GSWW Section 1 – Portland to Cubby’s Camp

Written by | Great Ocean Road

If you haven’t done so already, check out our Great South West Walk hiking trail summary. Else, let us continue on with this first section of the trail from Portland to Cubby’s Camp.

Counter clockwise is the recommended direction to take on the Great South West Walk starting from Portland. I’m not entirely sure why, but it does make sense for some reasons.

Many people will say that this first inland section is quite boring, but really it will depend on the individual and what type of hiking you are used to. If you are all about views, then yes it may be boring; if you are all about forests, birds, and other flora & fauna, then no it is not boring at all. But it is one of the longest sections taking a total of 5 days to get through Cobboboonee National Park.

This section from Portland to Cubby’s Camp will be your first day where you will leave Portland, passing several historical sites, and heading inland (along some roads also) and finally into Cobboboonee Forest Park at the 19km mark.

This first section is quite long at 20.5km total measured distance. A total elevation gain of 245 meters further adds to the difficulty of this section.

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Great South West Walk: Section 1 – Portland to Cubby’s Camp

Section 1: Portland to Cubby’s Camp.

  • Section Features: Nuns Beach, Ploughed Field, Henty/Dutton Memorial, Dutton’s Lookout, Whales, Bluff Lighthouse 1859, Dutton Way Sea Wall.
  • Reported Distance: 20km
  • Measured Distance: 20.5km
  • Elevation Gain: 245 metres
  • Elevation Loss: 195 metres
  • Minimum Elevation: 1 metre
  • Maximum Elevation: 65 metres
  • Time to complete: 5-6 hours

Starting from the information centre in Portland turn right (looking towards the Portland township) in the direction of the forest.

Great South West Walk: Section 1 - Portland to Cubby's Camp

Information/Discovery Centre in Portland

Great South West Walk directions

Head right towards the Forest!

Oddly enough, along this section you won’t see any red triangles which otherwise guide the way. Continue along the beach walking path until you see the first arrow.

Great South West Walk: Section 1 - Portland to Cubby's Camp

Follow the walking path along the water front.

Great South West Walk: Section 1 - Portland to Cubby's Camp

Continue out the back of the car park towards the first arrow.

GSWW Section 1 - Portland to Cubby's Camp

Take note of the red triangular marker on the post. Follow these throughout the Great South West Walk.

The Great South West Walk is marked very well throughout with little red triangular markers generally nailed to wooden posts throughout. If you keep an eye on these you shouldn’t get lost. Having said that though, on occasion you may miss one in which case it is always good to have a map handy. You can get the Great South West Walk map here.

GSWW Section 1 - Portland to Cubby's Camp

Bluff Lighthouse.

Always look out for the red markers up ahead to make sure you take the correct path, especially while leaving Portland.

Great South West Walk: Section 1 - Portland to Cubby's Camp

Ocean views are visible to the right. Take them in before they disappear. You won’t be seeing them again for quite a while.

Great South West Walk: Section 1 - Portland to Cubby's Camp

Out on the open road, when you reach Henty Bay Beachfront Holiday Park, note that the arrow points to the farmland across the road to the left.

Great South West Walk: Section 1 - Portland to Cubby's Camp

After a 19km walk out of town, you will enter Cobboboonee Forest Park.

Great South West Walk: Section 1 - Portland to Cubby's Camp

And welcome to Cubby’s Camp, located 20.5km from the start of the walk at Portland. This overnight walkers camp is located in Cobboboonee Forest Park amongst tall eucalypts. All campsites now have these wonderful huts which have a picnic table, seating, and a hikers registration booklet, along with detailed information of the current and next section, and a map of the entire trail. How great is that!

All campsites have at least one water tank, some have two – but please remember that you must filter the water that you use for cooking or drinking. Clean toilets are also available at every site. Cubby’s Camp is one of two campsites which are non-bookable. Walk in, camp, pack up and leave without a trace.

Cubby's Camp

Cubby’s Camp

Cubby's Camp

Cubby’s Camp – Don’t forget to sign in on the Hikers Registration Book, and read everyone else’s comments!

As a general note for most campsites – Possums. Possums are around most sites. Be sure to securely pack away your food at night, every night. Not only do they come and play around the camp site huts, but they also sleep behind the Great South West Walk information boards!!!

Continue on to Great South West Walk Section 2 – Cubby’s Camp to Cut Out Camp.

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Last modified: January 30, 2018