22 walkers, including several newcomers, met at Cape Schanck
Lighthouse carpark, departing by 9am. A fine sunny day which felt like spring, although
most took the precaution of donning warm gear to start with. We headed along
the track to Fingal Beach, keeping a brisk pace in order to make the most of
low tide. The descent down to the beach involved around 420 steps (Deirdre counted
them!) Several platforms along the way provided spectacular views across the
lower Peninsula and Bass Strait.
Fingal Beach itself is relatively remote and reminded
several of us of the Otway’s beaches along the Great Ocean Walk. There were sandstone
rock formations and cliffs. The low tide created a broad waterfall effect over
the edge of the reefs. This was the backdrop to morning tea.
We then headed off along the sandy beach towards Gunnamatta.
With the ideal weather and beach conditions it was decided to extend the walk all
the way to the Gunnamatta SLC. True to form the surf was big and plenty of
surfers were out. Margaret and Marty enjoyed the sand without boots and Marty
amazed/(horrified) everyone by continuing bare foot all the way back – just a
big kid at heart.
The return walk diverted from the beach to a slightly inland
track. Lunch was enjoyed from a perfect cliff top perch. The track then
gradually climbed back towards Cape Schanck, rejoining the initial track over
the last km. Total distance around 13.5km, as measured separately by 2 walkers with
GPS apps on their phones, only to learn how much this drains the phone battery!
Well done to Deirdre for organising this most enjoyable walk
and welcome to the newcomers, who kept up well despite the longer distance than
advertised. Thanks also to Jill who invited us back to her nearby house for a
restful afternoon tea.