IRONBARK BASIN WALK:
Tucked away between Bells Beach and Point Addis, Ironbark Basin is a beautiful bushed inland basin that runs down to the beach. Along the Ironbark Basin walk you’ll enjoy stunning ocean views and if you’re lucky, spot a few echidnas, reptiles and native birds. This section of coastal trail is part of the greater Surf Coast walk and well worth a visit.
- Start/Finish: Bells Beach Southside carpark / Point Addis carpark
- Distance: 7 km one way 10.5 km circuit
- Time: 2 – 3.5 hrs.
- Grade: Easy – medium, multiple step sections.
- Attire: Sports clothes & runners will do the job.
- Where: Bells Beach, Great Ocean Road.
- Nearest Town: Jan Juc
- Provisions: Sunscreen, approx. 1 L of water per person for one way, 1.5 L for walking the circuit.
You’ve got a couple of brilliant options for this walk, the 7km one way Bells Beach to Point Addis Walk through Ironbark Basin (return transport to consider), or you can complete the circuit by walking back along the beach. You need to be aware of the tides for the later option as sections of the beach can be impassable at high tide, but that’s no problem with a little planning.
This walk starts and finishes at Bells Beach Southside carpark (see below for directions). From this point you can complete the circuit walk in either direction, however it’s generally accepted that walking the Ironbark Basin track first is the best option. With this in mind, you get started by taking the Surf Coast trail west. The trail takes you back towards Jarosite Road which you follow for around 400 m before taking a left into Ironbark Basin.
The cliffs above Southside are popular with parasailers and if the wind is blowing in the right direction, you might be lucky enough to see them drifting along the clifftops as you walk this short roadside section.
Entering Ironbark Basin
Finding the left turn from the Jarosite Road into Ironbark Basin is straight-forward, just keep a lookout for the Surf Coast Walk sign. You’ll be following these throughout the walk.
This first section of the Ironbark Basin walk serves up some impressive ocean views, forever changing with the conditions, and the ocean breeze comes rolling in to smack you in the face – this place makes you feel alive!
Following the Correct Trail
While you can generally follow your nose through-out the walk, there are a couple of points where you might find yourself scratching your head. One being fairly early into the walk, and the other just before you reach the Ironbark Basin car park (you could infact start here if you wanted a quick walk).
The first intersection to get right is pictured below on the left. Follow the sign for ‘Ironbark Basin car park via Jarosite Mine Tk’. The second point which is easy to miss (pictured on the right) is around 100m before you reach the Ironbark Basin car park. The track’s easy to miss, so if you reach the carpark, simply backtrack and you’ll find it. Here you take a right towards ‘Pt Addis’ – as sign posted.
Epic Views from the Clifftops
As you drop down from the Ironbark Basin car park towards Point Addis through the scrubby bush, you get fairly close to the beach before turning right and walking up and along a stunning coastal cliff section.
The views of Point Addis and back towards Bells Southside are incredible, the smell of the ocean air fresh and the rumblings of the surf constant as the sets roll through.
You Reach Point Addis Beach
After enjoying the clifftop walk you’ll reach a beach access point which you would take if completing the circuit walk back along the beach. As mentioned earlier, tides need to be taken into consideration for this option as it can become impassable at high tide (back towards Southside). If you’re finishing up at this end of the walk you continue past this access point up to the Point Addis carpark. From here there are many more stunning views from the lookouts at the point – well worth checking out.
How to get to Ironbark Basin
The drive to Southside Beach is 108 km from Melbourne, which takes around 1.5 hrs to drive. The trick is to take the Prices Freeway bypass behind geelong, then turn off (left) onto Anglesea Road not long after you’ve passes through Waurn Ponds. From here you continue until you hit the Great Ocean Road where you turn right and continue for 4 km until you reach Jarosite Road and turn left. You’ll find the carpark to Southside Beach on your right 2.9 km down Jarosite Road. Need more help? Google maps makes this one super easy.