Great Ocean Walk ”“ Short Walks

Great Ocean Walk ”“ Short Walks

Although the Great Ocean Walk can span over days, you can also choose to do just a leg, which you can finish within the day. Find some spectacular scenery that isn’t viewable from the road and then stop in the closest town for a well-deserved meal and stay.

Option 1: Aire River to Johanna Beach

Start: Aire River information shelter

End: Johanna Beach campground

This is a long but satisfying walk through diverse terrain to beautiful Johanna Beach. Pass through heathland with spring wildflowers and experience awesome sea views. Look out for Peregrine Falcons flying above. Johanna River is unbridged so carefully assess before wading across.

Option 2: Cape Otway to Aire River

Start: Cape Otway

End: Aire River

Explore the lightstation before you set out. The walk to Aire River carves its way through a wind sculpted landscape of sand dunes, coastal scrubland and calcified cliffs. Rainbow Falls and Station Beach are a 3 kilometre return journey. Rainbow Falls is spring-fed and trickles through algae to the rock platform below. Take the main track over Station Beach or the beach route to Aire River lookout.

Option 3: Lighthouse Cemetery and Lookout Walk

Start: Cape Otway Lightstation car park

End: Cemetery

The gravel path leads walkers through beard heath to a lookout point with views across to the lighthouse, telegraph station and the ocean. Visit the historic cemetery which bears witness to the harsh isolation of early lightstation life. Fee applies for Cape Otway Lightstation entry.


Option 4: Marengo to Shelly Beach

Start: Marengo Holiday Park

End: Shelly Beach picnic area

Follow low cliff tops overlooking the ocean and the exposed and aptly named Bald Hill. It traverses on and off the beach through sheltered forest to picturesque Shelly Beach. Coastal route at low tide and during calm seas.


Option 5: Princetown to the Twelve Apostles

Start: Princetown Recreation Reserve

End: Glenample

The walk begins near the Gellibrand River Bridge. You will traverse cliff-tops and undulating heath-clad dunes as the distinctive rock stacks begin to reveal themselves. Continue on past Gibson Steps and the beach (which is not accessible at high tide) on to end at the iconic Twelve Apostles kiosk and carpark facility.


Option 6: Shelly Beach Circuit

Start: Shelly Beach picnic area

End: Shelly Beach picnic area

This is one of the best short walks on the Great Ocean Walk. The track traverses through fern gullies, coastal scrub, along Shelly Beach and across rocky platforms to Elliot River. Return through a majestic stand of blue gums, inhabited by koalas and nocturnal Yellow-bellied Gliders.


Option 7: The Gables Lookout

Start: The Gable car park

End: The Gable Lookout

This easy return walk travels through a Casuarina grove to a spectacular lookout over the ocean and the reefs around Moonlight Head. This is one of the highest sea cliffs on mainland Australia. Keep a close eye out for seabirds, or whales from June to September.


Option 8: Wreck Beach

Start: Wreck Beach

End: Wreck Beach

A difficult but rewarding walk. Descending over 350 steps to Wreck Beach, the walk takes you to the anchors of the Marie Gabrielle and the Fiji — haunting reminders of the treacherous nature of the sea. Make this walk at low tide only and beware of large sea swells.

All Accommodation

Bells Beach Cottages

Bells Beach

54 on Bank

Port Fairy

Eight Spence


C-Deck Beach House Apartment

Port Campbell

All Things To Do

Places To Eat & Drink

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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.