Mini Getaway to Wilson’s Promontory

It was a beautiful sunny morning, the first Friday in May, when Sarah and I set off for our weekend getaway. She had come over from Tasmania and  hired a  Tea Rock City Life especially for the occasion  The car was an average size SUV, that we had managed to pack full to the brim. It had me wondering how Sarah could pack just 7 kg to go overseas for eight weeks when we had about 50 kgs of essential stuff for two nights away.

 We were heading to Wilson’s Promontory, in regional. Victoria, a stunning area known for its beautiful beaches, rugged mountains, and abundant wildlife.  

Mandatory coffee stop

On the way, we stopped at Berwick. Sarah pulled the Tea Rock into a parking space in the middle of the road underneath the autumn trees, their russet leaves gently falling to the ground. . We spent a fair amount of time sitting in the car while Sarah scrolled through the coffee reviews, determined to find  the best spot for our coffee fix.  If there was nothing with good reviews, she announced we would have to go to Gloria Jean’s even though they don’t get great reviews.  I would’ve been very happy with a GJ. After all, it was directly opposite where she had parked.

At this point, I was just hanging out for a coffee and would have been happy with a lukewarm instant from a vending machine.

Apps, radio and GPS chaos

As we continued our journey, we encountered a few audio issues. It wasn’t the GPS malfunctioning, but rather a case of Sarah’s mindfulness app interrupting constantly and refusing to be silenced. The soothing voice began by welcoming us home and greeting our robes.

“Breathe in….breathe out…..

breathe in….breathe out…..

breathe in……

One thing we didn’t need was to go into a meditative state while trying to navigate. We had already missed a right -hand turn because of the interruption.

Sarah turned on the car radio in an attempt to override the mindfulness session. She paused on a talk show that had just started and featured a dude named Ray. Unbelievably, it was a travel show.

“Good morning, travellers!” Ray chirped. “Did you know that the term ‘road trip’ was first coined in the 1950s?”

“Thanks, Ray,” Sarah said, a hint of exasperation in her voice.

“But did you also know that the longest road trip in history was over 62 000 kilometres long?”, Ray continued.

“Shut up, Ray”, Sarah muttered.

And with that, she pushed in and turned a few knobs on the dash and there was silence. Beautiful silence. Not even a GPS. But the road was well signposted now, as we travelled along the South Gippsland Highway,  out of the Melbourne suburbs and headed towards regional Victoria.

Almost there!

Before long, we reached Korumburra, a charming town nestled among rolling green hills. And then, Leongatha, a bustling hub of South Gippsland where we stopped to have a coffee and a bite to eat at a cozy café on the main street. No need to go through the reviews this time – there weren’t any. After recharging, we continued our drive to the next and final destination, Wilson’s Promontory.

First stop – Friday afternoon – Prom Wildlife Walk

We did the 45 minute round-trip walk at the Prom Wildlife Park. The trail meandered through the bush  and open grasslands, where we spotted a kangaroo,  a wombat, a wallaby, and an emu. It was funny how we encountered just one of each animal mentioned on the park’s blurb. Where were their friends? The native animals interrupted their grazing to stand tall and check out the tourists – Sarah and me. All except the big chubby wombat; he was enjoying a game of hide and seek with us.

Second stop, Friday afternoon – Tidal River

We drove on until we arrived at Tidal River where we started a tough walk. Well, tough for me but Sarah could do it easily.  She was bounding across the boardwalks like a kangaroo and navigating the rocky trails effortlessly. I was unable to continue because the trail was unstable,  with lots of broken planks in the boardwalks. On top of that, the daylight was starting to diminish, so we decided to call it a day.

Dinner at Foster

All the fresh air and exercise made us feel hungry, so we stopped at a small country town called Foster and headed into the local pub – Foster’s Hotel, for a meal and a sparkling beverage. The food was great and the locals were very friendly and couldn’t get enough of us!! But we had to get moving because our accommodation was awaiting us.

Family stay at Yarram

It just so happened that my nephew, Chris, and his partner, Dean,  live in Yarram. Like me, they are expats from Tasmania, now living the good life as farmers in South Gippsland, Victoria. Yarram is only about 50 minutes by car from Wilson’s Promontory, so that’ s where  we bunked down  for the next two nights. Staying with family made our mini break even more special, especially as Sarah hadn’t seen her cousin Chris for a couple of years.

A real early bird

On Saturday, we were woken up by the crow of the rooster – at 4 am. Bruce, the well-endowed bull, was also up and staring into our window like a nosy neighbour. Chris and Dean were padding around the kitchen and the coffee was brewing. Before long, we were treated to a coffee in bed. Talk about being pampered!

With our coffee fix taken care of,  we headed back towards Wilsons Promontory to get an early start on the sights.

Squeaky Beach

Our first stop on Saturday was Squeaky Beach. The beach is breathtaking  and famous for its fine, white sand, vibrant blue water and huge granite boulders that surround it. The sand is supposed to squeak underfoot as you walk, but we didn’t get the sense of that because the sand was damp from the rain overnight.

After checking out the beach and dipping a toe, we walked to Picnic Bay, a track that was easy and well maintained. The path wound through lush greenery and offered stunning ocean views.

Lilly Pilly Gully Nature Walk

This was my favourite walk because the flora changes regularly and the walk is easy. It wasn’t a long walk – only 5.2 kms according to the sign. There are a few starting points for the walk but we started from the carpark. The track is wide all the way, and mostly sealed with compacted sand between the heathland. Before long, we were walking amongst tall eucalpytus trees. Eventually, we arrived at a  boardwalk where all the lilly pillys were hanging out. Beyond the lilly pillys, there was a shady rainforest overlooking  a trickling creek complete with tiny waterfalls and giant ferns.  

Back to Yarram

By the time we got back to the carpark, the rain had started so we headed back to Yarram. It was great to spend some time relaxing with Chris and Dean before heading back to the big smoke on Sunday morning.

Thankyou to my daughter, Sarah for such a wonderful nature and family weekend.

Photos taken by Sarah Purton.

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