There are six popular walks around Wye and Sep, suited to everyone from kids to bushwalking enthusiasts. There are also a few others for the more experienced walkers.
Here is a diagram showing the six most popular walks.
1 Paddy’s Path
The all time favourite path between Wye and Sep.
Time: 20 mins each way
Start: The path starts at the Sep Ck end in Stanway Drive, about 50 m from the Great Ocean Road. It rises fairly steeply then meanders fairly flat on a gravel track. There are many vantage points along the path looking over the ocean and the rocks and a wide vista overlooking Wye Beach at the Wye end. It passes along a section of local road and path and emerges at the CFA building a few hundred metres from the Wye General Cafe.
At the Wye end, start at the CFA building.
An interesting historical snippet is that the path follows the route of a timber tramway built around 1905 that took timber from Separation Creek to the original jetty at Wye River.
2 Beach Walk Sep to Wye
The fascinating sand and rock ramble between Wye and Sep.
Time: 25 mins each way
Difficulty: Easy, except for a section of rock at the Wye end that can get slippery at high tide. Not suitable for prams or strollers.
Start: Where Separation Creek meets the sea at one end, Wye River at the other end.
There are a few rock pools accessible at low tide midway along the walk. The layered ancient rocks make an endless series of patterns and shapes where they are weathered by tides and wind. An abandoned rusting rail is a reminder of the timber railway that ran along Paddy’s Path of a century ago.
Extended beach walks.
1 At the Wye end you can continue west (towards Apollo Bay) and pass the relics of the two abandoned piers first built over a century ago. The rocks at Point Sturt below the transmitter station are a natural mini amphitheatre and favourite fishing spot.
2 From the Sep Ck beach you can continue north (towards Lorne) for several km along a series of mini beaches and rock shelves, until reaching Boggaley Creek. This is a pretty walk past many wind eroded caves in the soft rock, and some black layers that show the turbulent past frozen in the geological time record. You will often disturb Herons fishing in the rockpools.
A gentle valley walk beside the meandering Wye River through the camping ground and up the Wye valley.
Time: 30 minutes return
Starts: at the playground near the Wye café.
A gravel path follows the river upstream. Initially it passes rushes and a fishing platform, and then then runs on grass on crown land beside the camping ground.
Further upstream it passes pastures on one side and bush on the other and heads into deeper bush, finally stopping at the edge of ferns in the rainforest.
4 Wye Track
A steep bush track up a ridge deep into the rainforest, with no fixed ending point.
Time: Open ended. 2 hours is a good workout!
Difficulty: Strenuous uphill at the start, then undulating.
Starts: at the intersection of Karingal Drive and Dunoon Road Wye River, about 1 km above the Great Ocean Road.
This is the Old Coach Road that once was the inland route to Forrest. It still goes all the way to Benwerrin Road about 10 km from the start if you want a good workout. You can also take a shorter loop south back into Wye township.
There are no signs, so in both cases if you want to be adventurous, take a good map and GPS.
5 Birds Track
A picturesque access track with views, from Wye township along southern ridges to the Great Ocean Road.
Time: about 2 hours return, 3km each way
Difficulty: moderate, some steep sections.
Starts: At the end of Morley Av, starting at a gate near the bin corral, at the southern end of Wye River.
The track heads west gently at first, then steeply uphill. It passes two telecommunications towers overlooking Wye River, then heads south after the intersection with the Kennett Jeep Track. There are very pretty views to the north over Wye and to the south out to Bass Strait.
Some folks choose to walk the track one way, but you need another party to drop you off or pick you up at the ocean end.
6 Wye Road
A well formed fire access road from Separation Creek to the Benwerrin inland connecting road and ultimately Forrest township.
Time: Open-ended, depending on how far you want to walk.
Difficulty: Easy with moderate gradients
Start: The proper start is at the Great Ocean Road 1 km north of Separation Creek. The informal start is through the Sep Ck township along the privately owned Dollar Track, where the owner has traditionally allowed informal access.
This pretty road winds steadily uphill through dry rainforest and through several fern gullies. Go as far as you like. There are several side tracks such as Jamieson Track, but make sure you take a map if you take any of the side tracks.
The road is open to vehicles in the warmer season and is an interesting way to drive to Forrest township.
More difficult walks
There is a circuitous walk to Wye Falls, deep in the Wye Valley. There are no signs and it should only be attempted by experienced bushwalkers with good map and GPS. Mobile phones do not work in most of the inland tracks.
For most visitors, the six popular walks are the way to go. Enjoy!