Overview and Track Notes


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The Great South West Walk begins at the historic city of Portland Victoria which is the Western gateway to the Great Ocean Road.
On leaving Portland, the track provides walkers with panoramic views of the scenic coastline and beautiful Portland harbour, finally meeting up with wonderful native forests which offer solitude and peace from the noise and bustle of civilisation.

Nearing the end of the forest, the walk meets the majestic Glenelg River which meanders through the Lower Gleneg National Park. Spectacular views of gorges and limestone cliffs can be seen from the cliff tops as the track winds its way towards the coast.

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Leaving the river at its mouth near Nelson close to the South Australian border, the walk continues on to the seemingly endless white beaches and rolling sand dunes of Discovery Bay. Remoteness...wild seas...huge breakers...gentle waves and rockpools...all in a solitude broken only by birdlife or perhaps an occasional seal.

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As a diversion from the white sands, detour to the fresh water Lake Mombeong or revisit the forest at Mount Richmond. Koalas are usually on hand to greet you in this area, while in Spring, the wattle, heaths and wildflowers will leave you spell-bound.


As the walk heads back to Discovery Bay, Cape Bridgewater and Cape Nelson, you can watch seal colonies at play from the rugged cliffs, an occasional Southern Right whale/s and obtain magnificent views of the gannet rookery on the mainland at Point Danger as well as on Lawrence Rocks.



Along the way you will marvel at the natural wonders of The Springs, The Blowholes, and the Petrified Forest.  A specially prepared Smelter Nature Walk at Cape Grant, allows wheelchair and baby stroller access. The low gradients and sealed surface mean that everyone can enjoy the beauty of the rugged coastline and heath lands.


Finally the walk winds its way back to the city where walkers will cross the recycled 100 year old foot bridge near the Golf Course.


An electronic version of the GSWW Track Notes produced by Green Trails, can be viewed, downloaded or printed
from the following link- GSWW Track notes by Michael Peiper




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