Trekking the Great Ocean Walk: ‘Stand with no land mass between your sweaty skin and Antarctica’

Far less famous than its driving counterpart, this multi-day hike is no less rich for its relative obscurity – besides, you won’t spot carnivorous snails from a car

Darting and bobbing on spindly pink legs, the hooded plover places pebbles, seaweed and other beach debris around its nest at the high water mark on Johanna beach. The decorations will do little to deter birds of prey, off-leash dogs, human feet and other threats to the eggs and to the fluffy, sandy-brown juveniles that hatch.

There are just 1,000 or so hooded plovers left, estimates area chief ranger for Colac Otway – Parks Victoria, Carl Gray. “It’s probably as close as you’ll get to a threatened species in your life,” he says.

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