“When every climb comes with ocean views, there are tougher ways to spend your time.”

QantasLink Sprit - - Out & About -

As pam­pered as we are, we’re not phys­i­cally car­ried along the GOW (hmmm, a gap in the mar­ket?), al­though Jack must feel he’s car­ry­ing at least one per­son in his huge pack: “Any­one mis­be­haves and you get to lug this,” he jokes

early on. Hik­ers need to be fit enough to cover

the dis­tances and the ter­rain. Day two (20.5 kilo­me­tres), with its many el­e­va­tions, is the most chal­leng­ing but when every climb comes with glo­ri­ous ocean views, there are tougher ways to spend your time.

Day two also ac­quaints us with the wildlife; mostly shy wal­la­bies and echid­nas who, like lit­tle kids, think you can’t see them when they sim­ply cover their eyes (in this case by stick­ing their head into a bush). By con­trast, the mob of kan­ga­roos we en­coun­tered ear­lier that day – a cou­ple of them so big and heav­ily mus­cled that they would have looked at home in box­ing gloves – were too in­sou­ciant to hide.

The high­light of day three (17 kilo­me­tres) is de­scend­ing some 350 steps onto Wreck Beach, a wild strip of sand into which a cou­ple of an­chors are still stuck since the boats they were con­nected to – the Marie Gabrielle and Fiji – ran aground on rock bars in the 1800s. Jack de­tails their his­tory and that of the Ship­wreck Coast with the same

easy man­ner he uses to tell us about the flora and

fauna on our walk.

Late on our third day of hik­ing, I fi­nally see

our des­ti­na­tion. Stand­ing in the water, way over

west, two lime­stone stacks are al­most cam­ou­flaged against the cliffs be­hind them. The 12 Apos­tles!

Well, two of the re­main­ing eight that haven’t yet suc­cumbed to ero­sion. “This time to­mor­row you’ll be there,” says Jack but I’m not en­tirely en­thused by the prospect. I’m not ready for the jour­ney to be over.

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