Wilson’s Promontory

The most Southerly point of the Australian mainland is a National Park that called Wilson’s Promontory, or colloquially referred to as Wilson’s Prom or simply The Prom. There are free camp sites around the park, but the only one accessible to campervans is the paid site at Tidal River. Camp costs are $22 a day, and it is busy and crowded, but at least there are toilets and showers. The kids are happy to have so many other kids around, but we prefer it when it’s just us.

squeaky beach, wilson's promontory

“We’re going on a wombat hunt, We’re going on a wombat hunt, We’re going to find a big one, I’m not scared,” We’d sing after dark as we got out our torches and walked around the campsite.  We found quite a few, and one so tame that we each patted it while it munched on the grass. Up close it was amazing how close it looks to a koala, which isn’t surprising considering they are closely related to each other.

“Yeah, well, remember Mum that the koala and wombat both have that same bony plate in their bum,” reminded Peter.

“And they both have a backwards pouch,” added Susan, not about to be outdone.

 

The most Southerly point of the Australian mainland is a National Park that called Wilson’s Promontory, or colloquially referred to as Wilson’s Prom or simply The Prom. There are free camp sites around the park, but the only one accessible to campervans is the paid site at Tidal River. Camp costs are $22 a day, and it is busy and crowded, but at least there are toilets and showers. The kids are happy to have so many other kids around, but we prefer it when it’s just us.

There are many signs around warning to keep food well secured and locked in cars so wombats can’t smell them in tents. We were assured that wombats would tear apart a tent to get in if they suspected food was within.

The family went for a walk in the rain. Jarrad said, “If we have to pay to be here, we are going and looking at things no matter what the weather is.” The wooden boardwalk around Tidal River was slippery from the drizzle. The water was stained brown from the tannins in the Tea Trees that lined its banks.

“Just like a cup of tea,” I said, “I wonder if it would taste just as good,” but no one offered to taste it to find out.
Rather than walk to Squeaky Beach we drove there and spent a glorious morning frolicking in white sand that sounded like it was squeaking under our feet. There were a collection of large boulders to climb on, which we had lots of fun scrambling around and climbing up until another a young man said,

“Careful, we just saw a small snake curled up in between those rocks.” The kids vacated the rocks in a hurry and moved to playing on a slope they found nearby and then spent a number of contented hours splashing in the warm water.

We played at Tidal River for a while on one of the few days that it didn’t rain while we were there. The sand sank away beneath our feet in many places so we’d sink in up to our ankles, knees or a few times to our waists. The more we walked on the spot or struggled, the faster we’d sink. One time I sank to her thighs and Jarrad had to drag her through the mud to help her out.

We went on a bushwalk up above the Tidal River campground where from one point we could make out Squeaky Bay and our campervan at the same time. The day was hot and Jarrad carried Edmund in the baby backpack as well as a lot of water. Peter raced ahead with Jarrad following behind, while the girls and I sauntered slowly behind enjoying the view. We were about half way through the walk when Jarrad let out a terrified squeal. None of us had ever heard him squeal before.  He called me on the UHF radio that everyone in our family carries on a walk,

“Careful! You and the girls need to be careful. I just missed stepping on a snake.”

We proceeded slowly to Jarrad who narrated to us a little later, “Peter was running ahead and I just don’t know how he missed it. He was so lucky! I was about to lower my foot when I noticed a snake uncoiling itself and slithering in front of my other foot and off the path. I’m pretty sure it was a Brown Snake.”

We were all very nervous and anxious for the rest of the walk, shying away from every twig and piece of bark.  Needless to say, we didn’t do another bushwalk there like we had planned earlier.

Travelling Australia in a campervan since 2009 with our four children aged 4, 7, 10, and 11. We are a family living on the road. Stopping to work in rural and remote towns as we need more money, we love this lifestyle. The four kids are homeschooled as we work our way slowly around Australia.

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About Amy and Jarrad

Travelling Australia in a campervan since 2009 with our four children aged 4, 7, 10, and 11. We are a family living on the road.
Stopping to work in rural and remote towns as we need more money, we love this lifestyle. The four kids are homeschooled as we work our way slowly around Australia.

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