hiking and looking to ease your way into it, Elliot Ridge to Blanket Bay or Cape Otway to Aire River are some of the best sections of the walk to try.
There is no right or wrong way to plan your itinerary for the Great Ocean Walk. All hikers are different. Some people plan to hike approximately 10km per day and others choose to walk as far as 30kms in one day. If you are not in a hurry just to tick off the goal of finishing the walk, we recommend factoring in a little bit of extra time to go slow and enjoy your surroundings, spot wildlife and enjoy your time in nature (perhaps allowing for the odd detour and photo opportunity). We have heard of hikers who spent an 11 hour day hiking 27kms only to regret it later and wish they'd been able to slow down and enjoy their surroundings.
There are suggested time frames for completing the walk depending on your preferred pace/fitness level however the terrain can be challenging at times which is why the recommended kilometres per day often appear shorter than what you might have expected. There are also factors like mud to consider during Winter, Spring or periods of heavy rainfall. We recommend purchasing the official Great Ocean Walk visitor guide/map which gives detailed information about the trail.
Great Ocean Walk Sections & Distances
The Great Ocean Walk can generally be divided into eight walking sections, although many people choose to combine sections or alter the start and finish locations of each day's hike to match their ideal overall hiking time frame.
There are numerous variations of how you can complete your Great Ocean Walk in anywhere from 5 to 7 days. Below is an indication of how you might consider completing the walk in six one day hikes:
1. Apollo Bay to Blanket Bay
2. Blanket Bay to Cape Otway
3. Cape Otway to Castle Cove
4. Castle Cove to Milanesia Gate
5. Milanesia Gate to Gables carpark
6. Gables Carpark to the 12 Apostles
Great Ocean Walk hikers planning a day hike from the start of the trail will usually walk from Apollo Bay to Shelley Beach, Elliot Ridge or Blanket Bay. Although not as common, the more ambitious hikers will walk from Apollo Bay all the way to Cape Otway in one day.
The Great Ocean Walk is a one way 100km coastal hiking trail which starts in Apollo Bay and ends at the 12 Apostles in Victoria. The Great Ocean Walk is popular for day hikes or as a series of one day hikes. Alternatively, the entire Great Ocean Walk trail can be completed in 5, 6, 7 or 8 days depending on your fitness, pace and how much time you would like to spend enjoying wildlife spotting, detours and immersing yourself in the scenery.
Want to find out more? Read about Jaeya's solo Great Ocean Walk experience.
Ride With Us provide a transport shuttle service for the Great Ocean Walk for solo hikers, couples/pairs and small groups of up to 8 people. Transport operates 7 days a week by advance booking. One off transfers, multi day transport, food and water drops and luggage service available. Pick up and drop off locations include the Great Ocean Walk trail, train stations and airports, campgrounds, accommodation and your car. Plan your walk.
Join the Tips for Hiking The Great Ocean Walk Facebook Group.
Ride With Us
Experience the Timboon and the 12 Apostles region with Ride With Us, see the icons of the Great Ocean Road. We provide transport services throughout the region including taxi and shuttle services, bike hire and more.