Australia has a 243 km (151) mile stretch of highway in the Southern part of the state of Victoria that is a National Heritage Site called the “The Great Ocean Road”. This is a road comparable to other world famous coastal highways such as the Amalfi Coast in Italy, the Pacific Coast Highway in California, or the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia, Canada.
This stunning highway ends at the 12 apostles a collection of rocks that is inside Port Campbell National Park.
While the highway is superb to drive, what is a much more life-changing experience is to hike the “Great Ocean Walk” a one-way hike that starts at scenic Apollo Bay and ends at the 12 apostilles. This hike borders the best part of the coastline and gets you even closer to nature than the highway ever could.
Every vantage point offered spectacular beauty.
The logistics of the hike were easy. I scheduled a transit bus that would take me to the beginning of each hiking trail first thing in the morning and at the end of the day would shuttle me back to my hotel. It took 5 days to hike this amazing trail using this method. Once the transit was set-up the rest just involved showing up.
There are not any steep parts to the trail. You’ll notice in the next picture that I had to wear what is called “Gators” and this was to protect me from tiger snakes which dominate certain parts of the trail.
I saw these snakes a few times but like most snakes if you respect them they don’t bother you. The gators were thick and protective up to knee height which is as far up as these snakes are known to jump. The tiger snakes were so skirmish that I had a difficult time photographing them.
I didn’t have similar problems with the koalas who seemed to love hanging out and tempting me to take pictures. If you have never seen a koala they are simply adorable and it’s difficult to resist the urge to kidnap them.
This was my first long distance hike and it really solidified my joy for hiking. It was also my my best experience in Australia.
It took me 5 days of hiking and every day I would eat breakfast before leaving, take a day pack with water and lunch, and return to my lodging for diner. This meant that all I had to carry with me was a small day pack.
I would absolutely recommend “The Great Ocean Walk” to anyone who is visiting Australia. The scenery at the end of the final trail is truly rewarding.
What a fabulous way to see this part of the world. We drove the great ocean road a few months ago, slowly and over several days. Yet we still missed a lot as we sped by. Next time I think we will hike at least parts of it. Your photos both bring back happy memories and inspire me to want to go back.
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