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It doesn’t take long for the city sounds to fade on our Signature four-day Twelve Apostles escape. In no time, find yourself sipping tea in our eco-lodge and walking to spectacular views on the iconic Great Ocean Walk.
Each eve we retreat for chatter around the fire and sumptuous meals. Day One, we take in the coastal vistas of Cape Otway. Day two is the most challenging; Milanesia Track to Moonlight Head. Raw and wild, we venture through remote areas of the Great Ocean Walk, knowing a foot spa awaits at the day’s end. By day three, you’ll know shipwrecks by name. The final day is all about those glorious Apostles – walk beneath them and take in the view. You’ve made it!
Prices from $2,395 pp
Approximately 3 hours walking
After a scenic drive from Melbourne, we start the first section of the walk at Blanket Bay, one of the highlights of the Great Ocean Walk. We follow the coast of Great Otway National Park, climb along cliff tops and walk barefoot on golden sand beaches. Learning about the unique flora and fauna as you go from our expert guides. Koalas, kangaroos, and echidnas, you are sure to see some local wildlife on this unique part of the trail. The Cape Otway Lighthouse makes for a great end to the walk, where our guides can teach you all about the naval history of the area.
From the lighthouse, we transfer you to our private lodge in Johanna, where we welcome you with a glass of local sparkling and a spectacular long table dinner to celebrate your first day of walking.
Approximately 6.5 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.
Approximately 3.5 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, we walk the loop track back to the carpark, where we will be picked up and taken back to the lodge for a night of rejuvination and relaxation.
Approximately 3 hours walking
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.
Follow this with a final lunch in the sleepy fishing town of Port Campbell before returning to Melbourne.