Return again and again and build your own Great Ocean Walk experiences. Several half-day walks explore the tall forests of the 'tamer side' or for the more experienced hiker, the remoter, steep and isolated coves of the 'wild side' in the sections closer to the Twelve Apostles.

Short Walks

Less than 3 hours in length, ranging in difficulty and all are accessible from established visitor car parks.

Lighthouse Cemetery and Lookout Walk – 800m, walk grade easy

The gravel path leads walkers from the carpark out through beard heath to a hilltop lookout. You will be rewarded with views across to the lighthouse, and the ocean. Visit the historic cemetery which bears witness to the realities of lives lost at sea and the harsh isolation of early light station life. Fee applies for Cape Otway Lightstation entry.

Orange location icon Start: Cape Otway Lightstation carpark

Orange location icon End: Cemetery

Marengo to Shelly Beach – 4.4kms, walk grade medium

A mixture of rocky foreshore, wind swept hilltop views and tall shady forest. The exposed, and aptly named, Bald Hill traverses on and off the beach through the sheltered forest to picturesque Shelly Beach and up to the picnic area. Take the coastal route at low tide and during calm seas.

Orange location icon Start: Marengo caravan park

Orange location icon End: Shelly Beach picnic area

Shelly Beach Walk – 900m loop, walk grade medium

This is one of the best short walks on the Great Ocean Walk. The track will take you through fern gullies, coastal scrub, to Shelly Beach.

Orange location icon Start: Shelly Beach picnic area

Orange location icon End: Shelly Beach picnic area

Princetown to the Twelve Apostles – 7.0kms, walk grade medium

The walk begins near the Gellibrand River Bridge. You will traverse cliff-tops and undulating heath-clad dunes as the distinctive rock stacks begin to reveal themselves. Continue past Gibson Steps Beach (which is not accessible at high tide) to end at the iconic Twelve Apostles kiosk and carpark facility.

Orange location icon Start: Princetown Recreation Reserve

Orange location icon End: Twelve Apostles kiosk and carpark facility

The Gables Lookout – 400m, walk grade easy

This easy return walk travels through a Casuarina tree grove to a spectacular clifftop lookout. Enjoy views over the ocean and the reefs surrounding Moonlight Head. This is one of the highest sea cliffs on mainland Australia. Keep a close eye out for seabirds, or whales from June to September.

Orange location icon Start: The Gable carpark

Orange location icon End: The Gable Lookout

Wreck Beach – 350m, walk grade medium/hard

This difficult but rewarding walk descends over 350 steps to Wreck Beach. At low tide the walk takes you to the anchors of the Marie Gabrielle and the Fiji – haunting reminders of the treacherous nature of the sea. Make this walk at low tide only and beware of large sea swells.

Orange location icon Start: Wreck Beach Carpark

Orange location icon End: Wreck Beach Carpark

Day Walks

Day walks are up to 6 hours in length. All walks start from the main visitor areas and the distance and terrain make these longer walks more challenging and requiring preparation for safety and enjoyment.

Aire River to Johanna Beach Day Visitor area –12.5 km, walk grade medium/hard

This is a long but satisfying walk through diverse terrain to beautiful Johanna Beach. Pass through heathland with spring wildflowers and experience awesome sea views. Watch above for Sea Eagles soaring overhead. Johanna River is an unbridged beach crossing, so carefully assess before wading across following heavy rains.

Orange location icon Start: Aire River Visitor Area (information shelter)

Orange location icon End: Johanna Beach Day Visitor Area.

Cape Otway to Aire River – 10kms, walk grade medium

Explore the lightstation before you set out. The walk to Aire River carves its way through a wind-sculpted landscape of sand dunes, coastal scrubland and calcified cliffs. Along the way Station Beach (and Rainbow Falls) is side trip well worth taking. Rainbow Falls is spring-fed water trickling down through algae to the rock platform below. The Falls are a 3-kilometre return journey from where you first enter Station Beach at Decision Point 8. When you return from Rainbow Falls, exit Station Beach at either Decision Point 8 where you first entered the beach, or further towards Aire River at Decision Point 8B, which will take you back onto the main GOW route. Continue along to the Aire escarpment lookout, before descending down to the beautiful Aire River Campground.

Orange location icon Start: Cape Otway Carpark

Orange location icon End: Aire River Visitor Area

A map of the Great Ocean Walk

More Great Ocean Walk Experiences

The Great Ocean Walk offers a range of options for walkers with varying skill levels. Tackle the whole eight days, or experience it in shorter snippets. Choose from a variety of short, day and overnight hikes. You can experience the walk independently, use a licensed tour operator, or mix and match.
Two female hikers pose for a camera at the end of the Great Ocean Walk

Licensed tour operators

Local knowledge can make all the difference when planning for a spectacular hiking experience. Great Ocean Walk tour operators offer a range of services for walkers, including guided tours, transport, camping equipment hire and food provision.
A woman with a large hike pack stands on a rock next to the ocean

Hike for 1–3 nights

If you don't wish to tackle the whole Great Ocean Walk, you can experience it in shorter snippets. Get a taste of the Great Ocean Walk on these 1-3 night itineraries.
Two female hikers follow the Great Ocean Walk trail down to Wreck Beach

Hike for 4–6 nights

Have a little longer to taste the Great Ocean Walk? Choose from these itineraries to plan your hiking adventure according to how much time you have.
Six friends sit on a boardwalk that has Great Ocean Walk written on it. Their backs are to the camera and the Twelve Apostles are in front of them

Hike the whole 8 days

Create your own unique experience and discover the nature of Australia as you walk beneath tall trees, across rock seashore platforms, along deserted beaches and soak in breathtaking cliff-top vistas.

How to get there

Short and Day Walks


Visitor Centre

Explore the region

Chairs surround a firepit with cabins surrounded by trees in the background

Off-walk accommodation

If you're looking for a little more luxury in nature, consider the wide range of accommodation options along the Great Ocean Road. Enjoy the extra comfort of a soft bed, hot shower, or even a spa.
A woman sits on the beach, behind her is boats on the ocean and hills in the distance

Towns and Villages

Each with their own history, culture and highlights, towns & villages along the Great Ocean Road have plenty of unique experiences. Read more and discover which regions suit you.
Four friends with tasting paddles do cheers

Eat and Drink

Discover where the popular bars, breweries, cafes, restaurants and wineries are around the Great Ocean Road region. Regardless of your dining preference, there is a venue for everyone!
A koala sits in a tree beside a Visitor Information sign on a tin building

Visitor Information Centres

Discover where & how to contact Visitor Information Centres along the Great Ocean Road. Each have local experts ready to ensure you make the most of your journey to the region.

Need to know

Short and Day Walks

Change of Conditions

Nature being nature, sometimes conditions can change at short notice. It’s a good idea to check this page ahead of your visit for any updates.

  • Twelve Apostles (Port Campbell National Park)

    Saddle Lookout - access change

    From mid-September 2021 there will be no access to the Saddle and Castle Rock viewing areas while a new lookout is being built. 

    Visitors can continue to enjoy the other lookouts, boardwalks and visitor areas at the Twelve Apostles and the other spectacular visitor sites in the Port Campbell National Park.

  • Loch Ard Gorge (Port Campbell National Park)

    Loch Ard Gorge beach access closure

    Access to Loch Ard Gorge beach is closed due to the recent minor rock fall that impacts the safety of the steps with potential for further rock movement. Further potential rock movement could cause serious injury or even death if people were nearby.

    Following the geotechnical survey of the crack in the cliff face at Loch Ard we are working with specialists on a solution that will allow us to restore access to the beach as soon as possible.

  • Kalimna Falls Walk (Great Otway National Park)

    Upper Kalimna Walking Trail Closed

    Walking trail to Upper Kalimna Falls closed until further notice due to storm damage. Lower Falls remain open.

  • Notices Affecting Multiple Sites

    Erskine Falls Lower Lookout Closed

    Erskine Falls lower lookout is closed until further notice. Access to the base of the waterfall is no longer open due to unsafe conditions. Erskine Falls can be viewed from the top lookout which looks across to the top of the falls. Straw Falls is also inaccessible from the Erskine Falls carpark due to this closure. Erskine Falls walking track is still open from the Lorne township up to the base of Erskine Falls. 

    Youngs Creek track closure

    This track is closed due to roadworks

    Great Ocean Walk - Wet and Muddy conditions

    As a result of ongoing rain in the Great Otway National Park over autumn and through winter 2023, conditions of the track on  the day 1 and day 2 sections of the Great Ocean Walk are advised to be very wet and muddy. 

    The Elliot Road section of walk is particularly unfavourable, and heavy conditions are anticipated to be ongoing until late Spring 2023.

    South West District Weather forecast

    Attachments: GOW May 2023 (540KB)

  • Great Otway National Park

    Delayneys Track Closed

    Delayneys Track is closed until further notice.

    Lifejackets Required For Rock Fishers from March 1, 2022

    A two-year trial of new laws that require rock fishers to wear a lifejacket at high-risk locations will commence on 1 March 2022.
    For Great Otway National Park this includes:
    • Artillery Rocks, west of Lorne
    • The rock platform opposite Sheoak Falls, south of Lorne

    This factsheet includes maps of the affected areas.
    Fines apply if you don’t wear a lifejacket at these sites.
    To find out more, visit Victorian Fisheries Authority 

  • Notices Affecting Multiple Parks

    Garvey Track Closed until further notice.

    Garvey track will remain closed until further notice. Major road works are due to occur when conditions are suitable. 

  • Kalimna Tramline Link Walk (Great Otway National Park)

    Kalimna Tramline Trail Closed

    This walking track is closed due to damage to a pedestrian bridge. Walkers can still access the Lower Kalimna Waterfall via the Kalimna Falls Walking Track, which starts at Sheoak Picnic Area.

  • Cora Lynn Campground (Great Otway National Park)

    Cora Lynn Campground Closure

    This campground is closed until further notice due to hazardous trees.

  • Other issues

    Blanket Bay - Bush Rats

    Following the success of our fox and feral cat management programmes population numbers of Rattus fuscipes have grown again in the Blanket Bay campground area of the Great Otway National Park.  
    The combination of less predators and conducive weather conditions has allowed a population to return that campers at Blanket Bay should be cautious of.
    The Bush rat has some specific features that can help you distinguish it from similar rats.
    ·         It has pointed head and rounded ears.
    ·         Its tail is smaller than the rat's body.
    ·         Another key feature is their front teeth - they are chisel-shaped with hard yellow enamel.
    These native rodents are known to scavenge on campers’ food, gnawing through tents to get to uncontained foodstuffs.
    Native bush Rats are protected wildlife in the National Park and may form part of your camping  experience while camping at Blanket Bay. 

    Attachments: Native vs Non-Native FS (779KB)

  • Melba Gully Day Visitor Area (Great Otway National Park)

    Melba Gully - Large bus access

    Melba Gully Walk Track and picnic area is accessible for large coaches. Toilet facilities are available on site

  • Maits Rest Rainforest Walk (Great Otway National Park)

    Maits Rest Carpark- bus access

    Maits Rest Carpark is suitable for small coaster buses only. Large buses or coaches are advised to use Melba Gully walk track near Lavers Hill.

  • Sheoak Picnic Area (Great Otway National Park)

    No All-Abilities Toilet at Sheoak Picnic Area

    No all-abilities toilet access at Sheoak Picnic Area. Portable toilets temporarily in use.

  • Aire River West Campground (Great Otway National Park, Aire River Heritage River)

    Aire West Campground - sites closed

    Due to wet conditions Aire River West campground, campsites 17 - 40 are closed through until Spring.  
    These sites can not be booked nor used until at least September 2023. 

Similar Trails

A group of four hikers walk along the beach at Discovery Bay as part of the Great South West Walk

Great South West Walk

Walk the diverse landscapes of Lower Glenelg National Park, Discovery Bay Coastal Park, Cobboboonee National Park and Cape Nelson State Park. Starting from Portland, the walk travels across rugged cliffs, on remote beaches, past ancient lakes and through majestic, tall forest.
Two friends walk along the track south of Redmans Bluff with views of the Serra Range in the background on central section 3 of the GPT

Grampians Peaks Trail

The Grampians Peaks Trail (160km) is a world-class 13-day hiking experience from Mt Zero in the north, through Halls Gap and finishing at Dunkeld. It can also be completed in shorter sections.
Four friends walk across the sand dunes along the Wildernous Coast Walk close to Mallacoota Inlet.

Wilderness Coast Walk

The Wilderness Coast Walk extends 100km from the eastern shores of Sydenham Inlet in Croajingolong National Park, to Wonboyn in the Nadgee Nature Reserve, New South Wales. This spot boasts a beautiful scenic walk along bright sanded beaches.
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