Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk
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Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk
On the Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk, everything is taken care of. Your only job is to put one foot in front of the other. We’ll show you the way, carry all the extras on our back and point out natural features along the way. We’ll supply sumptuous lunches to sustain you, daypacks and walking sticks, cool lemonade, and soothing footbaths at the end of each walk. Return each evening to our private eco-lodge where you’ll be served gourmet meals complemented by local wines and beers.
It doesn’t take long for the city sounds to fade on our four-day Twelve Apostles escape. In no time, find yourself sipping tea in our eco-lodge. We then hit the trail at Castle Cove, weaving through grass tree forest before dropping down to Johanna Beach. Bare feet are encouraged!
Each eve we retreat for chatter around the fire and sumptuous meals.
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 fly above them by chopper. You’ve made it!
True shelter, something that gives protection and refuge, simple and sustainable, clean and comfortable.
Our groups have exclusive use of our Twelve Apostles Lodge your forest hugged home just three hours from Melbourne.
Guests consistently agree in their feedback that our Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk guides are our most outstanding asset.
What truly defines the professionalism, passion, and dedication of our guides is their unparalleled focus on delivering an exemplary guided walking experience for you. This is reinforced by their strong working knowledge of the local flora, fauna, geology, and history, complemented by a passion for local produce and cooking skills that deliver a diversity of delicious cuisine each evening.
We consider our guides to be highly trained experienced artisans that bring together all the attributes of a great walk to deliver something that is truly unforgettable. Our guides are the principal reason why so many of our guests choose to return and walk with us again to discover the diversity of incredible guided walking experiences we offer across Australia.
Day 1: Castle Cove to Johanna Beach
Approximately 3 hours walking
Time to lace up in the ‘mud room’ and step out on track for day one. This is not before a lodge welcome and walk briefing over morning tea. It’s then a short drive out to Castle Cove to begin your walk, with a tasty hiker lunch tucked in your pack.
Today begins in the tea-trees with a few tantalising vistas out to the Southern Ocean. This will be your constant neighbour for the next four days. Enter a flawlessly-groomed grass tree forest and hear tales dating back 104 million years at Dinosaur Cove. Bring those boots to a halt and consider a time when dinosaurs occupied your very location.
Next, drop down onto Johanna Beach. This is an opportunity to kick off the boots and walk barefoot; wind-swept waves just metres away. This two-kilometre stretch has a knack of clearing busy minds and washing away city stresses. Take your own pace across sands frequented by hooded plovers.
At the end of the beach awaits your cool water and lemonade greeting, a constant across all four days.
Day 2: Milanesia Track to Moonlight Head
Approximately 6.5 hours walking
Challenge delivers great rewards. 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.
Day 3: Moonlight Head to Princetown
Approximately 6.5 hours walking
Today is about shipwrecks, sandy pathways, exposed heathland, and maybe even a 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, notice how the geology begins to change from sandstone to limestone. Thick Eucalypt forest gives way to sections of a moonscape, indicators of what’s in store. Keep an eye out for native rosemary, cushion plants, and wildflowers in season.
Your first glimpse of the Gellibrand River marks the entrance to Port Campbell National Park. This freshwater river near the sleepy hamlet of Princetown is an easy downhill stroll. After some 12.5 kilometres, reward yourself with a cooling river dip.
Day 4: Princetown to the Twelve Apostles
Approximately 3 hours of walking
Today invites new heights. Not only will you conquer the final steps of your Great Ocean Walk but top this with a 15-minute helicopter flight. 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.
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-meters tall, nudging the equivalent of a 20-story building. It’s here with sand under your boots, a sense of monumental achievement and wonder sets in.
Take to the skies to bid farewell with a 15-minute helicopter flight. Capturing the chiseled coastline from above gives scale not only to the Apostles but the trek you’ve completed. Follow this with a final lunch in the sleepy fishing town of Port Campbell before returning to Melbourne.
Prices from $1995 per person
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