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