SHIPWRECK COAST

Day 4 – Great Ocean Road: Ryans Den to Gellibrand River Crossing (21km)

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Persistent rain through the night continued into the morning. Hoping that it would ease we stayed in the campsite shelter for a few hours longer then we would have wanted. But realising that the rain was not going to pass Hammer eventually decided to that there was no avoiding packing up a wet tent. It adds a significant weight to his pack, which he was hoping to avoid.

So with grey skies overhead and coastal views completely misted in we set off from camp towards Wreck Beach and Devils Kitchen about 11km away.
As on yesterday’s approach to the campsite the trail outward continued to wind over gullies which we crossed at the low point over well crafted wooden foot bridges.

Once we left the gullies, the trail deviated away from the coast and the rain eased. We walked along the perimeter of private farmland which seemed to provided perfect feed for a huge mob of kangaroos.

The rain returned in passing gusts as we approached Wreck Beach. Here we had to decide whether to stay on the clifftop trail or descend a long staircase to the beach, which may not be passable if the tide is in. To me it looked like the tide was too high but Hammer assured me that “we’ll be right”. I reluctantly agreed to follow on the proviso that he carry me back up the stairs if we had to turn back. And it was all right. The tide was just right for us to get through.

Wreck Beach was named after the artefacts of several shipwrecks that have washed up on the beach.  Interesting and diverse rock formations formed the cliff face. We could have spent hours fossicking along this beautiful beach  but were a little concerned that we may get trapped by the rising tide.

We had booked to stay a night at the Devils Kitchen campground which is located just above Wreck Beach. Since we still had plenty of daylight, the rain was still falling and we had the car parked at Princetown which was only 9km away, we decided to walk on and finish the walk.  The trail from Wreck Beach to Gellibrand River at Princetown was mostly through low lying coastal heathland and offered no glimpses of the Twelve Apostoles.

We were relieved to reach Princetown and find that our car was still there.  After a  shower and an early dinner, we were so pleased with our decision to walk out. Princetown is a small town just off the Great Ocean Road. A great spot to stop for the night and avoid the huge hoards at the Twelve Apostoles Visitors Centre.

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Last night's clear sky did not last

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Morning view to the west from Ryans Den

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View to the east in the morning.

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Our breakfast nook, waiting for the rain to pass

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Eagle soaring despite the weather

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Rain drops on gum nut flowers

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Let's just walk away from the rain

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Mud slide

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Moonlight head

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The trail along a private farm

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You can which way the weather approaches here

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Lots of roos resting in the paddock

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We passed several shoe washing stations. Designed to avoid the spread of a soil fungus

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Orchid

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Wreck Beach, did not look passable from up here.

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Stop, wait for me....

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Trying on a new outfit

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A bit of rust on this anchor

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Lou-Seal feeling at home

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Washed up achor

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Different rock strata, Wreck Beach

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Interesting rock formations, Wreck Beach

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Twelve Apostoles are just down there somewhere

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Leaving Wreck Beach with Devils Kitchen in the background

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Coastal heath on the way to Gellibrand River

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Princetown wetland

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Gellibrand River with Princetown in the background

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Princetown Store has the best Hot Chicken Roll ever

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Lou-Seal getting ready for bed