The Great Ocean Road region possesses some of the most spectacular nature-based experiences in Australia. From rainforests, rivers and waterfalls, the region showcases nature at its most diverse.
New dedicated walking paths will allow visitors to 'tread lightly’ and safely, leaving minimal impact as they connect with this beautiful, delicate, and culturally significant landscape.
Once completed, approximately 90km of existing and new trails will link up the Surf Coast Walk (https://www.surfcoastwalk.com.au/) and the Great Ocean Walk (https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/places-to-see/parks/great-otway-national-park/things-to-do/great-ocean-walk)
Up to five suspension bridges will offer new visitor experiences and provide multiple 'all seasons’ walking activities for locals and tourists to enjoy the region while appreciating the continuing Aboriginal heritage of Eastern Maar Country.
It will provide experiences from a 4-6-days long hike, half-day walks and shorter loop trails.
The trail will also include multiple suspension bridges, providing never before seen views.
Once complete, it’s expected the Great Ocean Road Coastal Trail will significantly increase visitor spend in the region.
The trails aim to attract visitors to the Otway Coast region more evenly across the seasons, benefiting the local tourism economy year-round.
These localised experiences will provide opportunities to extend and enhance visitation in the region in a new way.
Planning and construction of the Great Ocean Road Coastal Trail is led by the DELWP, with ongoing management eventually transferring to the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority (https://www.greatoceanroadauthority.vic.gov.au) – who protect and manage visitation of the Great Ocean Road coast and parks with the aim of providing a sustainable coastline and exceptional eco-tourism experiences for locals and visitors.
Background & Project History
A walkable trail to improve linkages between communities by connecting the Surf Coast and Great Ocean Walks – was advocated for by the Wye River, Separation Creek and Kennett River community after the 2015 Christmas Day bushfire.
The initial concept has since evolved into a 'series of trails’ to provide multiple, all seasons walking experiences that are connected to local townships, linking them together and extending tourism opportunities throughout the year.
With feasibility studies completed, planning is now underway with the trails to be constructed in stages over two years during 2023 and 2024.
Walking on Gadabunud Country
This project brings together government agencies and Traditional Owners, the Eastern Maar Peoples, to work on Country in designing and constructing the trails that will ultimately make up the Great Ocean Road Coastal Trail.
The ancient and fragile cultural landscapes of the Otway Coast are rich in Aboriginal values. Working with Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation to ensure the Great Ocean Road Coastal Trail acknowledges a balanced history of the region, while supporting Traditional Owners to create opportunities to actively shape the future of their traditional lands, waterways, and seas.
Development of a Trail Masterplan commenced in October 2021.
The Masterplan will finalise the trail's route, incorporating indigenous stories and landmarks, and the location of infrastructure required such as lookouts, boardwalks, bridges, river crossings, carparks and day visitor areas.
It will also identify suitable locations for the trail's suspension bridges and how it can incorporate and support existing assets and businesses in towns along the route.
For more information on community consultation, go to https://engage.vic.gov.au/trail-design
September 2021 – Trail Masterplan Consultant announced
September / October 2021 – community consultation begins
2021 - Trail Planning and Design Report developed, informing planning, approvals, and construction stages of project
2022 – planning and approvals
2023-2024 - construction
More detailed timelines for each phase of construction will be provided following completion of the Trail Masterplan.
Want to know more?
Contact the project team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read about the Apollo Bay to Skenes Creek Coastal Trail
Learn more about the Otway Coast’s Traditional Owners – The Eastern Maar People
Page last updated: 12/10/21