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Published: November 13th 2012
After a spot of whale watching we left New South Wales and headed into Victoria. We camped for one night at a free camp on Ninety Mile Beach; yep it really was that long! The next day we set off early and drove all the way to the excellently named Wilson’s Promontory National Park, or as it’s more commonly known Wilson’s Prom.
Wilson’s Prom is a spectacular peninsular which is Australia’s most southerly national park and contains the South Point, the southernmost point on the Australian mainland. After entering the park we enjoyed the 30km drive to the main town of Tidal River. It’s not really a town, just one big government run campsite with excellent facilities, a shop, and a small café and after paying the very reasonable fees we quickly found an excellent sheltered spot near the river to park our camper. Unfortunately because of the heavy rain and floods in March 2011 (when some campers had to be airlifted to safety because the road collapsed) most of the national park, including access to half of the campsite, many roads and many pathways are still closed due to the area still being unstable and unsafe. There are still
many areas to enjoy though and after lunch we set off on a walk to explore. Tidal River, as the name suggests, commands an excellent position next to a river to the west and nestled behind the sand dunes of Norman Bay to the south. The river is the starting point for many of the walks and as it was low tide we decided to walk along the river and head for the beach. It was a nice sunny afternoon and the natural scenery and the abundant wildlife was a joy. It seems strange to say, but I am so glad that we decided to come travelling at a slightly older age than most of the ‘morons’ we have met on our trip. We really are appreciating the beauty of such amazing places. If I’d done this trip ten years ago I reckon I would have been one of the morons passed out naked somewhere after drinking a skin full of ale and smoking some of the local flora! Anyhow, sorry I’m rambling again. The beach was lovely and after walking along it we established that Norman Bay would be an excellent beach to learn to surf and decided that
we would head out the next day to fine tune our skills of splashing around with the board. On the way back to the camper we saw many Galah’s, Rosella’s and even Wombats (which were much bigger than we thought and looked like little black bears) and that evening we enjoyed a lovely meal before passing out for an excellent night’s sleep…for a few hours at least…! In the early hours of the morning we were awoken by the campervan rocking and shaking in at first what we believed must have been an earthquake. But, just a few minutes later the phenomena started again, but this there was a rather loud scratching noise to accompany the movement?! Could it be aliens we thought! No! After plucking up the courage and finding the torch to venture outside the van and investigate, it wasn’t aliens I encountered, it was just Mr Wombat scratching his arse on the back of our van. As it turned out the lovely sheltered spot we had parked our van was a ‘Wombat Stronghold’, they were everywhere. Luckily these wombats were very used to human visitors and just ignored me as I hastily ran back to the van.
The next day we decided to head off on another walk up the headland to the South Point which had amazing views back towards Tidal River and Norman Bay and then onwards to Squeaky Beach. As we approached Squeaky Beach the weather took a turn for the worse and we made our way back to the campsite just in time before a large storm scuppered our afternoons surfing plans. After the rain died down slightly we made our way to reception and to check the weather forecast and were advised that a weather warning had been issued for heavy winds and strong rain for the next few days. That night we had another sleepless night, not from the Wombats who wisely stayed in their home, but from the wind and rain battering the camper. As the weather was still the same the next morning we reluctantly decided that it was time to move on to the Great Ocean Road. Wilsons Prom was an amazing place with an abundance of wildlife and scenery and if the weather hadn’t have taken a nasty turn I think we could have easily stayed for a week.
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