Tuesday, 29 July 2008
For our European summer holiday we travelled south to Australia to visit family and friends, and yes it is winter in Australia.
We took the opportunity to visit one of our favourite spots Wilson Promontory National Park at the southern tip of the Australian Mainland. The park takes in the southern most point on the mainland and consists of mountains, heath land, swamps and sandy beaches. The Prom as it is affectionately known is a popular tourist destination, especially in summer where up to 200 000 people can be visiting, camping, hiking, sea kayaking, surfing as well as many other sports.
There are many hiking opportunities including a number of circuit walks of varying length and difficulty. We chose to walk the Eastern Circuit walk which takes in Sealers Cove, Refuge Cove and Waterloo Bay. This popular 35 km walk can be completed easily in 2 days, but we decided to take our time and spent a night at each of the 3 campsites on the east coast.
We departed for our first day from the Telegraph Saddle Carpark, heading south along the Lighthouse track, before turning towards Waterloo Bay. The Lighthouse, located on South East Cape is a further 11 km along the track. The undulating foot track to Waterloo Bay is a pleasant walk interspersed with the occasional boardwalks over streams and swampy areas, ultimately the track arrives at Waterloo Bay with its white sandy beach and exquisite turquoise waters. From Waterloo Bay it is a short walk to Little Waterloo Bay, the first of the designated campsites on the east coast.
The following day was another short day to Refuge Cove with the highlight being the climb to Kersops Peak which provides commanding views south to the lighthouse and the conically shaped Rodondo Island as well as to the northern beaches of the prom and further north to Strezlecki Ranges of southern Victoria. Refuge Cove is a cove of 2 coves and is recognised as a safe harbour for boats and yachts in bad weather. We were fortunate to have the entire camping area to ourselves accompanied only by a variety of Australian birds.
The third day saw us walk to Sealers Cove, again a short walk, we were blessed by beautiful sunny weather which provide for excellent views both north and south along the coast. Sealers Cove was once used by whalers and sealers as it provided shelter for their boats as well as ample water for camping. The final day took as through the beautiful rainforests of Sealers Creek, before the climb to the aptly named Windy Saddle, where we were greeted by a Wombat grazing, and finally the Telegraph Saddle car park.
We were fortunate to experience 4 sunny days with crisp cool nights which made for a pleasant trip with outstanding views. We would recommend this walk as ideal for the entire family and if you are able to visit the prom when there are less people around it makes for an even more enjoyable experience.
Our equipment report on the Ti Tri Caldera, Pacer Poles, Montane Terra Pants, Silkbody shirt will follow.