I've paddled down the river three times before, I never imagined that dense eucalypt forest also held a walking trail and walker's campsites.
We walked from Moleside Picnic Area down to Murrells walk-in campsite, up, down, and along the meandering trail. The following day we pushed out the kilometres to reach Simsons walk-in campsite - not quite the isolated campsite that Moleside was, this one is only three kilometres from Nelson. People wandered past walking their dogs, a few 4WDs drove past on the dirt track. Dissapointingly - because I thought I had seen this campsite whilst paddling down the river before - there was no river view for this campsite.
The following day we divided into two groups, Graham and myself pushing out along the beach - after a stopover at the Nelson General Store - to
We made the fourth day our final. We sat eating lunch at Swan Lake campsite, beside the lake, well we think, the location of the actual hike-in campsite was ambiguous, certainly of the campsites we had seen this one had the poorest facilities - all the others we had seen were very good. The nearby car based campsite and surrounding sand dunes were trashed by the tyres of dune buggies. Never have I seen this kinda of wanton damage to a national park from vehicles. We walked on, towards Mt Richmond. We were to camp somewhere ad hoc, to balance the days a little. As we decided to focus on the hours left to walk to the car at Mt Richmond, rather than the kilometres left, we were easily able to make it back to the car by around 4pm, and make that drive into Portland for a pub meal.
Someone asked how it compared with the Great Ocean Walk, well, it may not be a fair comparison. They are different environments. The Great Ocean Road didn't get that name by accident. I love the Glenelg River, but this walk comprises maybe four elements: river; beach; coastal cliffs; forest. In the western half of the trail we did, we walked the river and beach sections. The Great Ocean Walk passes through a more diverse range range of ecosystems, but Great South West Walk is still worth doing, perhaps just not something to rage about. It is much easier walking as the terrain is generally flatter. Despite being on my "To Do List" for a long time, we were only doing this walk now because we couldn't access Wilsons Promontory due to flooding. We met and camped with other walkers, they had intended to do some of the Grampians over Easter, but likewise, couldn't due to flooding. We will get back to finish the eastern half, but being so close to Adelaide I'm not sure when, Christmas maybe (being so close to home it isn't hard to organise a trip there, so I would prefer to use annual leave on trails further away.)
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|Stats||Great South West Walk - western half|
|Moleside Creek Picnic Area to Murrells Hike-In Campsite||Murrells Hike-In Campsite to Simsons Hike-In Campsite||Simsons Hike-In Campsite to Lake Mo M Beong Campsite||Lake Mo M Beong Campsite to Mt Richmond|
|*About 600m longer than actual trail, meadering around Swan Lake campsite looking for water|