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The Great South West Walk

Great South West Walk Cape Nelson

The Great South West Walk winds through the diverse landscapes of Lower Glenelg National Park, Discovery Bay Coastal Park, Cobboboonee National Park and Cape Nelson State Park. Starting from the township of Portland in south west Victoria, the walk takes you on an unforgettable journey across rugged cliffs carved by the Southern Ocean, over remote beaches, past ancient, pristine lakes and through majestic, tall forest.

Memorable features include historic Cape Nelson Lighthouse, aboriginal heritage sites, the stunning Bridgewater Bay and the beautiful seaside village of Nelson, where the Glenelg River meets the sea.  Along the way you’ll discover a diverse variety of plants and wildlife such as koalas, kangaroos, Blue and Southern Right Whales, seals and a huge variety of native birds, including the Australasian Gannet.

The walk can be explored through shorter or overnight hikes, or the more adventurous can tackle the entire 250 kilometre, 12-day circular walk.  If you prefer to return to a comfortable bed in the evening, there are many easily accessible, short loop walks from many locations that are part of this trail. Either way, you are destined to experience some of Australia's most beautiful natural scenery and wildlife.

The walk is maintained through a partnership between volunteers from Friends of the Great South West Walk and Parks Victoria.

Visit the Friends website at to plan your walk and download maps and itineraries. This site also provides information on where to stay and useful information about natural features and wildlife and plants that you may see along the way. There are also many other opportunities to engage in other activities, such as canoe journeys along the Glenelg River, along this walk.

The Friends of the Great South West Walk offer the helpful service of a walker liaison co-ordinator who can provide advice during planning for your walk and prior to your arrival.

Booking your campsite

Prepare and plan for your walk by booking your campsite before you arrive.

Visit for more information on the different sites.

For bookings and information on camp fees go to

Great South West Walk coastGreat South West Walk forest

History of the walk

Attracting walkers for years, the walk’s concept came from the local volunteers who became known as the 'Friends of the Great South West Walk Inc' in the 1980’s. This very passionate and enthusiastic group have built, maintained and promoted the Great South West Walking partnership with Parks Victoria ever since.

For further information about the group or how to become a volunteer visit or register at