Little Deadmans Bay to Osmiridium Beach
South Coast Track
The Hike - With a monster day under our belts thanks to crossing the Ironbound Range, today would represent somewhat of an easier task but with 16.7km of hiking, it still wasn't going to be a casual stroll. Sleeping in a bit, the legs were feeling pretty fresh as I emerged from my tent and greeted the others. There was no rush today given the guidebook suggested about 13-14km of walking, with a couple of beach stretches that go a long way to increasing the average speed of any day.
Leaving camp early wasn't a big priority this morning, so I took my time packing up and ended up wandering around to explore the area a bit more. Given we didn't have too much time before dark to enjoy the campsite, I headed down to the main beach again to fill up my water bottle for breakfast and bask in the sunnier weather. Add in another visit to the rocky platform I watched the sunset from and this was a fantastic way to start my morning. With no rush, the others decided to have a hot breakfast, and as I was carrying the water boiling equipment, I savoured my protein shake instead, while getting my gear ready for final assembly. It seems almost everyone in camp was taking the same relaxed approach, with a large group of youths enjoying the start of a rest day here. As such, it was up to us to figure out the way out of camp, with everyone we talked to at the creek crossing near camp unsure of where to go. One downside of these expansive campsites is that they become a bit of a maze to figure out if you don't do some advanced scouting.
We knew the track left the pebble lined beach at some point but after walking to near the end and looking for a path into the forest, we were a bit dumbfounded as to where to go. I was busy photographing a Sooty Oystercatcher, so wasn't too fussed about finding an exit but eventually Bronwyn spotted a small cairn that might solve our problems, about halfway along the beach. The track leading off the beach isn't obvious at all but it was confirmed to be the right one when we passed a blue sign pointing to the campsite. The short section of fern-lined forest doesn't last long before you exit onto a boardwalk snaking through the buttongrass plains. This was a fantastic opportunity to gaze upon the Ironbounds for the first time from this perspective and it was a nice feeling seeing where we had come down the previous afternoon. Along with the Ironbounds, there were great views looking across to Pindars Peak and Pandani Knob to the east, and south towards the Southern Ocean.