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Walk for Hands Across the Water

January 11-14, 2022 | Price $2,095 pp*

You're invited to join the Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk for Hands Across The Water. Escape to the spectacular south coast of Australia and walk 46km over four days across deserted beaches, through towering forests and along wild, wind-swept cliffs steeped in history.  Enjoy this lodge-based walk with great company, lightweight packs, passionate guides, and local food and wine.

Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk is an easy to moderate 4 day walk with lightweight daypacks along the Great Ocean Walk, culminating at the iconic Twelve Apostles and returning each evening to our private eco-lodge.

All walkers are challenged to raise $3,000. Walkers will be introduced to Airene Bongon to organise fundraising. 

*This is a discounted price. The Tasmanian Walking Company applies a $500 discount (full retail price at $2,595) for each guest who meets their $3,000 fundraising target. 

 Direct bookings only.  For all enquiries and bookings please contact the Australian Walking Company on +61 3 5237 4276 or email bookings@auswalkingco.com.au.  

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Introducing Hands Across the Water

Hands Across the Water is dedicated to enriching the lives of disadvantaged children and communities in Thailand. Hands was established in 2005 after its founder Peter Baines OAM was introduced to the kids of Takua Pa who had lost their parents in the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. Baines was working in Thailand as a forensic investigator leading the Australian and International teams in the identification of those who died. Instead of pulling out when his work ended, he decided to do something to help the children whose families and livelihoods had been destroyed. Hands was formed and lives began to transform. Starting with the kids of Baan Tharn Namchai, the focus was on building homes for the children that would not only sustain them, but enrich their lives. Sixteen years on, Hands now operates in seven different locations across Thailand, supporting at-risk children - giving them a safe home and a valuable education. Each and every child who spends a month, year or their formative years growing up with us is valued and matters. Because every child matters. 


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Twelve Apostles Lodge Walking Expedition (4 Days)

Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk is an easy to moderate four-day walk with lightweight daypacks along the Great Ocean Walk, culminating at the iconic Twelve Apostles and returning each evening to our private eco-lodge.

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Day 1: Apollo Bay to Elliot Ridge

Approximately 7km and 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.

Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk - Ken Spence Photography

Day 2: Crayfish Bay to Aire River 

Approximately 14 km and 4.5 hours walking

Challenge delivers great reward. Wild, weathered headlands give the sense you’re at the world’s edge. Day two is your hardest day out on the track. But with it comes spectacular seascapes and personal triumph. Beginning at Milanesia Track, it covers some of the most remote sections of the Great Ocean Walk. This is your day of wild. Your day of rugged. 

The ocean is your steadfast companion across 14.5 kilometres of rolling terrain today, beginning with a descent onto Milanesia Beach. Here, your guide will point out a ‘natural rock wall’ that would be the envy of any budding young climber. After a fleeting beach visit, it’s a short but bracing climb that whispers of inclines to come.

Over the next hours, the trail carves its way through deep gullies with tree ferns and towering remnant Eucalypts. There are 132 steps to ascend before trailing west out of the forest to Ryans Den. On suitable days, this is your lunch perch. The Den gifts with unsurpassed views across to Cape Volney and Cape Otway.

Further along, the trail, as it mimics the tumbles and rising of the coastline, keep an eye out for Cape Volney. There’s a bench that, if time allowed, could swallow hours. Heaving seas disappear into watery caves. Views west travel to the horizon’s edge. And the entire spectacle is framed by the forest.

 

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Day 3: Moonlight Head to Princetown

Approximately 17km and 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 17 kilometres, reward yourself with a cooling river dip.

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Day 4: Princetown to the Twelve Apostles

Approximately 8km and 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.

 

Itinerary Details

Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk Hands Across the Water (4 days) 

Price per person for departures (inc. GST) (Non-commissionable)

January 11-14, 2022 $2,095
  • Each trip requires a minimum of 5 guests (Twin Share). The maximum is 10
  • 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 5:30pm (for domestic flights from 6.30pm/international flights after 7:30pm).

Direct bookings only:

Special Interest Walks - Terms and Conditions 

These are in addition to our standard booking terms and conditions.

  • All prices are quoted per person in $AUD including GST
  • A deposit of $500 per person and the Guest Information Form are due within five days of booking
  • The final payment is due 90 days before departure. For reservations made three months or less from departure date, full payment is due at time of booking.
  • Cancellations
    • more than 90 days from the scheduled departure date, a fee of $350 per person will be charged with the balance payment refunded;
    • between 90 and 60 days prior to departure, you will be charged 50% of the full trip cost with the balance refunded; or
    • within 60 days of departure, no refund is available. Bookings are transferable.
  • Travel and pre and post-trip accommodation expenses are not included.
  • This walk cannot be booked in conjunction with any other offers or discounts.
  • The fundraising discount is applied after Hands Across the Water notify Tas Walking Co that the fundraising goal has been met.

COVID-19 Peace of Mind Booking Assurance

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 the departure with no additional fee or rebook a signature Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk within 24 months. Cancellations by guests for other reasons will incur our standard cancellation fees.

https://www.auswalkingco.com.au/peace-of-mind/

Price Includes

  • Return transfers between Melbourne and the walk base
  • 3-night lodge stay, all linen and towels
  • 3 breakfast, 4 lunch, 3 dinners
  • Daily morning and afternoon tea
  • Use of daypack, waterproof 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
  • Optional airport drop off day 4

Single supplement

We do not charge for a single supplement as all rooms can be divided into two with dual access to the bathroom.

Additional information

  • 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.

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