In June my partner Tom and I packed up our backpacks with everything that we’d need for 2 days out in the bush and set off on the 3 hour drive from our home in Melbourne to Wilsons Promontory, an incredible coastal national park here in Victoria. If you’ve never had the pleasure of going to Wilsons Prom, then just imagine mountains and temperate rainforests and cliffs leading straight to crystalline turquoise water. It’s an incredible place and one of my favourite places to hike that I’ve been to.
We planned the trip as a joint adventure with our friends Aswan and Monique who are avid hikers and climbers. I was quite unsure of how I would fair compared to these two, as they have a lot more experience hiking then I do.
We set off on foot from the Mount Oberon carpark where we said goodbye to our car and van and headed out for our first day of hiking. The first day was a good 5 or 6 hours of solid hiking, through many different terrains, up and down mountains, through sand dunes and then marshy forest. Wilsons Prom is such a magical place, you look up from the trail and you’re in a completely new environment with new birds and wildlife. We had our lunch at Sealers Beach on the first day, there really is nothing better then eating your lunch with that view!
The weather treated us very well on the first day especially. It was the heart of winter so we were wrapped up super cosy in down jackets and fleeces, but much of the first day we were hiking in just our tops and leggings. It was a new experience for me to hike with a large pack on, and carrying that much extra weight up and down mountains really does keep you super toasty despite the winter weather!
We camped out at Refuge Cove, huddled around our camp stove for warmth as the sun set, eating delicious homemade soup that Aswan and Monique had bought with them. That night was so cold, and I really didn’t sleep very well in our little tent. It was a great reminder of the importance of good gear and a perfect reminder to pick up a better sleeping bag for next time!
The next day we set off early, packing up our camp and working our way up and around the coastline to our lunchtime spot of Waterloo Bay. On the way we had the most incredible experience of seeing a pod of dolphins in the bay, seemingly playing in the waves as they hunted a school of fish. We stopped on the clifftop and watched them for a while, resting our sore legs and back. Dolphins are one of my favourite animals and it was such a gift to see them in such a stunning pristine environment.
The final day was much wetter, so we did the mammoth 7+ hour hike in intermittent rain and wind that served at cooling us down as we made our way up the steep incline back to our starting point of Mount Oberon. It was incredible to see us all persevere through sore bodies, blisters and a fair bit of exhaustion, whilst still loving the experience, trying to take in as much of the incredible landscape around us as we could.
We made it back to our car/van just as the sun was setting on the 2nd day, having completed our round trip of 35+ Kilometres, with the mist rolling down into the valleys that we had just climbed from. It was such an incredible moment to share together, we were all so proud of what we had accomplished and were just buzzing from spending 2 days in such incredible surroundings!
Hiking is one of my all-time favourite things to do and it takes very little resources to be able to accomplish. Camping overnight at Refuge Cove cost us around $30 and though it seems strange to have to pay for the privilege of sleeping rough, it’s so clear that this money is essential to cover the many costs of upkeep on this land. Thinking about it, I’m more than happy to give a few dollars for the privilege of keeping this pristine environment well taken care of. Other expenses were just the petrol for the 6 hour round journey and also a few groceries such as snacks and veggie wraps for lunches, so it really was a fun and cost effective activity overall. I love the excuse that I get to spend so much time out in nature, breathing in the fresh air and reconnecting with the reality of our world. Living and working in the city can be intense so it’s amazing to give ourselves the opportunity to slow down to a walking pace and get back into nature from time to time.
It’s great to consider the many different activities that are available to us at very little expense where we live. It’s one of my aims for the next few months to look further into fun day and overnight activities that we can do that don’t cost the earth!
Until next time <3
(All photos taken by my partner, Tom. He’s a bit of a photography wiz isn’t he!)