Overview

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is assessing the value, benefits and options for a coastal walking and/or cycling trail between Fairhaven and Skenes Creek, in Victoria’s Great Ocean Road region.

The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations. It attracts millions of visitors each year, supporting local communities and the economy.

This study will focus on the 60 kilometres of coastline between Fairhaven and Skenes Creek.

The Fairhaven to Skenes Creek Coastal Trail Study will:

  • consider potential opportunities and challenges associated with trail development
  • identify a feasible route and develop concept designs
  • assess social, economic and environmental benefits of a trail
  • estimate construction costs.

It will investigate how new sections of trail could connect with existing and already planned trails to provide a network of coastal walks from Torquay to Apollo Bay.

Study area

Study area

Comment on a draft trail concept

Please use the survey below to comment on the draft trail concept. You can find information and maps in the document library to learn more and help develop your feedback.

Specialist trail designers have undertaken desktop assessments and field work to identify route options and develop a draft trail concept. They have considered:

  • feedback from government agencies, councils, community and business groups, user groups, residents and visitors
  • connections to and use of existing trails
  • connections to townships
  • land ownership
  • local typography and environment

Design development is still at an early stage and your feedback will be used to help inform recommendations for the trail's route and potential future development.

Community Survey

Have your say on the draft trail concept. This survey will close at midnight on Sunday 4 August.
1. The following key principles were used to guide development of the draft concept design. Do you support these principles?
Strongly support
Somewhat support
Neutral
Somewhat oppose
Strongly oppose
Deliver an iconic and world-class user experience to attract longer-stay visitors
Use existing trails where possible to minimise environmental impacts and cost
Accommodation and facilities are provided in townships to drive economic benefit to these areas
Provide a mix of hinterland and coastal trail to showcase the diverse landscapes and natural beauty

2) Do you have any suggestions for how the draft trail concept could be improved?

Please provide feedback on suggested improvements, any opportunities we’ve missed, or areas to avoid, for the sections that are important to you.

(Larger maps available to download in the document library)

Draft concept map for a walking trail starting in Fairhaven and finishing in Lorne in the Great Ocean Road region
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(Larger maps available to download in the document library)

Draft concept map for a walking trail starting in Lorne and finishing in Wye River in the Great Ocean Road region
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(Larger maps available to download in the document library)

Draft concept map for a walking trail starting in Wye River and finishing in Cape Patton in the Great Ocean Road region
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(Larger maps available to download in the document library)

Draft concept map for a walking trail starting in Cape Patton and finishing in Skenes Creek in the Great Ocean Road region
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(Larger maps available to download in the document library)

Draft concept map for mountain biking trails that connect with Forrest, Fairhaven, Lorne and Wye River in the Great Ocean Road region
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3) Do you have any comments or suggestions about these four key options, opportunities and challenges to support further concept design development?

Option A - Fairhaven to Lorne alternative route

The yellow dotted line shows an alternative route for one section of trail between Fairhaven and Lorne. The key features of this option are:

  • A shorter route
  • Requires new trail vs using existing trail
  • Enhanced user experience, single-track, easier walk
  • More separation between walkers and bikes
  • Greater cost, possible environmental impacts from new trail construction and use.
Draft concept map for an alternative section of trail between Fairhaven and Lorne which travels less inland and is more direct than the base route
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Option B - Cumberland River to Jamieson Creek coastal alternative route

The yellow dotted line shows an alternative route along the coast for one section of trail between Cumberland River and Jamieson Creek. The key features of this option are:

  • Takes walkers along a coastal trail rather than through the hinterland
  • A shorter route
  • Coastal experience vs hinterland and suspension bridge experience
  • Greater cost, possible environmental impacts from construction of structures along coast.
Draft concept map for an alternative section of trail between Cumberland River and Jamieson Creek which follows the Great Ocean Road and travels along the coast
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Key opportunity: Suspension bridge

There is an opportunity to build one or more iconic suspension bridges on the trail between Lorne and Wye River. Three possible locations have been identified - these are marked on the map below.

  • Exciting and fun experience
  • Greater cost, possible construction impacts
Draft concept map which shows three potential locations for suspension bridges between Lorne and Wye River in the Great Ocean Road region
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Key challenge: Cape Patton to Skenes Creek

The conditions in this area are particularly challenging.

  • An inland route that avoids private land is too long and diminishes the user experience
  • The coastal route identified would need engineered structures (e.g. boardwalk - example pictured below) that are challenging and costly to build
  • We will need to consider the cost and potential impacts against the benefits.
Image of a boardwalk, which is the type of technical structure required for this section of trail to be feasible if it travels along the coast
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What we've heard so far

During community discussions in June, we spoke to local residents and visitors to the area about potential opportunities and challenges and to understand their vision for this trail.

We held four community sessions in Melbourne, Wye River, Lorne and Apollo Bay and people also shared their ideas online. Altogether we received 200 survey submissions.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and suggestions with us. This feedback has been important in developing the design principles and a draft trail concept.

Your Trail Vision