Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Great South West Walk: Conclusion

Glenelg River
The GSWW is a little gem and I can definitely recommend it! It is perfect if you only have limited time and want to see what Australia has to offer for hiking. The GSWW is called a symphony with 4 movements. Although this is a bit over-poetic, I can see the point. The GSWW leads you through 4 distinct environments.
First you walk through Cobboboonee Forest which has just recently been declared a National Park. Although not spectacular you will see a lot of interesting trees, especially stringy barks - that caused my a lot of near heart attacks, when they peel off strips of barks and I think it is a tree branch falling down on me...
Next you follow the Glenelg river, which becomes a really nice river gorge in the end. The camp sites in this area are very scenic and you have wonderful views down at the river gorge.

The Capes
The third section is along the beaches of Discovery Bay. These beaches are like most Australian beaches: Absolutely beautiful and totally deserted. Even the sand is nice to walk on - not too soft.
The last section is the most spectacular: You walk along the cliffs of Cape Bridgewater and Cape Nelson. Fantastic views - despite the wind farms. Theoretically you can see blowholes and a seal colony as well, but in my case it was just too stormy....
 On all sections you see plenty of wild life. Tons of kangaroos, leeches (hah, hah), blue tongues and echidnas (egg-laying mammals that look like big hedgehogs).
The campsites are generally in very scenic locations next to the river Glenelg or the beach. Every campsite has a picnic table, a fire ring, a toilet and a water tank. Of course there is plenty of cleared space to set up a tent. Some campsites even have a nice shelter!

Blue tongue
The trail is very well marked and well maintained. Although you have to pay attention on the beach sections on where to leave the beach, navigation is not a problem. The walking is very easy. The terrain is pretty flat and even the beach walking is not too strenous.
Mind you: This is not a wilderness trail. You will hike through pastures and you will see wind farms. You will also cross roads that allow a great accessibility. But you will also see some really nice scenery.
My only complaint is the guidebook. It does not contain much of a trail description but focuses on flora and fauna. The overview maps are pretty bad - but the waymarking is so good that you don't need good maps.

Last advice: Don't hike it in winter....
All in all: Great trail - and I am really glad I hiked it!

3 comments:

John Harwood said...

Yuk, whilst I was reading the bit about your bloody leg I had a feeling you were going to say it was a leech. You know how much I hate them so could you leave them out next time.

Glad to hear you are ok though. You always sound happier when you are walking.

Take care,

John

Thomas & Ute said...

Hallo,
wir sind die zwei die Du im NT kurz getroffen hast am Wasserfall. Die Outbackspaetzle.jimdo.com...
Deine seite ist für den ersten blick echt hart zu lesen. Man findet kein Gästebuch leider..nur kommentar!!
Gibt es das?
Grüsse, Thomas & Ute

ArizonaAnnie said...

Christine_ I am now an official, armchair thruhiker with the help of your adventures. I even open up a tab on my computer with a map of the trail and go back and forth following along with your journeys. Thanks for your effort in writing this fun (and informational) blog.

Sent from Tucson, AZ