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The Great Ocean Walk Trail

Gawking eyes and sizzling smells through an RV park

I’ve got to be honest, any run that finds its beginning in an RV camp seems a bit questionable to me. Sure the smell of barbeque is great when you are about to eat, but having to run through tantalizing whiffs of food you are far from, as well as a bunch of confused, camping onlookers doesn’t make a run entirely appealing. For those who can get over the unfortunate jumping off point, the Great Ocean Walk Trail outside of Apollo Bay in Victoria, Australia won’t disappoint.

Found about 2 km out of town, the Great Ocean Walk Trail follows the coastline of the famed Great Ocean Road. For my run, I started out by leaving from Apollo Bay. Before getting to the trailhead, I followed a small path mirroring the coast. The trail was made mostly of wood, but did have small spots of concrete and dirt. After the main town ends, the path acts as the boundary between coast and road. It followed along the edge of the sea, past a now flooded bay, and the Apollo Bay golf course, before finally dead ending with the RV park. The 400 m through the park to the trailhead are where the gawking eyes and sizzling smells add extra torment to your workout.

The trail started out with a single-track dirt path through small overgrowth behind the beach. While for the majority of the first stretch the beach was hidden, small pockets of waves and sand would peak through the bush. After about 3 km, the beach became evident, and before I knew it, I was on a 200 m stretch of beach connecting two different parts of the trail. The next batch was similar to the first, with another stretch of beach connecting it with the following off-beach trail.

After a few rounds of beach 200 m repeats, I found myself navigating limestone boulders before charging up a steep hill. The inclined path lasted for about 700 m, before opening up to a beautiful panoramic view. Here the trail settled into flat land, followed by gradual downhill. After taking in the magnificent scenery, I decided the viewpoint was the perfect flipping point.

Though my time on the Great Ocean Walk Trail only lasted for about 7 km, the trail continues for miles, weaving over rolling hills and sandy beaches. The trail connects Apollo Bay to Shelly Beach, Blanket Bay, while finishing up at Port Lewis.