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Great Ocean Walk Track Notes Information for Self Guided walkers Updated, October 2010

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Apollo Bay – Blanket Bay Map

Visitor Information Centre Alternate Start Point

Elliot Ridge

Shelly Beach

Blanket Bay

Apollo Bay to Blanket Bay, it starts out easy, but you will discover why some is classified HARD. You can start at Apollo Bay V.I.C. or Marengo.

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Apollo Bay – Blanket Bay Altitude Profile

Apollo Bay

Blanket Bay

Shelly Beach Car park

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Marengo—Alternative Start Apollo Bay—Marengo

3.2 km E

1 hr 15 mins

A footpath leaving town alongside the Great Ocean Road leads to Marengo Caravan Park

From the Visitor Information Centre proceed West either through the township of Apollo Bay, or along the beach. If you greatly crave a cappuccino or a latte please don’t hesitate to stop and have one as you proceed through town as it will be your last chance for quite a while. Don’t forget: Lunch Water Snacks Camera Safety Gear ****to have Fun!!!

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Apollo Bay—Blanket Bay Marengo—Shelley Beach The route follows the coast on walking track and beaches from farmland to coastal forests. Shelly Beach—Blanket Bay The tall wet forest, home to Black Wallabies, dominate this walk along old forest tracks

4.7km M/H

2hours

13km M/H

5hours

Expected walking time 7 hours At all times be wary of snakes, we have discovered that those who enjoy the walk experience the most are those who complete stretches before and after each walk, and who attend to blisters promptly. Most of the GOW campsites require a small diversion from the track and provide toilet facilities. If you choose to divert, to return to the walk requires a backtrack to your leaving point. From your drop off point at Marengo proceed west through the Caravan Park, Great Ocean Walk signs are prominent at most points where you need to choose one track or another. Throughout the duration of your walk however you do need to watch for vandalised, destroyed or most especially sanded in signs, especially when leaving a beach. Mountain Ash near Shellly Beach

A towel is useful most days to dry feet after river crossings.

The pick up point today is at the day visitor car park, to reach this you proceed along Blanket Bay Beach past all the other exits, to campgrounds, until you come to the stone steps labelled as Great Ocean Walk. If you have left the beach prior to this, follow the vehicle track until you meet a loop track with a Great Ocean Walk sign pointing to the left, past the public toilet block, but before the shoe cleaning station is where you will find us. Decision Points: 1. Storm Point 2. Bald Hill, 3. Three Creeks, 4. Shelly Beach, 5.Elliott River and 6. Blanket Bay. No inland alternative route for 1 & 3 Tides are based on Port Phillip Heads with Apollo Bay offset, summer adjustment for day light saving. Text in Italics = quotes from Great Ocean Walk, Information and Map Guide, Parks Victoria

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Blanket Bay – Aire River Map

Aire River Bridge

Blanket Bay to Aire River Bridge. You can take the optional side trip to Rainbow Falls, most don’t as it adds to the beach walking.

Blanket Bay Station Beach

Cape Otway Lighthouse 1848

Pt Franklin

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Blanket Bay – Aire River Altitude Profile

Blanket Bay

Parker River Inlet

Cape Otway

Aire River

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Blanket Bay—Aire River Blanket Bay—Parker River Inlet 4.km E 1hr 30min Walk through dry coastal forest inhabited by echidnas and King Parrots with views over Parker Inlet. Parker River Inlet—Cape Otway 5.6km M 2hrs Cliff tops, Manna Gums, inhabited by koalas merge to a mown track alongside the Lighthouse Road. Cape Otway-Aire River 10km M 3hours The wind sculpted slopes and cliff tops above Station Beach is traversed by a sandy track. Rainbow Falls is spring fed and cascades to rocky platforms below. Expected walking time 6 hours 30 minutes. From your drop off point at Blanket Bay follow the track to the west, after crossing Parker river inlet, proceed to the Parker Hill Gate (cattle grid from 2010), if any cars are parked so as to obscure signage here, you do proceed to the left after going through the gate. Keep an eye out at the gate and leading up to It for some of the very prevalent Koala population and the odd echidna, the predominant trees here are Manna Gum (white/cream bark) and Messmate (stringy bark). Palaeontologists are searching near the Parker River mouth for further evidence of Polar Dinosaurs (see Aire River—Melanesia Gate section). The local Koala’s do not enjoy hot temperatures so at these times can be seen almost drooping out of the trees as they are too exhausted to even cling, they also make quite loud grunting noises in the heat and during breeding season. Once on the Lighthouse Road proceed past the Cape Otway Lighthouse (1848), if you do wish to coffee here, you can buy cold drinks at the entrance, however for any food service you need to pay the entrance fee and proceed to the café. If you are interested in a tour of the lighthouse and another perspective this is an interesting hours experience, as Cape Otway is the oldest standing lighthouse on mainland Australia. At this point you are also at the Southern most point of the mainland, from Melbourne to Western Australia, for the Eastern side of Melbourne Wilsons Promontory claims this honour. Cape Otway is also the junction of two bodies of water, Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean, which is why tides can be unpredictable in the vicinity. Decision Points: 7. Parker River Inlet, 8. Station Beach, Tides are based on Port Phillip Heads with Apollo Bay offset., past Cape Otway tides are based on Portland with Port Campbell offset., and summer adjustment for Daylight Saving. Text in Italics = quotes from Great Ocean Walk, Information and Map Guide, Parks Victoria Copyright

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Blanket Bay—Aire River cont.... After the lighthouse there is a historic cemetery which tells some of the story of early life on the Cape. Back on the track proceed along either Station Beach or the cliff tops, Rainbow Falls is a small seasonal waterfall so called because of the oil which seeps out of the sand dunes and gives the rainbow reflections in the falls. If you choose the beach route, be cautious at the leaving point/end of the beach as the signage is sometimes obscured by sand, this exit is towards the end of the escarpment and is also marked by a Decision Point sign. We do not recommend that you clamber over rocks at the end of the beach to reach the river, if you’ve reached this point, you have missed the turn, and you need to backtrack to gain access to the cliff tops Coming down off the cliff tops, the track winds down the sand dune, and you will view the Aire River in front of you, just prior to the bridge is our meeting point on the Eastern Side of the Aire River. Cape Otway Lighthouse (1848)

Aire River Estuary

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Aire River – Milanesia Gate Map Intersection—Old Coach Rd, Hiders Access & Milanesia Tk Highest point on the Great Ocean Walk

Milanesia Gate

Aire River Bridge to Milanesia Gate. Special Note, after Johanna Beach crossing the bridge, proceed straight ahead up past the Dinosaur Cove toilets and GOW camp ground. DO NOT turn left on the western side of the bridge!

Castle Cove

Aire River Bridge

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Aire River – Milanesia Gate Altitude Profile

Aire River

Castle Cove

Johanna Beach

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Hiders Access Milanesia Gate

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Aire River - Milanesia Gate Aire River–Castle Cove This tsection features the Aire River estuary, rocky escarpments and stunning coastal views. Castle Cove-Johanna Beach Experience heath land, wildflowers, grasstrees and cliff top views before arriving at Johanna Beach. Johanna Beach-Milanesia Gate Lush valley views, country roads through farmland and forest.

5.5km M

2hrs 15mins

6.9km M

2hrs 45mins

8.6km M

1hr 30mins

Expected walking time 6 hours 30 minutes From your drop off point on the Eastern Side of the Aire River, proceed across the bridge and up the hill to the campground toilets, (if you find yourself in fields of reeds, near the river mouth, you have lost your way and need to back track to the camping ground), from the toilets follow the signs towards the GOW campsite, pass it on your right and proceed towards Castle Cove. On your journey enjoy the backwards view of the River Flats, and ocean views to Cape Otway—East and Moonlight Head—West. Upon reaching Castle Cove, take a moment to enjoy the lookout, and the information plaque (removed 2010) about Dinosaur Cove, slightly to the East of Castle Cove. Excavations at the location now named Dinosaur Cove were led by palaeontologists Dr Tom Rich & Dr. Pat Vicker-Rich in the early 1980’s. The discoveries they made here changed forever the way we think about the Cretaceceous period (144 - 66 MYA), and the polar dinosaurs who lived in those times. Leaellynasaurus & Timimus, two of the dinosaur fossils discovered here are named after the Dr Rich’s children who joined them in their expeditions each year. Another found here was Atlascopcosaurus, named after the mining company who supplied the mining equipment for the exploration. There is another named after the national airline—Qantasaurus. * Image of Leaellynasaurus is from ‘Wildlife of Gondwana’ by Patricia Vickers-Rich and Tom Hewitt Rich

Leaellynasaurus* Copyright

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Aire River—Milanesia Gate cont… Proceeding onwards to Johanna Beach, a couple of trenches and a steep wall make this an adventurous section. If you are considering using trekking poles, this is a good day for them. Once on Johanna beach, cross both Brown Creek and the Johanna River, before leaving the beach just prior to the rocky point (note the mouth of the Johanna River can move and it is best crossed near the intersection of it and the sea, but be careful of waves). Up the sand dune you will proceed through the camping/parking area, with another beach access to the left, This access has a viewing platform to the right, from here the view to the west is of Moonlight Head. Your trek continues up and away from the beach through farm gates. Please remember to leave these gates as you find them, as these are used for farm stock. The Johanna Beach GOW campsite offers spectacular views, well worth a side trip. Continue up the Old Coach Road and then left into Milanesia Track, our meeting point is just before the Milanesia Gate which offers access only to walkers and management vehicles, use this descent as a generous cool down exercise, in Summer Mr. Scarecrow is usually out to assist weary walkers. Kangaroo mobs are more frequent from here until Moonlight Head. Decision Points: 9. Johanna Beach Tides are based on Portland with Port Campbell offset and summer adjustment for Daylight savings. Text in Italics = quotes from Great Ocean Walk, Information and Map Guide, Parks Victoria

Some run...

Some sit and watch Johanna Beach

Water Point—Milanesia Track

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Milanesia Gate – Wreck Beach Map Milanesia Gate to Moonlight Head. We recommend continuing on to the Gables and across to Wreck Beach carpark (feel free to drop in for some afternoon tea as you pass Moonlight Retreat). Look below and you will understand why we say it is up and down and up and down etc etc!! Can you spot the 7 flights of steps?

Wreck Beach Car Park Moonlight Retreat

Milanesia Beach

Ryan Den Campsite

Gable Lookout

Moonlight Head

Cape Volney Copyright © 2010 Great Ocean Walk Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.


Milanesia Gate – Wreck Beach Altitude Profile

Beach Milanesia Gate

Ryan’s Den

Moonlight Retreat

Wreck Beach Car Park

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Milanesia Gate—Wreck Beach Milanesia Gate—Milanesia Beach 1.7km M 30mins Concluding at Spectacular Milanesia Beach Milanesia Beach-Moonlight Head 9.6km H 5hours The route starts on the beach and climbs steeply to the cliff tops with sensational views. Continuing through steep hills and coastal forests passing high sea cliffs. Moonlight Head-Wreck Beach 6.5km E 1hour The track heads inland along country roads, through Blue Gums and farmland. It ends amongst the heath at the breathtaking Gables lookout. The walking track heads through heath to Wreck Beach. Expected walking time 6 hours 30 minutes. Passing through the gate, one of the best photo opportunities is the GOW sign just on the other side, great for your group to collect behind. A steep decline to Milanesia Beach, 2 creek crossings, an old cottage circa WW1, a family holiday house built as a memorial to a politician’s son, a soldier who did not return from the war. Proceeding along the track, Ryan Den GOW campsite is a spectacular rest stop/ lunch point, if you proceed through the campsite, the grassy knoll at the other end is a spectacular lookout. Cottage—Milanesia Beach You will notice today the transition from cool temperate rainforest to coastal scrub and heath land, mostly consisting of Tea Tree, and Prickly Moses. You also start to see the cliff faces and rock sculptures of the Shipwreck Coast. Once back on the track the grassy hill after Cape Volney lined with fence posts and no fencing is testimony to local boundary disputes. Leaving the 4WD tracks, you find a goat like track, and you are now not far from the National Parks boundary, interesting rock formations start to appear. From this track you can also view the site of the largest landslip in Southern Victoria. Decision Points: 10. Milanesia Beach—no inland route for approximately 300m Tides are based on Portland with Port Campbell offset, summer adjustment for Daylight Savings. Text in Italics = quotes from Great Ocean Walk, Information and Map Guide, Parks Victoria Copyright

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Milanesia Gate—Wreck Beach cont... Clamber over the second style (there is also one on Cape Volney) and you are now on Parkers Access, 2 kms up and down and you reach Moonlight Retreat. Opportunity for an Afternoon tea stop, and then onwards to the Gable Lookout. From Moonlight Retreat, proceed 500metres and then turn left, follow Moonlight Head Road 3.5 kms. On the way view the Moonlight Head Cemetery still in use today. From the Gables Lookout carpark you journey through whisper quiet She Oak forest to the Gables Lookout, well worth the diversion, for it’s unique perspective of this headland. Head back along the walking track and turn left to head down towards Wreck Beach, prior to descending the steps to the beach, leave the GOW and head to the carpark for pick-up.

Weathered Outcrop near Moonlight Head

Exiting the Otway National Park at Moonlight Head

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Wreck Beach – GOW Finish Map Information Bay & End of the Great Ocean Walk

12 Apostles Clifton Beach

Gellibrand River

Wreck Beach Car Park to Glenample (The end) but not quite as we will be transferring you to the 12 Apostles after you complete today’s walk.

Moonlight Beach Wreck Beach

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Wreck Beach – GOW Finish Altitude Profile

Wreck Beach Steps

Steps Devils Kitchen

Princetown

Glenample

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Wreck Beach—GOW Finish Wreck Beach—Devils Kitchen 3.5km M Wreck Beach, passing the anchors and climbing above Devils Kitchen. Devils Kitchen-Princetown 7.7km E Follow the Old Coach Road 4WD track through heathland and coastal scrub. Farm views to the north. Princetown-Glenample 5.5km E Continue along Old Coach Road joining the walking track along cliff tops with impressive views of the Twelve Apostles.

45minutes 2hours 30min 2hours 15min

Expected walking time 5 hours 30 minutes Down the 385 steps (Sign says 366—you count!) and onto the Beach, turn right at the bottom of the steps and proceed along Wreck Beach, past the anchors of the Marie Gabrielle (1869) no loss of life; and the Fiji (1891) 11 hands lost and 1 local lost in the rescue. Continue over the rock pile and onto Moonlight Beach. Leaving the beach you now climb towards Devils Kitchen. The track then joins a 4WD tracks until Princetown, the sandy track is a common sunning spot for the local ‘Tiger’ population, snakes that is. Flora & Fauna: Echidna’s and Grass Trees (Xanthorrhoea), Coastal Tea Tree which in summer have white berries, a useful source of vitamin C to the Gadubanud (Katabanut) Aboriginal tribe which once populated this region. Decision Point: 11. Wreck Beach ( If you cannot see sand on the beach from the top of the steps USE High Tide Route) Tides are based on Portland with Port Campbell offset, summer adjustment for Daylight Savings. Text in Italics = quotes from Great Ocean Walk, Information and Map Guide, Parks Victoria

Grass Tree in Flower

Anchors from the Marie Gabrielle (1869) on Wreck Beach

Anchor recovered from the Fiji (1891) on Wreck Beach

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Wreck Beach—GOW Finish cont.. Past the township of Princetown on the right, a 600metre boardwalk offers a shortcut to the township and a coffee or ice-cream, however trekking onwards the track skips Princetown, before intersecting the Great Ocean Road, the trail veers left towards Clifton Beach. Although the track utilises this route the GOW stays on the cliff tops here and not onto the beach. You can take a side trip to the beach but you will need to back track to rejoin the Great Ocean Walk. The trail becomes a series of boardwalks as you near your final destination. Views of the 12 Apostles abound, then as you come down off the windblown cliff tops via a stairway you enter a car parking bay that contains a Parks Victoria Great Ocean Walk information board. You have completed the Great Ocean Walk and this is your final pick up point.

Windblown cliff top with the 12 Apostles in the background Windblown cliff top with the 12 Apostles in the background

Looking East from the 12 Apostles to Moonlight Head Looking East from the 12 Apostles to Moonlight Head

The 12 Apostles at Sunset The 12 Apostles at Sunset

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Wildlife you may encounter…...

Gang Gang Cockatoo

Echidna Kookaburra

Koala

Crimson Rosella

Swamp or Black Wallaby Superb Blue Wren

Eastern Grey Kangaroo

Blue Tongue Lizard King Parrot

Eastern Tiger Snake

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Credits • • • • • • •

Photography — Andrew Mitchell and Anthea Mitchell Times — Anthea Mitchell, please note times may vary due to walker fitness, weather conditions and tides. These times are an estimate based on our experience. Parks Victoria—Great Ocean Walk Information and Map Guide Wildlife of Gondwana—Patricia Vickers-Rich and Thomas Hewitt Rich Maps— The Daily maps were created using Google Maps Altitude Profiles were created using www.topocoding.com in association with Google Maps Tide Information—National Tide Centre, Bureau of Meteorology— http://www.bom.gov.au/oceanography/tides/MAPS/vic.shtml Use Port Phillip Heads and Apollo Bay Offset for beaches east of Cape Otway and use Portland and Port Campbell Offset for beaches west of Cape Otway—don’t forget to allow for Daylight Saving when in force (add 1 hour to BOM tide predictions) For Packaged and customised Walks contact Great Ocean Walk Pty Ltd— Tel: Int’l. +61 3 5237 5265 Domestic (03) 5237 5265 www.GreatOceanWalk.com

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Please note: Parks Victoria have announced that there will be realignment works on sections of the Great Ocean Walk. Work has commenced on the realignment between Devils Kitchen GOW Campsite and Princetown. This publication will be updated when the works are completed..

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Great Ocean Walk Track Notes