When travelling the Great Ocean Road and discovering its touristy treasures, most have in mind the Twelve Apostles, Lorne or the Otway Rainforest. Making a beeline for these destinations is nothing short of a memorable experience, but the hidden gems of the Great Ocean Road are worthy of some attention and forethought, to get the most out of what can easily be a once in lifetime journey.
The Great Ocean offers some of the more exceptional views of pristine coastline in Australia. But have you heard about Gibson’s Steps, where you can experience an up close look at million-year-old limestone structures jutting from the Southern Seas. What about Loch Ard Gorge, climbing down the steep steps into what can only be described as a magical gorge, inspiring childhood surprise, even in the more cynical adult? Most haven’t heard about the Great Ocean Road Walk, boasting its majestic cliffs and Rivernook Beach.
The Great Ocean Road Walk in particular, is a new world of surprises. Divulging four hidden beaches along the way, these reasonably short to medium walks are perfect for those wanting to get away from it all.
Milanesia Beach is located southwest of the Lavers Hill township. This 14km walk will lead you straight to pristine beaches well hidden. The most difficult section of the walk, its undulating areas via the Johana Beach to Ryans Den walk, will offer rugged cliffs, farmland and the beaches of Milanesia.
Driving east along the Old Coach Road from Princetown direction, you will find a narrow track from the Great Ocean Walk. Follow this short walk down to Rivernook for some fishing, surfing or simple R & R.
Parker Inlet can be found off Blanket Bay Rd. This area is suited for a quiet swim or just meandering around to enjoy the freshwater river running into the bay.
The fourth beach along the Great Ocean Road Walk is Station Beach. Located 90 minutes’ walk from the western side of Cape Otway, this beach will suit the explorer. Isolated in a scenic location, you can opt to fossick for treasures or explore the beautiful rock ledges of Rainbow Falls.
Whatever you choose to do on your Great Ocean Road Tour, be sure to hunt out some of the lesser known locations. The Great Ocean Road Walk is just one of many options that will continue to leave you spellbound, making you return year after year for more coastal hidden gems of the Great Ocean Road.
The author, Russell Calvert lives in Australia and runs the private tour company Bush To Ocean Road Tours.