There are many unique and iconic travel experiences in Australia that cater for a diverse range of physical abilities and levels of comfort. Diving on the Great Barrier Reef, the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb, watching the sunset at Uluru and swimming with whale sharks off the coast of Western Australia are just a few of the experiences on travellers’ wish lists.
Driving the Great Ocean Road along the southern coast of Victoria is another, but it is facing increasing competition from travellers not content with a sedentary experience. The Great Ocean Walk is challenging its big brother and attracting increasing numbers of tourists eager to hike from its beginning at Apollo Bay to the finish at the Twelve Apostles.
100klms or 10klms – It’s Your Choice
This is a one-way walk that moves from east to west, and the truly intrepid can hike the entire 100klms over an eight-day period, camping out or staying in a range of selected accommodation. For the less committed, the Walk offers one and two day hikes, and the option to leave vehicles at designated parking areas and be shuttled back to pick up their cars at the end of their hike.
Car Hire Convenience There and Back
One of the best ways for tourists to take advantage of this unique experience, and see spectacular scenery and wildlife up close, is to get an affordable car hire in Melbourne when they fly into Melbourne airport. Alpha Car Hire offers competitive rates and a range of vehicles to choose from. If they make the Great Ocean Walk the feature of their trip, it is an easy drive to the starting point, and a quick trip back to the airport for the flight home.
Public Parking Available along the Walk
The Walk has been structured to allow visitors to choose their start and finish points. Public car parking is available in the Cape Otway National Park at a number of visitor and camping areas. A hire car makes it easy to park in these designated areas and take a half day hike, then drive to the nearest accommodation. There are many places to stay in comfort, wonderful restaurants and other attractions if the walk becomes too daunting.
End at the Twelve Apostles
The goal of most walkers is to end at the spectacular Twelve Apostles. Again, the hire car makes it convenient to drive most of the way and still see the fabulous Victorian coastline. Many visitors drive to the end of the walk, park their vehicles, catch a shuttle back to one of the drop-off points and then walk the final stage, finishing in the shadow of these towering monoliths.
The Great Ocean Walk is one of those experiences that only take a few days, but the memories stay forever.