Day 5 – Great Ocean Walk: Princetown – Twelve Apostoles – Princetown (16km)
Princetown, where we spent the night, is home to the most extensive wetland system I have ever seen. It is teeming with bird life and appears to be very healthy. So much freshwater around provides perfect conditions for mozzies, which we did not notice until we went to bed. There were thousands hovering between the tent mesh and the fly. Initially we were surprised that there were so few while we were having dinner outside. Then I remembered the onshore wind. It was strong enough to keep the mozzies at bay. One of the few times I have been grateful for it to be windy. I thought I heard raindrops sprinkling through the night. But it was probably the humongous mozzies headbutting the tent.
To finish the official Great Ocean Walk course we chose to run from Princetown to the Twelve Apostoles and back. We set off at 7am hoping to reach the Twelve Apostoles before the tourist caravans arrived.
Our morning run can be summarised by a beautiful trail, patchy rain, strong onshore winds,stunning coastal and adjoining farmland views especially when the sun broke through.
The best lookout to the Twelve Apostoles coastline is from the Glenample lookout. This is not even singposted from the road. This really ought to be the finish of the Great Ocean Walk as the last few kilometres especially between Gibson Steps to the Twelve Apostoles Visitors Centre are a huge disappointment. From the Gibson Steps, the trail passes under the Great Ocean Road through a human waste strewn tunnel and the official finish is a kilometre later at a huge visitors centre carpark. We would not recommend this section to anyone hiking the Great Ocean Walk.
We were so happy to see the sun on our return to camp, as sunshine makes everything look and feel better.