Yesterday, Andrew had left us with some home grown eggs, so we started out the day with an awesome breaky. I even pulled a double yoker (one in 1000 chance apparently). We were dropped off where we had finished yesterday with another beautifully prepared lunch and full compliment of water. The morning was cool again but calm and sunny. Today’s walk would take us from Milanesia Gate to Moonlight Head, a distance of 12km. We would also be walking an extra kilometre at the beginning that we had missed yesterday and an extra kilometre at the end as our accommodation was close to Moonlight Head. Today’s walk started at around 300m elevation, back down to zero and then quite a number of ups and downs to no more than around 160m.
The first part of the day was a very pleasant stroll down hill on a deserted country road. We were amused passing one property that had a 100km per hour sign posted on the front gate. We came to Milanesia Gate which would lead us down to Milanesia Beach (so named after a large sailing ship that was stranded in the shallows there for over a week but made a lucky escape in 1902). Milanesia Gate was the sturdiest most impenetrable gate I’d seen in all my life. Deep trenches dug either side, huge concrete filled steel posts and untouchable lock. The National Parks guys were really trying to keep vehicles off this track and it appeared that they had been refortifying this gate for a number of years until even a tank would struggle to get in. We walked amongst towering eucalyptus, down to the beach. As we emerged, apart from a few rabbits grazing, we noticed to our right was a cottage. After investigation, I discovered it was built in 1928 in memorial to the builders grandson who was killed in WW1. We went over to have a look inside. We couldn’t really see much but it appears that the National Parks people may use this place now as a base when working on or around the area, but I cant be sure. The beach itself was rather tranquil compared to others we had visited, this was due to a large reef that protected it from surf. We spent some time exploring on this beach as it was very interesting. I even did a little fake rock climbing on rocks that had probably been washed down and deposited there a 100 thousand years ago.
Once we were back on the track the day started to warm up, and with this added warmth came the flies (extremely annoying). Now this is probably a good tip for those of you who travel during the warmer months, take some personal insect repellent. We passed a group later on in the day that were on a guided tour. I could actually smell their insect repellent about 500m before I could see them, for Jase and I though we just had to suck it up.
As advised to you in day ones blog, I wanted to show one of the camp grounds. The one I have picked was called Ryan’s Den and was roughly 200m off the main ‘Great Ocean Walk’ track. All the ‘walk in’ camping grounds were similar in design. They had a sign showing you a camp map (and lots of rules and regulations), small eating shelter, long drop toilet block and camping areas. The sites need to be pre-booked to avoid too many campers but after speaking with some people we met on the track, apparently they were not particularly over crowded (don’t take this as gospel). Some of the campgrounds butt up close to drive in sites but are still separated giving you a feeling of seclusion. Most of these are in absolutely spectacular locations. It is advised that you boil or filter the tank water before drinking but this is probably being a bit paranoid. I drank out of them and didn’t have an issue except explosive diarrhea (just joking, I had no dramas at all). It is worth noting that the last days walk from Devil’s Kitchen, if you are camping out, is 16km. If you have a morning bus trip back to Melbourne or the airport, this could be a problem. There is a nice camping ground at Princetown that is only 6km from the Twelve Apostles. Pros: Close proximity to a nice pub with cold beers and cooked food, easy walk for your last day. Con: 10km extra walk from Devil’s Kitchen.
The rest of today’s journey took us along picturesque rugged coastline before joining up with Parker’s Access Rd and returning inland for a short distance. About 1km up the road the ‘Great Ocean Walk’ turned west, under a electrified cattle fence and back into the bush. We on the other hand continued up the road and back to our accommodation. We were actually a little tired today so it was good to be back in the early afternoon and have a little afternoon siesta. Around 6pm that evening Andrew brought us another awesome meal, honestly I though I was going to put on weight from all the good food but the walking, well and truly, takes care of burning that off. Join me next week for the second last day of our journey along the Shipwreck Coast.