The Hiking Continues
After the crazy events that happened the day before on this hike, there really was no rest for the wicked as we needed to muster up the energy to traverse the next section of the Great Ocean coastline!
However, we were buoyed by the fact that the path made its way back to the sea and I can safely say that we all missed the sound of the waves from day 2! Just the small price to pay in the form of a 23km hike to navigate through but this certainly wasn’t short of adventure. Let’s see how this one went 🙂
Great Ocean Walk Day 3
Cape Otway Lighthouse
The beginning of this section of the hike will seem to be a bit of a funny one as you’ll make your way back past the Cape Otway Lighthouse accommodation (which is where we were staying at for our hiking venture) but that’s the way the path goes!
We learned a little bit more about the history of this significant light house, starting with how the British government were warning everyone not to go to Australia due to the amount of shipwrecks that happened. Well, the Australian government didn’t want people not to visit so they decided to line the coast with lighthouses, starting at Cape Otway. This would ensure that navigators could pass safely through the notorious “Bass Strait” and arrive at settlements in Melbourne, Syndey and beyond.
“Notorious” Bass Strait
The name of the stretch of water that separates mainland Australia from Tasmania is called the “Bass Strait” and is the shipping navigation equivalent of threading the eye of the needle. With only a maximum width of 150 miles (240km), a depth of 180–240 feet (50–70 m) and wild waves like in the picture below, you can see why this stretch of water caused over 1,000 ships to meet their makers [Source].
Why didn’t the ships just sail around Tasmania though? Well, if you have been on a ship travelling for many months across thousands of miles of sea in appalling conditions with hundreds of hungry men, you would take any short cut you can get. Adding another 3 weeks on to a journey by going around Tasmania was not an option as supplies would usually be running low. And before maps were created of the area by Matthew Flinders in 1804 (English navigator), these guys had to chance it [Source].
Getting To River Aire
As we continued our journey through the many coves, we were stunned in to silence when we saw a wallaby standing right in the middle of the path! I did take a video as well but I think I’ll create some longer movies for you when I get back home to my little studio as pictures only give a snapshot of the moment but it was a very special moment!
There is a long downhill section that ends up at a bridge near the river Aire, which you subsequently cross before you get to the Aire campground. This is a good place to stop for lunch on the benches and be thankful that the long downhill section has sand underfoot because it lessens the impact of walking a lot!
Everyone was pretty conked out at lunch time though – no doubt we were feeling the effects of nearly 50km of walking in 3 days. Although it seems we weren’t the only ones conked out! As you can see, this little fellow was also needing an afternoon nap as well! If you have a look around some of the trees in this area, you may be able to spot some koalas in the branches 🙂
Final Push To Castle Cove
This is one of the tougher days of the Great Ocean Walk due to the distance of 23km with the constant undulations and the body is still getting used to walking such distances every day. However, you will want to keep going because the views at Castle Cove, particularly on the coastal section after lunch, is one of the most scenic parts of this walk (and it was one of my favourite parts too). Mainly because the sun was getting a little lower in the sky, which started dramatically changing the colours and the scenery as you can see in the photos below.
Rest Day Needed
I was the “Tailend Charlie” this day during the walk, which meant I had to remain at the back of the group with the radio to make sure we didn’t leave anyone behind. However, my tendinitis in my big toe was starting to strike back, I had a feeling it might have done and would need a rest day to help recover. This would allow me to see things from the “other side” of the walking tour, rather than just being a tourist, I could see just how much planning and preparation goes in to these trips. More on that in the next blog.
Funny Moment Of The Day
I gave the “Tail-end Charlie” reigns to fellow walking group member, John, after lunch but with our knee and foot problems, we fell behind within the first 5 minutes and there was a split in the path. I didn’t need to call for help in the whole morning I was Tail-end Charlie but the first 5 minutes of handing to John, we had to radio the front walker to ask where we needed to go haha! We didn’t let John be Tail-end Charlie after that 😀
I hope you enjoyed this blog from my travels around Australia!
Catch you soon
PHC Top 3 – A Chance To Win From A Growing Prize Pool
Well, whilst I’m here, I might as well take the chance to tell you about a new contest that I’ve been a part of with the Power House Creatives called @phctop3. All you need to do is tell us what your top 3 favourites for a chance to win from a growing prize pool – more info here.