The Great Ocean Walk, Victoria – Day 4

We were determined not to repeat yesterday’s mistake (getting caught walking in the heat) and we were out of bed, and packing in the dim, early morning light. It is weird how it gets light so much later in southern Victoria. Thank goodness for head lamps.

Overnight we had made good use of the campsite shelter and left our packs, shoes and all our gear (except food) inside to avoid any dampness. Ah, the joys of having a campsite all to ourselves.

Yesterday we passed the halfway point…all downhill from here! 😊


Date: Tuesday 22 March, 2022

From: Johanna Beach, Victoria

To: Ryan’s Den

Day 4 on the Great Ocean Walk. Source:

Official Distance: 13.6km

Actual Distance: 14.83km

Total: 74.41/103km

Time: 5h3m

Ascent: 597m

Descent: 576m

Weather: Overcast and sprinkling rain.

Stayed At: Ryan’s Den Great Ocean Walk (GOW) campsite

General Comments:

  • Elevation: I think I need to clarify my ascent and descent figures. While on some days they don’t look all that challenging, these numbers represent the maximum height on any one day. I may have forgotten to mention that we would/could have completed these ascents and descents multiple times a day or more likely, ALL day. Just as you finally struggle to the top of one ridgeline, it is as sure as eggs that there is another %$#@ ridgeline waiting for you. Catch your breath and enjoy the views before setting off once more. This walk is perfect if you want to build cardio fitness!
  • Johanna Beach GOW: Despite enjoying the most glorious views from the campsite, we both slept terribly. The sound of the waves crashing was SO loud there was little chance of nodding off before the next breaker would boom into the cliff. We were left in no doubt about the power of Nature. Pack your earplugs.
  • As we walked away from Johanna Beach, the path curved inland and the scenery changed completely. We followed a ridgeline across bare rolling hills, continually working and walking our way higher and higher. Remember to turn and look backwards to see where you have walked from and you will always be rewarded with sweeping scenic views. Just for something a little different, for the first part of today, the views focused on the tiny Johanna River snaking its way along the valley floor.
  • Bare hills were replaced by thick forest and the path changed to a wide gravel road. I had my fingers crossed as I looked longingly into the tree tops trying to spot a koala. Apparently they do inhabit this area, but it was not our lucky day.
  • Day walkers in shuttle buses whizzed past us as we got closer to Milanesia Beach. One very kind tour leader stopped their bus to generously offer us a lift and shelter from the misting rain. As it was early and still cool, it was easy to decline their kind offer. We are purists after all. Or mad…take your pick.
  • The rain showers and light sprinkles came and went all morning. I had started out with my backpack cover on, just to be on the safe side. At one stage I did think about donning my rain poncho, however the showers remained light enough to be refreshing and helped keep our sweat levels, and temperatures, down a little.
  • Apologies for the quality of the photos in this section – it was that hazy sort of day…

Top Tips for this Section:

  • Today was a really hard day, even though the guidebook only rated it as ‘Medium’. I guess we are all different and some days we have more zip, vim and verve than others.
  • The feature of the day was a series of seriously stiff climbs and descents. When you walk, if it has been raining, please take it steady as it could get VERY slippery underfoot – especially the rough and ready, and incredibly steep descent down to Milanesia Beach.
  • Thankfully the beach walk component today is only about 300m long. Make sure you have plenty of energy in reserve to tackle the endless up at the other end of the beach.
  • Ryan’s Den GOW campsite is another very comfortable campsite and we had it to ourselves again until two men turned up just before dark. Where are all the walkers? I really did think this path would be much busier. NB: It is almost impossible to anchor your tent pegs at this campsite as the earth is rock hard. The husband undertook a very long and extensive search to find a rock to hammer in the tent pegs, only to break said rock on the first whack. Pack some extra cord to tie guy lines to trees, bushes etc.
  • Mobile Range: Mobile service (using the Telstra network) is available at both Johanna Beach and Ryan’s Den.

Stay tuned for Day 5.

Read About:

#travelinspo #greatoceanwalk #bucketlist #adventurebeforedementia #longdistancewalks #australianbush #victoria #bushwalks #greatoutdoors #twelveapostles #ryansden #coastalwalks.

47 thoughts on “The Great Ocean Walk, Victoria – Day 4

    • Life...One Big Adventure April 11, 2022 / 2:27 pm

      I remember when I walked my first camino in Spain and we would get up early to start out on the path and you could see other walkers headlights bobbing through the dark. Quite magical.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. wetanddustyroads April 11, 2022 / 4:35 pm

    I like the kangaroos … Aussie land for sure! Yes, I know that feeling just too well … get to the top of a hill, just to see another hill (or a mountain 👀).
    Even though it’s foggy/hazy, your pictures are stunning – it definitely gives the sense of an adventure out there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure April 12, 2022 / 6:49 am

      I’m glad you liked them. I try not to be ‘ho hum’ about them as I see them every day at home, but I do know they are pretty special.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Monkey's Tale April 11, 2022 / 11:52 pm

    We often call those up and up ridgelines (for us it’s mostly mountain passes) ‘Deception Pass’ and I find myself singing the children’s song ‘ This is the song that never ends, and it goes on and on my friends’… Tough day, but you made it, and you saw kangaroos! Well maybe more exciting for me than you 😊 Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Diana April 12, 2022 / 10:31 am

    It’s so strange to me that you can be walking along and see a bunch of kangaroos. We live on such a diverse planet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure April 13, 2022 / 1:59 pm

      We sure do. And I feel exactly the same when I see your North American posts featuring bear footprints! They have me quaking in my boots from afar!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Master of Something Yet April 12, 2022 / 2:42 pm

    Have only just realised I read this post but then didn’t comment on it. I hadn’t thought of the general dampness with keeping equipment outside. I’m fortunate to be carrying a 2P tent so have room to keep my backpack in the tent. Good to know about the hard ground too. Thanks.

    I like the change in scenery. It keeps the walking interesting.

    I rather like the idea of a pre-dawn light departure. It would be quite magical to walk along, hearing the sea and watching the sunrise.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Toonsarah April 12, 2022 / 7:07 pm

    As someone who couldn’t dream of attempting even a day walk here, I am in awe of your capacity to tackle these tough paths and grateful that you share them with us. I am always (unreasonably!) surprised when I see photos of kangaroos just wandering around in the wild like that 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yeah, Another Blogger April 13, 2022 / 12:08 am

    The Atlantic Ocean beach on Cape Cod , Massachusetts is very long and beautiful. Circa 1850, Henry David Thoreau wrote about it in a book called Cape Cod. Terrific book.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Heyjude April 14, 2022 / 2:40 am

    I am still happy to be doing this walk virtually. Kangaroos are a bit like seeing zebra in Africa, you get somewhat blasé about them. I was always looking for koalas in Aus – lucky to see one or two.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The Travel Architect April 16, 2022 / 9:03 pm

    What a dream to come upon a pack (? or herd? or something else?) of kangaroos like that!! What’s the advice there? Keep your distance? Will they thump you if you get too close or just hop away?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure April 17, 2022 / 8:35 am

      A ‘mob’ of kangaroos is the correct term. Yes, I recommend you keep your distance. Mostly they will hop away if you get to close, but the big buck kangaroos can open you up with one kick if they feel trapped or want to protect their ladies. We had one try to drown our dog in our dam a couple of years ago, so they are not as cuddly as they look!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. alisendopf May 20, 2022 / 5:44 am

    Oh yes, cumulative elevation gain. I just did a cycle trip to the Gulf Islands. While max elevation height was only 38 m, my overall elevation gain for one ride was over 500m. I was either riding straight up, or straight down over and over and over and over again.

    This backpack looks amazing, and a trip of a lifetime. So nice that you have it all to yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

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