Great South West Walk Day 11

Beaches: Swan Lake Camp to The Springs Camp (21km)

At Swan Lake camp the GSWW offers two options: you can continue along the beach and walk directly to The Springs campsite, or take an inland track via Mt Richmond to Tarragal campsite, which adds an extra night and then continues to The Springs the day after.

I wanted to make the most of the beach section, so I decided to skip Tarragal. Another reason was that my gas cartridge ran empty during breakfast at Swan Lake, so for the rest of the walk I wouldn’t be able to cook anything, unless there’s firewood on the campsite (which normally is not). I knew there would be a café or restaurant at Cape Bridgewater, so I planned to have lunch there the following day.

Sand dunes
Sand dunes

Walking from the campsite back to the beach, across the sand dunes, was fascinating again. I really enjoyed the area. So much sand.

Finally I had a day with relatively stable weather, but cold and windy. I needed to leave my rain jacket on just to stay warm.

Some guys in a quad bike were driving past me on the beach at some point, they looked like Parks maintenance staff of some sort. The good thing was, I could now walk in their tracks, which made it slightly easier to walk in the sand. Still, it was a very long and tiring walk along the beach.

Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach

I think after around 5.5h of walking on the beach, after using up all my snacks and almost all the water I carried, I finally saw some people in the distance. I had reached the end of the beach near Bridgewater Lakes. Somewhere there must have been an exit over the dunes, but I missed it, so I had to take another exit further down the beach, after asking some friendly locals for advice.

Shortly after, I joined the GSWW again, but I had already walked past the lakes and didn’t bother going back, so I kept walking on to The Springs, feeling slightly dehydrated by then.

Descartes Bay
Descartes Bay

I had reached the final part of the GSWW: capes & bays. Once the track left the beach, it continued over rugged and rocky terrain along the cliffs, offering great views over Descartes Bay. Finally, no more walking on sand — the track was well prepared and maintained now.

After another 3km I arrived at The Springs campsite, a very nice and quiet location. No firewood meant no campfire, which meant cold dinner. I was looking forward to having lunch at Cape Bridgewater the following day.

Once my camp was set up I went for a bit of a walk around the area, and I watched the sun set on the horizon.

Sunset at The Springs
Sunset at The Springs

Wildlife seen: Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Black Wallaby, sea gulls and other sea birds, Egret.