Day 5 – Joanna to Ryan’s Den – Great Ocean Walk

We were fairly slow off the mark each morning, and today was no different. Deb again headed off in the car to meet us at Ryan’s Den. The rest of us threw on our packs which were getting a bit lighter by now and took off with the aim of reaching Ryan’s Den with plenty of daylight left in the day.

Below is a picture of the very brave cattle that graze this area. They have big “ups” and “down’s” to contend with in their lives.

We hit Milanesia Beach following (in my opinion) a fairly boring inland dirt road and 4WD track section. Below is our lunch spot…very nice.

At this spot there is a very pretty cottage tucked away in a small valley. This is private property, please don’t hassle the owners.








The beach walking here was pretty good as the sand was not too soft and the wind had dropped since yesterday. We headed off up hill at the first GOW track arrow and had to do a fairly steep hill climb and then another steep down. We discovered if we had continued up the beach there was another GOW arrow up a track that would have saved the previous up and down. We were then faced with a fairly large climb up both track and stairs to reach Ryan’s Den Camping area. This seemed a long, long way and finally, after a couple of false starts we reached the camp sites.

Deb, our camp host, had not long arrived and boy were we glad to see her ever cheery face. This was another spectacular position and at the very end of the sites was a great lookout where we were able to take many sunset photo’s and Helen and Deb got up early in the cold and took some of the sunrise.

That night, just on dusk, two other parties arrived (we remembered it was Friday) They were the first GOW walkers we had seen. Thankfully, even thought we had not camped in our allocated sites, these new people were happy to pick any site and camp the night. (Note to selves, we should have camped in the allocated sites)

Related Posts on the Great Ocean Walk
Blanket Bay hikers shelter
Our Hiking Blog goes “lightweight” at Blanket Bay
Drinking water on the Great Ocean Walk
Great Ocean Walk – the start
Marengo to Blanket Bay
Blanket Bay to Cape Otway Lightstation
Lightstation to Aire River
Aire River to Joanna
Ryans Den to Devils Kitchen
Devils Kitchen to The Gables


  1. Mary Beale says

    I am making a comment regarding the Melanesia beach hut.

    This beach hut is just over 100 years old and belongs to me and my extended family. It was built by one of my early relatives who used it and the area around for sheep farming. Ever since it has been a holiday home for our family. We made a deal with parks to keep it there.

    The Melanesia beach hut is PRIVATE PROPERTY.

    The reason I am emphasising this is beacause hikers, and visitors to the beach often approach the hut and hassle the family staying there asking for cups of tea, or digging holes around the hut for pooing in. Not very nice.

    A lot of people also inquire about whether the hut is for sale/lease. NO, the melanesia beach hut is a family destination. NOT A BED AND BREAKFAST. The deal we made with parks was that the beach hut gets to stay and the area around it becomes PRIVATE PROPERTY. We are so adamant on this because we have had (and caught in the act sometimes) hikers and visitors to the beach trying to break into the hut and the composting toilet to take things and use the facilities. Breaking windows and door handles in the process.

    Just a note to hikers and visitors to the beach that taking photos is acceptable, but please don’t approach the beach hut. And DO NOT hassle the family there. How would any of you enjoy it if i came to your house and dug a hole in your front yard and took a dump in it and then came in asking for tea and whether i can stay the night afterwards???

    Thankyou, please: respect the hut, and respect that it is private property.

    • Frank says

      Hi Mary,
      Many thanks for taking the time to comment here. My apologies for trespassing on that trip. I have been through a few times since with guided groups and we stayed right out the front, away from the house.

      I can’t remember if there is a sign there saying it is private property. I can’t remember reading anything in the Parks Victoria notes either. Maybe a discrete sign on the path would discourage people?? Most people respect a “Private Property” sigh (I hope)

      I will forward your notes to a few of the tour operators I know so that at least their groups will be aware of the situation.

      We are in first draft of an eBook on how to do the Great Ocean walk and I will make sure it is made very clear in there.

      Thanks again and I am actually amazed people would be so rude to ask for a cup of tea or use the front yard as a toilet hole……


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