The Great Ocean Road was progressively opened from 1922 to 1932. The official Great Ocean Walk didn’t arrive until 2004.
Which is the best way to see this great ocean between Tasmania and Victoria? By road or by foot? I’d say it’s perfect to combine the two!
Officially the walk is 104 kilometres long taking you from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles. The good thing is that if you are not reliant on walking and camping alone, you can select sections of the walk. We chose to walk about 15 kilometres each day for four days.
On the first day we walked from Blanket Bay to Cape Otway. On our second day we walked from Cape Otway to Aire River, choosing Station Beach rather than the clifftop for our walk. On our third day, we walked from ire River to Johanna Beach via Castle Cove and on Day 4 from Princetown to the Twelve Apostles. On the afternoon of Day 4 we drove to Wreck Beach, climbing down about 365 steps to walk along the beach view the washed-up anchors from the Marie Gabrielle (1869) and the Fiji (1891). The rock formations were stunning and informed by a book Written in Stone which describes the geology of the whole seascape along the area. On Day 5, we drove home but visited a forest of Californian Redwoods (Sequoia Sempervirens) and Hopetoun Falls near the town of Beech Forest.
We side-tracked by car to the Otway Fly, Loch Ard Gorge and for a sunrise view of the Twelve Apostles. Later in the day we walked towards the Twelve Apostles from Princetown. (It helps to have a driver who doesn’t want to walk but is happy to drop you at the start, pick you up at the finish and bring you lunches!)
My group of seven friends had a home base which made our combination of walking and driving possible. We stayed at Johanna Bluestone Homestead in the sparsely populated locale of Johanna.
Choose the Great Ocean Road or the Great Ocean Walk. You’ll be in good company. In 2017, there were 5.1 million visitors to the Great Ocean Road. The Great Ocean Walk is a quieter option!