Great Ocean Walk Stage Seven
Start: Ryans Den
Finish: Devils Kitchen hike-in campsite
Duration: 5.5 hrs
The Great Ocean Walk Stage Seven is the penultimate stage of this breathtaking 8 day walk, and takes in some of the best scenery the walk has to offer. After Leaving Ryan's Den hike-in campsite, you quickly feel that you're in for some hard work! This section is steep, winding and very beautiful.
After climbing and descending for several kilometers, the track levels off a little as it joins with Cape Volney Track. Further on you're climbing again, this time through some grazing land and onto Parkers Access Road and Moonlight Head Road.
At Old Coach road, you need to choose either the inland route or Wreck Beach route. Check weather and tides and proceed with caution if you choose the Wreck Beach route (which I recommend to do if conditions permit). The inland route is straightforward, and uninteresting, but will get you to Devil's Kitchen Hike-in campsite quicker and with less effort.
The beach route continues along Moonlight Head Road to the Gables Carpark.
The Gable Lookout is a short diversion walk offering stunning coastal views of the ocean and reefs around Moonlight Head. This is one of the highest sea cliffs on mainland Australia, and the views are spectacular.
Returning from the lookout, you take the track left which connects with the 366 steps (yes 366!) down to Wreck Beach.
The walk down to the beach is strenuous, and it will give your legs and knees a very good workout (especially if you're carrying +20kg of photo gear on your back, as I do on occasion).
Wreck Beach is, for me the highlight of the walk, probably in part because of the photogenic ships anchors of the Fiji and Marie Gabrielle shipwrecks, but also because of the sheer isolation and beauty.
At the other end of the beach, it's a good climb up to Devil's Kitchen Hike-in campsite.
Great Ocean Walk Stage Seven --> Great Ocean Road Homepage
Great Ocean Walk Stage Seven --> Great Ocean Walk page
Next: Great Ocean Walk Stage Eight
Great Ocean Walk Stage Eight