The Great Ocean Walk, Victoria – Day 5

The first part of our day was rated ‘Hard’ and I was bit apprehensive about how we would handle it as we were planning to walk the hard section plus 8km of the next easy stage. So, I pulled up my ‘big girl’ panties (or compression shorts) and stayed focus on the fact that tonight I would be stepping into a blissful shower and sliding into a real, live bed! Heaven!

Pack covers on and off we strolled in the misty early morning light.

Logistics:

Date: Wednesday 23 March, 2022

From: Ryan’s Den, Victoria

To: Princetown

Map of the Great Ocean Walk
Source

Official Distance: 21.4km

Actual Distance: 22.8km

Total: 97.21/103km

Time: 7h41m

Ascent: 725m

Descent: 864m

Weather: If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute. Misty rain, clouds, wind, blue sky, sun – a bit of everything.

Stayed At: Southern Ocean Motor Inn, Port Campbell

General Comments:

  • We were well-oiled machines as we broke camp, packed our backpacks and folded the tent. It had rained overnight and, while it was lovely to hear it pattering on the roof of the tent, I was worried what we would find in the morning. Yes, the tent was damp, but our gear was dry and that was the most important thing.
  • Animals were a feature of today’s walk. Hundreds of kangaroos, wallabies and wallaroos, and a very fat and healthy tiger snake. Thankfully it didn’t want to meet me as much as I didn’t want to meet it, and Mr/Mrs Snake quickly slithered into the brush. I had thought that snakes may be a bit of a problem the whole length of this walk and yet this was only our second sighting after a black snake on Day 2. If you give them space, they will quickly make themselves scarce.
  • We made Devil’s Kitchen GOW campsite for lunch. As the sun had broken through, we draped the damp tent over bushes to dry while we dined on Ryvita, sweet chilli tuna sachets, Laughing Cow cheese and lolly snakes. The food of champions! Even if you don’t stay at this campsite, make sure you check out the toilet facilities. The views from the toilet seat are panoramic with a clear Perspex sheet inserted in the wall framing the stunning coastline disappearing westwards.
  • From Devil’s Kitchen the path is rated as ‘Easy’. I guess it depends on your definition of easy. More ups and downs and the body was not happy after all my muscles stiffened up over lunch. Thankfully the views provided a good distraction and the breezes cooled our sweaty brows and backs. Apparently, we were supped to be able to glimpse the Twelve Apostles in the far distance, however the heavy sea mist limited visibility to only a kilometre or two.
  • We were SO lucky on this walk with the weather being relatively kind. It would have been very unpleasant slogging up and down all those ridges in pouring rain. I gave thanks to the Weather Gods on a daily basis. The only small downside was the constant haze in the air and low, cloudy skies. It won’t do my photography any favours, but it is a small price to pay for staying dry.

Top Tips for this Section:

  • Again, the distances for this day were dodgy and seemed much longer than expected. Maybe we were just tired. Princetown Recreation Reserve, where we had left the car, was tantalising close and yet the path seemed to wend every which way through foothills and over yet more soft sand. Yes, keep some energy in the tank for the last winding stretch.
  • Princetown Recreation Reserve would be a really good option to camp if you were desperate for a shower and/or wanted a nice, short walk on your final day. We left our vehicle there ($5 per night) the week before and caught the public bus ($11.40pp) eastwards to Apollo Bay to start the walk.

Stay tuned for Day 6 – our Final Day.

Read About:

#travelinspo #greatoceanwalk #bucketlist #adventurebeforedementia #longdistancewalks #australianbush #victoria #bushwalks #greatoutdoors #twelveapostles #princetown #coastalwalks #portcampbell

25 thoughts on “The Great Ocean Walk, Victoria – Day 5

  1. Master of Something Yet April 12, 2022 / 2:32 pm

    Oh, goodness! Every one of these posts just has me itching to get started! 6 sleeps to go! Your photos are just beautiful! Mist and all.

    Completing the walk in 5 days is a mammoth effort! Congratulations! I have sometimes thought maybe I could have cut mine shorter but then I remember that I’m on school holidays so why rush back to a house full of men? 😜

    I did want to ask you, how much of the beach walking did you do? Did you only do the ‘must do’s’ or did you walk some/all of the optional beach sections? And how did you feel about your decision?

    I didn’t know you could leave your car at Princetown. That’s good. I’m kinda sorta local so I’m taking the bus to Apollo Bay and then the Husband has been requested to come and pick me up at the 12 Apostles.😁 I mean, I could take public transport but for the sake of the other bus passengers I thought I wouldn’t inflict them with my ‘I’ve worn these clothes for 7 days’ potential pungency. 😉

    Thank you SO much, Mel, for taking me along on your walk as a practice run for my own. I really liked the way you presented it honestly with all its barnacles rather than through rosey glasses. I’m looking forward to your knowledge of the Great North Walk in the coming months.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure April 13, 2022 / 2:11 pm

      That’s my absolute pleasure. I like to think this is what blogging is all about – sharing the rough bits, not just pretty pictures. I also like to learn things from other people’s blogs and try to share useful information for other people who may be interested in walking similar routes.

      Yes, extending the walking schedule and reducing the distances each day would be a good option and perhaps a bit more civilised. We were a bit limited by time and opted for more kms each day on most days. It worked for us, even though there were some long, hard days in there.

      We just did the recommended beach options – all the ones from Apollo Bay on Day 1 and then Johanna Beach and Milanesia Beach. On the latter two the sand was incredibly soft, so it really was a slog. On our Day 5, the husband was a bit keen to walk Wreck Beach to try to spot some of wreck remains, but I wasn’t keen as it was near high tide and I didn’t like the thought of the very steep exit at the other end with a loaded pack. Our guidebook certainly didn’t recommend it with a loaded pack. I was also conscious that we had another +10k to go that day. Call me ‘Chicken’, but I am not afraid to admit I was cautious when it came to the tides. 5 sleeps to go!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Master of Something Yet April 13, 2022 / 5:14 pm

        I don’t think that’s being Chicken, I think it’s being sensible. It’s part of the reason I gave myself a bit more time so I had the time to wait for low tides if I needed to. I’m not one for messing with the sea either, especially on the ‘Shipwreck Coast’!

        I’ll see how I go with the beach walking. I love walking beside the sea so I’d like to do more if I can but your point about soft sand and loaded backpacks is noted. (Perhaps I could do more near the end when my pack is lighter! 😉) It would also be good practice for the Great South West Walk which has extended beach walking sections.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Life...One Big Adventure April 14, 2022 / 3:43 pm

          I shouldn’t have been, but I was continually dazzled by the power of the sea in that part of the World. No wonder there were so many shipwrecks. Hence my wariness about walking to close to the waves, but even there the sand was soft. Beach walking in Victoria is not for wimps!! 🙂 Unlike NSW!! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. restlessjo April 12, 2022 / 4:44 pm

    Thanks to the weather Gods 🤣💟 It would have been miserable and possibly dangerous in the wet, Mel, and your photos turned out fine. A true reflection of the journey. Almost there! 🤗💗

    Liked by 1 person

  3. margaret21 April 12, 2022 / 5:32 pm

    You HAVE done well – here’s hoping it doesn’t go pear-shaped on the last day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Toonsarah April 12, 2022 / 10:56 pm

    I think you’re being a bit harsh about the haze in the photos, as your coastal shots are lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. travelling_han April 13, 2022 / 2:01 am

    It just gets better – I am absolutely loving following along this walk with you 🙂 and your photos are beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure April 13, 2022 / 2:17 pm

      Many thanks…it is a shame it all has to end! Maybe I should just quit work and keep walking! 🙂

      Like

  6. wetanddustyroads April 13, 2022 / 2:03 am

    Love the sunrise photo (and the kangaroos peeking over the hill tops) 🙂. Oh yes, your lunch sounds like a 5-star meal (for a hungry hiker)! Lovely views of the ocean … and the loo with a view!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Monkey's Tale April 13, 2022 / 2:04 am

    I’d love to go on a hike and see kangaroos, wallabies and wallaroos! But of course not the other two. Too bad for the sea mist obscuring the Twelve Apostles, but the coast line looks gorgeous without them 🙂 Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Teresa April 13, 2022 / 3:56 pm

    Great experience…wish I had done it when I was so much younger. I am sure I won’t be able to do it now!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure April 13, 2022 / 4:47 pm

      Day trips would also be a good option. You don’t have to camp like we did. It is just so beautiful – don’t miss it and don’t regret that you didn’t do it.

      Like

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