Mount Disappointment State Forest closed due to the February 2009 Black Saturday bushfires.
Golden Spring is closed for renovation.
Be careful as there appears to be some confusion with a couple of the track and road names. Even the ‘official’ maps seem not to agree. There is also some confusion (or perhaps realignments) with the described route from the Landcare Centre to where it crosses the Creswick – Daylesford Road. This will be checked out at at the earliest opportunity.
Some walkers have had difficulty finding the continuation of the trail at where it crosses Cowan Creek. The confusion stems from the fact that the trail divides about 50m before the creekbed. The trail straight ahead has now been closed (probably because it is steep and very eroded). The much better and easier trail heads off right (at the hole in the ground) and descends down and across Cowan Creek. Orange markers have been installed.
IMPORTANT UPDATE (Spring 2009): All of the original EMERGENCY SIGNPOSTS in the gorge have been replaced with new EMERGENCY MARKERS by ESTA (Emergency Services and Telecommunications Authority). Of major concern, however, is that the original numbering has been changed. The old (original) numbering is in use in a number of available publications, including two of our own books and in the very popular Lerderderg and Werribee Gorges Meridian map. Walkers using our guides and the Meridian map must not confuse the original numbering with the new numbering. Please download the following PDF which spells out all the changes and even includes the Emergency Markers GPS coordinates: LERDERDERG STATE PARK EMERGENCY MARKERS
The walk has been much better signposted in the last couple of years and there are no longer any junctions without signs and/or triangle markers. There has also been a major trail realignment beyond the swing gate (p62, at the end of the second paragraph) leading up to the Eastern Viewpoint. The trail now veers right and passes the interesting ruins of Hanson’s Farm (1871) then reaches a junction with the new Centenary Track (which heads off right to the W. James Whyte Island Reserve). Turn left (signposted) and climb the old rough vehicle track up to the top of the hill to a signposted junction with the Short Circuit Track. Further along the walk and not far beyond Lions Head Beach the trail has a fixed steel cable along the cliff, presumably to reduce the possibility of someone slipping into the water.
The walk described in the book ends at Johanna Beach after 57km. The walk now extends as far as Glenample Homestead (91km). There are plans to take the walk even further at some point in the future. The walk must be booked and campsites paid for. Unlike when I researched the walk for the book, the Great Ocean Walk is now much better signposted and the trail much easier to follow. On a sightly different issue, the walk still suffers from far too many vehicle track and road bashes. This greatly diminishes what could have been a world class walk had more effort been placed into constructing dedicated trails. Hopefully the powers that be recognise that this is best described as a great walk flawed and hopefully that they have plans to improve it.
The Great Ocean walk web site: http://www.greatoceanwalk.com.au/index.php/GOW/
An Information and Map Guide is available for purchase from the Parks Victoria Information Centre on 13 1963 or at one of the local Visitor Information Centres. (Refer to the listing on the Great Ocean Walk web site for contact details.) Signs are located along the walk as a guide and indicate decision point locations. Topographical maps can be obtained at Information Victoria.
Apollo Bay to Elliot Ridge hike-in Campsite (9.9km)
The walk now starts on the Apollo Bay Foreshore. There is a high tide alternative over Bald Hill.
The campsite at Elliot Ridge is now complete.
Elliot Ridge hike-in campsite to Blanket Bay hike-in campsite (11.6km)
Unfortunately the link trail between Parker Spur Road and Telegraph Track never eventuated and walkers are condemned to walking along the vehicle tracks. There is now a dedicated campsite at Blanket Bay for those on the Great Ocean Walk.
Blanket Bay hike-in campsite to Cape Otway hike-in campsite (10.5km)
The proposed trail linking Blanket Bay and Parker Hill Campground is open. Unfortunately walkers still have to bash along the Lighthouse Road to Cape Otway Lighthouse. There is now a dedicated campsite not far beyond the Cape Otway Lighthouse for those on the Great Ocean Walk.
Cape Otway hike-in campsite to Aire River hike-in campsite (9.7km)
The trail along the clifftops has had some minor realignments. There is now a dedicated campsite above the river (50m up into the trees) for those on the Great Ocean Walk.
Aire River hike-in campsite to Johanna hike-in campsite (13.6km)
The trail is now very obvious and is clearly signposted all the way to Johanna Beach. There are a couple of boot cleaning stations beyond Castle Cove. There is now a dedicated campsite at Johanna Beach for those on the Great Ocean Walk.
The following three sections were not described in the book.
Johanna hike-in campsite to Ryans Den hike-in campsite (12.4km)
Ryans Den hike-in campsite to Devils Kitchen hike-in campsite (15.3km)
Devils Kitchen hike-in campsite to Glenample homestead (12.9km)