As a bushwalker who likes to explore areas that few others get to, my attraction to the trackless southwest corner of Wilsons Promontory came into focus fairly early in my forays around the Prom but it wasn’t until 2008 that I finally got around to doing it.
We left Tidal River at midday on Friday planning to get to Enclave Creek by nightfall. About halfway down the heavens opened and informed me extremely effectively that it was time to reproof my megabuck Gortex jacket. Twenty-one km later at South Point drenched and with darkness approaching we dismissed the Enclave Creek idea and happily retreated to our shelter for a well earned dinner and rest. Our main worry being about the feasibility of completing such a trip if the weather didn’t improve.
We needn’t have worried with the next day dawning bright and clear. Rising before dawn I gave all of my five and a half kilograms of camera gear a work out in the magical first rays of the day. I took my time so as to give my gear a chance to dry and thinking that the two days we had allowed to cover the next ten kilometres was ample for the task at hand anyway. On one hand I was expecting this walk to be one of the toughest I had ever done but from my view of the nearby coast I wasn’t expecting those difficulties to start until around South-west Point. So casual was my approach that I decided to fill my water bottle en route rather than at the nearby creek. Boy was that an error of judgment.
It started easy enough but soon we were forced inland as the cliffs grew shear and our low level rock climbing and rock hoping grew more dangerous. See a you tube clip of my brother negotiating one of these traverses here . Incidentally this clip was of one of the easier traverses on which no-one actually got wet.
So dense was the inland scrub that our progress slowed to a crawl with only a few hundred meters an hour being covered. Eventually we stopped at Enclave Creek for ‘lunch’ at 4:00pm after checking out Enclave Creek Falls and our by now very parched throats. We decided that we needed to make South-west Point by nightfall to give us a hope of completing our trip the next day. Four hours later exhausted but happy we completed the one kilometer traverse between Enclave Creek and the point by torchlight. In ten hours of hard walking that day we had covered a mere two and a half kilometers. We had however scored one of the only spaces large enough to pitch a tent in that we had seen all day.
The next morning was one of rapturous delight, experience the new day from a place that a mere handful have ever experienced it from before. The location and light were stunning my only regret being the need to hurry and therefore missing a few shots I otherwise would of got, oh well.
By 7:15 we were off on another huge day of scrub, granite, coastlines, creeks and mountains our previous days start point depressingly close wondering if we would have time to complete our walk in the time allotted.
After 12 hours in the scrub to cover 5km we finally reached Oberon Bay right on dusk completing the remainder of the walk in the dark. Tired and scratched but with deep sense of satisfaction and joy to have experienced sights rarely seen.
This shot along with 107 others is available in my book The Prom – Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria, Australia
For more shots from this area check out my Wilsons Promontory gallery.
$30 a month of photography related profits go to the Wilderness Society .