Great Ocean Walk Stage Four
Start: Cape Otway
Finish: Aire River hike-in campsite
Duration: 4 hrs
The Great Ocean Walk Stage Four starts at the historic Cape Otway Lighthouse carpark, and finishes at the Aire River Bridge (and my favourite camping spot, but that's another story). This section of the walk is one of my favourites, and includes the Cape Otway Cemetery, Rainbow Falls (as a separate side trip), isolated beaches and the stunning Aire Valley.
From the carpark, follow the signs north to the Cape Otway Cemetery, passing an impressive lookout to the Cape Otway lightstation, and also the hike in campsite along the way. If you're looking to see some Koalas, they are often sighted in the manna gum trees at the Campsite. The Cemetery is a small clearing which contains the graves of light keepers' and their families, and shipwrecked sailors. The before mentioned lookout displays the story of one such shipwreck, the SS City of Rayville.
From the cemetery, you take in sand hills followed by stunning ocean views as you walk along the cliff tops high above the waves. This is a particularly stunning and rugged stretch of coastline, with some side tracks and vantage points for potentially stunning ocean photography (the photographer talking again!).
You'll reach a junction where the Great Ocean Walk track splits left to Station Beach, or inland to the right. You may notice horse tracks on the track to the right, heading back up the hill. This heads back to Bimbi Park, where you can take a horse riding tour.
At Station Beach, you can choose to turn left and walk back along the beach to Rainbow Falls, a 3km diversion, or turn right and continue along the beach.
You eventually arrive at Aire River and head inland along a sandy 4WD track to the Aire River Bridge. You will get glimpses of the river moth along the way (looking over your shoulder) which are simply stunning. This whole valley is stunning; I have many fond childhood camping memories of this place, and it's a highlight of the Great Ocean Walk.
Great Ocean Walk Stage Four --> Great Ocean Road Homepage
Great Ocean Walk Stage Four --> Great Ocean Walk Page
Next: Great Ocean Road Stage Five
Great Ocean Walk Stage Five