We have visited a lot of towns on our travels, but few take their walking as seriously as Apollo Bay. Not only is the town the starting point of the 110km Great Ocean Walk that that weaves its way along the coast to the 12 Apostles, but there are also signs around Apollo Bay reminding you to do 10,000 steps a day.
You should have no trouble reaching that fitness goal. Apollo Bay has easy, well-signed and beautiful walks everywhere you look. While some of the walks overlap a bit, they are varied enough to offer something for everyone from families and nature lovers to anyone who likes to stretch their legs
Here are some of our favourite walks in Apollo Bay. We have also included a couple of walks near Apollo Bay that get you into the Otway Rainforest.
Disclosure: Please Note That Some Links In This Post May Be Affiliate Links, And At No Additional Cost To You, We Earn A Small Commission If You Make A Purchase. Commissions Go Toward Maintaining The Curious Campers Website.
Apollo Bay Coastal Trail
This well signed walk leaves from near the Apollo Bay Visitor Centre and heads east. It is an easy walk along the coast taking in Apollo Bay Beach for the first half of the walk. There are a couple of viewing platforms along the way where you can take in the views.
There are two turn around points for the path. The first is Marriners Lookout Road – a return walk of 2.8km. Or you can keep going to Wild Dog Creek – a return walk of 5.0km
For a lot of the walk, you stroll between a thin strip of coastal vegetation which is home to lots of birdlife. In fact, the Coastal Trail incorporates one of the Apollo Bay Shore Bird Trails.
You are supposed to be able to use QR codes to get information about the birdlife at points along the walk. We couldn’t get it working for our walk – not sure if it was the QR codes or user error on our part!
Wild Dog Creek is a pretty spot where the creek meets the beach.
Apollo Bay to Skenes Creek Walk
If you get to Wild Dog Creek and want to take in more beautiful coastal scenery, you can keep going to Skenes Creek.
This 10km return walk follows the coast along a dirt track. Dogs are allowed on leash, and you only have the odd minor incline to negotiate. There is a lovely beach at Skenes Creek, a caravan park but nowhere to grab a coffee or drink so if you are doing the longer walk take some supplies.
Apollo Bay to Marriners Lookout
If you want a walk with a great reward, this is it. Marriners Lookout has fantastic views over Apollo Bay and Marengo.
From the Visitor Centre it is a 7.5km return walk but you can join the path anywhere along the Apollo Bay Coastal Trail. Turn onto Mariners Lookout Road and it follow it for 1.5km to the Marriners Lookout Carpark then you have a 700m walk to the lookout. The walk up Marriners Hill Road is uphill and will get your heart rate up. Remember, you do get to walk back down!
If you want to get to the lookout the easy way, drive to the carpark and from there it is a 700m walk to the viewing area – a paddock on the side of a hill.
Dogs are not permitted at Marriners Lookout.
Apollo Bay Sculpture Walk
If you want to explore the Apollo Bay Foreshore this a relaxing way to do it. Starting from the visitor centre, you can follow a flat gravel track that weaves its way towards the playground and skate park. Along the way you will see several wooden sculptures representing the marine life around the bay.
This easy 1 – 1.5km loop trail keeps you off the beach and takes you past sites like the Speculant Anchor Memorial and a nice playground. The sculptures have amazing detail when you see them up close, and the carved bench near the playground is a good spot to relax.
Apollo Bay Harbour Walk
This is a popular walk that you can do between the main street of Apollo Bay and Apollo Bay Harbour. There are a couple of ways to get to the harbour. You can either walk on the beach, following it around to the breakwater. Or you can walk through the parks and reserves along the foreshore, turning towards the harbour at the golf course.
The highlight of the walk, besides the scenery, is stopping at the Apollo Bay Fishing Co-op for a meal or drink. You sit outside and look across the harbour which is a nice view. You can also walk out beside the breakwater to get a closer look at the fishing boats.
We turned this into a loop walk, going out via the beach and back along the parks. It is an easy walk. It is roughly a 2km loop or return walk buy the time you look around the harbour.
Apollo Bay History Trail
Heritage trails are a popular feature of any town, and you don’t miss out at Apollo Bay. There is a 10 stop history walk that covers an area between the Visitor Centre and the breakwater by Apollo Bay Harbour. Sites include the Long Pier, hotels, shipwreck memorials and significant buildings.
In fact, you will cover most of the stops if you do the above mentioned Harbour Walk following the main road around to the Apollo Bay Golf Course. It is an easy 2km return walk. Check at the Visitor Centre for a map, or you can view the map online.
Apollo Bay – Marengo Reef Marine Sanctuary
If you want to get a taste of the Great Ocean Walk, you can try the 2.8km section between Apollo Bay and Marengo. For casual walkers you can go as far as the beautiful Marengo Reef Marine Sanctuary. Along the way you cross the Barham River and follow Mounts Bay around to Marengo.
This is an easy walk, and it includes the second Shorebird Trail if you want to see if the QR codes are working. Whether you have luck with them or not, in spring you will see signs reporting where hooded plover nests have been spotted in the dunes.
If you want to really stretch your legs, continue along the Great Ocean Trail to the Shelly Beach Car Park. It is worth popping down to Shelly Beach for the forest walk and to see the rock pools. It is 8.75km to Shelly Beach from Apollo Bay. The walk gets hillier after Marengo.
Shelly Beach Walk
This is one of the walks you can do that is just beyond Apollo Bay (unless you walk there via Marengo as described above). We did this walk by driving from Apollo Bay to the Shelly Beach Car Park. You then have a moderate 2km return walk to Shelly Beach.
This is a great walk that begins with a trek through rainforest before you pop out at Shelly Beach. The beach is a stunning spot with lots of rock pools to explore.
From the same car park, you can also do the 4.5km Elliott River Loop Walk. Just check the tide before you set off, you need to do this hike at low tide.
We had a great time exploring Shelly Beach, it is a nice short walk for families. Read our Shelly Beach walking guide here.
Mait’s Rest Walk
This is another short walk you can do that that is less than a 20 minute drive from Apollo Bay along the Great Ocean Road. This short 800m loop walk is an easy and relaxing way to experience the sights and sounds of the Otway Rainforest.
There are plenty of spots to stop and take in the forest around this easy loop. This is also a fun walk for families as there are several amazing sites along the way.
We popped in here late in the day and had the place to ourselves and found it was a great place to unwind. Read more about Mait’s Rest in our guide.
More Walks Near Apollo Bay
If you don’t mind a drive to get to a walk, check out these other fun short walks you can do in the area. We have done them all, read our guides to them here.
- Melba Gully Walk – 1.5km moderate loop – Explore more of the Great Otway National Park rainforests, and if you are here after dark, you might see some glow worms!
- Wreck Beach Shipwreck Walk – 2.5km moderate/hard return walk – if you can handle the 375 steps down to and up from the beach this is a great adventure.
- Little Aire Falls Walk – 4.5km moderate return walk – This was our favourite waterfall walk near Apollo Bay, the forest and waterfall were amazing. You can do the 2km Triplet Falls Loop walk from the same car park.
- Beauchamp Falls – 2.5km moderate return walk. This is a shorter walk than the Little Aire Falls track but the forest and waterfall is just as good. There are 100+ steps to climb.
If you enjoyed this story you might also like:
Liked it? Pin it for Later…
500 THINGS TO DO
Join our mailing list and receive our Free Top 500 things to do in Australia. If you love the Australian Outdoors download this list and keep it handy when you are planning a weekend away or a road trip around Australia.