Hiking the Great Ocean Walk?
How long will it take?
What are the highlights and best bits to walk?
What annoyed our guest poster Ivor?
Have been chatting by email with Ivor who has recently completed the Great Ocean Walk in southern Victoria, Australia. He has made some excellent comments that we thought were relevant to anyone who is planning on undertaking this spectacular coastal walk.
– We took 6 days and 5 nights, could have done it in 5 and 4 and we’re not that fit!
I thought the walk was very good. I didn’t mind the walking on 4 wheel drive tracks too much.
– I thought the worst bit was from Moonlight Head where you cut inland and then out again, which was more dirt road than 4 wheel drive track. I guess it’s because heaps of tracks in the Lake District and Scotland are the width of 4wd tracks. Actually means you can walk side by side and chat. Rather than looking at the person in front’s bum or vice versa!
– Facilities were excellent. We were the only ones on the campsites apart from the first night. We put the tent up in the shelter at Cape Otway as it was chucking it down.
– I HATED the fact that we couldn’t have a cup of coffee at the lighthouse apart from paying $13 to go in. My mate and I had both been before so didn’t want to pay but having walked the last 5k in pouring rain could have killed a coffee! I asked if it was possible for a coffee to be brought down and was told “What did your last slave die of?” Unaustralian or what?!
(ed…Mmmm, reckon the Lighthouse people could improve their PR a LOT!! What’s wrong with setting up a system where anyone with a walking permit gets cheaper entry and therefore access to the cafe. It is situated well in the grounds and a lot of people hiking the GOW would love the chance to have a break and patronise the cafe and souvenir shop. We are often down there and it is a very busy tourist destination. There are HORDES of people driving in to see the lighthouse and its wonderful environment,a small concession for those hiking in does not seem too much to ask. – btw – I will send an email to the lighthouse people with a link to this post)
8/10/07 – received a very positive response from Paul at the lightstation re this issue. Click on comments to read Paul’s email.
– The ending was a let down. Glenample was closed and there was no marker to say ‘THE END’. We walked up the road to the Twelve Apostles as I guess most do, but it was still an anti-climax.
– Timboon Taxis were magic, I can certainly recommend them. Ph 0438 407 777
– We scored a shower at the caravan park in Port Campbell for $2 with soap and shampoo thrown in.
– Signage was tops, reading some diaries on the web I can’t believe people got lost. Having said that one was inaccurate I think it was from a the last beach (began with an M) up to Ryan’s Den. It said 3.4km NO WAY was nearer 5 and uphill!
– Tide tables were hit and miss. We spoke to a ranger in Port Campbell and he said that tides on that section of coast are a nightmare to predict tide times.
– Generally we found the beach bits overly cautious, but I realise that tides would vary through the year. Usually there was heaps of space above HWM, I realise that Parks Victoria were probably being overly cautious, in fact the track notes seemed overly paranoid eg care about branches etc. Having said that we were dead casual approaching Wreck Beach and then had to run at times to avoid the waves.
– Apparently the toilet at Cape Otway burnt down a couple of days after we passed through. It wasn’t us! Do you know anything? (ed. no have not heard this …has anyone else?
Many thanks to Ivor for this report. It is great to be able to post another perspective on the GOW. If any of our other readers have walk reports you would like posted , please contact us and we will blog them for you.