March 10th, 2010

Great Great Ocean Walk

by Alex Hallatt

I’m running a little behind on my work this week, as last week the boyf and I took time out to hike part of the Great Ocean Walk with our friend, Clare. We did a 3 day section from Johanna Beach to Princetown and stayed overnight in 3 campsites, so had to carry all our camping gear – about 15 kilos each until we started drinking the wine and eating the food. We were lucky with the weather, having only some light rain when we walked and some sun when it counted. My favourite part was Milanesia Beach and it was a shame that all the camp sites had to be so far from the beaches, as I would have enjoyed a few more swims.

The Start...or so we thought. Timboon taxi had actually driven us past the start which we had to walk back to.

Johanna Beach from the walk in campsite

The first campsite at sunrise

The meandering Johanna River looks like a geography lesson

Going Up...actually an easier part of the first day's walking

The first two to three hours of the walk are along fairly flat terrain shared with the occasional vehicle

The closest we got to seeing an echidna

We saw quite a few wallabies and a kangaroo, but I was surprised not to see more wildlife on the walk. We were warned by the kind lady who provides free water to walkers (we needed it – one of our water bottles had fallen out in the taxi and the first day of walking was in the high 20 degrees C – very warm) that the section up to Ryan’s Den (a hard slog, up and down narrow tracks through bush – not the 1.5 hour doddle suggested by the sign!) was a common snake hangout and she was right. The boyf and Clare were surprised by a 2-3 foot tiger snake that was crossing the path, but then lunged up towards them. I missed the action, but was told that they surprised themselves at how fast they could run uphill with their packs on…

The Fabulous Water Stop

This was a small snake seen just after the big scary one!

The water at Milanesia Beach was refreshing in the heat...

The mudstones at Milanesia Beach

The water was crystal clear

Milanesia had endless beach art

This rock looked like a dolphin from the other direction but doing a turtle here.

Leaving Milanesia

sploosh

Any later and we wouldn't have made it around this one

We were lucky enough to do the walk in the middle of blackberry season

Brambles

Campsite Two

Sunset at Ryan's Den

Day 2 of walking started with a lot of up and down but got easier

Australian Bush(es)

Moonlight Head taken with a self-timer - we were the only ones on the walk for the entire 3 days!

Beautiful Gum Tree on right

Our 2kg Habitat tent worked out great even in the rain at Devil's Kitchen

Wreck Beach - similar view to the one from the awesome loo

Loo with a view

Wreck Beach

Rambling towards Princetown on day three of walking

Princetown in sight

After beer and hot chips we drove on to see the 12 Apostles before heading home

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