Wilsons Promontory is a true wilderness area. There are a few places left on Earth that are unchanged from their original natural state. We have had the good fortune that conservationists and political leaders decided to protect it and have allowed future generations like myself to enjoy it.
If you were to go back in time 100,000 years it would be exactly the same as it is now, besides the obvious hiking trails and camping spots. When in the national park you can ponder what it was like before humans civilisation arrived and get a sense of your place within nature. This is not possible to experience in the city or any other place, where civilisation abounds.
The Wilsons Prom micro-climate is unforgiving. The rain and wind come quickly and consume you without warning. You have to be prepared for the rain and wind at any moment. The good thing with this is that you don't have to carry much of your water as the place is full of flowing streams.
This was my second outing to Wilsons Promontory and for a long time with a goal to go to the Southernmost tip of mainland Australia. I don't know what attracts me to extreme points but I think it's because they are only a few of them.
The South Point is a 10km hike to the nearest car park, with good fitness levels it's not hard to get to. It's possible to even do it in one day. It's probably easiest as an overnight hike. We wanted to do 4 days 3 nights as we had some time off work and stop off at more campsites.
Our first stop was Halfway Hut and it's located in a dense scrubland with an old stone hut being its main feature. There are only a couple of camp spots and we came late to the campsite and to our surprise all the spots were filled up, most likely due to it being a long weekend. We found a spot near some other campers who surprisingly had a one-year-old child with them. You don't expect to see small children in a wilderness area but it's clearly doable if you are willing to carry the weight of the child.
It was our second time overnight camping and we were a bit better prepared than our first time. So we had most of our gear sorted. I even measured the weight of each item and had to decide if it's worth carrying. You need to only carry what you will use and you don't want to carry more the 15kgs otherwise you risk overburdening your body.
15kg does not seem like much, but the weight starts to play with you after about 10kms. The shoulders start to hurt at the point of contact with the backpack and your legs muscles start to tire out. Generally, the less you carry the more you will enjoy the hike :)
On the first day, we had sandwiches and eggs, which we prepared at home earlier in the day. The next day we headed to our second campsite Roaring Meg. The hike is on a well-kept road until you reach the top of a hill where you can choose to continue on a road or go down a hiking trail.
The hiking trail follows through some tea trees and then enters dense Encylypt forest and at the end of the trail, you reach the Roaring Meg campsite. The campsite has two sections. The stream section and top section up higher up in the valley.
The stream section is idyllic, so we chose it. Even though we were warned by others of bugs in the area. Biting insects are hikers enemy No.1. Snakes are probably more dangerous but insects are everpresent and annoying. So they probably take the No.1 spot. You avoid setting up next to streams because of the abundant mosquitos, but streams are a dream to camp next to, so you have to take the good with the bad.
We set up shop next to the campsite and had our first ready-made meals. not sure what it was. Some are good. Some not so much. It's best to try them before you take them on an overnight hike.
I will write up part 2 where we hike to the Southernmost tip of mainland Australia.