On Saturday morning I woke up bright and early excited about what my week had in store. Starting with a long drive from Alexandra I was heading south to Wilsons Promontory and the southern most point of mainland Australia.
My early start unsurprisingly started late with four or five coffees as Terry kept refilling my glass, and then rain, wind a fog made for an interesting drive down to my starting point at Tidal River. What google said would take 3.5hrs ended up taking 5.5hrs due to meal breaks, stops to admire the mist filled Blue Gum forests, and slow Saturday drivers.
Arrive at the information centre at 2:30pm I was a little concerned about whether I’d have time to do the walk I wanted that day, but 15 minutes chatting to the ranger set me up with an achievable route for a 5 day walk, confirmation of expected walk times and off I set.
TIDAL RIVER TO OBERON BAY
Heading south from the information centre I was pretty stoked to be walking in sunshine and although the wind was strong my hat was staying on so all seemed positive. The walk initially cut along the back of the beach before winding along the coastline towards Little Oberon Bay and then Oberon Beach. Along the way I met a couple from Melbourne, Alex and Eva, who were clearly new to hiking and so super keen. Walking in dress boots and carrying a 3 litre water bottle in hand didn’t seem ideal, but they were cheerful, happy and had a range of questions about gear for the 5 days etc. As it turned out the keen novice was to become a theme of the weekend as I passed a myriad of novel techniques to carry gear.
At camp my hammock caused a bit of a stir and opened up plenty of conversation, but it was the newbie bushwalking club hikers who rocked up with 30 minutes of light left asking if the collected wisdom thought another 4hrs of hiking that night would be achievable! This opened up the typical discussion of technically possible vs definitely enjoyment free, but off the group trudged into the fading light anyway. I hope they enjoyed it!
OBERON BAY TO ROARING MEG (AND THE END OF AUSTRALIA)
Waking up late I watched the surf as I ate breakfast and drank coffee. Today was planned to be another fairly short day as I wandered south along mainly fire trails to Roaring Meg campsite. The walking was fairly uneventful aside from watching people with two day packs or a phenomenal range of gear on the outside of their packs wander past (think D cell battery lanterns). Morning tea was consumed at the Half way Hut (a beautiful old hut in a nice campground) and by lunch time I had followed the old telegraph line to the campsite.
After lunch I put my boots back on and began wandering towards the southern most point of mainland Australia. The track was well made and quite lovely, but out at the end of the promontory the wind was fierce and cold so I didn’t hang around before making my way back to camp for soup, a dunk in the stream and then dinner.
ROARING MEG TO LIGHT STATION TO LITTLE WATERLOO BAY
This was to be longest day of my hike, starting at Roaring Meg I was heading south along the coast track to The Light Station and then 12km north up the east coast of the Prom to Little Waterloo Bay. The track started with few gully crossings where steep climbs and leeches were in profusion, but soon I was skirting along the hill side with the light station in view.
The light station itself isn’t on of the most dramatic I have visited. The lighthouse is a squat little model built of local granite which hides behind the hill and houses as you approach. It is however the most dramatic of approaches as you climb the massive hill passing boulders that would be r at home among the Remarkable Rocks of Kangaroo Island.
Heading on trail continues to wind along the coast with lots of wind and ocean views before an apparition of beauty appears before you. A calm curved white beach nestled into the hills. Of course there is still a few kilometres of hiking to go, but the beach beckons and with water warm enough to swim in what a treat it is!
LITTLE WATERLOO BAY TO SEALERS COVE
I hope you like walking up hills. From the outset this is an up and over kind of day. Instead of contouring around the coast today’s walk goes up and over every saddle and summit it can. The walking isn’t hard by any stretch but the hills are relentless as you head north. The rewards are worth it though as you descend in to Refuge Cove and then head onwards. Both Refuge Bay and Sealers Cove are spectacular white sandy beaches sheltered from the worst of the winds and waves making them perfect for swimming!
SEALERS COVE TO TELEGRAPH SADDLE CAR PARK
Hills. Long relentless climbing up to windy saddle. Spectacular but hills! Oh and amazing trails built in the aftermath of the 2011 land slides!
Do it! This hike is amazing and I really don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner!