Regarding the use of Hammocks on the Great Ocean Walk

Victoria specific bushwalking discussion.
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Victoria specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Regarding the use of Hammocks on the Great Ocean Walk

Postby ludberg » Thu 19 Dec, 2013 4:09 pm

Thought I should share this reply. Maybe it will help someone.

Thank you for your enquiry regarding the Great Ocean Walk. If you are hiking multiple days of the Great Ocean Walk and intending to camp within the park, it is a condition of the walk that you book into the designated Great Ocean Walk hike-in campsites. This can be done through our Information Centre by phoning 13 19 63.

Within the Great Otway National Park you are only permitted to camp in designated camping sites.

None of our camping sites are designed to accommodate a hammock. Many of our coastal tree species are quite spindly and frail and would not bare the weight of a hammock. Furthermore all designated camping areas have been cleared of trees, so it would therefore not be logistically possible in most sites to find two trees in close enough proximity to hang a hammock.
All vegetation in the Great Otway National Park is protected under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act and National Parks Act, under which it is an offence to tamper with any vegetation within the park.

If you require any further general information on the Great Ocean Walk I recommend you read the FAQ’s attached or look at the home page for the Great Ocean Walk on Parks Victoria’s website: http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks ... ocean-walk

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information. Regards, Kate.

Kate Churven
Ranger Team Leader, Great Ocean Walk
T (03)5237 2512 E [email protected]
Parks Victoria
PO Box 63, Apollo Bay VIC 3233
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Re: Regarding the use of Hammocks on the Great Ocean Walk

Postby backpaqer » Thu 06 Jun, 2024 3:50 pm

Given this is a 10 year old message, it may be out of date. But looking at all the Parks Vic offerings, they seem very scared of hammocks and have not addressed their needs in their camping offerings. I've stayed in many Vic parks in my hammock and generally there are always some good solid trees to take advantage of - or my car and one solid tree. Always looking up and assessing the risks. Parks Vic have obviously taken heed of their legal team and cleared out anything that could squish unsuspecting campers (and making campers less intelligent in the process when scoping out non-Parks Vic campsites). After spending hundreds of $$$ on my hammock gear and absolutely loving the kind of sleep and total lack of pain every morning - this leaves me with two options around the GOW; not go, or stealth camp.

The whole booking campsites all year thing is stupid too - I've been looking at kayaking the Glenelg River. Never been before and I've got no idea what campsites to book beforehand. They force you to prebook, but what if you're having a great day on the water and just want to keep going? That campsite reservation doesn't allow you to say "oh I've paid but I want to stay here instead". Same with the GOW - feeling great? want to keep going? Parks Vic will thank you for your donation and probably fine you as well. Maybe they wont? It's just not clear.
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Re: Regarding the use of Hammocks on the Great Ocean Walk

Postby Eremophila » Fri 07 Jun, 2024 6:42 pm

Providing you have phone coverage there’s nothing stopping you from booking on a day-by-day basis…. Unless it’s a busy period.

I’ve just had a quick scroll through some of my photos. Some campsites, such as the one shown below, are definitely not suitable for hammocks. And in those campsites which may have large enough trees, you would be trampling the undergrowth to access that space.
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Re: Regarding the use of Hammocks on the Great Ocean Walk

Postby Xplora » Sat 08 Jun, 2024 7:17 am

backpaqer wrote:Given this is a 10 year old message, it may be out of date. But looking at all the Parks Vic offerings, they seem very scared of hammocks and have not addressed their needs in their camping offerings. I've stayed in many Vic parks in my hammock and generally there are always some good solid trees to take advantage of - or my car and one solid tree. Always looking up and assessing the risks. Parks Vic have obviously taken heed of their legal team and cleared out anything that could squish unsuspecting campers (and making campers less intelligent in the process when scoping out non-Parks Vic campsites). After spending hundreds of $$$ on my hammock gear and absolutely loving the kind of sleep and total lack of pain every morning - this leaves me with two options around the GOW; not go, or stealth camp.

The whole booking campsites all year thing is stupid too - I've been looking at kayaking the Glenelg River. Never been before and I've got no idea what campsites to book beforehand. They force you to prebook, but what if you're having a great day on the water and just want to keep going? That campsite reservation doesn't allow you to say "oh I've paid but I want to stay here instead". Same with the GOW - feeling great? want to keep going? Parks Vic will thank you for your donation and probably fine you as well. Maybe they wont? It's just not clear.


I think the reasoning is not tying anything of weight to the trees as it could damage them. I know they do not allow horses to be tied to trees. Hammocks would be similar once a person's weight is in it. A horse doesn't put weight on the tree unless it tries to get away. I suppose it is worse if the rope around the tree is thin. When winching a 4wd from a tree a wide strap is used to protect the tree.
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Re: Regarding the use of Hammocks on the Great Ocean Walk

Postby Bill P » Sat 08 Jun, 2024 10:02 pm

I walked the GOW 2 months ago and I reckon you would find suitable hanging points to hammock off.
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Re: Regarding the use of Hammocks on the Great Ocean Walk

Postby ChrisJHC » Tue 11 Jun, 2024 5:31 pm

Xplora wrote:
I think the reasoning is not tying anything of weight to the trees as it could damage them. I know they do not allow horses to be tied to trees. Hammocks would be similar once a person's weight is in it. A horse doesn't put weight on the tree unless it tries to get away. I suppose it is worse if the rope around the tree is thin. When winching a 4wd from a tree a wide strap is used to protect the tree.

The accepted practice is to use a minimum 1-inch strap around the trees and the thin rope (Dyneema) hangs off the strap.

I’ve hung along the GOW and the only place I couldn’t find a suitable place to hang is at the Cape Otway Lighthouse.

Re the booking system, I reckon that there would be no issue if you used fewer sites than planned. Using more (i.e. staying an additional night or two without paying for them) would be more of a problem.

Mind you, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a ranger on either of Vic’s Great Walks that I’ve done.
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Re: Regarding the use of Hammocks on the Great Ocean Walk

Postby Vommo » Wed 19 Jun, 2024 7:51 pm

Eremophila wrote:Providing you have phone coverage there’s nothing stopping you from booking on a day-by-day basis…. Unless it’s a busy period.

I’ve just had a quick scroll through some of my photos. Some campsites, such as the one shown below, are definitely not suitable for hammocks. And in those campsites which may have large enough trees, you would be trampling the undergrowth to access that space.


For the walk in camping sites at the Prom I noted you can’t book on the day - must be the day before or earlier. Perhaps that’s for safety or management reasons. Not sure if it’s the same on the GOW.

I like being spontaneous too, where possible.
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