Any day of the year for a minimum of two people booking together (subject to availability)
Responsible tourism: Great Ocean Walk self guided tour, Australia
Minimal impact walking: We lead by example and encourage others to follow. We believe that we are doing our job well when our customers leave a tour having had a fabulous, fun filled holiday but also come away with a broader appreciation of and respect for the natural environment. Ideally they come to walk and leave as ambassadors for the environment. We stay on formed tracks, avoid trampling vegetation, insist that all rubbish is carried out, pick up rubbish left by others. Group sizes on self-guided trips are usually only two. On group guided trips the maximum size is 15 but there are two guides so we can split into smaller parties, limiting our impact.
We plan our walks to utilise toilets wherever possible and if not available, we provide clear instruction on burying waste and carrying out any sanitary items. We view wildlife from a distance and never feed native animals. We do not light fires in the bush and we do not allow people to smoke on walks. Our motto is “Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but photos and a piece of someone else’s rubbish”.
We donate money to the Friends of Otway National Park – these funds are used to assist with regeneration work in the Great Ocean Walk area. We’re fortunate to be based in one of the most spectacular natural regions in the world - the Grampians National Park. Yes, the kangaroos really do hop by the windows! Our office is very energy efficient with its passive solar design, double glazing, rainwater tanks, solar hot water, evaporative cooling, green power and a worm farm for sewerage waste. We adopt a reduce, reuse then recycle policy wherever possible.
Spend two nights at a Centre for Conservation where injured native animals are cared for, before being released into the wild. You may see orphaned joeys (baby kangaroos) being hand-fed or an injured koala sleeping in front of the log fire in the lounge room.
On the Great Ocean Walk, we employ local guides and drivers. As we are a small company, in some areas the guiding is done by Phil and I, the owners of the company. All guides undergo our comprehensive training program and this is tailored to each individual’s needs. It covers areas such as safety, first aid, group management, minimal impact techniques, environmental interpretation, cultural considerations.
Stay with locals in local communities. Wherever possible, the meals you are provided with will be sourced from local produce. Visit the Cape Otway Lightstation precinct and join a local for a tour of the historic lighthouse tower.
On our trips we stay in comfortable local accommodation properties with lots of character. Each one has been personally selected by the owners. It could be an historic guesthouse, comfortable B&B, cosy home-stay, seaside cottage, alpine ski lodge, resort hotel, a luxurious Ecolodge or country motel. When we use motels, we look for small, family-run places in attractive locations. Occasionally, remote locations mean that the only accommodation available is simple in nature, such as lighthouse keepers’ cottages and outback cattle stations, but the ones we select have character and ambience that more than compensates for star ratings. Good food is an important aspect of all our trips. Meals are plentiful, nutritious, wholesome and wherever possible offer local ingredients or specialties. No matter which holiday you choose, the accommodation and meals will add an interesting local flavour to your experience.
Wherever possible we incorporate quality local tourism experiences into our walking holidays. Examples include bush tucker walks with indigenous people, tours of historic lightstation precincts, lake or river cruises, snorkelling with marine biologists etc.
Visit the Cape Otway Lightstation precinct and join a local for a tour of the historic lighthouse tower and stay for two nights in the historic lighthouse keepers’ cottages.
Reviews of Great Ocean Walk self guided tour, Australia
You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.
I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 20 Dec 2016 by Alan Sherbrooke
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Sue and I had a wonderful time on this 8 Day Self Guided Great Ocean Walk. This was our first trip with the holiday provider and our first trip to Australia. We live in Seattle, Washington, USA and are looking forward to returning and doing more trips with holiday provider , which we highly recommend. Before the trip, Amy at the holiday provider was very helpful and informative. We had requested dates which conflicted with a holiday weekend in Melbourne and did not permit us to follow the holiday providers usual itinerary for this trip, but Amy went the extra mile and made our dates work very nicely. It was more work and expense for the holiday provider , but Amy handled our every question and request with grace and speed. We arrived in Australia (after thirty hours of travel from Seattle) and found our final package from the holiday provider waiting for us in our hotel room, just as promised. the holiday provider were the key to this self-guided trip and they were excellent – and occasionally amusing. The notes gave us very detailed walking instructions and quickly put to rest any concerns I might have had about hiking half a world away from home. They made the logistics and housekeeping of hiking sixty miles/100 Km effortless. (The notes also come in an excellent waterproof case, which I intend to keep and use in Washington’s Cascades for many years.) The accommodations and food exceeded expectations on all counts. The holiday provider selected very pleasant places to stay on the walk and the proprietors were all friendly and helpful without being intrusive. Our rooms were clean, comfortable and occasionally quite spacious. The food was tasty, fresh, healthy and abundant. It was a wonderful trip – even in weather which was “a bit wild.” The walk itself was scenic and in many instances a little remote. The trail takes you along parts of the coast which you would never see from a car. The trail was not at all crowded and while it would be possible to backpack it, we found it much nicer to sleep in real beds, eat real food and meet interesting and wonderful Australians like our hosts and drivers. We enthusiastically recommend the Great Ocean Walk with the holiday provider.
Alan and Sue Sherbrooke November 2016
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Definitely. Conversations with our driver, Scott, made it clear that the holiday provider was supporting the communities along the Great Ocean Walk.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?