After a cold and wet night we were ready to leave the high country and chase some warmer temperatures! So we packed up early and got on the road for the prom. A strange noise had appeared somewhere in/on the car which kept us busy for a couple of hours and about ten roadside stops to try figure it out, to no avail… Stopped in Yarrum for lunch at a chicken shop, tried to order a potato scollop to which we got odd looks and got reeducated that they have “potato cakes”. After a bit of banter we agreed scollop was a dumb name, however they aren’t really cakes either…
Next stop was Wilson’s Promontory and what a magic place it is! Driving in it had that pristine
feeling and we knew we were entering a special place. If anyone has been to Able Tasman National Park in NZ you’ll know what we mean. There was lots of wildlife to be seen on the drive in, a wombat quietly chewing in the plains and a brown snake trying to cross the road. Dave spared him a muddy to the head and he lived to see another day!
The campground at Tidal River is well established and can cope with a 1000′s of campers during peak periods. They have 400 sites but we managed to find a nice secluded spot surrounded on 3 sides by bush. This was not only private but very helpful as it was very windy and the rooftop tent (and us trying to sleep in it) don’t like too much wind! We walked down the tidal river and out to the beach and decided to wake early to catch sunrise and hopefully some beautiful shots of the orange moss colored boulders. Unfortunately mother nature had other ideas and when we woke at dawn it was clouded over! Seeing as we were up we headed down to the beach anyway, it was quite surreal being the only people on such a beautiful beach at the mercy of the weather.
After using the facilities and having a nice hot shower we packed up camp and did a local bush walk between Picnic Bay and Squeaky Beach. It was lovely and good chance to soak in the surroundings, although I would have liked a bit more sun! Its hard to describe the blue of the ocean here and grey and orange color of the boulders. Speaking of boulders, Dave took the opportunity to test out his rock climbing skills and shimmed up between two, Bear Grylls style! After our walk we headed out of Wilson’s and around to Bear Gully which looks back onto The Prom. It’s a free site and was scenic, although not protected due to its south easterly facing location. We again found a protected spot to set camp and then took a walk along the wild and rugged beach with Bass Strait throwing everything at us!
After a night at Bear Gully we were due at The Lands Residence in Frankston, on the Mornington Peninsula. On the way we stopped off at Phillip Island for a look around and were glad we did. Of course we did the obligatory squizz at the race track – AMG had hired it for a driver training day for people who had dropped a packet on a new AMG Merc! From there we drove up to the headland where the penguins do their march. We didn’t like the commercial feel and large grandstand set up so didn’t bother buying tickets, plus you can’t take any pictures! So we drove around the headland and looked at the Summerland precinct, where they have bought back all the pastoral land and are building nesting boxes for the penguins. This whole area is closed at night so the penguins won’t be disturbed. We were lucky enough to find two lazy penguins under the lookout, who obviously couldn’t be bother scaling the cliff for a spot of fishing that day. So we got to see Phillip Island’s penguins up close and personal!
After a circumnavigation of Phillip Island, which was a lot bigger than I was expecting we headed to the Lands in Frankston. Bill is the National Sales Manager from D&D (dads work) and an all round top guy. He and his boys Mitchell and Jack happily let us take over their house for a couple of days of R&R. We made best use of all the luxuries on offer – hot showers, laundry, Internet, comfy couches and Foxtel! Bill even had the hot tub heated up and ready to go… we had landed in heaven! Big thanks go to Jack who vacated his room to let the travelers have a proper bed for a few nights. Dave wished he had disco lights in his bedhead and neon skulls on his doona as an 11yr. old – very cool!
After bidding our gracious hosts a fond farewell, we were off for the next leg of our journey, The Great Ocean Road!
For pictures head to the Southern Victoria photos page