The meandering course of the Gellibrand River finds the sea beneath the bold headland of Pt Ronald. Wild and untamed; Princetown’s steep banked surging beach extends 800m east of Pt Ronald where it gives way to dunes, a series of crumbled headlands and small bays.
The remains of a 1906 engineering endeavor can be viewed as a strange gateway in the cliff at the base of Point Ronald. The gate fronts a tunnel bored through 90m of rock to the Southern Ocean beyond. Gates were opened in attempts to break a seasonal bar that periodically blocks the river mouth. Nowadays the bar is broken mechanically under a strict protocol when waters reach a preordained level.
Caution: Mouth conditions are notoriously perilous. Steep banks and complicated nearshore currents make this beach unsuitable for swimming in all conditions.
Access the beach via a 600m walk along the banks of the Gellibrand River.
Both Princetown Beach and Gibson Steps beach are within the protected area of Twelve Apostles Marine National Park. An exclusion zone within this park allows for recreational fishing east of the headland at Princetown towards Rivernook beach.
The surging strong surging shore break at this beach has caught many seasoned campaigners unawares but the beach offers productive gutters and deep holes within easy casting distance. Leave no trace! Please take all bait bags and litter with you.
Species: Australian Salmon, trevally, snapper, gummy shark
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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.