O is for Otways (Great Otway National Park)

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Written by Caroline.

Our O Challenge had a bit of a last minute change of plan (yes, this can happen often!) when the organiser had to pull out. The original plan was the 22km Erskine Falls Loop in the Otways. I took the opportunity to organise a shorter hike which would make an easy day trip from Melbourne for those who weren’t able to stay overnight in the Otways Friday night, and those who had to be back in Melbourne for Saturday evening. This turned out to be all of us – a group of 6. Plus a shorter hike would be more achievable for me at 7 months post bilateral bunion surgery!

Aireys Eastern View Loop

The new plan was to hike the Aireys Eastern View loop, an easy 13km circuit.

We met at midday at the Great Ocean Road memorial arch and enjoyed some time on the beach away from the tourists taking photos at the iconic arch.

Beach by the Memorial Arch. Photo by me.

The sun came out for the first section of the hike which was a pretty tough slog uphill on a wide vehicle track, but we were pretty delighted to come across an echidna ambling across the track a short way in which more than made up for it.

Echidna friend. Photo by Jeff.
Burrowing away from us. Photo by Jeff.

We were all sweating and ready for lunch by 1pm, which we had at the junction of Coalmine Creek Track and Moggs Creek Track. Due to various injuries/illness recovery we all took the easy option (very un-adventurous and very unlike us) and opted not to do the detour section out to Moggs Creek Picnic Area.

Maybe the Adventure Gang is turning into the chilled out gang…

Anyway the last section of the walk was by far the most rewarding, with continuous spectacular views over the ocean, and a lovely narrowed hiking trail, in contrast to the old vehicle tracks we had been walking on.

Views from the trail – including the Aireys Inlet lighthouse far in the distance. Photo by me.
Photo by me.

There were plenty more of the beautiful variety of flowers though.

Photos by me.

The last section of the trail winds its way down a narrow staircase, to the beach, and the last 1.7km is along the beach.

Staircase. Photo by me.

We walked barefoot and played in the waves along the way.

Walking on the beach. Photo by Louise.

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