Great Ocean Road Coastal Trail

Great Ocean Road Coastal Trail

 Project background

We are proud to be partnered with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Parks Victoria and Traditional Owners in delivering an iconic, world-class new coastal trail along the Great Ocean Road. 

Walking on Gadubanud Country, Eastern Maar Nation

The idea of creating a coastal trail along the Great Ocean Road, joining all the various walking trails into one great walk, has been around for many years.

A feasibility study in 2019 assessed the potential of providing a walking trail that would link the Surf Coast Walk (that commences in Torquay) to the Great Ocean Walk (finishing at the Twelve Apostles). The findings included a significant economic benefit if visitors were given a reason to stay an extra night in the region.

Designing and planning a world-class walking experience with proposed features such as suspension bridges to provide amazing views and experiences is currently underway. We're working with DELWP, Parks Victoria and partners Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation to plan the trail according to the trail’s guiding principles. These include ensuring the trail respects and promotes the rich cultural heritage and natural values of the area and utilises existing tracks where possible.

The Victorian Government has provided $25.5 million to plan the entire trail (Fairhaven to Skenes Creek) and build the trail from Fairhaven to Grey River. The Australian Government is contributing $350,000 for planning and feasibility studies (Cumberland to Skenes Creek) through the Geelong City Deal. 

Economic benefits of the trail

The economic benefits of the trail for the Great Ocean Road Region have been independently forecast. An update has also been completed to take into account the impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The study, and the update, show the trail will provide strong economic benefits for Victoria. By encouraging more frequent and longer stays, the trail will also provide a lasting benefit for local communities and businesses across the Great Ocean Road Region.

Visitor numbers are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2023 (interstate) and 2025 (international).

Future trail management and land management

Most of the planned trail will be in the Great Otway National Park (Crown land) currently managed by Parks Victoria. The ongoing management of some or all of the trail will transfer to the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority in the future. 

Find out more

Latest project updates and further information can be found at: https://engage.vic.gov.au/project/trail-design/updates

Sml_Great Ocean Road Coastal Trail  

What engagement has been done to date?

Trail design and engagement steps to produce a Master Plan

Trail designers, World Trail, and the Great Ocean Road Coastal Trail project team have been working closely together since September 2021 to refine the trail design and produce a Master Plan. This process has been supported by an extensive stakeholder and community input process.

Online surveys and consultation events in October - November 2021 and March - April 2022 provided important and helpful feedback about the proposed trail, including:

  • Trail design principles
  • Ensuring environmental excellence
  • Trail alignment (four revisions of the alignment have been made)
  • Suspension bridges, lookouts and other trail features
  • Accessibility options
  • Camping
  • Car parks and getting to the trail options

Technical assessments to inform the design of the proposed route were conducted by World Trail and included fieldwork, geotechnical reports, engineering assessments, cultural heritage and environmental studies.

Find out more

The results of previous engagements and upcoming actvities can be found at: https://engage.vic.gov.au/trail-design

Latest updates

Final Draft Master Plan released, August 2022

In August 2022, we supported DELWP along with other project partners to present the Final Draft Master Plan for the Great Ocean Road Coastal Trail project to the community. Almost twelve months of work have led to its release. This included community and stakeholder engagement, an iterative process to refine the route and ground-truth (walk and inspect) the latest alignment, environmental and technical assessments, and project working groups to review and inform the trail design.

The Final Draft Master Plan delves into the detail of the proposed 90km walking trail to provide a comprehensive understanding of the proposed features, infrastructure requirements, walker experiences, and construction recommendations as well as an understanding of the impacts on cultural heritage, European historical elements, biodiversity and more.

Issuing the ‘final draft’ version allows the Master Plan to be considered by governing bodies and project partners, including the Authority, DELWP, Parks Victoria, Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation, and the Project Control Board.

Over 110 revisions were made to the trail alignment concept as a result of community feedback. It was great to share the outcomes with community members at our August events. 

Once endorsed, the Master Plan journey continues as it works its way through statutory approvals and detailed design. The detailed design process will include technical assessments (such as car park design and the application of road standards), more precise costings for the trail construction and associated infrastructure (e.g. campgrounds) and further cultural heritage, environmental and engineering assessments. This process will involve further community consultation.

Further revisions to the planned route may occur as a result of these additional assessments.

For further information, including a copy of the final Master Plan, visit: https://engage.vic.gov.au/trail-design

Latest trail alignment

The preferred trail alignment has now been inspected and walked in its entirety (ground-truthed) between Fairhaven and Grey River. As shown on the map below, the updated route has moved further inland in places, incorporating more of the Great Otway National Park.

Further information

If you have further comments or questions about the project, please speak with our team at info@greatoceanroadauthority.vic.gov.au or call 1300 736 533.