Royal Flying Doctor Service 12 Apostles Challenge

A guided lodge based walk along Victoria’s spectacular Great Ocean Road

Challenge Highlights

  • Make a valuable donation of $2,000 to the Royal Flying Doctor Service by being apart of this challenge
  • Twelve Apostles Walk is a trip of the Great Walks of Australia
  • Trek through Eucalypt forests with native rosemary, cushion plants and wild flowers in season
  • View the mighty limestone Apostles from the Gables Lookout, one of Australia’s highest cliff-top vistas
  • Spend your evenings at the 12 Apostles Walking Lodge, a stunning eco-lodge with Chef prepared meals
  • Finish the trip with a stunning ten minute 12 Apostles Scenic Helicopter Flight for unparalleled views of this amazing coast


Want to trek in support of the Royal Flying Doctor Service? By joining this challenge your $2,000 donation is included in the trip costs. This fully guided four day walking adventure takes in the rugged beauty of the world famous Twelve Apostles, allowing your to escape the hustle and bustle of life and fully rejuvinate your senses in just four short days. Departing from Melbourne, this trip offers different options for more or less walking each day to satify your desire for moderate or challenging walking. Destinations include Johanna Beach, Moonlight Head, The Gables, Wreck Beach and of course the stunning Twelve Apostles. Over four amazing days, you will sample the most picturesque stages of the trail, walking past dramatic coastal terrain. Chef prepared meals, transfers from Melbourne, a stunning eco-lodge and great gear are all provided.

Challenge Grade

The Great Ocean Walk is an Introductory to Moderate graded walk. It involves walking with a light day pack through undulating country for up to 7 hours a day at a moderate to steady pace. To enjoy this tour you will need a reasonable level of fitness.

We suggest that at least 6 – 8 weeks prior to the walk, you begin walking for at least one hour each day at a reasonable pace. Speed is not the essence to bushwalking, rather stamina and confidence in your own abilities. Continuously walking at a steady pace is better than racing ahead and running out of steam before the end. We would strongly suggest that some hill walking be included in your preparation.

To prepare, take every opportunity to walk instead of driving the car, and take the stairs where possible or walk up hills to build leg strength and fitness.

Some may benefit from using walking poles to conserve energy along the way.


The wait is finally over! Whether you're meeting at Southbank Travelodge at 7.45 am or meeting at the Twelve Apostles walking lodge at 10:30 am. On arrival, we will come together for our trek briefing over a delicious morning tea. We will discuss the walking terrain and a gear fit out, providing an opportunity to change for those not already in their walking gear. From here, it’s a 10 minute transfer to Castle Cove to start your challenge. Leaving the Great Ocean Road behind us, the afternoon begins amongst tea-tree with regular cliff top ocean vistas before entering an enchanting grass tree forest. Soon after, drop down onto Johanna Beach for two kilometres of soft sand walking with the ocean only metres from your feet. A great opportunity to take off your boots and enjoy barefoot. Cross Johanna River (may need to take boots off) and make your way to the end of the beach.

Meals:  L,D

The most challenging day on the trail, you will be rewarded with the most visually spectacular and isolated sections of the Great Ocean Walk – ‘the wild side’. After a beach stroll, we turn upwards for a short, but steep climb that sets the tone for the trail ahead. The trail is dissected by gullies before a gradual climb, which delivers fabulous views back over Melanesia. Rough tree ferns and stands of remnant Eucalypts dot the path before an ascent of 138 steps. The trail continues in a westerly direction until a steady climb leads us out of the forest and into Ryans Den campsite. Be rewarded with superb views of the coast to both CapeVolney and Cape Otway; an ideal place to reflect on your journey so far. The walk from here rises and falls many times as it parallels the coastline before cutting along the ridge behind Cape Volney, providing breathtaking views, this time to the west. A final seated look out provides a magnificent vantage point, only 100 metres from today’s endpoint.

Meals:  B,L,D

It’s a 30 minute transfer back to Moonlight Head this morning. The first four and half kilometres (one hour) of walking provides a contrast from the coast. We'll trek through the quiet forest on a beautifully graded track before opening onto The Gables lookout: One of the highest cliff top lookouts on Australia’s mainland. Tide dependent, you will drop onto Wreck Beach - wilder days will give an insight into the cauldron-like ocean at this part of the coast. A high tide option will follow a country lane to the same lunch vantage point. Stunning coastal views to the west this afternoon provide the incentive to keep moving forward. The topography and geology change to the pale limestone and scrubby flora more recognisable as coastal. This afternoon is flat, walking that finishes on the banks of the Gellibrand River at the sleepy hamlet of Princetown. Transfer back to Twelve Apostles Walking Lodge for a well deserved celebratory dinner and a relaxing evening.

Meals:  B,L,D

Enjoy your final morning at Twelve Apostles walking lodge. After another scrumptious breakfast, there’s a final pack up, check out and lodge farewell as we again head west to Princetown. The Apostles emerge on slow reveal as the trail rises and falls along the coastline. There is a viewing lookout exclusively for walkers before the final stretch of trail into the 12 Apostles Visitors Centre. You’ve made it! Now take to the skies with a stunning ten minute 12 Apostles Scenic Helicopter Flight for an unparalleled view of this amazing coast. We’ll then move on to the nearby town of Port Campbell for lunch before returning to Melbourne. Airport transfers are available on request.

Meals:  B,L

What's Included

  • $2,000 Donation to Royal Flying Doctor Service
  • 3 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners
  • professional naturalist guide, driver and support staff
  • accommodation, linen and towels
  • use during the trip of a day pack and water bottle, gaiters and poles, weatherproof jacket and over pants, if necessary
  • all entrance and national park fees
  • emergency communications and group first aid kit
  • return transfers Melbourne/Twelve Apostles Walking Lodge/Melbourne
  • airport drop off on Day 4 is available on request
  • helicopter flight over 12 Apostles

What's Not Included

  • Airfares
  • Accommodation in Melbourne prior and post trip
  • Items of personal nature such as laundry and postage
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Travel Insurance

What You Carry

  • A 25 litre day pack will be available for your use at the beginning of the tour. This will fit a weatherproof jacket, your lunch box, snacks, a fleece jumper, a small camera and water bottle (all provided for use during the trip). These packs have been designed to support a two litre water bladder which you are welcome to bring if you have one.
  • Packs will be collected at the end of the trip.
  • You are welcome to bring your own day pack if you have a particular favourite.

Fundraising Impact

RFDS remain dedicated to spreading Australia’s excellent medical skills and services beyond our major cities. Today, our national fleet consists of 69 planes fully outfitted with state-of-the-art medical retrieval equipment. Thanks to your support, this number is growing each year. Last year right here in Victoria, we bought the rural women’s GP service to two new locations, reached 119 new patients through telehealth access and our mobile dental can brought vital dental services to rural communities throughout the state. Across Australia from 2016 – 2017, the Flying Doctor helped someone every 2 minutes of every day:

• 70,576 patients transported by road

• 36,933 patients transported by air

• 333,825 total patient contacts

• 88,541 telehealth consultations

• 16,359 nurse, GP and dental clinics conducted

• 26 million kilometres flown by our fleet

Travel Dates

Fast Facts

Trip Dates: DepartReturn
 25 Feb 202028 Feb 2020
Duration:4 Days
Charity Challenge
Grade:Introductory to Moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:RFS
Registration Fee:USD$160
Travel Cost:USD$160

RFDS remain dedicated to spreading Australia’s excellent medical skills and services beyond our major cities.