Being fifty-something doesn’t mean I’ve learnt to enjoy the chilly-ness of autumn weather, especially when the temperature dives dramatically like it has this past few days. I’ve been dreaming of warmer climes and my mind keeps wandering back to a little break we took at Kennett River a couple of months back. Just the memory warms my heart a degree or two.
It soon passed and we had a chance to have a look around this gorgeous little park, which is right on the Great Ocean Road.
The park backs onto bushland and has a lovely green, treed vibe and a feeling of space. There are even koalas munching on gum leaves, high in the trees above the camp sites.
The birdlife is prolific with colourful parrots swooping through, kookaburras laughing from nearby branches and duck families waddling by.
The surf beach is just a short stroll across the road. It’s uncrowded and fringed with explorable rock pools.
We spent hours in the surf over a couple of days, giving our boogie boards a serious work out. Such fun (even though I couldn’t raise my arms above head height for a few days afterwards).
At the entrance to the park is Grey River Road, a popular stopping off point for international tourists to check out the koalas nestled in the trees above. We wandered along the road and were rewarded with a couple of koala-in-the-wild sightings.
Then we discovered something even better … a path less travelled.
Beside Grey River Road is the Kennett River General Store (well worth a stop) and to the east of the store, is a quieter, lesser known walk. Just a few metres past the car park, you’ll find the river. Turn left and follow along side the waterway.
At first, the pathway is wide open, snaking along between the river on one side, and the rear of homes on the other. Soon, the bush closes around the track and you leave the road, the buses, the store and the people far behind.
We found giant waterbirds, black cockatoos, wrens, ducks, parrots and more. We found more koalas hidden high in the treetops, far away from the crowds of Grey River Road. There were ferny glades, rocky river crossings, giant trees and fascinating bush sounds.
We walked for several kilometres and saw not another person.
We scrumped wild blackberries along the riverbank (later enjoyed atop pancakes for our dinner).
We paused to rest on leviathan trees, left where they’d fallen to regenerate the bush.
We found a couple of picture-perfect picnic spots, where the path widens out to a clearing; enough space to stop and take in the surroundings, hear the sounds, watch the waterbirds swooping in over the river.
And we’ve hatched a plan … to come back more prepared, with a daypack stocked with food, water and binoculars, so we can spend an entire day exploring this remarkable, hidden treasure: a little path less travelled on the Great Ocean Road.