Welcome to the final day post on for the Shipwreck creek to Thurra river hike. Day 3 of my extended hike along the wilderness coast in the Sandpatch area of Croajingolong National Park.
The third and final day in which we would would both walk the longest distance we have ever covered by foot in a single day, a whopping 22km over Sand and rock crossings, and it was good if quite tiring.
If you haven’t read the preceding two days, I suggest you start here
|Number of Days||3 day hike - (Day 3)|
|Length & Time:||Day 3: 22KM, approx. 8 - 10 Hours.|
|Start Location:||Wingan Inlet Campground|
|End Location:||Thurra River campground|
|Permit Required:||Yes Contact parks office at Mallacoota|
|Closest Town:||Cann River|
The final day in my opinion was not as difficult as Day two. The toughest of the rock crossings had been completed, and Wingan campground through to Thurra river, is pretty much all flat, although its a very large amount of walking on Sand. After waking in the morning I was sure that I was going to find it hard to move; incredibly it seemed that those golden dumplings and some kind of magical restorative properties, because I actually felt good. (Could be all that exercise I had been doing?) Heading out along the board walks, we were delighted to experience the walk back to the beach in daylight with Morale at a new high. I was unable to secure any spare batteries for my GPS so unfortunately again the GPS was not going to be much help. I did however have the foresight to bring my phone along with me, (yeah, yeah, I’m one of those people that carry their phones hiking. You just never know when you might need it! #caseandpoint!?) I turned off all non-essential features and ran Runkeeper for the entirety of the day. So with that in mind I was able to provide you with start and end points for each day, and only had to reconstruct one day worth of GPS info.
The first 10 Kilometres are actually quite easy although you will spend some time fighting with the bushland along the track over Rame head. Unfortunately the bush has reclaimed large portions of the track here too, meaning that you have to be especially careful to keep an eye on where you are waking. Even with the over grown track, Liz and I managed to chew through the first 6.5km before lunch, enjoying the sight of stretching beaches in the distance. We quickly ducked behind a dune to eat and avoid being blustered and battered by the wind for the next 20 minutes while we scoffed down our Nasi Goreng.
After lunch, we started along the beach depicted above and below, this would be our entire world for the next few hours. Depending on your constitution, this component of the walk could require lots of rests. We found that we suffered from an attrition to our speed over the walk until we were walking almost as slow as 2km an hour on flat sand. I would say that it is very important on the sand to have regular rests and you won’t know you’re knackered till you stop.
The beaches along the coast here seem to stretch on forever, it does tend to play with your head a little, by roughly mid-day we could see our final destination, this was a blessing and curse, we knew where we were headed, and could see the land we needed to cover, but it did feel at times like we were basically not moving. The day itself is a great test of your mental and physical fortitude, and asks a lot of the hiker. There is a heavy going component of rock crossings for about 2km at 10km into the day (i.e. Km #11 and 12 are rock crossings), this precedes the longest stretch of beach I have ever walked (something like 12km of unbroken sand.) with a full pack.
There are some incredible views each time you hit a new beach, with each dune opening up a new angle as you walk along the semicircular bay.
As we closed with Thurra, we realised we hadn’t taken many photos all day, I took a few just before we walked back into thurra camp, but what you see above is the majority of the photos taken that day. We saw some incredible vistas and some huge Sea birds as well as quite a few dingo tracks, though no actual dingoes .
We came into camp around 8:30pm on that day, as the sun was setting, within an hour we were chowing down on a very tasty roast, Thanks Mum and Dad for that one epic foresight!
This was an excellent hike and a fantastic experience for me, I haven’t done much coastal hiking, but let me tell you; when its 35+ degrees and you’re walking along the beach in full sun, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a sea breeze. I will be doing more coastal hikes, with the Great south western walk next on the agenda I think! I hope that you have enjoyed reading this, taken something from it and maybe if I am really lucky, you will be inspired to do it yourself and share it with us here!
I would like to finish by saying, if you have any questions, please let me know via email or in the comments, I try to respond almost immediately which I can usually do; and will definitely do it within days. (Unless I’m out hiking!).