GREAT OCEAN WALK WEEKEND
Tour Departs – Undercover Taxi Rank on St Kilda Road (between Hamer Hall & the Arts Centre) at 8:30am Saturday morning. Please note it’s approximately 200m from Flinders Street Station.
Tour Returns – Sunday evening approx. 7pm (drop-off will be the Arts Centre)
Accommodation – Tent camping at Aire River West campground on the Saturday night. Tents, sleeping mats and sleeping bags will be provided along with camp chairs and full camp kitchen.
What you need to bring – A daypack for walking & an overnight bag with your clothes, water bottle, head torch and pillow. Please note there is toilet facilities at Cape Otway lightstation and Aire River West campground, however there are no showers so please feel free to bring wet wipes so you can have a dry shower.
Food – For lunch both days we’ll provide fruit, muesli bars and water however for the Saturday please feel free to bring a sandwich or two which can be stored in the fridge on the van. On the Saturday evening we’ll cook a BBQ and on the Sunday morning for breakfast we’ll provide cereal. On the Sunday once the walk is finished at approx. 1pm we’ll we’ll stop in Apollo Bay for lunch and guests can choose what they like at their own cost before departing for Melbourne.
The Vehicle – Good Times Tours has a comfortable 12 seater Toyota Hiace Van with a fridge/freezer on board, plus an ipad with spotify for tunes. There will also be a trailer for everyones luggage – see image below. To increase the capacity of this trip to 21 guests we’ll be renting a second Toyota Hiace 12 seater vehicle as well.
Cost – $180 per person
The Hike Itinerary
Day 1 – Blanket Bay to Aire River – 21km’s
– Departing Melbourne at 8:30am on Saturday February 3rd we arrive at Blanket Bay at 11:45am where you’ll be given instructions on the first 10.5km of the walk to Cape Otway Lightstation. John from the Hiking Society will lead the group and along with Jono Ingram from Good Times Tours. Clint from Good Times Tours will drive ahead to Aire River West campground to set everything up for the evening.
– From Blanket Bay it’s a relatively easy walk through dense gum forest that opens up to provide spectacular views of the ocean before descending to the serene Parker Inlet which makes the perfect place for lunch and chances are you’ll have the entire inlet to yourself.
– Depending on the tide and how adventurous you are feeling, there is an opportunity to either walk the waters edge following rock shelves around Point Franklin or take the short steep climb out of the inlet. Once up on the cliff line it’s a slow descent down to Crayfish Bay where there’s a new section of trail that hugs the coastline to Cape Otway Lightstation.
– At Cape Otway Lightstation, I’ll meet you before we enter the lighthouse grounds to explore the maritime and aboriginal history of the region. There’s also a chance to grab a coffee at the cafe and relax before tackling the final 9.5km’s to Aire River.
– The trail from Cape Otway takes you through dense scrub before opening up to awesome cliff top views of the Southern Ocean and eventually you’ll find yourself in awe of the stunning Station Beach. Depending on how you are going for time you have the option of walking along the beach or taking the inland route which runs parallel to the beach.
– Not long after Station beach you’ll find yourself seeing the raw natural beauty of Glenaire Beach from the Escarpment Lookout. From here it’s a 1.5km descent down a sandy trail to the Aire River campsite. Upon arrival at Aire River, you’ll be handed a cold beer and will have a comfortable camp chair next to the fire.
Day 2 – Aire River to Johanna Beach – 14km’s
– You’ll depart Aire River campground at approx. 8:30am and walk slowly uphill, taking time to stop and enjoy the views over Aire River. The trail then follows the cliff tops with numerous vantage points to take in the spectacular views over the southern ocean.
– At 10:30am we’ll arrive at our halfway point for the day which is Castle Cove. The trail runs parallel to the Great Ocean Road here and is a great place to take a short rest and have a quick bite to eat.
– From Castle Cove we depart on the final 7km’s of the walk with the trail winding it’s way along the coast which provides an amazing view looking back at Castle Cove & Aire River before heading inland through more dense forest.
– After a short while, the trail opens up to provide views of Johanna Beach your final destination. From here, the trail slowly descends down to the beach.
– The last 2km of the hike is along Johanna Beach with an arrival time of 1pm at the Johanna Beach car park. From here you’ll be picked up and we’ll head back to Apollo Bay for lunch and then head home to Melbourne.
Map for Saturday’s walk from Blanket Bay to Aire River
Map for Sunday’s walk from Aire River to Johanna Beach
Good Times Tours is an accredited tourism business