Today we start our adventure on the Great Ocean Walk in Victoria and rather than doing this walk over eight days as designed we’re doing it in six. Many walks can be done in more than one direction but this walk is a rarity because it’s designed to start at Apollo Bay in the east and finish at the Twelve Apostles in the west. In addition to the reward of this well known set of rocks, the distances at the Apollo Bay end are closer together so the trail is easier in the east and therefore it makes sense to start there and head west. So we have chosen to do this walk over six days by merging sections 1 and 2, and sections 3 and 4.
Having travelled from interstate logistically it made sense to stay at a motel near the trail end and get transport back to the trail start in Apollo Bay. We chose the taxi option which wasn’t the cheapest but given the buses don’t run on the weekend it was our only option. We arranged a pick up from our motel which allowed us to leave the car there for the week. After an 80 minute trip we were ready to go starting at around 9:30 am.
This walk start was a bit of a rarity as we had an Australian Hiker follower, Rob, who was in the area and who joined us for the trip to the first campsite at Elliot Ridge before he returned back to the start of the walk. This section of the walk to the first campsite is approximately 10km long and took us from the trailhead at the Apollo Bay visitor centre, through the caravan park just outside of town, then onto the trail tread. This first half of the trail provided views to the ocean as well as introducing us to the local bushland before reaching the Elliot Ridge campsite. This campsite, we learned over the coming days, was typical of the infrastructure on this trail with the main difference being the vegetation and scenery. The tent pads in this case were bare earth and while this probably wasn’t an issue for much of the time after a period of rain it could get a bit muddy.
After a lunch break we said goodbye to Rob as he headed back while we continued on to our next destination of Blanket Bay. The trip there was a challenge due to the very muddy management road and regardless of what footwear you were wearing, it was super slippery. Tim had a spectacular fall managing to become airborne. Apart from his bruised dignity and some dirty clothing, all was well.
The highlight of this day was hearing two Koalas grunting in the forest even though we couldn’t see them. We arrived at Blanket Bay at around 5:20pm after a total trip of 22km and for this night, we had the company of a school group of about 14 in size as well as another group of 6. The walk-in hiker area of this campsite was attached to a drive-in site and this meant we had approximately a 100 metre walk to the toilet.
As mentioned the infrastructure was almost identical with all the campsites but Blanket Bay just had a special feel about it. The sunrise viewed from the grassy area at the front of the campsite, the small waterfall at the rear of the campsite and the small beach means this campsite had a lot to offer for those not in a hurry.
Today we start our adventure on the Great Ocean Walk in Victoria and rather than doing this walk over eight days as designed we’re doing it in six. Many walks can be done in more than one direction but this walk is a rarity because it’s designed to start at Apollo Bay in the east […]