The most southern tip of Australia was most certainly our most challenging extremity to reach. It was the first time we had to prepare for an overnight hike, while we’ve done our fair share of camping and hiking we’ve always had Bluey there at the end of the day.
We were armed with our cheap and nasty gear as we headed for our camp at Shallow Inlet, just outside Wilson’s Promontory National Park to prepare for the following day. Here we packed our non-hiking backpacks with the bare minimum…which is actually quite a lot when you have to carry everything you need with you. We had our tent and sleeping mats strapped to us, I had an airplane pillow hanging from the top loop and Chocco had sandwiches tied to the top of his bag (because I wasn’t going to be eating nuts for lunch!!). We looked more amateur than the 4 kids under 10 setting off with their dad’s for an overnight hike.
So at 8am we drove to the Telegraph Saddle car park, did our last minute checks and at 9am we took off for our campsite 13kms into the park, I had my trusty sneakers and Chocco was in steel cap boots. It was all very exciting for about 5kms and then you realise you have to walk along this dirt road for another 10kms! In saying that, although the track itself was just plain gravel (we’ve become real hiking snobs) the scenery was just beautiful, we walked through deep green bush, rainforest dotted with little gully’s and hills that overlooked the ocean. We were lucky enough to share the track with black wallaby’s and Wombat poo (no Wombat).
The last 5kms was certainly the hardest part as we walked on a constant incline for most of it…as if we hadn’t done enough?! But after just under 3 hours we made it to camp and I can’t think of a more satisfying moment quite like when we saw the sign for our campground “Roaring Meg”.
It was nearly lunchtime by this point so we decided to set up our little camp and eat those sandwiches before heading off on our 7km round trip out to South Point. The most challenging part was actually finding the start of the track…you’d think after 13kms they’d make life a little easier for a couple of worn out walkers!
This track was certainly more fun, climbing over rocks, up hills and jumping creeks, it so fun in fact that we did it all in about 40mins. It was clouded only by the fact that my feet were beginning to feel like someone had ripped the skin off them and started drilling into each toenail…so just great really! And then we made it. I take it back, seeing the Roaring Meg Camp sign was one thing but seeing the South Point sign was something else.
We were the most exposed to the elements we’d ever been with howling wind, some rain and then the sun…just another day in Victoria I suppose. Silly me thought “great let’s get a picture, turn around and lie down for the next 10 years” of course, as always Chocco had other ideas. He’d worked out that he swam at every extremity so far and now this one would be no exception. Action man strikes again! So there we were wandering around the cliffs of Wilsons Promontory looking for easy access down to the water.
As you can imagine we definitely found somewhere to clamber down, I’ll add that is was below 20 degrees. While I sunned myself in the occasional rays, Chocco completed his mission stating “Choong it’s so nice in the water”…that’s what all crazy people say right! All that said it was another amazing adventure, the scenery was unreal and to stand at the point and look out knowing where we were on the map, it’s a feeling that never gets old.
It was time to turn around and head back to camp, we were visited by a huge snake which was enough to make me break out into a slight jog (my feet were too sore to run) but again in record time we made it back to our little camp around 3 in the afternoon.
Usually we’re tied up with activities and making dinner until way past our (my) bedtime, whether it be making our way back from a drive, surf or explore its not often we’re sitting still. However after we returned from the southern point walk and had a little rinse in the stream by our camp…we were left with nothing to do, even Chocco had enough of walking and with no Bluey to tinker with or last surfs to be had we were like two lost puppies. Suppose we were just going to have to relax?
So we did, for about 20 minutes until we got bored and decided to start cooking our dinner at 4:30pm. As is the theme with the rest of our travel activities, we tend to spend the best part of an evening chopping, making fires, pre-heating the camp oven etc so with just a billy, some packet carbonara and a fire ban we had cooked and eaten by 5pm…that was cooking in two batches too. So we beat our record yet again and were tucked up in bed by 5:45pm, our theory was the more time horizontal on our paper-thin camping mats the better (I’ll keep you posted on that). Chocco loved the separate sleeping bags and I loved my -10 degree rated bag as the temp continued to drop to about 12 degrees…definitely worth the extra 400g of weight!
Our theory worked to some degree and we were both feeling as rested as we possibly could after 13hrs sleeping on glorified sheets for mattresses. We made our morning porridge, packed up our camp and said see ya later to our last extremity. Walking back along the same dirt road becomes much more of a mental than physical game, positives of this are that every step is a step closer to finishing and you get to spend the first part of the walk watching people climb the hills of the last 5kms you did yesterday…sadistic but surprisingly motivating (we’re bad people)
We saw more Wombat poo (still no Wombats) and more Black Wallaby’s, a lot more hikers than the day before and FINALLY….we saw Bluey! What an awesome two days we had, it was an amazing feeling accomplishing something neither of us had done before. At 10:45am we cracked a beer and said cheers to never doing that again (we probably will).
We were in dire need of a swim and luckily for us ‘The Prom’ is a haven for beautiful beaches so we jumped in Bluey and headed for Whiskey Bay about 20 minutes down the road. Another 400m walk?? I could have died…but I opted for a swim/ice bath, which had much better outcome. Feeling refreshed, we jumped in the car to make our way to the nearest fuel station about 70kms from Whiskey Bay, we were kilometres away from running out of fuel…of course! Thank you Yanakie General Store for saving us, and filling our gas bottle up too. Now we were sorted with gas and fuel, we could attend to the scariest of empties on our hands and that was my stomach! We made a beeline for Foster, the first big town on the way out of the national park that would surely have a hot chook.
Bellies full, coffee’s drunk and we were on our way into Melbourne City for a night before our Tassie adventure. Things had really changed for us, instead of doing a 3hr mission in the morning from somewhere to make the ferry we were pulled up at Port Melbourne Beach car park along with every other Tassie traveller the night before departure…even we didn’t know who we had become, responsible I suppose!
We activated backpacker mode and cooked a stew out the back of Bluey with our leftover veggies (because you won’t catch an Asian or a Wog throwing out good food) and then camped in the car park close to where the ferry leaves. It’s a sight you have to see to believe at Port Melbourne, endless caravans, vans, troopy’s and even a tent all set up in a standard city cark park ready to board the ferry in the morning.
And so was the end of our amazing, challenging and fun overnight hike to the Southern tip of Australia. Next stop Tasmania!