Great Ocean Rd Walk v. Great Southwest Walk

Victoria specific bushwalking discussion.
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Great Ocean Rd Walk v. Great Southwest Walk

Postby LAMEA-Gals » Sun 15 Nov, 2015 9:49 am

Looking for some advice about these two walks. I'm heading down from NSW for work and have 7 days after a work conference to do some walking in this area - it will be in early March. Both of these areas appeal - I know the Great Southwest Walk is longer so I'd only be able to do a portion of it. There are at least 3 of us doing it so we have 2 cars so car shuttles aren't a problem. Any advice about how they compare - scenery, difficulty, crowds? We are all experienced walkers but don't want to be crunching out massive days - so walking for about 6 hours with time to relax would be ideal.

Many thanks
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Re: Great Ocean Rd Walk v. Great Southwest Walk

Postby walkon » Sun 15 Nov, 2015 10:15 am

I'd go the gow, if you do a bit of exploring you can fill the days easily. It's a lot more scenic and March has good temps to go for a swim along the way.
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Re: Great Ocean Rd Walk v. Great Southwest Walk

Postby cajun » Sun 15 Nov, 2015 10:31 am

We recently completed the GOW in Oct. I can highly recommend it. We walked over 7 days, one rest day, with the longest day about 25km.

It was our first multi day walk (although we had done plenty of longish day walks previously) and we are already planning our next. While we took the luxury option, the camp sites looked to be in excellent condition.

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Re: Great Ocean Rd Walk v. Great Southwest Walk

Postby dashandsaph » Sun 15 Nov, 2015 1:27 pm

Just did a lovely 4 day walk from Mt Richmond back to Portland on the GSWW. Was a highlights package with some forest, farmland, cliffs and beach. Could easily be turned into a cruisy 5 days. Either do a car shuffle or as we did, park cars outside police station in Portland and maxi taxi to Mt Richmond.
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Re: Great Ocean Rd Walk v. Great Southwest Walk

Postby icefest » Sun 15 Nov, 2015 2:54 pm

The GSWW is more remote, so you will see less people. I'd say the scenery is slightly less monumental though. It is cheaper. There is only really one safe swimming beach (Cape Bridgewater beach).
The GOW is more touristy, has more facilities but is more expensive. It is a one way track (IIRC).

Personally, I'd recommend the Nelson-Portland stretch of the GSWW, is you like being alone and other people bother you. If you want views, go GOW.
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Re: Great Ocean Rd Walk v. Great Southwest Walk

Postby LAMEA-Gals » Mon 16 Nov, 2015 8:21 am

Thanks for all the replies. Will check out the GOW website and work out how much it is going to cost - assuming its the campsites that make up the cost. Also didn't realise you have to walk it one way - so will do some more research.
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Re: Great Ocean Rd Walk v. Great Southwest Walk

Postby JulianS » Mon 16 Nov, 2015 9:04 am

Not sure if you already have, but I'd also consider Croajingolong (http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks ... ness-coast). Would require a bit more planning as there are more uncertainties (inlet crossings, water, etc) - but they're all part of the adventure of walking in a wilderness area :D
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Re: Great Ocean Rd Walk v. Great Southwest Walk

Postby LAMEA-Gals » Tue 17 Nov, 2015 7:19 am

Hi Julian
Thanks for that suggestion. We have already done a fabulous week long walk from Croajingolong up through Nadgee National Park. Loved it - very special part of our coast.
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Re: Great Ocean Rd Walk v. Great Southwest Walk

Postby Happy Pirate » Tue 17 Nov, 2015 6:17 pm

The eastern end of the GOW is beyond compare - tall E. regnans forest, coastal forests and all off of open roads. The western end has more road bashing but not as much as the GSW I suspect.

JulianS » Mon 16 Nov, 2015 10:04 am
Not sure if you already have, but I'd also consider Croajingolong (http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks ... ness-coast). Would require a bit more planning as there are more uncertainties (inlet crossings, water, etc) - but they're all part of the adventure of walking in a wilderness area :D


If you were to do Croajingalong I'd do the Mallacoota to Eden walk. Amazing wild remote coastal walk. But maybe a different beast altogether?
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Re: Great Ocean Rd Walk v. Great Southwest Walk

Postby JulianS » Tue 17 Nov, 2015 7:19 pm

Think we've reached a quorum re the Nadgee Howe walk being a good one :D (edit) I had actually been thinking of the south-west section of Croajingolong (between Cape Conran and Mallacoota), which is also well worth it for when you get the chance.

(edit) In any case, this hasn't helped wrt your original query - sorry for the distraction. Enjoy your walk - whichever of the two you eventually decide on.
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Re: Great Ocean Rd Walk v. Great Southwest Walk

Postby icefest » Tue 17 Nov, 2015 10:59 pm

Happy Pirate wrote:The eastern end of the GOW is beyond compare - tall E. regnans forest, coastal forests and all off of open roads. The western end has more road bashing but not as much as the GSW I suspect.
Steve

The gsww has very little road bashing. The coastal route has pretty much none.

The how sounds like it has more water though.
I might head over that way next weekend, there's a river with waterfalls that I want to see
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Re: Great Ocean Rd Walk v. Great Southwest Walk

Postby Happy Pirate » Wed 18 Nov, 2015 6:24 pm

Fair enough, I haven't done the GSWW. I just saw maps with routes along roads through pine plantations. This was years ago; may have changed or been a minor part of the walk...
The GOW also has shelters, toilets and water tank at every camp, don't know about GSWW
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Re: Great Ocean Rd Walk v. Great Southwest Walk

Postby icefest » Wed 18 Nov, 2015 6:59 pm

From memory the campsites of the gsww have now got shelters water and toilets.

I wouldn't be surprised if there are some roads in the north, but I haven't done that bit.
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Re: Great Ocean Rd Walk v. Great Southwest Walk

Postby Drummo62 » Thu 19 Nov, 2015 8:07 am

I did the entire GSWW loop earlier this year and can confirm that all of the campsites have a two sided shelter, water tank and toilet. There isn't much road bashing other than the start and finish at Portland. Icefest has it right - if you want something quieter with less people choose GSWW. GOW is much more touristy. IMO the capes section of GSWW is every bit as scenic as GOW and the section along the Glenelg river is also well worth a look.
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Re: Great Ocean Rd Walk v. Great Southwest Walk

Postby GregR » Tue 15 Dec, 2015 2:40 pm

I'm booked in to do a 4 day section of the GOW March next year. Can't comment on it till then.

However, Just finished a 4 day section of the GSWW last week. Campsites along the Glenelg river are all good and spacious, water in the tanks is very drinkable ( although we did elect to drink from the Canoe camp not the walk-in at Pattersons)



Very little Road walking at all. Saying that though, the track is hard on the feet probably due to the fact your walking on hard limestone a lot when following the river. I started to develop a blister on the 2nd day which we treated and kept at bay, but never been an issue before.

We left my car at the Nelson Pub (out the back) thanks to the Publicans largesse ( much appreciated) and got a lift into Moleside from a guy from the very helpful "Friends of the GSWW"

Found the scenery to be very interesting and more importantly varied. Saw Emus, echidnas, wallabys, roos and not a single snake!

After the walk drove down the GSWW ( road bash there alrighty!!) for 2 kms, to walk down to the Ocean Beach and see what we were missing - lots of sand it would seem.
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Re: Great Ocean Rd Walk v. Great Southwest Walk

Postby Jamroll2019 » Wed 07 Apr, 2021 5:23 am

Just wondering if this site is still open? Well here goes!
I’m very keen to walk the GSWW, staying in hotel/bnb/motel accommodation. Is this possible? Public transport to some track heads/ends? Shuttle at some of the accommodation available?
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Re: Great Ocean Rd Walk v. Great Southwest Walk

Postby Eremophila » Wed 07 Apr, 2021 6:39 am

There is no public transport available, aside from getting to the starting point at Portland. This is a rural area.

Once you leave Portland there are no towns until Nelson, which is very small. Nelson has some basic accommodation options- 2 caravan parks, a pub, and I think a small motel which would be perhaps 2-star. Probably B&B’s as well. There is a small general store which has very basic supplies.

Most of the walk is through State forest or national park. So any accommodation, if you managed to find say a B&B in the area, would be some distance from the walking trail. It is a walk designed to camp along the way.

Cape Bridgewater has a kiosk which does nice meals and there is plenty of holiday accommodation there.

You could contact the Friends of the GSWW as they may provide some transfers and food drops for a fee.
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Re: Great Ocean Rd Walk v. Great Southwest Walk

Postby ChrisJHC » Wed 07 Apr, 2021 7:41 am

Eremophila wrote:There is no public transport available, aside from getting to the starting point at Portland. This is a rural area.

Once you leave Portland there are no towns until Nelson, which is very small. Nelson has some basic accommodation options- 2 caravan parks, a pub, and I think a small motel which would be perhaps 2-star. Probably B&B’s as well. There is a small general store which has very basic supplies.

Most of the walk is through State forest or national park. So any accommodation, if you managed to find say a B&B in the area, would be some distance from the walking trail. It is a walk designed to camp along the way.

Cape Bridgewater has a kiosk which does nice meals and there is plenty of holiday accommodation there.

You could contact the Friends of the GSWW as they may provide some transfers and food drops for a fee.
As Eremphila said, this is designed as a self-supported walk so it’s not really practical to use off-route accomodation.
There is a shelter with toilet and water tank each day, but you’ll need to carry your own house (hammock in my case).
You’ll also need to carry your own food but can resupply water each day.

The Friends of the GSWW are great! I arranged for a lift from the Portland police station (where I left my car) to Nelson then walked back. (Didn’t have time to do the whole Walk on that trip). Gave them a nice donation to keep up the great work that they do maintaining the Walk.
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Re: Great Ocean Rd Walk v. Great Southwest Walk

Postby CraigVIC » Wed 07 Apr, 2021 7:59 am

Nelson seems like it should be more developed than it is. The pub has changed hands but when I was there the bistro was run by one person taking orders, bussing tables and also cooking the meals. The servo has an extremely limited range of groceries (but also sells frozen sausages?) and the general store isn't much better. Lovely town but I wouldn't rely on being able to get any particular item there.
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Re: Great Ocean Rd Walk v. Great Southwest Walk

Postby Eremophila » Wed 07 Apr, 2021 9:37 am

Yes I left my car in front of the Portland Police Station also. At the time - some 12 years ago - they had a sign-in book where you detailed your intended itinerary.

The Friends assisted me with food drops and also picked me up when I finished my walk at Trewalla Springs. They are very helpful.
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Re: Great Ocean Rd Walk v. Great Southwest Walk

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Wed 07 Apr, 2021 2:46 pm

My Friend Ms. C. walked the entire GSWW and she loved it. She did the whole thing. She posted a food drop to Nelson Post Office which worked out really well . I need to pull my finger out and do this walk this time next year . There is a guide book for it and all.
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