Great Ocean Walk
Ecotourism

Call 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.

Both Feet Great Ocean Walk Both Feet Walking Eco Lodge
Great Ocean Walk

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 drive-in campsites.

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 the territory.

 

 

great ocean road trip
Travel Tips

1

Mobiles 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.
2
Registration.
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 to west.
3
Camp right.
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.
4
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.
5

You’ll 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.

6 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.
7 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. Ouch!
8 Waterproof.
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 neck.
9 Speed limits.
The rule is that the group walks at the speed of the slowest walker. It’s a nature trip, not an ego trip.
10 Lost.
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 waste energy.
Great Ocean Walk Dinasour Cove
Marine parks

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 and Warrnambool.

Guided tours

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.

Great Ocean Walk  Blanket Bay
Great Ocean Road Trplet Falls Drive-in camping

At Blanket Bay, Parker Hill, Aire River and Johanna Beach, you can drive within metres of campsites.

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.
Triplet falls

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 1920s.

 
Great Ocean Walk Blanket Bay

Great Ocean Walk at Blanket Bay

Fauna Australia Wildlife Retreat
 


  Great Ocean Road Trip - Helping you make the right choice

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