Looking south at Wilsons Promonotory on a grey day
18 March 2016
I could hear heavy rain during the night, and by morning the rain had eased slightly, but the wind was quite cool and strong. We decided to have breakfast at the motel, but there was a power outage before our coffee had been prepared, so we had to do without our caffeine shot. Once we packed the car, and drove through the town of Foster on our way to Wilson’s Promontory we noticed that many of the shops had lights on, so we popped in to Ando’s Bakery for a hot cross bun and a nice hot coffee.
Then we were off on our adventure to Wilson’s Promontory (affectionately called “The Prom” by the locals), not sure how the weather would affect our day. Although the rain was never very heavy, the ground was quite wet and there were intermittent “nuisance” showers. The wet weather however seemed to fit with The Prom with its treacherous surf and heavily wooded areas, and we were determined to enjoy the day whatever the weather. Certainly many people were not deterred with the cold and the rain, and the young ones had their wetsuits on and enjoyed the surf anyway.
Wilsons Promontory National Park protects 50,460 hectares including pristine beaches, cool shaded rainforests, cloud soaked mountain peaks and rugged offshore islands. Tidal River is the main location for accommodation and camping in Wilsons Promontory National Park, offering camping and caravan sites situated near the beach and river. The wide range of roofed accommodation includes cabins, huts, group lodges and the award winning Wilderness Retreats.
Tidal River is the end of the road where there are camping grounds and other accommodation for the numerous people who visit The Prom for the walking trails, and the surf. We put on our wet weather jackets and braved the light rain to walk down to the beach, but it was not pleasant as the wind was very strong, so we soon scuttled back to the car. There was a group of school students obviously learning to surf, but I was hoping they wouldn’t brave the waves on that particular day (above).
We stopped at as many lookouts as we could, however the weather created a heavy mist, so we were not able to see many of the islands off the coast. The drive down to Tidal River was quite spectacular, thick forests and rainforests that made the journey very special.
Once we left the Prom we returned to the Great Ocean Road and drove through thick forest areas until we returned to the coast and through the pretty seaside towns of Inverloch and Wonthaggi, but the weather had worsened, and I didn’t bother with photographs – hope I can get back another time because they are both very beautiful coastal holiday towns.
Shortly afterward we reached Phillip Island. The Information Centres are always very helpful, so we called in and ordered our tickets for the Penguin Parade that evening, gathered a few other brochures, and made our way to our accommodation for that evening in Cowes.
We needed to be at the Penguin show before 7.30pm, so we found a nice restaurant close by, the Fig & Olive, and had an early dinner before we set off to see the Little Penguins come in from the ocean after fishing all day. The evening was fine, but quite cold and it was windy so close to the surf, which had become quite heavy.
I’m sure the penguins found it difficult to “raft” in such heavy surf, but they arrived on time and it was great to see these little creatures struggle up the beach and find their nests. They only weigh about a kilo, and have beautiful cobalt blue feathers, and a white front, and look so cute as they waddle along. It is not permitted to use cameras when the penguins are coming in to land, as the flashes cause them problems – however there is always the odd person/s who feel they can do what they like!
Tomorrow we plan to have a better look around Phillip Island, Newhaven (which is on Phillip Island) and San Remo (on the other side of the connecting bridge), before we head off for our next destination at Torquay and the start of the Great Ocean Road.
Check out or dinner at the Fig & Olive here