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Healesville Sanctuary: Highlights You Shouldn’t Miss


  • Features: Australia’s native animals in a reserve
  • Opening Times:  9am to 5pm, daily
  • Best Time to Visit: Anytime
  • Duration: Half a day
  • Transport Options: Car
  • Cost: Adults A$31.60, children (4-15 yrs) A$15.80 weekdays or FREE on weekends, public & school holidays
  • Address: Badger Creek Rd, Healesville, Victoria, Australia
  • Type: Zoo



Head to Healesville Sanctuary to see Australia’s native wildlife in a 32 hectare reserve. Discover koalas, kangaroos, dingoes, emus, tree kangaroos, reptiles and birds of prey. One of Melbourne’s three zoos, Healesville Sanctuary showcases native Australian animals in their natural habitats. 


Healesville Sanctuary: Highlights You Shouldn’t Miss


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Only one hour from Melbourne, world-famous Healesville Sanctuary showcases Australia’s most beautiful and unique wildlife. With over 200 different varieties this 32 hectare reserve is one of the most acclaimed sanctuaries in Australia. The sanctuary is one of the few places in the world to have successfully bred platypus in captivity.

Ranging from kangaroos and emus right through to wombats and birds of prey, there’s plenty for all to experience and enjoy. Plus, for just A$10 extra you can book a Magic Moment to enjoy a special close encounter with your favourite Australian animal.


Highlights of Healesville Sanctuary

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New walk-through aviary, Land of Parrots Show 10.30am to 3.30pm, daily
Spirits of the Sky bird flight show Show 12:00pm and 2:30pm, daily
Tales from Platypus Creek Show 11.15am weekdays. 11.15am and 1.30pm weekends, daily
Dingo Country Exhibit 9am to 5pm, daily
Cool Conservation Exhibit 9am to 5pm, daily
Animal Hospital Exhibit 9am to 5pm, daily
Kids Nature Play Exhibit 9:30am to 4:30pm, daily
Animals of the Night Exhibit 10:00am to 4:30pm, daily
Lunar’s Secret Forest Exhibit 10am to 4pm, daily
Behind-the-Scenes Keeper Tour Tour 9am to 5pm, daily



Healesville Sanctuary Birds of Prey Show

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The ‘Spirits of the Sky’ bird flight show is one of the most popular shows at Healesville Sanctuary. Held once a day at 3pm, the show allows you to discover Australia’s majestic birds of prey and magnificent parrots. Find out who rules the sky – parrots by their sheer numbers or birds of prey as skilled predatory hunters.

Free with general admission, this is a show not to be missed.


Healesville Sanctuary Prices

Ticket Day Price
Adult Every day $31.60
Child (0-3 yrs) Every day FREE
Child (4-15 yrs) Sat, Sun, public/school holidays FREE
Child (4-15 yrs) Mon – Fri outside holidays $15.80
Concession Every day $24.20
Seniors Every day $28.40

*Children under 16 receive FREE entry on weekends, Victorian Public Holidays and Victorian Government School Holidays.
You don’t need to buy tickets for children if you are visiting in these times.


Healesville Sanctuary Opening Hours

Open 365 days a year (including Christmas Day)
9am to 5pm


Healesville Sanctuary Map

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Healesville Sanctuary Address

Badger Creek Rd,
Victoria 3777,


How to get to Healesville Sanctuary?


Take the Eastern Freeway out of Melbourne, then drive east along Maroondah Highway through Ringwood and Lilydale to Healesville. Turn right into Badger Creek Road, just past the township centre. From there, road signage will guide you to the Healesville Sanctuary carpark.


Healesville Sanctuary Phone Number & Website

(03) 5957 2800 or 1300 966 784


Healesville Sanctuary Weather

Current Conditions for Healesville, Victoria

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Forecast Details for Healesville, Victoria

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Tell us what you think. Have you visited Healesville Sanctuary before? What were the highlights of your visit? Please leave your comments below. 

Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery: 10 Reasons to Visit


  • Features: Wide range of hand-crafted couverture chocolate products
  • Opening Times:  9am to 5pm, daily
  • Best Time to Visit: Anytime
  • Duration: 1 to 2 hours
  • Transport Options: Car
  • Cost: FREE ENTRY
  • Address: 35 Old Healesville Road (Cnr Melba Highway), Yarra Glen, Victoria, Australia
  • Type: Chocolate factory



For those chocolate fans out there, visit Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery, one of the largest and most popular chocolate factories in Victoria, for delicious hand-crafted Belgian couverture chocolate products. 


Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery: 10 Reasons to Visit


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If you’re a chocolate fan (and who isn’t), you must visit Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery located in Yarra Glen just 60 minutes from Melbourne. Opened in 2012, the Yarra Valley Chocolate Factory is one of the biggest chocolateries in Victoria and is a great place to try some hand-crafted couverture Belgian chocolate.

Continue reading to find out ten reasons why you should visit Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery, a list of the wide range of chocolate products available here, as well as opening times and address.


10 Reasons to Visit Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery

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1.) Free entry – Take the entire family for a free outing to this Yarra Valley Chocolate Factory and have a wonderful day out with the kids. Open every day of the year, except Christmas Day, you can visit anytime you like.  

2.) Free tastings – Not only do you get free entry to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie you also get free samples. You can indulge in free tastings of chocolate products and ice creams before you buy anything here.  


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3.) Wide range of chocolates to choose from – Yarra Valley Chocolaterie is one of the largest chocolateries in Victoria. They have thousands of sweet delights on display in their showroom with over 250 different hand crafted creations to choose from. Check out Yarra Valley Chocolaterie’s range of chocolate products below.

4.) See how chocolate is made – Watch European Chocolatiers at the Yarra Valley Chocolate Factory hand craft over 250 different chocolate products. Watch all the chocolate making action through their giant viewing windows and learn from the professionals how different chocolates are made.  


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5.) Chocolate-making classes – The kids will love getting their hands dirty at one of the chocolate-making classes held on Saturday mornings and school holidays at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie. The 45-minute class teaches children aged 6 – 12 years how to make their very own chocolate creations. Plus, they get to take their beautiful creations home.

6.) Cafe with delicious menu – Relax at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie café which specialises in decadent sweet treats. Visit at any time of the day for a wide range of food and drinks – from breakfast, baguettes, salads and pizzas to scrumptious desserts, hot and cold drinks.


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7.) Unique and thoughtful gift selection – With a wide range of chocolate packages exclusive to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie, you’re bound to find sweet gift ideas for family and friends. If you’re not sure what to get them, why not get them a gift voucher and allow them to pick the gift of their choice.

8.) Yarra Valley Chocolate Festival – From Rocky Road Festival to Hot Chocolate Festival, Yarra Valley Chocolaterie regularly host chocolate festivals. These unique chocolate festivals allow you join tasting sessions and sample tasty chocolate treats. Check their website (http://www.yvci.com.au/classes/) for updates on their next chocolate festival. Bookings are essential.


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9.) Expansive lawns and gardens for kids – With all that sugar in their bellies the kids are going to want to run around. At Yarra Valley Chocolaterie, your kids can run and play in the expansive lawns and gardens in front of the chocolate factory.

10.) Beautiful location – The Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery is a short distance from Melbourne in the beautiful town of Yarra Glen. Located in Yarra Valley next to some of the best wineries in Victoria, this is a great place to take the kids, family or even a romantic date.


Popular Chocolate Products at Yarra Valley Chocolaterie

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  • truffles
  • pastilles
  • chocolate coated creations
  • chocolate bars
  • clusters
  • rocky road
  • macarons
  • nougat
  • biscuits
  • chocolate sauces
  • chocolate spreads
  • chocolate freckles
  • choc coated jelly snakes
  • chocolate baby animals
  • house-made ice creams


Yarra Glen Chocolate Factory Menu

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For the latest cafe menu, check out the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie website


Yarra Glen Chocolate Factory Opening Hours

Open daily (except Christmas Day)


Yarra Glen Chocolate Factory Address


35 Old Healesville Road,
(cnr Melba Highway)
Yarra Glen,


Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery Contact Details

Website: www.yvci.com.au
Phone: 03 9730 2777


Tell us what you think. Have you been to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery before? What did you like the best about this favourite Victorian chocolate destination? Please leave your comments below. 

Otway Fly Treetop Adventures: 3 Reasons to Visit this Fun Attraction


  • Features: Walk or zipline through the rainforest in the Otways
  • Opening Times:  10am to 5pm, daily
  • Best Time to Visit: Anytime
  • Duration: 2 to 3 hours
  • Transport Options: Car
  • Cost: From A$15 onwards
  • Address: 360 Phillips Track, Weeaproniah, Victoria, Australia
  • Type: Adventure activity



See the Otway Ranges National Park and experience the rainforest from a different perspective by doing the Treetop Walk or Zipline Tour at Otway Fly Treetop Adventures. Find out all the details in our informative article.

Otway Fly Treetop Adventures: 3 Reasons to Visit this Fun Attraction


A visit to the Great Ocean Road is incomplete without a side visit to Cape Otway National Park. If you have time permitting, spend a day or two visiting some of the attractions in the Otways and you will not be disappointed.

While adjacent to the Great Ocean Road, the Otways is a world away from the dramatic coastline. Instead, it gives you a glimpse into the ancient rainforests of Victoria and, there is no better introduction to the rainforests than at Otway Fly Treetop Adventures which takes your rainforest experience to new heights in the lush surrounds of the magnificent Otway Ranges.


3 Reasons to Visit Otway Fly Treetop Adventures


1. Otway Fly Treetop Walk

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Experience a breathtaking bird’s-eye-view of the magnificent Otway Ranges from the world’s tallest treetop walk – the Otway Fly Treetop Walk.

This 600 metre-long, 25 metre-high elevated walkway provides unrivalled views of the unique beauty of the region’s flora and fauna from the rainforest floor up into the soaring heights of the treetops. It features a 45m-tall Spiral Tower and gently swaying Cantilever perched high above Young’s Creek.

Otway Fly Treetop Walk is the longest and highest walk of its kind in the world! It’s an exhilarating experience as you gently sway with the rainforest canopy.

Features include:

  • Treefern Track
  • Shuttle service operates for those with limited mobility
  • Visitors Centre
  • Souvenir Shop
  • Black Snail Cafe
  • Extensive Education Program for all levels and key learning areas
  • Great rates for Social Groups of 10 or more


2. Otway Fly Zipline Eco-Tour

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If you want a unique wilderness adventure, the Otway Fly Zipline Tour is an extreme rainforest experience you will never forget. You will zip through the leafy treetops of the magnificent Otway Ranges from one ‘Cloud Station’ to another, suspended up to 30 metres above the forest floor.

The first of its kind in Victoria, the Zipline Eco-Tour is classified as a “medium” adrenalin activity and is suitable for most ages and abilities. Specialist guides will provide training and unique rainforest insights.

The Zipline Tour also includes entry to the Treetop Walk.

Bookings for Zipline Tours are essential! You can choose General Admission or a Private Group Zipline Tour. Book online or by calling (03) 5235 9200.


  • Minimum 105cm tall, Maximum 120kg
  • Minimum four years of age

Features include:

  • Fully guided 2.5hr Zipline Eco-Tour
  • Continuously Attached Touring Traveller (CATT) safety system
  • 8 ‘Cloud Station’ platforms
  • 6 exhilarating flights
  • 2 suspension bridges
  • Entry to the Treetop Walk


3. Rainforest Ranger Trail

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The Rainforest Ranger Trail is perfect for the budding junior rangers. At Otway Fly, kids can experience the lush outdoors like never before on this interactive trail. Your kids will journey deep into the Otway Ranges and discover the secrets of the rainforest. They will also be searching for ancient tree species and some of the unique wildlife unique to the Otways, including the infamous Black Snail, one of Australia’s strangest carnivores only found in the region.

This activity is included with a Treetop Walk Child ticket.



Otway Fly Prices

Treetop Walk –

Ticket Type Walk-up Price Online Price
Adult  $25.00  $23.75
Child (4 – 15 years.
Under 4 years go free!)
$15.00  $14.25
Family (2 Adults + 2 Children) $70.00 $60.80
Seniors* $21.50

*Senior tickets can only be purchased at Otway Fly Tree Top Adventures. A Seniors Card must be presented.

Book your Treetop walk online at Otway Fly.


Zipline Tour – General Admission –

Ticket Type Walk-up Price Online Price
Adult $120.00 $114.00
Child (4 – 15 years) $85.00 $80.75
Family (2 Adults + 2 Children) $375.00 $356.25

Book your Zipline Tour online at Otway Fly.


Zipline Tour –  Private Tour –

Ticket Type Walk-up Price
Private Tour for 4 people $575.00
Additional persons $120.00 per person

Note: not available during holiday periods & public holidays


For Annual Passes, Deals & Packages and Gift Vouchers, visit Otway Fly for prices.



Otway Fly Opening Times

Open every day
(except Christmas Day)

Gates open: 10am
Last entry: 4pm
Gates close: 5pm



Otway Fly Treetop Adventures Map


Otway Fly Address

360 Phillips Track,
Victoria 3237,
(Beech Forest, 3237 for GPS ref.)


Otway Fly Contact Details

1800 300 477


Tell us what you think. If you’ve been to the Otway Fly Treetop Adventures before, tell us about your experience. If you’re planning a visit to the Otway Fly, which activity are you interested in? Please leave your comments below. 

London Bridge Great Ocean Road: Why You Should See It


  • Features: Natural arch rock formation
  • Opening Times:  9am to 5pm, daily
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring (Sep to Nov)
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Transport Options: Car
  • Cost: FREE
  • Address: Great Ocean Rd, Peterborough, Victoria, Australia
  • Type: Natural wonder



Combine a visit to the London Bridge Great Ocean Road with the 12 Apostles for some stunning views of the southern coast of Victoria, Australia. Find out what makes this natural attraction so popular with tourists who come from near and far to witness this natural wonder in all its beauty.

London Bridge Great Ocean Road: Why You Should See It


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The London Bridge, Great Ocean Road is a popular attraction that must be added to your list of places to visit on a trip to the Great Ocean Road. Located in Port Campbell National Park, it can be combined with a visit to the iconic 12 Apostles only a stone’s throw away (19km west).  

One reason that makes the London Bridge so popular is the spectacular vistas that can be had from the upper western or lower eastern viewing platforms that take in sweeping views of the Great Southern Ocean. Another reason equally compelling is the history behind this popular tourist attraction.


London Bridge Collapse

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Originally the London Bridge formed a complete double-span natural bridge, resembling the London Bridge in London which gave it it’s name. At that time, visitors to the site were able to walk across ‘the eastern bridge’ that stretched across to the mainland.

On the unfortunate day of 15 January 1990, the span closer to the shoreline collapsed unexpectedly leaving two tourists (Kelli Harrison and David Darrington) stranded on the outer span for several hours before they were rescued by helicopter. Fortunately, no one was injured in the event.


Best Time to Visit the London Bridge

The best time to visit the London Bridge is at dawn or sunset when the rays of the sun light up the arch in golden hues and provide the perfect lighting for viewing and taking photos of this natural wonder. Furthermore, there are fewer crowds at these times, most of whom arrive during the day and leave before sunset giving you the space and time to enjoy the attraction on your own.


London Bridge Great Ocean Road Map


London Bridge Great Ocean Road Address

Great Ocean Rd,
Victoria 3270,


Tell us what you think. Have you been to the London Bridge Great Ocean Road before? Share with us your views and experiences of visiting this natural attraction as well as any tips you might have. Please leave your comments below. 

12 Apostles Australia: Best Ways to Experience this Natural Wonder


  • Features: Stunning coastal rock formations
  • Opening Times:  9am to 5pm, daily
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring (Sep to Nov)
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Transport Options: Car
  • Cost: FREE
  • Address: Great Ocean Rd & Booringa Rd, Princetown, Victoria, Australia
  • Type: Natural wonder



The highlight of a visit to the Great Ocean Road, the 12 Apostles are world-famous for their stunning scenery and amazing natural rock formations that have survived over hundreds of years. See them before they tumble into the ocean.

12 Apostles Australia: Best Ways to Experience this Natural Wonder


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The iconic 12 Apostles is without doubt the highlight of anyone’s visit to the Great Ocean Road along the southern coast of Victoria. If you’re heading to the Great Ocean Road, the Apostles have to be on your list of attractions to visit; in fact, it might be the only attraction you visit.

If you’re planning to visit the 12 Apostles, continue reading to find out more information about this attraction and, more importantly, the best ways to experience this natural wonder. Choose the way(s) you want to view this attraction so that you can see this marvel in all its wonder and glory and maximise your experience here.


Best Ways to Experience the 12 Apostles


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1. 12 Apostles Helicopter Tour

Without doubt, the best way to see the Apostles is from the sky above. From the ground it is not possible to see all 12 Apostles; however, you can get a bird’s eye view of all 12 Apostles from the air.

No other experience comes close to seeing the Apostles from a helicopter tour, so if you have the money to splurge taking a Helicopter Tour of the 12 Apostles is well worth it.


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2. 12 Apostles Sunset Trip

The 12 Apostles look magnificent at any time of day, however, they take on a different effect at daybreak or sunset. The multitude of red, pink and purple colours at sunset makes for a perfect backdrop to this spectacular attraction and casts a stunning hue over the limestone stacks.

Although it is extremely difficult to make your trip to the 12 Apostles at sunrise, it is easier to time your visit for a sunset view. Shoot these majestic ocean-bound rock stacks at sunset for long, soft shadows and warm hues. Visiting the Apostles at sunset also allows you to miss out on the crowds of tourists who tend to visit during the day.

If you’re pressed for time, why not take a 12 Apostles Sunset Tour? Book your 12 Apostles Sunset Tour here.  


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3. 12 Apostles Lookout Options

If you can’t take a Helicopter Tour or view the Apostles at sunset, the next best option is to take a walk to the 12 Apostles Lookout during the day. Although you will meet crowds of tourists at this time, there are numerous lookouts to the 12 Apostles to choose from.

The viewing platform with the least crowds is located between Gibsons Steps and the 12 Apostles Visitors Centre. The official lookout across the road from the 12 Apostles Visitors Centre has a few lookouts which take you much closer to the famous sea stacks. It is worth seeing the Apostles from various viewing points so you get a glimpse of the attraction from different angles.


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4. 12 Apostles Beach Access

Take a trip to the Beach Level via Gibsons Steps car park (1km east of the 12 Apostles) to see two rock stacks close up – Gog and Magog. The Apostles have never been named individually except for these two rocks which are full of personality. Also, they are the only two of the Apostles that you can see close up so definitely take the chance to do so.



12 Apostles Tours  

All our Great Ocean Road tours stop over at the 12 Apostles as part of their day-long or multi-day tour of the area. If you’re interested in just seeing the 12 Apostles by itself, our 12 Apostles Express Tour below is just right for you. For all our other Great Ocean Road tours, check out our Great Ocean Road Tours page.  

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12 Apostles Tour – Express


  • Express tour travelling direct to the most spectacular section, the 12 Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge
  • Departs Melbourne 8.30am Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and returns to Melbourne around 6pm
  • Lunch break in nearby Port Campbell (lunch not included)

12 Apostles Weather


Current Conditions for 12 Apostles

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Forecast Details for 12 Apostles

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FAQs about the 12 Apostles Australia

 There are numerous questions about the 12 Apostles, most of which are answered below. If you have other questions, please post them in the Comments section at the end of the page. 

What are the 12 Apostles?

The 12 Apostles are twelve rock stacks made up of limestone and other softer rock materials that jut out from the Southern Ocean along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. Over the years they have become the highlight of a visit to the Great Ocean Road and a natural wonder that draws millions of tourists from Australia and around the world.

12 Apostles History

The 12 Apostles started off life with a much less prestigious title, ‘the Sow and Piglets’. The Sow was Mutton Bird Island viewable from Loch Ard Gorge and the Piglets were the other formations following along down the coast to the east. When C.J. La Trobe passed through in 1846 he recorded this name.

However, the local population always knew that our stacks had a lot more glamour than your average farm animal. Locals have used the ‘12 Apostles’ name for as long as memory serves. We are glad to say that the world has agreed with the locals and has adopted ‘12 Apostles’ and given the stacks all the dignity they deserve.

How were the 12 Apostles formed?

Differing densities of limestone interspersed with softer mudstone (marl) and calcareous clays make up the cliffs and stacks of the 12 Apostles. Port Campbell limestone is harder in its top layers than it is in its bottom layers. The softer base layers allow the initial undermining that creates overhangs, arches and eventually new stacks.

The erosive forces of waves, wind and rain have over the years cut and chiselled these limestone stacks to create the formations you see today. Surviving rock stacks like the 12 Apostles are generally comprised of “harder stuff” than areas surrounding them.

How old are the 12 Apostles?

Although the limestone that makes up the 12 Apostles dates back 15-20 million years, the formations itself that you can see have been formed in the last 6,000 years.

How many of the 12 Apostles are left?

You have never been able to see 12 stacks from the current viewing platform. So, if you are counting less, you are counting correctly! To the West there are 7 stacks that are clearly visible. The rest are hidden by headlands and obscured by other stacks.

Where are the 12 Apostles located?

The 12 Apostles are located in Port Campbell National Park located near Princetown along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia.

Closest town to 12 Apostles



12 Apostles Map



How to get to the 12 Apostles?

The 12 Apostles are closer than you think and easy to reach, no matter how you choose to travel. The closest city to the Apostles is Melbourne.


Melbourne to 12 Apostles

Melbourne to 12 Apostles distance – 228km

By Car: Car touring is the best way to reach the 12 Apostles. From Melbourne, the Westgate and Princess Freeways lead you to the Geelong Ring Road and on to Great Ocean Road in an hour. The 12 Apostles is located 7km east of Port Campbell and just outside the town of Princetown.  The shortest route (3 hours total) is inland on the Princess Freeway (A1) to Colac, and then on Irrewillipe Rd (C156) on to Princetown. However, the more scenic route is via the Great Ocean Road from Geelong (4.5hrs total).

By Train: Regular trains run from Melbourne and Geelong to Winchelsea, Colac, Camperdown and Warrnambool.

By Bus: Public Transport Victoria runs V/Line buses several times a day along the Great Ocean Road from Geelong to Apollo Bay. Buses run 3 times a week from Apollo Bay to Warrnambool stopping at Princetown along the way. Visit ptv.vic.gov.au for details.

Tickets are also available at the Lorne Visitors Centre and Great Ocean Road Visitor Information Centre in Apollo Bay.


Lorne to 12 Apostles

Lorne to 12 Apostles distance – 129km

By Car: Head along the Great Ocean Road or inland via Colac which will save you 30 mins.

By Bus: Take a V/Line bus to Apollo Bay and change for a bus to Warrnambool stopping at Princetown along the way. See above for details.


12 Apostles Address

Great Ocean Rd & Booringa Rd,
Victoria 3269,


Tell us what you think. If you’ve been to the 12 Apostles before, how did you see it? What was your experience of this natural wonder? Please leave your comments below. 

Loch Ard Gorge Australia: History & Self-Guided Walks


  • Features: Stunning coastal scenery, site of the Loch Ard shipwreck
  • Opening Times:  Dawn to dusk, daily
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring (Sep to Nov)
  • Duration: 2-3 hours
  • Transport Options: Car
  • Cost: FREE
  • Address: Port Campbell National Park, Victoria, Australia
  • Type: Historic site, Natural wonder



Site of Victoria’s most famous shipwreck, the Loch Ard Gorge is one of the many special places in the Port Campbell National Park, Victoria, Australia. The Gorge is a powerful and awe-inspiring location that should be on every walkers and visitors’ itinerary when visiting the Great Ocean Road.

Loch Ard Gorge Australia: History & Self-Guided Walks


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Located in Port Campbell National Park along the Great Ocean Road, Loch Ard Gorge is an iconic attraction just as popular with tourists as the Twelve Apostles. The fact that this is the site of Victoria’s most famous shipwreck is part of the mystery and aura that surrounds this area. The site has also become famous for its coastal scenery. 

The Loch Ard is a powerful and awe-inspiring location that should be on every walkers and visitors’ itinerary when visiting the Great Ocean Road.  

Continue reading this post to find out the history behind this famous site along with information on self-guided walks and maps.


Loch Ard Gorge Shipwreck

Loch Ard Gorge is the site of one of Australia’s most well-known maritime tragedies, the wreck of the Loch Ard, wrecked here in 1878 when it struck Mutton Bird Island located just offshore. Of the 54 passengers on board, only 2 survived.

The fact that anyone could survive a shipwreck amongst these insurmountable cliffs is a testament to both luck and tenacity. It was fortune that washed two survivors into the one of the few sandy coves along this part of the coast, and the heroism of Tom Pearce not only to rescue Eva Carmichael in the boiling surf but also to trek some considerable distance to a homestead, Glen Ample, is remarkable.


Loch Ard Gorge History

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Loch Ard  1873 – 1878

The Loch Ard was on the final stage of its voyage from Gravesend to Melbourne when sea mist obscured the land causing the vessel to run into Mutton Bird Island near Port Campbell. Of the 51 people on board the ship, only two managed to get ashore.


The Wreck

The Loch Ard clipper left England on March 2 1878. Aboard were 54 people.

The voyage was a good one. The ship was favoured with fair conditions. As the ship approached Australia the passengers were jubilant.

After almost three months at sea, the passengers celebrated with what turned out to be an ill fated ‘End of Voyage’ party on the 31st May 1878.

The Loch Ard Ship was wrecked on June 1st 1878 when it struck Mutton Bird Island.

The captain thought the ship was 50 miles out to sea. When the mistake was realised the anchors were dropped, but the boat continued to drag shoreward and struck Mutton Bird Island. Of the 54 on board, 52 lost their lives.


The Survivors

The two survivors were an 18 year old cabin boy, Tom Pearce and an 18 year old passenger Eva Carmichael. Eva a non-swimmer clung desperately to a chicken coop before striking out for a timber spar. The waves washed her into the mouth of a narrow gorge where her feeble cries for help were at last heeded.

Tom Pearce, the only other survivor had battled his way through the wreckage to the shore where he was wandering dazed on a little beach at the end of the gorge. Hearing a faint cry, he took to the water again, dodging flotsam to reach Eva, he dragged her onto the beach, both exhausted. Tom opened a bottle of brandy and gave it to her, he then got some grass and made a bed for her to lie on.

They both fell asleep in a cave to the west of the beach. Upon wakening Tom left Eva in the cave and went for help. He struggled out of the gorge by clambering up the steep cliff face. After walking a short distance he luckily ran into a stockman on a horse from the only homestead in the vicinity, Glenample. The men from Glenample descended into the gorge and Eva was rescued. Both Tom and Eva spent eight weeks recuperating at the homestead in the care of the Gibsons. They both made a full recovery.


Life Continued

Eva braved another sea journey back to Ireland to her extended family and married a doctor. Tom left for Melbourne soon after the wreck, where he was celebrated for his gallantry and on behalf of the Government of Victoria he was presented with a gold watch as well as the 1st gold medal from the Humane Society of Victoria. He went on to pursue his career as a seaman and married the sister of a fellow apprentice sailor who had lost his life aboard the Loch Ard. They had three sons and two sons were lost in shipwreck disasters as well as surviving another shipwreck himself.


The Legacy

Only four bodies were recovered from the shipwreck. They were the bodies of Mrs. Carmichael, her daughter Ruby and two other sailors, Reginald Jones and Arthur Mitchell. The bodies were hauled up the cliff in an open shell and then placed in coffins fashioned from piano cases washed ashore from the wreck. A lock of hair was cut off for relatives before the victims were buried on the cliff top overlooking the gorge. This cemetery can be visited still today.

The beach in the gorge was covered with wreckage and cargo more than 2 metres high. The wreck of the Loch Ard lies in depths ranging from 10 to 25 metres to the south west side of Mutton Bird Island. The bow remains relatively intact with the anchors lying nearby but the stern was broken up and disappeared. Cargo and artifacts are still visible on the sea floor include railway iron, rolls of lead and zinc, marble tiles, pewter mugs, inkwells, etc.


Loch Ard Walks

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There are three self-guided walks at the Loch Ard Gorge site, all of which should be attempted in order to appreciate the beauty and wonder of this iconic location. These connected walking tracks not only take in the spectacular views of the gorge and Island arch but also provide good views of Mutton Bird Island, a rookery for the short-tailed shearwater (mutton bird) which travel from Alaska every year.

Walking commences at the Loch Ard Gorge carpark and the numerous tracks, giving access to many spectacular vantage points, are not only well-signposted but very informative. Interpretive signs along these walks reveal the fascinating stories about the area’s history, geology and natural features.

Allow 2-3 hours to walk them all, or one hour for each. Stay on the designated walking tracks at all times.


1. Loch Ard Geology

Distance: 900m return

Time: 40 minutes

Discover the secrets of the forces that shape the coastline on this easy self-guided walk.


2. The Wreck of the Loch Ard

Distance: 1.4 km

Time: 50 minutes

This easy walk follows the tragic story of the Loch Ard shipwreck site to the cemetery. For more details about this amazing story of courage and survival visit the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village in Warrnambool.


3. Living on the Edge

Distance: 3.2 km return

Time: 90 minutes

Discover life on the edge of the sheer cliffs. This easy walk encompasses the Muttonbird Island viewing platform, Thunder Cave and Broken Head.


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While in this area a visit to the cemetery and to the blowhole is recommended. You should also aim to walk down the stairway to Loch Ard beach to experience the sheer power and the foreboding that these cliffs impart to all who come to see this area.

A visit to the Visitors Information Centre at Port Campbell is also worthwhile if time permits. The display in the Port Campbell Visitor Information Centre showcases relics from the Loch Ard Wreck and provides more information on this fascinating story.  


Wildlife Watching at the Loch Ard Gorge Site

Be patient and you will be rewarded with sights of wildlife in the area. Penguins, terns and dotterels use the narrow protected beaches. Australasian Gannets, Wandering Albatrosses and Muttonbirds fly huge distances out to sea hunting for food, but return to nest in the area. Watch from the Muttonbird Island viewing platform as these remarkable birds fly ashore each evening from October to April. Look skyward for Peregrine Falcons, sometimes seen swooping above the cliff tops.


Loch Ard Map

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Where is Loch Ard Gorge located?

Loch Ard Gorge is situated about 5 km east of Port Campbell and 2 km west of the Twelve Apostles along the Great Ocean Road that winds its way along the south coast of Victoria in Australia.


Tell us what you think. Have you been to the Loch Ard Gorge site? What were the highlights of your trip there? Please leave your comments below. 

Great Ocean Walk Australia: A Guide for Every Hiker


  • Highlights: Stunning scenery along the Great Ocean Road
  • Distance:  105 km
  • Duration: 8 days, 7 nights
  • Grade: Easy to Hard
  • Conditions: Flat to steep walking track
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring (Sep to Nov)
  • Facilities: Toilets & picnic tables at campsites
  • Start/Finish: Apollo Bay Visitors Centre / Twelve Apostles
  • Permits/Bookings: None required (booking required for campsites)
  • Address: Great Ocean Road, Victoria



The Great Ocean Walk is Victoria’s iconic long-distance walk from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles taking in breathtaking scenery and stunning views across the Great Ocean Road over eight days. Optional short walks or day hikes are also available for those wanting to get a glimpse of this arduous walk.

Great Ocean Walk Australia: A Guide for Every Hiker


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The Great Ocean Walk is a very popular long distance walk along the Great Ocean Road and for good reason. This arduous walk is takes you along the world-famous Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. It combines fantastic views, stunning scenery and pristine wilderness along with a different and  unique experience to be had each walk day. There are places on the Walk where you will feel a million miles away from the world you left behind.

Whether you choose to complete the entire walk or just do a section of it, we have all the information you need to plan your entire trip. The information includes an 8-day Great Ocean Walk itinerary, a list of 14 short walks and day hikes, 7 campsite locations, shuttle transfers, Great Ocean Road walking tours and a Great Ocean Walk map.


The Great Ocean Walk

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The Great Ocean Walk is a ~100km long-distance walk that starts at Apollo Bay Visitors Centre and ends at the iconic Twelve Apostles along the Great Ocean Road. If you choose to do the entire walk, it will take you eight days and seven nights. Alternatively, you can opt for a short walks or day hikes that cover a section of the Great Ocean Walk.

Along the Great Ocean Walk, you can expect to come across clifftop views, lush fern gullies and isolated beaches. Step-on and step-off points along the track link to the Great Ocean Road, creating a range of breathtaking day walks.

The Walk attracts hikers from across Australia and around the world, all keen to experience the dramatic nature and challenge of this eight day iconic walk.

Choose from hike itineraries of one, two, three or four days to sample the tracks finest sections or take on the great walk, hiking up to eight days, covering approximately 105km.  

Whichever way you do the Walk, it’s a journey of nature unfolding at every step and one you will never forget.


Great Ocean Road Walk: An 8-Day Itinerary


Day 1 – Apollo Bay to Elliot Ridge

Distance Time Grade Start Point End Point
10km 3 hr 30 min Medium Apollo Bay Visitors Centre Elliot Ridge Campground



Day 2 – Elliot Ridge to Blanket Bay

Distance Time Grade Start Point End Point
12km 4 hr 30 min Easy Elliot Ridge Campground Blanket Bay Campground



Day 3 – Blanket Bay to Cape Otway

Distance Time Grade Start Point End Point
11km 3 hr 45 min Easy/Medium Blanket Bay Campground Cape Otway Campground



Day 4 – Cape Otway to Aire River

Distance Time Grade Start Point End Point
10km 3 hr 15 min Medium Cape Otway Campground Aire River Campground



Day 5 – Aire River to Johanna Beach

Distance Time Grade Start Point End Point
14km 5 hr 15 min Medium Aire River Campground Johanna Beach Campground



Day 6 – Johanna Beach to Ryans Den

Distance Time Grade Start Point End Point
14km 5 hr Medium/Hard Johanna Beach Campground Ryans Den Campground



Day 7 – Ryans Den to Devils Kitchen

Distance Time Grade Start Point End Point
13km 5 hr 15 min Medium/Hard Ryans Den Campground Devils Kitchen Campground



Day 8 – Devils Kitchen to Twelve Apostles

Distance Time Grade Start Point End Point
16km 5 hr 15 min Medium/Hard Devils Kitchen Campground Twelve Apostles



Great Ocean Road Walks: 14 Short Hikes & Day Trips

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Although the Great Ocean Walk is a ~100km long-distance walk, there are several shorter walks and day hikes suitable for hikers who do not wish to complete the entire eight-day walk. Choose from multi-day hikes and casual treks that take anything from an hour to a day. There is a short walk or two to suit every fitness level.

For a list of the 14 Great Ocean Road short walks with detailed information on each walk, read our Great Ocean Road Walks post.


Great Ocean Walk Shuttle

Great Ocean Road Shuttle is a dedicated and independent Cape Otway based pick up and drop off service for walkers along the Great Ocean Walk.

Address: Lighthouse Rd, Cape Otway, Victoria 3233

Phone: 03 5237 9278  |  Mobile: 0428 379 278

Email: gorshuttle@bordernet.com.au


7 Great Ocean Walk Campsites

As there are many ways to do the Walk, so too are there many options when deciding how and where you will stay overnight.  You have the option to camp under the stars along the Great Ocean Road or stay the night in luxury accommodation. Of course you may choose to enjoy a mixture of canvas and/or comfort.

For more intrepid walkers there are seven exclusive, limited capacity hike-in camp sites along the Walk. These campsites are located in some of the most dramatic coastline settings along the Walk. The sites are purpose built, some have small group areas, and all are maintained by Parks Victoria.

Advance bookings and payment are required as there are limited spaces at each campsite. Visit www.parks.vic.gov.au/stay to book online or call parks Victoria on 13 1963.  Fees may apply for telephone bookings for Great Ocean Walk.

Night 1 Campsite Location – Elliot Ridge Great Ocean Walk Campsite

Night 2 Campsite Location – Blanket Bay Great Ocean Walk Campsite

Night 3 Campsite Location – Cape Otway Great Ocean Walk Campsite

Night 4 Campsite Location – Aire River Great Ocean Walk Campsite

Night 5 Campsite Location – Johanna Beach Great Ocean Walk Campsite

Night 6 Campsite Location – Ryans Den Great Ocean Walk Campsite

Night 7 Campsite Location – Devils Kitchen Great Ocean Walk Campsite


Great Ocean Road Walk Map

(download as pdf)

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 Great Ocean Road Walking Tours

You may wish to join one of our knowledgeable licensed tour operators on a guided walk, taking in the spectacular scenery and exploring nature’s drama during the day, and then be whisked off to your luxury, eco-friendly accommodation, where a warm shower awaits you. Enjoy a delicious meal, glass of wine or a massage and be ready next morning to tackle another leg of this great walk.

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Great Ocean Road Walking Tour – 3 Days


  • Experience the most special highlights of the Great Ocean Walk
  • See stunning scenery and a myriad of wildlife including koalas, echidnas and kangaroos
  • Two nights’ twin accommodation at either the Cape Otway Lightstation or Johanna Seaside Cottages
  • Pick up and drop off in central Melbourne

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Great Ocean Road Walking Tour – 4 Days


  • Four-day highlights tour along the Great Ocean Walk
  • Explore beaches, coves and spectacular cliff top vistas
  • Stay in comfortable 3.5 star accommodation and walk with experienced and knowledgable guides
  • Pick up and drop off from central Melbourne

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Great Ocean Road Walking Tour – 7 Days


  • End to end trip traversing the entire 105km coastal trail
  • Weave through stunning national parks, deserted beaches and rugged coastal scenery
  • Stay in comfortable 3.5 star accommodation and walk with experienced and knowledgable guides
  • Pick up and drop off from central Melbourne

Further Information



Have you been on the Great Ocean Walk before? Please share with our readers any tips and recommendations you have from your previous hiking experience.

Great Ocean Road Walks: 14 Short Walks & Day Hikes


  • Highlights: Stunning views along the Great Ocean Road, incl Twelve Apostles
  • Distance:  Various – 800m to 14.5km
  • Duration: Various – 20mins to 5hrs
  • Grade: Various – Easy to Hard
  • Conditions: Varies
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring (Sep to Nov)
  • Facilities: Toilets & picnic tables at beginning and end of trails
  • Start/Finish: Various
  • Permits/Bookings: None required
  • Address: Great Ocean Road, Victoria



See the stunning scenery and spectacular views along the Great Ocean Road while embarking on a short walk or day hike along the Great Ocean Walk. Choose from 14 short walks and day hikes based on your fitness and activity level.

Great Ocean Road Walks: 14 Short Walks & Day Hikes for All Levels


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The Great Ocean Walk is a 100km long distance coastal bushwalking track from Apollo Bay to near the Twelve Apostles, passing through the Great Otway and Port Campbell National Parks. Although the entire walk takes seven nights and eight days to complete, it is not necessary to complete the entire walk to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of this region. There are several shorter walks and day hikes possible for all fitness and activity levels.

Choose from day hikes and casual treks that take anything from an hour to a day. Let the path lead you through national parks and rolling farmland, along clifftop edges and secluded beaches, into lush rainforests and coastal scrublands.


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Ref Short Walks Type Start Point End Point Distance Time (Approx) Grade
1 Shelly Beach Return Shelly Beach
picnic area
Shelly Beach
picnic area
2.4km 45min Medium
2 Lighthouse cemetery
and lookout
Return Cape Otway
Lightstation car park
Cemetery 2.8km return 40min Easy
3 Aire River Escarpment lookout Return Aire River bridge Escarpment
4.2km return 2hrs Medium
4 The Gables lookout Return The Gables car park The Gables
800m return 20min Easy
5 Wreck Beach Return Wreck Beach Wreck Beach 2.1km return 90min Hard
Ref Day Hikes Type Start Point End Point Distance Time (Approx) Grade
6 Marengo to Shelly Beach Car shuffle
or return
Marengo Caravan Park Shelly Beach
picnic area
5.0km 2hrs one-way Medium/
7 Elliot River Loop Walk Shelly Beach
picnic area
Shelly Beach
picnic area
4.7km return 2 hrs 15 mins Medium
8 Blanket Bay to Parker Inlet Car shuffle
or return
Blanket Bay
camp ground
Parker Inlet 4.5km 2hrs one-way Easy
9 Cape Otway to Aire River
(optional side trip to Rainbow
Falls and Station Beach)
Car shuffle Cape Otway Aire River 10.0km 4hrs Medium
10 Aire River to Johanna Beach Car shuffle Aire River
information shelter
Johanna Beach
14.5km 5hrs Medium/
11 Princetown to Twelve Apostles Car shuffle
or return
Princetown Recreation
Twelve Apostles 9km 3hrs Medium



Great Ocean Road: Short Walks


1. Shelly Beach / Three Creeks Loop

Type: Return

Distance: 3km loop

Time: 1.5 hrs return

Grade: Medium

Start & Finish: Shelly Beach Picnic Area

This moderate grade walk features coastal forests, sea views, beaches and rock platforms. Starting at Shelly Beach Picnic Area carpark, descend to Shelly Beach. Turn left at the Three Creeks Junction and walk through coastal scrub with views over the ocean to Three Creeks Beach. If conditions are suitable, walk west back around the point to a small beach, where access steps take you in a loop back onto the original track. Return the way you came if you are unsure conditions are suitable.


2. Cape Otway Lightstation Cemetery and Lookout

Type: Return

Distance: 2.8km return

Time: 40mins

Grade: Easy

Start & Finish: Cape Otway Lightstation carpark

From the lightstation car park, head west on the gravelled track for about 10 minutes before climbing Paynters Hill to a lookout over the lightstation grounds. Descending the other side of Paynters Hill, turn right and follow the sandy track for approximately 10 minutes to a junction just before the lightstation cemetery. Continue 20m past the junction to explore the cemetery.


3. Aire River Escarpment Lookout

Type: Return

Distance: 4.2km

Time: 2 hrs

Grade: Medium

Start & Finish: Aire River Bridge

From the Aire River Bridge, follow the sandy track up the dune through tunnels of Coast Beard Heath and coastal scrub to the Aire River Escarpment Lookout, which provides spectacular views to the mouth of the river where it meets the sea and back to the extensive wetland system along this heritage river.


4. The Gables Lookout

Type: Return

Distance: 800m one-way

Time: 20mins

Grade: Easy

Start & Finish: The Gables carpark

This great short walk travel through coastal heath, woodland and thick Casuarina forest before arriving at a lookout with spectacular views of some of Australia’s highest sea cliffs.


5. Wreck Beach

Type: Return

Distance: 2.1km

Time: 90 mins

Grade: Hard

Start & Finish: Wreck Beach carpark

This short but challenging walk heads down 366 steps to Wreck Beach. When tides and sea conditions are suitable, you can explore the beach, rock ledges and the anchors of the Marie Gabrielle and the Fiji shipwrecks which can still be seen about 400m and 650m west of the stairs. Imagine being shipwrecked on this beach below these towering cliffs.


Great Ocean Road: Day Hikes


6. Marengo to Shelly Beach

Type: Car shuffle or return

Distance: 4.7km one-way

Time: 2 hrs one-way

Grade: Medium/Hard

Start: Marengo Caravan Park

Finish: Shelly Beach Picnic Area

Follow low cliff tops overlooking the ocean and climb the exposed and aptly named Bald Hill. This walk takes you onto the beach and through sheltered forest, where you may spot the occasional koala, to picturesque Shelly Beach. Only take alternative coastal routes at low tide and during calm seas. At all other times take the signposted Great Ocean Walk (GOW) inland route.


7. Elliot River Loop

Type: Circuit

Distance: 4km loop

Time: 2 hrs return

Grade: Medium

Start & Finish: Shelly Beach Picnic Area

A moderate grade walk featuring river, forest and ferns. Start from the carpark and follow the Elliot River Track down to to the mouth of the Elliot River, crossing carefully on the stepping stones. Climb up the ridge along the track, passing through strands of Blue gum and areas of tall Eucalypt forest. Return to Shelly Beach Picnic Area via the management vehicle track.


8. Blanket Bay to Parker Hill

Type: Car shuffle or return

Distance: 4km one-way

Time: 2 hrs one-way

Grade: Medium

Start: Blanket Bay campground

Finish: Parker Inlet

A diverse walk, weaving its way through pristine coastal forests and grass trees, travelling in and out of gullies, before descending to beautiful Parker Inlet. Two lookouts along the way provide wonderful views into the estuary and over the ocean. Parker Inlet is a great location to explore for its amazing geology and wildlife.


9. Cape Otway to Aire River (side trip to Rainbow Falls)

Type: Car shuffle

Distance: 10km

Time: 4 hrs

Grade: Medium

Start: Cape Otway Lightstation carpark

Finish: Aire River

The walk to Aire River winds its way through a wind-sculptured landscape of sand dunes, coastal scrubland and calcified cliffs. From the lightstation carpark head west over Paynters Hill and past the lightstation cemetery. Continue along this section of the GOW to Station Beach. Take the main track over Station Beach to the Aire River Escarpment Lookout. Continue along the track from the escarpment, ending up at the historic Aire River Bridge. Rainbow Falls and Station Beach can also be visited along this hike, but it is an extra 3km if you take this side trip. Rainbow Falls is spring-fed and trickles through algae to the rock platform on the beach below.


10. Aire River to Johanna Beach

Type: Car shuffle

Distance: 12.4km

Time: 5 hrs

Grade: Medium/Hard

Start: Aire River Information shelter

Finish: Johanna Beach Campground

This is a long but satisfying walk through diverse terrain to beautiful Johanna Beach. The track passes through coastal heathland with an abundant display of wildflowers in spring. You will also get to experience some awe-inspiring sea views, and if you keep a look out perhaps you’ll spot Peregrine Falcons flying overhead. There is no bridge across the Johanna River. Carefully assess the depth of the water before attempting to wade across, as the water can be very deep and the ground very slippery underfoot.


11. Princetown to Twelve Apostles

Type: Car shuffle or return

Distance: 6km one-way

Time: 2.5km one-way

Grade: Medium

Start: Princetown Recreation Reserve

Finish: Twelve Apostles

This walk will reward you with spectacular views of the Twelve Apostles and surrounding coastline. Hike along cliff tops through coastal scrubland and low heath to the end of the walk. Kangaroos are regular grazers in nearby paddocks. Pods of dolphins can sometimes be seen in the Twelve Apostles Marine National Park below, and Southern Right Whales can be seen from May through to October.


Great Ocean Road: Side Trips


12. Milanesia to Moonlight Head

Type: Car shuffle

Distance: 10.5 km

Time: 5 hrs

Grade: Hard

Start: Milanesia Beach Gate

Finish: Moonlight Head carpark

From the Milanesia gate, which is located at the end of Hiders Access, head down the track through forest and coastal scrub, with incredible views of Milanesia Beach. There is a heritage shack located on private land just in from the beach. Please respect both the building and owners’ privacy by remaining on the track. Cross the small river at the beach access with care, then head west to where the GOW heads inland and uphill. Note that the alternative route along Milanesia Beach should only be attempted at low tides and calm seas. This section takes you to Bowker Point, with dramatic views of the coast. Head west along the coastal cliffs for about an hour until you reach the turn off to Ryans Den. Continue west through diverse coastal woodlands before reaching an open paddock above the Cape Volney cliffs – with some of the highest and most spectacular cliff views along the walk. Continue along the Cape Volney 4WD track descending toward the beach at Submarine Rock, before meandering up to Moonlight Head carpark on Parkers Access Road.


13. Moonlight Head to the Gables

Type: Car shuffle or return

Distance: 3.5km one-way

Time: 2 hrs one-way

Grade: Easy

Start: Moonlight Head carpark

Finish: The Gables carpark

From the Moonlight Head carpark, head up Parkers Access for about 200m before turning left and descending into the forest. The track negotiates its way through a series of forested valleys and ridges, past patches of grass trees and She-oaks. The track eventually cross an old fishing track at its lowest point before heading up towards the spectacular high sea cliffs surrounding The Gable. Along the way, the Eucalypt woodland predominant at the start of the section gradually changes to low scrub, heath and She-oak forests.


14. Parker Hill to Pt Franklin

Type: Car shuffle or return

Distance: 1.5km one-way

Time: 30 mins

Grade: Easy

Start: Parker Hill

Finish: Pt Franklin

From the Parker Hill campground, follow the cliff tops to Point Franklin. Looking out to sea along the coast, the Cape Otway Lightstation comes into view. Whales can often be spotted out at sea along this section from July to September. Once you arrive at Point Franklin, walk 300m up the GOW to the carpark. If you have extra time, you can explore the rock platforms and Pt Franklin beaches or take a short walk from the carpark to the rockpools and beautiful beach at Crayfish Bay. You may notice a building on the cliff top above Crayfish Bay, please respect the owner’s privacy by remaining on the track as this building is on private property.


Have you been on one or more short walks along the Great Ocean Walk before? Please share with our readers which walk(s) you undertook and whether you would recommend it to other day hikers.


Everything You Need to Know About Riding the Puffing Billy Railway


  • Features: Iconic train ride through the Dandenong Ranges
  • Opening Times:  10:30am to 2:30pm, daily
  • Best Time to Visit: In Spring (Sep to Nov)
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Transport Options: Train, car
  • Cost: A$11 – $68
  • Address: 1 Old Monbulk Rd, Belgrave, Victoria, Australia
  • Type: Train Ride



Ride on Victoria’s favourite steam train, the Puffing Billy and have a truly unforgettable experience as you travel through forests, fern gullies and farmlands of the magnificent Dandenong Ranges. 

Puffing Billy Railway


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The Puffing Billy Railway is Victoria’s and Australia’s famous steam train that runs through the Dandenong Ranges for 25km between Belgrave and Gembrook, stopping at Emerald Lake. The present line between Belgrave and Gembrook travels through the forests, fern gullies and farmlands of the magnificent Dandenong Ranges and is one of the best ways to explore this part of the world.

If you time your trip for the last Saturday of the month you could catch the local craft and produce market at Gembrook station. Also at Gembrook is the Motorist Cafe and Museum.


Puffing Billy History

The Puffing Billy Railway was one of four low-cost 762mm (2’6”) gauge lines constructed in Victoria in the early 1900s to open up remote areas. The present line between Belgrave and Gembrook is the major part of the line which opened on 18 December 1900 and operated over 29km (18.2 miles) between Upper Ferntree Gully and Gembrook until 1953. In 1953, a landslide blocked the track and, because of operating losses, the line was closed.

Public interest resulted in the formation of the Puffing Billy Preservation Society (PBPS). The PBPS’ volunteers by-passed the landslide and reopened the line to Menzies Creek in 1962 with the blessings of the Victorian Railways and the assistance of the Citizens’ Military Forces. Further restoration resulted in Puffing Billy returning to Emerald in 1965, Lakeside in 1975 and Gembrook in 1998.


Puffing Billy Route

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Puffing Billy Lunch Option

One of the special trains available on the Puffing Billy Railway line is the Steam & Cuisine Luncheon Train. Travel first class whilst tantalising your tastebuds over a three-course meal or graze over a Natter Platter.

The Steam & Cuisine Luncheon Train operates daily except Christmas Day, departing Belgrave Station at 12:30pm and travels to Lakeside Station located in Emerald Lake Park before returning to Belgrave Station at approximately 3:30pm.


Puffing Billy Dinner Options

Dinner & Dance Train

Take your Puffing Billy train experience to another level with the Dinner & Dance Train which provides a truly unique dining experience. During the forward journey you entree will be served. Upon arrival at the ‘Nobelius Packing Shed’ in Emerald you will disembark the train and enjoy a sumptuous main course and dessert. A musical entertainer will have you up on the dance floor before the driver blows the whistle signalling your return to the train.

The Dinner & Dance Train operates on selected Friday and Saturday evenings, departing from Puffing Billy’s Belgrave Station on Fridays at 7:30pm and Saturdays at 7:00pm. The train arrives back into Belgrave Station at approximately 11:30pm.

Themed Dinner Trains

Celebrate that special occasion on one of the Puffing Billy themed trains with family and friends.

  • Jazz on Puffing Billy Railway
  • Murder on the Puffing Billy Express
  • Rhythm & Blues on Puffing Billy
  • Rock & Roll on Puffing Billy Railway


Puffing Billy Timetable

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October 2015 – April 2016


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April 2016 – October 2016


Puffing Billy Tour Options

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Wildlife & Steam Train

Leadbeater have combined some of Victoira’s best hidden gems with three must see attractions – Puffing Billy, Dandenong Ranges National Park, and Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary – to create a truly unique experience at amazing value. On this guided day tour you’ll ride on a hundred old steam train, walk under giant Mountain Ash trees and visit Aussie animals.

Duration: 10 hours
Depart/return: Melbourne
Tour provider: Leadbeater

For more information on this tour, click here.


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Private Steam Trains & Great Wines

This private group tour allows you to explore the Dandenong Ranges aboard the Puffing Billy steam train which takes you through Mountain Ash forests before travelling through Victoria’s premium wine region, the Yarra Valley. After a gourmet lunch, explore one of the Moet and Chandon estate properties, Domain Chandon before returning to Melbourne.

Duration: 9 hours
Depart/return: Melbourne
Tour provider: Australian Natural Treasures Touring

For more information on this tour, click here.


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Dandenong Ranges Day Tour

This day tour comprises some of the best attractions in the Dandenong Ranges. Kick off the day at William Ricketts Sanctuary; get some perspective at Mt Dandenong and ride on Puffing Billy. Wrap up the day with a visit to Sherbrooke Forest in Dandenong Ranges National Park.

Duration: 10 hours
Depart/return: Melbourne
Tour provider: Leadbeater

For more information on this tour, click here.


Puffing Billy Prices

FARES are valid from: 26 JUNE 2015 TO 24 JUNE 2016

Option 1: Belgrave to Emerald or Lakeside OR Emerald or Lakeside to Gembrook

Adult: Single – $31.50; Return – $51.50

Child (Aged 4-16 yrs): Single – $16.00; Return – $26.50

Concession: Single – $25.00; Return – $41.00

Option 2: Belgrave to Gembrook

Adult: Single – $45.00; Return – $68.00

Child(Aged 4-16 yrs): Single – $22.00; Return – $34.00

Concession: Single – $36.00; Return – $53.50

Option 3: Belgrave to Menzies Creek OR Menzies Creek to Lakeside

Adult: Single – $22.50; Return – $30.50

Child(Aged 4-16 yrs): Single – $11.00; Return – $16.00

Concession: Single – $18.50; Return – $24.00


Puffing Billy Family Pass

Valid for up to 2 Adults and up to 4 children (Aged 4-16 yrs)

Option 1: Belgrave to Emerald or Lakeside OR Emerald or Lakeside to Gembrook

Return $104.00

Option 2: Belgrave to Gembrook

Return $137.00


Puffing Billy Tickets

Puffing Billy tickets can be purchase online at the Puffing Billy website

Note: Passengers who have NOT pre-purchased tickets online are encouraged to arrive at least 1 hour prior to the train’s departure.


How to Get to Puffing Billy?

Puffing Billy Railway is located approximately one hour east of Melbourne by public transport or car.

Melbourne to Puffing Billy

The best way to get to Puffing Billy is on the Metro train (Belgrave line) from Melbourne to Belgrave Station.

Belgrave Station to Puffing Billy

From Belgrave Station follow the blue line to Puffing Billy Station.


Puffing Billy Parking

At Belgrave Station 

Parking at Puffing Billy Car Park: FREE parking entry via Belgrave – Gembrook Road, between New Belgrave Motors and the Metro Rail Bridge
Parking at the Belgrave CFA Car Park: FREE Parking at 2 Bayview Road, Belgrave
Parking at Belgrave Metro Trains Car Park: FREE Parking – Follow the signposted walkway under the main road bridge to the Puffing Billy station.
Parking at Woolworths Belgrave Car Park: FREE Parking behind the main street shops. Enter via Reynolds Lane. Parking restrictions may apply.
Parking at Mater Christi College FREE Parking during the Victorian school holidays only.

At Menzies Creek Station 

FREE Parking available within the station grounds.

At Emerald Station 

FREE Parking available within the station grounds (Excluding days when our Day Out With Thomas event takes place)

At Lakeside Station 

PARKING is located within Emerald Lake Park adjacent to the station. There is a Council operated ticket machine – $6 flat fee for the day.

At Gembrook Station 

FREE Parking available within the station grounds.


Puffing Billy Address

Puffing Billy Railway,

1 Old Monbulk Road,


Victoria 3160,



Puffing Billy Contact

Phone: (03) 9757 0700




Puffing Billy Map

Picnic at Silvan Reservoir Park Dandenong Ranges


  • Features: Landscaped picnic areas and open lawns
  • Opening Times:  10am to 5pm, daily
  • Best Time to Visit: In Spring (Sep to Nov)
  • Duration: 3 to 4 hours
  • Transport Options: Train/bus, car
  • Cost: FREE
  • Address: Silvan, Victoria, Australia
  • Type: Park


The Silvan Reservoir Park features landscaped picnic areas and open lawns perfect for picnics and barbecues. The Silvan Dam is located here. 

Silvan Reservoir Park Dandenong Ranges


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Set in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges, Silvan Reservoir Park is an easy drive from Melbourne and ideal for a great day out.

Featuring landscaped picnic areas and open lawns surrounded by an impressive eucalypt forest, this park is perfect for a picnic or barbecue. The Grey Gum walking track takes you through the open lawns and past the eucalypt forest.

The Silvan Dam which is a major Melbourne water supply is located here as well. 


Facilities at Silvan Reservoir Park

  • Electric/Gas BBQ
  • Playground
  • Picnic Shelter
  • Toilet
  • Gravel carpark
  • Sealed carpark


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Silvan Dam Picnic Area

Directly opposite the designated disabled parking bays within the park is the entrance to the BBQ and picnic area. There are picnic facilities in the open and under shelter. Both areas have accessible picnic tables for wheelchair users. A playground is located at the bottom of the carpark.


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Silvan Opening Hours

Non-daylight savings (AEST): 9am to 4:30pm daily.

Daylight savings (AEDT): Entrance gate open 9am to 6.30pm. Exit gate closes 7:30pm.


Silvan Reservoir Park Address





Silvan Reservoir Park Map

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