Today’s walk: Princetown to the Twelve Apostles (8km)
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.
There’s a sense of elation today as you draw nearer to the mighty limestone Apostles. No, there’s not 12, which may come as no surprise. But amongst the proudly standing 7, lie 5 recently discovered apostles beneath the ocean’s surface. Weathered but not beaten, those in view lose a couple of centimetres each year to the perilous swells and winds whipping up from the Southern Ocean.
Drawing closer, hear the romantic tale of Tom and Eva. Tom, a gallant local who swam more than an hour to rescue Eva from the Loch Ard, perhaps Victoria’s best known shipwreck. Of 63 on board, Eva was one of the lucky two to survive, whisked to a cave by Tom and ‘administered’ brandy to remain conscious.
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 to the Visitor Centre. It’s the official end to your walk and an appropriate locale to get cosy 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-metres tall, nudging the equivalent of a 20-storey 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 chiselled 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.
Walking time: 3 hours