Last weekend, on one of the most beautiful days we’ve had since autumn ended, I hiked the Jan Juc to Point Addis track, part of the Surf Coast walk on the Great Ocean Rd in Victoria. I’ve done that walk before but only one-way in the opposite direction, and as part of the longer Anglesea – Jan Juc leg of the whole Surf Coast trail. This time I went alone and was totally comfortable doing so as it’s a track that I knew would have enough people to feel safe, without being crowded.
I’m going to try to let the photos I took describe the walk, although they were taken on my iPhone so they’re not particularly good. The total distance is about 24km (14 miles) – 12km each way. The walking track runs parallel to the road along the top of the cliff above Jan Juc beach, and you can pick up the track anywhere you like through any of a number of different cut-throughs from the road. The first 3km or so from Jan Juc to the famous Bells Beach (where the Rip Curl Pro surfing competition is held each year) is an easy walk and looks something like this:
The wattle trees were stunning. Past Bells Beach it gets a little more challenging with a few little steep sections (although really very short) and some stairs. The path comes to a T-junction where you can take the Jarrosite Mine track to either the left or the right. I took the left path, as the right is marked as being suitable for mountain bike riders, so I knew this meant it would be less challenging. Heading left I was rewarded with sites like this
Although the path is a little narrower and bumpier, it’s still really easy to follow, being a whitish sand with lots of small pebbles. The natural bush around this part of the coast has a unique beauty, I think. It feels very ‘Australian’ being scrubby and dry and hardy. It’s not necessarily any more native than the semi-rainforest we’ve been hiking through more easily but just feels so. The colours – shades of ochre and rust resemble Aboriginal art, and in fact part of the track is named the “Koori cultural walk” (Koori being the name for the Victorian Aboriginal population).
The closer you get to Point Addis, the ‘rustier’ the cliff faces look, and the photo below was taken at a lookout only a couple of km from the destination. Point Addis itself has high cliff faces and sticks out of the landscape quite assertively. There’s a wide road leading down to a huge carpark on the top of the point with a boardwalk and a few lookout points built around the edge. The track climbs up to meet the road some 500m from the carpark. Note that if you’re wanting to continue on past Point Addis you need to walk next to the road right down to the carpark and then cross it to pick the trail up again, and that’s not obvious when you’re there. There are toilets here too. The cleanest, least offensive ‘long drop’ toilets I’ve ever seen.
Lunch on Addiscot beach was beautiful.
To sit on a beach in a tshirt in August felt pretty damn special. Such a privilege. Even so, perhaps it was the lack of company or general tiredness, but I didn’t enjoy this walk as much as other recent ones I’ve done. Physically it was less demanding, and certainly less steep, but still long, and perhaps it’s because the track is unchanging for long periods of time, it felt like a long slow plod home.
I still highly recommend this one as an ‘intermediate’ walk. The views are amazing, and on a day like I had, you could take your time and stop more often at the various lookouts and small beaches and really make a day of it.