OVERVIEW

Solos Only

Departing Melbourne, we head to the beginning of the Great Ocean Road, at Apollo Bay.

Your walking tour of the Great Ocean Walk will see you exploring beaches, coves, and spectacular cliff top vistas that, for a long time, were locked away. You’ll enjoy that uplifting feeling that comes from an experience that is all about the place, the activity and the people with whom you’ll share it. 

This is a fully guided, accommodated, and supported walking trip with a professional guide/s. Our group is exclusively for solo walkers who’d like to join other walkers, ready to experience more of Australia’s great outdoors.

You will stay in comfortable accommodation for your Great Ocean Road experience.   At the end of your walk you will be transferred back to Melbourne for your journey home or perhaps you may like to enjoy some extra time in Melbourne.

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PACKAGE DETAILS
  • Ages:
    40+
  • Duration:
    4 Days
  • Status:
    Bookings open
  • Region:
    Oceania
  • Destinations:
    Australia
  • Travel Style:
    Active,Walking
  • Accomodation:
    Deluxe cabins
  • Prices:
    $1765 for your own room, or share and save
  • Transport:
    Minivan
  • Pace:
    4
  • Group Size:
    maximum 10
  • Trip Code:
    GOR18-1
REVIEWS

'The Great Ocean Walk is one of the most varied and spectacular coastal walks I have ever undertaken.  The tour focussed on four days of highlights, based on the experience of the tour guides.  Highly recommended.'

Geoff, 59 years, Sydney

This was my 2nd trip with Encounter and another brilliant holiday. Great fellow travellers, good food, a challenging walk ........ perfect weather ! 

Judith, 49 years, Brisbane, Queensland
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INCLUSIONS

  • 3 nights of accommodation
  • 3 breakfasts
  • 4 lunches
  • Snacks while walking
  • 3 dinners
  • Gaiters
  • Return transport ex Melbourne CBD to Great Ocean Road
  • All transfers for Great Ocean Road itinerary
  • Experienced walking guides
  • Driver & support vehicle throughout
  • Great Ocean Walk map 1:25,000 scale

Itinerary

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, Great Ocean Road

PRE WALK ARRANGEMENTS – SATURDAY 6 JANUARY 2018
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 your walking trip.

Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne is the group hotel. It’s also the pickup point on day 1 of the tour Sunday 7 January 2018.

We will coordinate a group meet up at the hotel for 6:00pm Saturday 6 January. 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 in the CBD there’s lot of options for going out for a meal together. 

Breakfast is from 6.30am – 11am on weekends.

DAY 1 – SUNDAY 7 JANUARY 2018
Melbourne – Apollo Bay

After breakfast, please meet in the hotel lobby of Rendezvous Hotel 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 8 JANUARY 2018
Great Ocean Walk

After breakfast, we take the 10km walk from the lighthouse to Aire River winding 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 this point you will have walked 6 to 16 kms. You do have the option of walking through to Johanna Beach which is an additional 7 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 9 JANUARY 2018
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).

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

Walking distance: 10kms
Walking hours: 5 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4 – WEDNESDAY 10 JANUARY 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 before driving 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 Rendezvous Hotel. 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

 

Itineraries are subject to change, due to circumstances outside of our control. IF there is any itinerary change prior to departure of significance we aim to inform you prior to travel.  Itinerary changes while on tour will be informed by your tour leader/guide while on tour.

View Full Itinerary

ACCOMMODATION

HOTELS

Destination

Hotel Name

Star Rating

Great Ocean Road

Cape Otway Lightstation

Lodge accommodation

Melbourne

Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne

4 Star

Hotels are subject to change, due to circumstances outside of our control. Should this occur, a hotel of a similar standard will be provided.

HOTEL DESCRIPTIONS

CAPE OTWAY LIGHT STATION, GREAT OCEAN ROAD (3 Nights)
Escape to Cape Otway Lightstation and experience the tranquillity of a world-class destination, with stunning views of the Southern Ocean and Australia’s most important lighthouse.

Spectacular ocean views, glorious sunsets, close encounters with koalas, and the sound of the ocean will be among the highlights of your stay in our heritage accommodation.

Cape Otway Lightstaion has two historic lighthouse cottages located at the scenic Cape Otway Lightstation site.

  • The Head Lightkeepers House has four bedrooms with two bathrooms plus three toilets
  • The Managers House has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and two toilets

Rooms are on a twin share basis or a limited number of single rooms

ABOUT MOBILE/INTERNET ACCESS
There is no mobile reception from the location of the houses which also means wi-fi is not available. During the walks there may be some limited opportunities for mobile reception and internet access using your own wi-fi if you have this arrangement with your service provider.

RENDEZVOUS HOTEL, MELOURNE
Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne is one of Australia’s finest historic hotels. Built in 1913, this meticulously restored hotel retains the elegant style of the early 1900s while providing you with all the convenience of 21st century technology and amenities.

Located on Flinders Street a three-minute walk from Flinders Street Station overlooking the scenic Yarra River, this Melbourne city centre hotel boasts a prime location in the heart of the central business district that’s well suited for both business and leisure. Melbourne is yours to discover with major offices at your doorstep and many of the city’s top attractions within walking distance. Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne’s excellent service and attention to detail ensures that you enjoy superior value. Equipped with quality amenities, each of the 340 comfortable rooms and suites express a stylish individuality highlighting the hotel’s rich heritage. This historical authenticity carries through to the classical surroundings of Straits Cafe, where fresh local produce and the best Australian and international wines take centre stage.  You will find many of the city’s famous theatres, shopping precincts, sporting facilities, galleries, restaurants and bars all at your doorstep.

 

Hotel descriptions are taken from the hotel website and edited to suit our page.

More About Accommodation

PRICES

 

Prices per person


SHARING
( 2 PER ROOM)

WITH YOUR OWN ROOM

Package Price


$1525

$1765

Pre Tour Hotel, Saturday 6 January 2018 Rendezvous Melbourne Hotel including breakfast

 

N/A

$165

Post Tour Hotel, Wednesday 10 January 2018 Rendezvous Melbourne Hotel including breakfast

 

N/A

$165


Not included: 

  • Travel insurance
  • Excess baggage
  • Visa fees (if applicable)
  • Meals and beverages not specified on itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry & medical expenses
  • Incidental expenses such as taxi fares, telecommunications 
ROOMMATE MATCH OPTION

Roommate matching is optional. Subject to availability, we will match you with another group member (same gender) so that you can share a room and take advantage of the twin share price.

Reduced Single Supplement:
If we are not able to offer you a roommate match, a 'reduced single supplement' price will be offered. This represents a $60 saving on the standard single supplement price. Alternatively, you have the option decline and receive a full refund of your tour deposit.

If you are not prepared to pay for a reduced single supplement we recommend you should not pay for the airfare until you have a guaranteed roommate match and this is advised by us in writing. This supplement becomes due after we finalise the group and before departure.  The reduced single supplement offer only applies to bookings secured with a deposit by Friday 6 October 2017. After this time, the offer is at our discretion.

Please note: if a roommate becomes available after receiving advice of a reduced single supplement rate, your booking automatically reverts to the twin share price and any monies paid for the forced single supplement will be refunded

GETTING THERE

Arrive to: Melbourne
Depart from: Melbourne

Melbourne Pick Up Point Day 1 – Sunday 7 January 2018
Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne
328 Flinders St Melbourne VIC 3000
Telephone: +61 3 9250 1888

Please make your own way to the group meeting point at Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne as this is the departure point on day 1 of the tour.

If staying at the hotel please note the check in and check out times

Check in: from 3pm
Check out: by 11pm

HOTEL CHECK IN /CHECK OUT TIMES
Consider the hotel check in time on arrival and the hotel check out time on departure.

Early Check In
If your flight arrives well in advance of the hotel check in time, then we recommend travellers consider booking an additional night at the hotel the evening prior to guarantee a morning check-in. Early check in without payment can be requested, and is at the discretion of the hotel, but cannot be guaranteed.

Late Check Out
If your flight departs after the hotel check out time we recommend that you make an enquiry with us about securing a late check out with payment. Some hotels will require payment in full of the next night of stay while others may have a rate for a late check out such as a payment to extend check out until 6pm as an example.

Late check out can be requested but without payment cannot be guaranteed.

TRANSFERS

AIRPORT SHUTTLE BUS

SkyBus is the main airport shuttle to and from Melbourne Airport and the city. SkyBus Melbourne City Express is great value for money at only $19 one way, they will get you between the city and the Airport for a fraction of the cost of a taxi. Travelling with SkyBus gives you peace of mind with a fixed price and a frequent, reliable service. Plus you can stay connected with the free onboard WiFi.

The SkyBus will drop you at Southern Cross station.  Skybus offer FREE City Hotel Shuttles from Southern Cross station to participating Hotels. To confirm the drop off point for your accommodation, please speak to the SkyBus Customer Service Officer when booking your Hotel Transfer Service at Southern Cross Station. The Rendezvous Hotel is a participating hotel for the free drop off and pick up point.

For more information or to book go to: www.skybus.com.au

Star Bus Airport shuttle bus provides transfers to and from Melbourne Tullamarine Airport and the city -it is great value for money from $18 one way or $30 return from the CBD.  This is a fraction of the cost of a taxi.

Star Bus offers a very broad service also, this does include the CBD. They do drop off and pick up at the group pre and post hotel Rendezvous Hotel. To book this service you can go to their website or call (03) 8378 8700.

The website will provide more details on arrival instructions at the airport and the areas that Star Bus services.

For more information or to book go to: www.starbus.net.au

TAXI
A taxi to the city would cost around $55- $65.  This would include the CityLink tollway charges and compulsory airport fee payable by departing taxis.

Prices are correct at time of being published on our website, information comes from skybus.com.au website.

RETURN TO MELBOURNE, END OF WALK
On the final day of the trip, Wednesday 10 January 2018 you will be transferred from the Great Ocean Road to Avalon Airport for your onward journey or group members can also be returned to Melbourne city. One central group drop off point will be designated for the group.

If planning to fly out of Melbourne Tullamarine the same day we recommend not booking a flight departure until after 7pm (7:30pm safer). You will be dropped off at your group hotel after the tour.

 

Some information from this page has been sourced from other websites, including the Airport information. Content is provided as a guide only.

DETAILS

Read on for other key trip information that you should know before you decide on joining the group.

TRIP AVAILABILITY
If this trip seems right for you then we encourage you to book early and secure your place with a deposit.  Tour space is limited. Also, many services on this tour must be booked well in advance. To ensure your place, please check trip availability at your earliest convenience.

THE PACE  [4 out of 5] – Trip Preparation
If you are deciding to join an activity based holiday such as this trip,  there are a few things to consider.

Basically any fit and healthy person can participate. If you can walk upwards of 15 kilometres or more in a day, carrying a lightweight day pack you will find the walking activity achievable. The minimum requirements to participate are being able to carry a 5 kilogram backpack (that holds your lunch, water, camera, rain jacket plus a few other personal effects).

You also need to be aware that while we typically walk on well forged walking tracks, the quality and the degree of difficulty on these tracks varies a lot. You may find the tracks rocky and “lumpy” underfoot, soft and sandy or muddy and slippery. The prevailing weather can make a track that is typically dry and firm wet and muddy.

You will also, at times, find there is the need to be able to negotiate obstacles such as fallen trees, or sections of scree, or steep steps. None of these would be enough to preclude a healthy and able-bodied individual but they can challenge. So please come along with not only the right footwear and raingear and clothing, but also the right frame of mind.

ABOUT THE MEALS    
It’s regular that our trips include some group meals. There’s nothing better than to share a meal with new friends and discuss the day’s adventures.

Please be sure to advise us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements. We always do our best to accommodate special diet needs and in most cases, special dietary needs can be met. However, in some destinations the variety of choice for certain special diets may be limited. If you are concerned please check with us before you book.  Our supplier can supply gluten free bread, cereal, rice crackers for nibbles and gluten free desserts.

GROUP GUIDES
This is a private group tour with two local walking guides who will stay with you for the duration of the tour. Your local guide is there to assist with group arrangements and to act as the liaison for all tour services.

TRANSPORT
Transport will be on a modern comfortable, minibus. 

TRAVELLER REVIEWS

'The Great Ocean Walk is one of the most varied and spectacular coastal walks I have ever undertaken.  The tour focussed on four days of highlights, based on the experience of the tour guides.  Highly recommended.'

Geoff, 59 years, Sydney

This was my 2nd trip with Encounter and another brilliant holiday. Great fellow travellers, good food, a challenging walk ........ perfect weather ! 

Judith, 49 years, Brisbane, Queensland

Great Ocean Road walk was fabulous. Guides were helpful and friendly and did all in their power to make sure we enjoyed ourselves. Group was fun, great people. Highly recommend. Christine, 62 years, Melbourne.

Christine, 62 years, Melbourne, Victoria
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