This walk was a variation of the usual circuit from Allenvale car park, Phantom Falls, The Canyon, Sheoak Picnic ground with a return via Allenvale car park.
Instead, from Sheoak Picnic ground we followed Sheoak Creek, via Swallow Cave, to the coast. A car shuttle was necessary from Sheoak car park on the Great Ocean Road to Allenvale car park. These walks are well described in the Lorne Walks brochure available from the Lorne Information Centre. The map in the brochure is adequate. The alternative map is Vicmap Lorne 7620-N.
The previous week had been quite wet, so we were lucky to have a dry, overcast day. There was plenty of water in the falls but it was not too wet or slippery negotiating The Canyon. We all negotiated the scramble down into The Canyon from the top end with a little help. Most people who had been to The Canyon previously came from the lower end. It would be great to have a geologist accompany such a walk to explain some of the spectacular formations. Parks Victoria has recently placed sturdy, basic bridges on all of the river crossings thus removing some of the difficulty of the walk.
The vegetation was lush and green, especially the mosses and ferns despite our dry summer. We came across two somewhat bewildered koalas at different spots just before reaching Sheoak Picnic area. They were on the ground at the base of trees. We were puzzled by them being out and about in the middle of the day.
We started out a little later than expected due to the car shuttle, so we missed Henderson Falls. We would recommend this detour be part of the walk if time permits. It was quite a long day, finishing up in Lorne about 4.30. Twenty-nine people joined the walk, so we split into two groups, with each leader taking a group and nominating an experienced walker as a whip. We had one member of the public from Jan Juc with us who joined Angair as a result.