FKT: J. Taylor Bell - Great South West Walk - 2023-12-08

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
4d 3h 6m 48s

Started at the Portland Visitor's Centre 5am on Monday Dec.8, finished at 8am on Friday Dec. 8. Totally dark photo in front of the lighthouse by the start as proof, lmao. The last photo is the sign next to the visitor's centre as you complete the loop.

This walk was insanely flat and very well-marked and manicured. I didn't get lost a single time. There's only one detour currently, as you have to go around the destroyed Ralph's bridge in the bush section, which added about 2 extra kilometres of road walking. Either way, I thought I'd be able to complete this in under 4 days but my feet had other plans. Note to self: don't try to do FKTs in a pair of Altra Lone Peaks with ~500miles already on them lmao. I was trying to push it to finish before midnight on the 7th, but just got totally gassed and had to bush camp 3 hours from the finish. One day I'll go back and do it right, especially when someone beats this record.

All the water tanks were well-stocked at the walker's camps, as it's been raining a good amount recently. The wildlife was unbelievable. Hundreds of roos and wallabies, fur seals, a whale, echidnas, all kinds of parrots, and a grand total of 6 extremely deadly but extremely polite snakes. Five other walkers total--the solitude was unreal, especially because I wasn't using my phone for the duration in order to conserve battery and record the track.

Given how flat and easy the walking was for this trail, the hardest part of the unsupported FKT was resisting the temptation of hot food at the kiosks in Nelson and Cape Bridgewater haha. The FKT I did for Buller Huts Trail earlier this year was WAY more dynamic and intense, dare I say this one was almost type ONE fun at times. Couldn't resist a dip or two in the ocean on the beach walks, because hey, anyone will tell you, mental game is half the battle on an FKT hah.