Great South West Walk Day 13

Capes & Bays: Trewalla Camp to Mallee Camp (15km)

Cold night again, but a wonderful morning. Not a single cloud in the sky, and once the sun reached the campsite it warmed up quickly.

The track went through a bit more bushland before leading down to the beach, where it continued for about an hour, right until the end of the beach. I had a fantastic time, the weather was perfect: sunny, mild, and almost no wind. I feel like I’m really dependent on good weather.

Bridgewater Bay
Bridgewater Bay

At the end of the beach there was a steep climb to the top of the sand dune. From there on the track first descended into really thick bush land, at times it felt like walking through a maze. Later it continued its path along the edges of the cliffs towards Cape Nelson, with stunning views, and at one point crossing a beautiful patch of soap mallee trees.

One thing I also liked about the capes & bays section on the GSWW was that there were plenty of signs along the track, explaining historic events, local geology or flora and fauna.

Shells
Shells

Walking down to Cape Nelson lighthouse I noticed from a distance how well maintained the lighthouse seemed to be. Turns out it had been freshly painted in the weeks before. Certainly looked great.

It first didn’t look like there was anyone around, but the café at the lighthouse was indeed open. I must say the lighthouse café was a positive surprise, absolutely delicious food, organic produce and drinks, tasty cakes, and all while listening to jazz music. It was so good I bought some slices of cake and sandwiches as takeaway.

Cape Nelson lighthouse
Cape Nelson lighthouse

Only 20 minutes walk from the lighthouse was Mallee Camp. It appeared to have been built only recently, because everything looked brand-new and unlike all the other campsites it even had tent platforms (although fairly small ones, even given my tiny tent).

Camp was set up quickly, so I relaxed and enjoyed my cake slices.

Between the lighthouse and Mallee camp I walked past a corner of the cliff where Australasian Gannets from the nearby colony at Point Danger were flying past. Every couple of seconds a handful of them was flying past at very close distance, probably returning from their fishing grounds.

Gannets
Gannets

The fascinating thing was that they came flying very close to sea level at first and then turned towards the cliff, to take advantage of thermal winds that would push them high up into the sky. They didn’t need to do anything, just stand still and the wind would push them up. So close you could almost touch them.

I decided to take my camera and walk back to that corner, a great chance to photograph birds at really close distance. I was sitting down right on the edge of the cliff always waiting for the next batch of gannets to arrive, then trying to get a perfect photo of one hovering past me. Great fun.

Definitely the best day I had on the GSWW, simply because of the perfect weather conditions, the easy walk with very diverse scenery, the great food at the lighthouse and the fantastic time I had watching the gannets and other birds near Mallee camp.

Gannet
Gannet

Wildlife seen: Australasian Gannet, Green Rosella, New Holland Honeyeater.