Swap four wheels for two legs and gain a greater vantage point by navigating the mixed gradients of the Great Ocean Walk. The 104-kilometre track takes around eight days to complete comfortably, passing quintessential Great Ocean Road attractions including the Twelve Apostles and the Otway National Park. If you're not an avid hiker or feeling more leisurely than lively, you can still amble along smaller stretches of trail – short sections from Apollo Bay to Cape Otway are particularly good for a scenic coastal stroll.
The more sure-footed might consider making the 90-minute trip from Moonlight Heads to Wreck Beach. Ramble down some 350 steps to the shoreline, where rusted anchors leave haunting reminders of the ships taken by the seas of the notorious Shipwreck Coast. You can jump on and off the Great Ocean Walk at will, whether you're lured away by the romance of deserted beach or the smell of coffee and cake drifting from a seaside town.
There are a number of two-to-three-hour short walks, including the Lighthouse Cemetery and Lookout Walk at Cape Otway and the Gables Lookout Walk. For a longer trek, journey from Marengo to Shelly Beach, weave through dunes and calcified cliffs from Cape Otway to Aire River, or tramp the coastal scrub from Princetown to Glenample to see the stunning Twelve Apostles from a fresh perspective. The Great Ocean Walk in its entirety reaches from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles, just beyond Princetown.
If you're up for the full eight day Great Ocean experience, there are designated hike-in campsites along the way and more conventional accommodation in townships throughout. There are a number of groups and guides to accompany you on the journey, highlighting the must-see shipwrecks, lighthouses, waterfalls, and lookouts that grace the region. Of course, it wouldn't be the Great Ocean Walk without a selection of surf-fringed sands to explore – Apollo Bay, Blanket Bay, Castle Cove and Johanna boast some of the best beaches this side of Geelong.