Twelve Apostles Lodge Wellbeing Long Weekend
- A mindful retreat and wellbeing walk with The Barefoot Coach -
Just a few hours from Melbourne's CBD, where stresses and distractions have been left behind, you can begin to restore your energies and connect with nature. This is an easy to moderate three-day walk with lightweight daypacks along the Great Ocean Walk, culminating at the iconic Twelve Apostles. Each afternoon, we retreat back to our private eco-lodge for workshops with Dugald Christie-Johnston, The Barefoot Coach. The coaching provides an opportunity for reflection, learning and growth, with a significant emphasis on maintaining mental health and wellness.
Towering forests, lush fern glades, windswept cliffs and wild oceans provide natural relief. Walking awakens your senses. The combination enables you to focus on the support required for challenging and uncertain times.
Date: Available for groups by request | Price: from $3,430 per person
Direct bookings only. For all enquiries and bookings please contact Tasmanian Walking Company via email Daniel@taswalkingco.com.au
Introducing Dugald Christie-Johnston
- The Barefoot Coach
Dugald, also known as The Barefoot Coach, is Founder and Director of Seventh Wave, a boutique business with a focus on peak performance. Partnering closely with clients, Seventh Wave’s vision is to emphatically improve the performance of individuals, teams and organizations, by creating unique opportunities for them to unleash the potential within.
Dugald is known for innovative approaches that deliver extraordinary results. Dugald utilises a solution-focused approach, drawing on N.L.P. techniques, the principles of positive psychology, wholebrain thinking and emotional intelligence to create an energetic and engaging experience for clients. “We’re more productive when we enjoy what we do. Smile more, laugh more! You’ll be more present, and get more value from the experience”.
Maintaining Mental Health and Wellness program
Prior to the walk, our reservation team will ensure you can complete the walks, take care of your dietary requirements and ensure you have the right gear.
Dugald will contact all guests with preparatory activities including a self-assessment to help determine your goals for the walk. You’ll also get the opportunity to complete a behavioural profiling tool to help provide greater self-awareness. This could include:
• HBDI (Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument)
• DiSC Workplace Profile
One to one and or group conversations (face to face or video conference) are arranged to discuss profiles and survey results. Pre-reading is distributed. Teams who book the walk will be encouraged to co-create the design of the program with Dugald.
The workshop sessions take place after the daily walk.
Maintaining Mental Health and Wellness Program
• Mindfulness for wellbeing » Focusing with positive intent
• Calmness » Anxiety is contagious. So is calm. Learn how to calm your self & others
• Harnessing our emotional and social intelligence
• Developing resilience and coping strategies
• Balanced life » Balancing the energetic nature of our mind and emotions, while practicing compassionate care for others and ourselves enhances the immune system » Excessive worry, anxiety or fear compromises the immune system, making us more susceptible to viruses and disease.
• Developing resilience and coping strategies
• Digital wellbeing leveraging technology to benefit our health
• Sleeping well » Sleep enables our bodies to repair themselves and our brains to operate more effectively, think clearly and make better decisions. Poor sleep is linked to a weakened immune system and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression
• Relationships » Strengthen your network - building the skills needed to establish, grow and leverage relationships. » Creating deeper connections for community wellbeing through compassion and empathy
Why choose a walking workshop in nature?
It has long been known that physical activity can lead to increased cognitive function (Middleton, Barnes, Lui, & Yaffe, 2010)
Your team can relax...
Day 1: Castle Cove to Johanna Beach
Approximately 3 hours walking
Time to lace up in the ‘mud room’ and step out on track for day one. This is not before a lodge welcome and walk briefing over morning tea. It’s then a short drive out to Castle Cove to begin your walk, with a tasty hiker lunch tucked in your pack.
Today begins in the tea-trees with a few tantalising vistas out to the Southern Ocean. This will be your constant neighbour for the next four days. Enter a flawlessly-groomed grass tree forest and hear tales dating back 104 million years at Dinosaur Cove. Bring those boots to a halt and consider a time when dinosaurs occupied your very location.
Next, drop down onto Johanna Beach. This is an opportunity to kick off the boots and walk barefoot; wind-swept waves just metres away. This two-kilometre stretch has a knack of clearing busy minds and washing away city stresses. Take your own pace across sands frequented by hooded plovers.
At the end of the beach awaits your cool water and lemonade greeting, a constant across all four days.
Day 2: Moonlight Head to Princetown
Approximately 6.5 hours walking
Today is about shipwrecks, sandy pathways, exposed heathland and maybe even a first glimpse of the Apostles. What better place to commence the walk and get your bearings than The Gables Lookout, one of Australia’s highest cliff-top vistas. After the challenging undulations of yesterday, day three is pleasantly less furrowed.
More than 300 ships have come to grief on this stretch of coastline. Your first stop is aptly named Wreck Beach. It’s a suitable reminder of those early days and treacherous ocean voyages. If conditions allow, you’ll drop down to Wreck Beach and hear tales of pillaging and misfortune including a ship which travelled from China whose cargo of tea coloured the ocean. Depending on the tide, an alternate route leads through to Devils Kitchen, home to arguably Australia’s best lavatory vista!
Following lunch, notice how the geology begins to change from sandstone to limestone. Thick Eucalypt forest gives way to sections of moonscape, indicators of what’s in store. Keep an eye out for native rosemary, cushion plants and wildflowers in season.
Your first glimpse of the Gellibrand River marks the entrance to Port Campbell National Park. This freshwater river near the sleepy hamlet of Princetown is an easy downhill stroll. After some 12.5 kilometres, reward yourself with a cooling river dip.
Day 3: Princetown to the Twelve Apostles
Approximately 3 hours walking
Today invites new heights. Not only will you conquer the final steps of your Great Ocean Walk but top this with a 15-minute helicopter flight. Depart from the quiet shores of Princetown by the Gellibrand River, beginning with an easy 30 minute wander to reveal your first full view of the Apostles. Gasps aside, keep an eye out for two resident mobs of kangaroos across the hillsides to your right.
There’s a sense of elation today as you draw nearer to the mighty limestone Apostles. No, there’s not 12, which may come as no surprise. But amongst the proudly standing 7, lie 5 recently discovered apostles beneath the ocean’s surface. Weathered but not beaten, those in view lose a couple of centimetres each year to the perilous swells and winds whipping up from the Southern Ocean.
Drawing closer, hear the romantic tale of Tom and Eva. Tom, a gallant local who swam more than an hour to rescue Eva from the Loch Ard, perhaps Victoria’s best-known shipwreck. Of 63 on board, Eva was one of the lucky two to survive, whisked to a cave by Tom and ‘administered’ brandy to remain conscious.
The Apostles reveal gradually along this stretch, reappearing as the trail rises. There’s a viewing platform exclusive to walkers on the final stretch before your arrival at the Visitor Centre. It’s the official end to your walk and an appropriate locale to get cozy with the Apostles in a group snap.
If conditions permit, don’t miss the opportunity to descend 80-plus steps to the beach below. This final perspective gives a sense of the Apostles brooding heights, one 73-metres tall, nudging the equivalent of a 20-storey building. It’s here with sand under your boots, a sense of monumental achievement and wonder sets in.
Take to the skies to bid farewell with a 15-minute helicopter flight. Capturing the chiselled coastline from above gives scale not only to the Apostles but the trek you’ve completed. Follow this with a final lunch in the sleepy fishing town of Port Campbell before returning to Melbourne.
True shelter, something that gives protection and refuge, simple and sustainable, clean and comfortable.
Our groups have exclusive use of our Twelve Apostles Lodge your forest hugged home just three hours from Melbourne.
The Twelve Apostles Lodge
At the end of a day out on track, the Twelve Apostles Lodge is a forest-hugged refuge three hours from Melbourne. This is where the foot spa awaits, rainforest showers, kitchen garden, dining room stocked with local wines, and your king bedroom with spacious en-suite.
The architecturally-designed lodge has been crafted with environmental sensitivity in mind. This translates to passive solar design, hydronic heating, low consumption electric and water fittings, on-site wastewater treatment and composting, plus a self-sufficient water supply. And there’s a reason this eco-development is award-winning, delivering modern comforts with equal rigour. Expect Myrtle & Moss toiletries, hair dryers, library, mobile coverage (Telstra only).
What’s more, the lodge is exclusively yours. The only way to stay is to join one of our walks. That means the moment you arrive, consider it home. Unpack your bags and get comfy. Five generous bedrooms can be converted to twin share or two single rooms depending on group requirements - all enjoying access to private en-suite bathrooms.
The dining room has a lounge area well-suited for canapes when the fire pit isn’t crackling with friend-huddling flames. After a glass of regional red, move to the long table for your nightly two-course regional menu.
Onsite you’ll also find 24-hour tea and coffee facilities, gear drying room, daily newspapers and a lodge library well stocked with magazines, reference and fictional books or ask about the lodge property walks. You’re not alone if you don’t stray far from the foot spa and dining table though!
*Alcoholic beverages are available in the lounge. These are included in your package. We stock a small selection of house and premium wines and locally brewed beers by the bottle. As an eco-accredited operator, we support local wine and beer
*One complimentary clothes wash (including soap) is included in your walk package, the Lodge Manager will explain how this is organised at your briefing on day one. Additional loads are charged to your tab to discourage excessive usage/environmental impact.
Twelve Apostles Lodge Barefoot Coach Wellbeing Walk
Date: Available by Request
Price: Available upon request (inc. GST) (Non-commissionable)
- Minimum guests 8
- Maximum guests 9
- Departure: Meet for departure at 7:45am sharp at the Travelodge Southbank Restaurant, 9 Riverside Quay, Southbank VIC 3000 (central Melbourne location for all departures).
- Return Transfer: 5:30 - 6pm. Arrive Melbourne (Travelodge Southbank). We can drop you at Tullamarine Airport between 5 and 5:30 (for domestic flights from 6.30pm/international flights after 7:30pm).
Direct bookings only:
- Direct bookings only. For all enquiries and bookings please contact Tasmanian Walking Company via email Daniel@taswalkingco.com.au
- or complete the below enquiry form
We do not charge for a single supplement as all rooms can be divided into two with dual access to the bathroom.
Special Terms and Conditions:
- All prices are quoted per person in $AUD including GST and are on a seasonal basis.
- A deposit of $500 per person and the Guest Information Form are due five days after booking.
- Minimum numbers are required three months prior to departure.
- The final payment is due 3 months before departure. For reservations made 3 months or less from departure date, full payment is due at time of booking. Prices included are for the 2020-2021 travel season.
- Prices are subject to change without notice
- Travel and pre and post-trip accommodation expenses are not included.
- This walk cannot be booked in conjunction with any other offers or discounts.
Please view our traditional booking terms and conditions
After the minimum number of bookings has been achieved, the trip is guaranteed to depart. If for any reason, the trip cannot go ahead due to restrictions placed upon travel due to Covid-19, guests will be permitted to reschedule their walk to the new date provided for this departure or cancel with no additional fee within 24 months. Guests can transfer to a traditional Twelve Apostles Long Weekend itinerary and have the difference in price refunded. Cancellations for other reasons will incur our standard cancellation fees.
- Return transfers between Melbourne and the walk base
- Optional airport drop off day 3
- 2-night lodge stay, all linen and towels
- 2 breakfast, 3 lunch, 2 dinners
- Daily morning and afternoon tea
- Non-alcoholic drinks and a selection of house wines
- Use of daypack, water proof jacket, poles, ankle gaiters and water bottles
- Daily guided walks, with professional eco-guide
- Vehicle support daily
- All entrance & national park fees
- 12 Apostles scenic helicopter flight
- Have a burning question? Check out our FAQ page, and if you need further help please don't hesitate to contact our friendly reservations team
- Ready to start planning your next adventure and want to know what to bring. Check out our detailed gear list, including details on what's provided. If your unsure about anything on the gear list please call us or talk to you local outdoor adventure store.