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On the Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk everything is taken care of. Your only job is to put one foot in front of the other. We’ll show you the way, carry all the extras on our back and point out natural features along the way. We’ll supply sumptuous lunches to sustain you, daypacks and walking sticks, cool lemonade and soothing foot baths at the end of each walk. Return each evening to our private eco-lodge where you'll be served gourmet meals complemented by local wines and beers.
Choose your adventure
Tight on time but want to get away? Our Twelve Apostles Long Weekend is designed for you. Its grade is easier, yet we pack in plenty of coastal adventure. From Melbourne’s CBD, in no time you’ll be enjoying morning tea at our eco-lodge before lacing up for a walk from Castle Cove to Johanna Beach. That’s right, city streets by morning and salty wind in your hair by arvo.
Each late afternoon we retreat back to the lodge where foot spas are filled, a communal fire flickers and the onsite chef whips up your gourmet meal. Day Two is the biggest walking day from Moonlight Head to Princetown, so go on and take that river dip at the end. On the last day, walk beneath the Apostles and fly high above them before we zip you back to the city.
Prices from $1,675 pp
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 three days.
Approximately 6.5 hours walking
Today is about shipwrecks, sandy pathways, exposed heathland and maybe even 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.
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.