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.
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.
Start: Cape Otway Lightstation carpark
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.
Start: Marengo caravan park
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.
Start: Shelly Beach picnic area
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.
Start: Princetown Recreation Reserve
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.
Start: The Gable carpark
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.
Start: Wreck Beach Carpark
End: Wreck Beach Carpark
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.
Start: Aire River Visitor Area (information shelter)
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.
Start: Cape Otway Carpark
End: Aire River Visitor Area
More Great Ocean Walk Experiences
How to get there
Short and Day Walks
Explore 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.
Kalimna Tramline Link Walk (Great Otway National Park)
Kalimna Tramline link Walk is closedThe Kalimna Tramline link walk 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.
Kalimna Falls Walk (Great Otway National Park)
Upper Kalimna Falls are ClosedThe Upper Kalimna Falls viewing platform and access track are closed due to damage to the platform. Walkers can still access the Lower Kalimna Waterfall via the Kalimna Falls Walking Track, which starts at Sheoak Picnic Area.
Notices Affecting Multiple Sites
Garvey Track is ClosedGarvey Track is closed due to damage. Sharps Track is a suitable detour if required.
Great Otway National Park
Gentle Annie Track ClosureGentle Annie track is closed to vehicles between Moggs Creek Track and Old Coach Road while road upgrades are taking place. This closure will be in place until June 2022. As works progress, more targeted closures will also include restricting access to walkers, bike riders and horse riders to ensure public safety is maintained. Further closures will be communicated through the Parks Victoria website. These closures are flexible based on local conditions and contractor movements.
Early seasonal road closures 2022The following roads in the Great Otway National Park are subject to early seasonal road closures from 1 June 2022: Halls Ridge Road (Maps 18A and 18B). See Map 18A: Great Otway National Park (West) and Map 18B: Great Otway National Park (Central) for locations of the closure. Visit the seasonal road closures page for more information.
Lifejackets Required For Rock Fishers from March 1, 2022A two-year trial of new laws that require rock fishers to wear a lifejacket at high-risk locations will commence on 1 March 2022.
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
- Artillery Rocks, west of Lorne
- The rock platform opposite Sheoak Falls, south of Lorne
Cora Lynn Campground (Great Otway National Park)
Cora Lynn Walk-in Campsite closed due to hazardous trees.Cora Lynn Walk-in Campsite is closed due to hazardous trees.
Twelve Apostles (Port Campbell National Park)
Saddle Lookout - access changeFrom 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.For more information https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/projects/western-victoria/saddle-lookout
Great Ocean Walk - Day 1 - Apollo Bay to Elliot Ridge (Elliot River - Addis Bay Coastal Reserve, Great Otway National Park)
Great Ocean Walk Track Improvement Works Marengo to Shelly BeachContractors will commence Great Ocean Walk track improvement works on the first section of the walk (i.e. Marengo to Shelly Beach which commences to the west of Apollo Bay) on Monday the 24th of May until approximately the Friday the 24th of June, depending on weather and conditions.The walk will not close during the the works and walkers will still be able to continue their hike through this area during the specified period.There will be a small number of workers and minor plant & equipment in use. Work locations will be well sign posted to ensure walkers are aware of contractor activity and a spotter (i.e. worker employed specifically to manage pedestrian safety), on the track to ensure pedestrian safety during machine use.
Devils Kitchen (Great Otway National Park)
Great Ocean Walk track works east of Devils Kitchen
Contractors will commence track works on the Great Ocean Walk to the east of the Devils Kitchen campground commencing on the 16th of May until approximately the start of June, depending on weather and conditions.The walk will not close during the works and it is anticipated that they will cause little disruption to hikers walking in the area. There will be a small number of workers and minor plant and equipment in use. Signage will mark the area so that walkers are aware that track works being conducted.