OUTBACK TO OCEAN

Outback to Ocean

8 Days $3150 ex Halls Gap

Accommodation

2 Nights Tents
5 Nights Cottages

Transportation

Mostly on foot
Transfers included

Included Meals

7 Breakfasts
7 Lunches
7 Dinners

Trip Grade

Category 3
High Heart Rate Holiday

Charity

Lorem Ipsum
lorem ipsum lorem

I cannot think of more contrasting landscapes than the mountains and the sea. Semi arid reds interspersed with thick olive green shrubs, giant escarpments tail out into the distance, in a landscape as ancient as it is tortured. Wild seas churning every imaginable blue and green, sculpting the ancient continent with each successive wave and gust of wind. Like a van Gogh pallet, the contrasts and the drama between the Grampians National Park and the Great Ocean Road provides for one of the most unique and wonderful hiking adventures in Australia. 

The start of our journey begins in the ancient land of Gariwerd. Formed and reformed for over 400 million years, the Grampians National Park and its’ folding escarpments, spread from north to south for over 100 kilometers, creating an enormous valley hidden from the rest of the world like a land lost in time. The Jardwadjali and Djab Wurrung have called this region home for 10’s of thousands of years and as such Gariwerd contains 80% of all Victorian indigenous rock art.

For 3 days we hike through the Grampians National Park along the Grampians Peaks Trail or GPT. This incredible landscape presents many beautiful views, but the hike to Mt Rosea and her summit at 1009 meters has to top the list. And when day turns to night, the southern skies explode in an ever transforming galactic display.

The Grampians Peak Trail or GPT will fully open in 2022 and extend from one end of the Grampians National Park to the other on a well constructed 160 kilometer walking trail.

The Great Ocean Walk extends from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles, a hike of 104 kilometers, along a trail that takes in cliff tops, bushland, and beach trails.

“Everything was perfect, the lovely farmhouse with the open fire, the food was all delicious, the walk was so good with amazing scenery, and the weather was terrific!! We were so lucky!! Bailey ( our mascot) was great too!! Thank you again for another No Roads adventure!!”

Chrissie

In stark contrast, the heaving seas of the Southern Ocean and Bass Strait have carved a dramatic coastline second to none. Giant cliffs fall into secret sandy alcoves and beaches hidden from above. Thick scrub makes way for sweeping coastal views. And all the while, the ocean relentlessly pounds away, a battle of Goliaths, water and rock.

It is no wonder they call this place “Shipwreck Coast”. With only a sextant and compass for navigation, this passage between Tasmania and Victoria has swallowed hundreds of ships and extinguished countless lives. And for the people who had called this place home for millennia, the Gunditjmara, Wathaurong, Eastern Maar and Gadubanud, the arrival of the European marked the end of their tenure as they were forced from the area by farmers and loggers.

For 5 days we  hike the Great Ocean Road Walk, above the highest cliffs on mainland Australia, down to pristine beaches replete with shipwreck remnants, to lighthouses that have saved thousands of lives and through ancient forests. 

Consumed by the ocean, the giant pillars of the Twelve Apostles stand like a crumbling cathedral, marking the end of our Great Ocean Walk and the end of our Outback to Ocean journey.

The Journey

Day 1 we will all meet at the Halls Gap Post Office by 9am before heading deep into the Grampians escarpment along one of the most popular day trails and beyond. The trail winds its way from Halls Gap via Splitters Falls and then through the famed Grand Canyon. After a few ladder climbs we will continue on through narrow rocky trails to the wonderful Pinnacle before heading south to Lakeside Lookout and ultimately our Bugiga Hiker Camp. This trail offers incredible views for most of the day. The actual walk is 8.6km and should take us 5 hours. (L, D)

This is a wonderful days trekking as we will summit Mt Rosea (1009 meters). To reach Mt Rosea along the Grampians Peak Trail, we must first negotiate our way through a maze of sandstone outcrops before reaching her summit. The views from the top are incredible with panoramas of the Serra and Mt William Ranges. Our long descent is through a sheltered forest to the Borough Huts Campground. The trek is 13.8km and should take us 5-6 hours. (B, L, D)

After a delicious breakfast, we will walk along Bellfield Lake via the Bellfield Track and the Terraces Fireline all the way into Halls Gap for lunch at the Brewery. While this part of the trail is not part of the main Grampians Peak Trail, it is the only way at present to loop back to Halls Gap. We will cover approximately 14km which should take us about 5 hours.

From Halls Gap, we head to our accommodation at Johanna and settle in for the night. We stay at the same accommodation for the entire week, so after each day of walking, we come back to a nice hot shower and a home-cooked meal. (B,D)

Today we commence our walk from Blanket Bay.  The walk follows the coastline with some rocky platforms and spectacular views. At Parker Inlet, we will make the decision whether to follow the inland track or walk along the beach. This decision is subject to tides and weather conditions.  We end our day of walking at the historic Cape Otway Lighthouse. A local historian will explain to us the history of the lighthouse and the coastline we just walked. From the lighthouse, we head back to our accommodation for a delicious meal. In total, we walk approximately 11km today. (B,L,D).

Today we head from the Lighthouse to Aire River. Subject to tide and weather conditions, we may be lucky enough to walk along Station Beach. If not, we follow the inland track and experience amazing views. There will be an option to see Rainbow Falls where a natural spring spills out onto a rocky coastal outcrop below. The day will end at the Aire River estuary. This is a pretty big day of walking, as we cover approximately 12km of coastline. (B,L,D)

The section between Castle Cove and Johanna Beach has some of the most spectacular landscapes of the entire trek. The hike along Johanna Beach with its expansive sand is definitely a highlight. It does get tiring on the legs though so we will take it easy and take in the incredible beauty of the place.  Approximately 14km of walking today. (B,L,D)

Today’s walk is affectionately called “The Rollercoaster”. That is because the track is a series of ups and downs. High sea cliffs, expansive views and coastal forests lead to Moonlight Head. It is a great day of walking as we pass Bowker Point, Ryan’s Den Campground and Cape Volney. The Gables themselves are the highest sea cliffs on mainland Australia, providing us with unsurpassed views of this incredibly rugged coastline. Approximately 15km of walking today. (B,L,D).

Our last day on the Great Ocean Walk. We start walking from the Gables and head towards the world-famous 12 Apostles.  We will pass through Wreck Beach where two shipwrecked hulls lay testament to the coastline’s dangerous history.  From Wreck Beach we head to Gellibrand River and wetlands. From there we start to see the impressive 12 Apostles, a site you will never forget. We will walk down Gibson’s Steps which were cut into the limestone cliffs by early explorers and explore the various viewing platforms and boardwalks of the 12 Apostles. Today is a long, 18km of walking, but we are rewarded with a sense of achievement in having completed the Great Ocean Walk. (B, L).

Note: Some people prefer to stay in Halls Gap the night before the trip. If you would like some suggestions for places to stay please let us know.

A Few Important Notes

Private Expeditions: If our dates don’t suit and you have a group of 8 or more we can run this expedition on any date you wish.

Best time to travel? From mid-November to mid-May, however we suggest avoiding the Christmas School Holidays so Christmas until mid-February can be hot and busy.

Includes

  • Experienced walking guides, first-aid trained 
  • 2 nights camping in the Grampians
  • 5 nights cottage  accommodation at Johanna Beach on the Great Ocean Walk section
  • Support vehicle 
  • Safety radios 
  • Park fees 
  • Water and snacks 
  • 7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches & 7 Dinners

Excludes

  • Transfers between the Grampians and the Great Ocean Walk
  • Beverages
  • Insurance

Englishman George Bass named the limestone stacks along the Great Ocean Walk the Sow and Piglets in 1798, but the name was changed in the 1920s to the Apostles. The name change was probably a marketing decision, made in the hope of drawing tourists along the newly created Great Ocean Road.

However: There were never Twelve Apostles, even in the 1920s. At most there have been eight, until 2005 when another succumbed to the power of the ocean and collapsed into the water, leaving seven stacks.

Both sections of this trek are guided

You will be accompanied by a well trained guide for both sections of this adventure. They are there to firstly ensure your safety. They are also there to paint a picture for you, a picture that will help you more deeply understand the Grampians and the Great Ocean Walk. History and geography go hand in hand on both the Grampians Peak Trail and the Great Ocean Walk. And so too does good old customer service. Our guides put your comfort high on their priority list. They will ensure you are well fed with delicious meals, comfortable at night whether it’s in a tent or a very comfortable cottage and safe while walking these beautiful trails.

Where to join the Outback to Ocean adventure?

The Outback to Ocean trek starts in Halls Gap, about 3 hours west of Melbourne. Usually we will meet participants at around 9am (this will be confirmed in a pre trek email) in the center of town. Some guests drive to Halls Gap the day before and spend a night in town avoiding the drive to Halls Gap on day 1.

On Day 3 of the trek we will finish up at around lunchtime. From Halls Gap, guests drive to Johanna Beach on the Great Ocean Road, a drive of approximately 3.5 hours. On our last day of the Great Ocean Walk we will drop our cars off along the highway and pick them up on our way back through on our way back toward Melbourne.

We get asked a lot of questions about the Outback to Ocean trek. The following are certainly the most common however if you have another question please let us know or the answer may be found in our Trip Notes section.

How hard is the Grampians and Great Ocean Road Walk trek?

While there are no huge ascents or descents on this trek, the distances travelled and some of the terrain, for example walking on sandy beaches, make this trip challenging. Walking trails in the Grampians National Park are well marked (mostly) and the surface underfoot is solid with some rocky sections, but nothing technical at all. On the Great Ocean Walk, the trails vary from bush dirt trails to sandy beaches. They are well marked and well maintained. Some people may find the camping section a little challenging, however, the tents are very comfortable and our camp food is delicious. 

Do I have to carry my own gear?

For the Grampians Peak Trail section, you will need to bring all the gear you need in a backpack from one campsite to another. The current itinerary allows for your main pack to be transported from one campsite to the next. All you need to carry is your day pack. This may change as the GPT expands we take you into more remote parts of the Grampians National Park. On the Great Ocean Walk, you only need to carry a day pack as all your gear will remain back at the house in which we are staying. 

What is the accommodation like?

This trip is split into two sections, the Grampians trek and the Great Ocean Road Walk. The night before the start of the Grampians trek you can either stay in Halls Gap (we have some suggestions for this) or you can drive to Halls Gap on the morning of the first day’s trekking, which normally gets underway at around 9-10am.

On the Grampians trek, we will be overnighting in tents at designated campsites. Tents are set up on platforms for you and there is a communal eating area and toilets at the camp ground. There are no shower facilities. However, if the weather is warm enough there are a few streams you can freshen up in.

On the Great Ocean Road Walk we stay in one location and drive out to our start point each day. The accommodation is in very comfortable bungalows and homes in the Johanna Beach area. The accommodation location changes depending on the group size and composition, however every place we stay is very comfortable, with a lounge room, twin, double and single rooms and a kitchen.

There are 3 or 4 truly great walks in Victoria and this incredible journey combines two of my favourites; the Grampians Peak Trail and the Great Ocean Road Walk. These are two very contrasting treks, but both are equally spectacular. I love the fact that we camp for the first section in the Grampians, getting that real bush experience and then finish with a cottage stay, combining superb trekking with a touch of comfort and great food. I love this epic journey and I am sure you will too.

Peter Miller
Guide

These trips might also interest you...

4 Day Grampians Peaks Trail

One of the best 4 day treks in Victoria, our 4 day hike through the Grampians National Park will take you along impressive escarpments, through beautiful forests and to delightful campsites, all fully guided by our local expert guide who can also cook up a superb dinner at night. This is a trek not to be missed.
New Journey

6 Day Great Ocean Walk

Immerse yourself not only in one of Australia’s most dramatic landscapes but also the incredible history of Shipwreck Coast. Our fully guided and catered Great Ocean Walk will have you hiking deserted beaches, stand atop mainland Australia’s highest sea cliffs and spend quality time with like minded friends.

Victorian Alpine Traverse

The Victorian Alps come alive during the warmer months of the year to provide us with an incredible adventure. We will traverse the Victorian High Country from the State’s highest peak, Mt Bogong, to its second highest peak, Mt Feathertop. This is a great alpine mountain trek right here in Victoria.