Duke of Edinburgh and Outdoor Education Great Otway National Park Hike

The Year 9 Duke of Edinburgh / Outdoor Education classes recently completed a two day hike from Bells Beach to Point Road Knight in the Great Otway National Park. Overall the hike was roughly 18 km, although some will argue that it was at least 50 km.

We experienced beautiful views along the coast and watched the stars light up the skies at night, which made for picture perfect photos that made the effort getting there worth while. Luckily the two groups did not experience any harsh weather during the camp, although the nights were cold and we had to layer up.

Although we were allowed to bring our phones for emergencies and for taking photos, we had limited use. This made us actually talk to one another and pay more attention to our surroundings, which definitely was a positive.

We were sent off in our groups, with 5 minute intervals between us, with only a map and a track to follow. We knew that we were walking for roughly 4 hours and when we finished the first steep hill we had not known the time and had thought we had walked for a solid 30 minutes. We had been walking for five minutes.

So after many pointless conversations, bad jokes and even worse attempts of being Bear Grylls, the rest of the day went quickly. Although there was a little bit of complaining about sore feet and legs, we still powered through.

That night the satisfaction of setting up our tents, making a hot meal and eating the delicious smores was worth everything we put in.

The next day we were set off to walk 7km mainly downhill thankfully. By the time we reached the last stretch it had not felt as if we had been walking very long and we were told that we just had to go to the top of this hill and that would be it.

Everyone cheered for joy as we saw the finish line and made our way back to school on the bus. Overall it was a great experience that was definitely challenging but worth it.

By Elizabeth McIntyre