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Prion Boat Crossing South Coast Track

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.

I was happy being at the back of the train, photographing the wildflowers that line the edge of the boardwalk, and generally enjoying the sweeping vistas. After a bit of an up, followed by a gradual downhill, the boardwalk disappears into the forest once again. I took one last look at the great views, before brushing the thick vegetation guarding the entry passage and heading into the greenery of the forest. Greeting us not long after entering was another small creek crossing but as had been the case over the first three days, the water level wasn't very high. The rope provided suggests this might get a bit hectic after some rains but for us, it was a matter of using the exposed stones so we didn't even need to get our boots wet. The wooden steps on the other side looked super photogenic with all the ferns and moss growing everywhere, and this would be the experience until we reached the first of the two beaches we would walk along today, Turua Beach. 


After less than a kilometre of nice forest filled with exposed tree roots, a bit of mud and plenty of ferns, we descended down and were soon on the sandy shores of Turua Beach. This would serve as the warm-up to the longest beach section of the whole track that was a bit further along, and initial impressions were positive. Having not done any beach walking since early on day two, it was a nice return to the coast. With only a kilometre of beach walking I decided not to remove my boots and with a hard surface to walk on near the water, this wasn't an issue. One thing I noticed straight away was the cool geological feature of a rock face extending diagonally up from the sand, I'm assuming due to being forced that way over many millions of years. It looked pretty cool to me, a simpleton, and as we walked along the beach, more interesting rocks appeared. Reaching a flat platform near the end of the beach walking, you skirt along the edge of it to access a sheltered bay where the track disappears off into the vegetation once again.