One of its many attractions is the Freedom Wall, built to honour and remember not just servicemen and -women who saw action, but also the civilians who went to war in support roles, as well as those left behind who played their part to help keep Australia a free country.
At first, I’m always taken by the stunning design of the ‘wall’, which is actually a series of three connecting rooms of different shapes, open to and surrounded by trees.
National Australia Remembers Freedom Wall Plaque
Close up of the plaque
Panoramic shot of the first triangular space you walk through
I love the way the surrounding bush is framed by the spaces in the walls
The middle ‘room’ is circular and has a roof for shelter
The domed middle area also has an open side
The third (end) space is triangular again
Looking along a ‘wall frame’ or open window – I just love the design
The garden around the Freedom Wall is green and peaceful – perfect to gaze upon in deep contemplation
Looking back through the three spaces to the entrance
A few of the plaques in the end space
Having once again admired the design and absorbed the tranquility of the bush, it’s time to read the some of the plaques as I wander back out. Some of them are short, some are longer, but each one represents a loved one lost. I am reminded once again how wars affect everyone in the community, not just those who go off to fight and their immediate families. Societies bear the scars of warfare for a generation or more, and in ways that aren’t always obvious at first glance.
While you’re at the botanic gardens, don’t miss the opportunity to check out all the other attractions. There’s plenty to see and do even if the weather is wet, or stinking hot and humid (so unusual for Brisbane *sarcasm intended*) – the Planetarium is most definitely the place to keep dry and/or stay cool.
You can download a copy of the visitors map for the botanic gardens here. It also gives information on history, facilities and access/transport to the gardens.
Oh, and one last thing… don’t be scared of the Eastern Water Dragons – they’re awesome! (But please don’t feed them or try to touch them. They are wild animals, after all.)
Return to Tidal River Via South East Walking Track – Waterloo Bay Walking Track – Oberon Bay Walking Track
Dawn was slightly cloudier, though just as magical, on our second and last morning at the lightstation. There was more activity in the cottage this morning compared to yesterday as all overnight guests were checking out today. We were aiming to be out on the track by 9am(ish) but I think we were beaten out the door by a couple of hours by some of last nights guests! Not that it’s a race; we were there to enjoy the experience after all.
The view from the second door to our room that opens directly onto the veranda
Sunrise behind the cloud colours the eastern horizon
The lighthouse still shines its warning beacon
I can just see the swamp wallaby thinking, ‘What, you again?’
Pink clouds behind the silhouette of the lighthouse
Eastern bay and north coast line in the early morning
The neck that leads to the point. We’re surrounded by mountains and ocean here
Catching the sun about to peak over the clouds
A gorgeous day has dawned, perfect weather for a hike
Looking up at the Lighthouse Keepers Cottage
The lighthouse bathed in the clear morning light
Sun rising for another beautiful day at Wilsons Promontory National Park Lightstation
In our tired state of arrival on Tuesday, two days before, we had considered taking the shortest route back out (i.e. back along Telegraph Track). Fortunately, the weather had cooled as predicted and after a day of rest we were re-evaluating our options for getting back to Tidal River. We decided to stick with the original plan of heading up the east side to Waterloo Bay, turning inland from there to Telegraph Track, and following that up and over Telegraph Saddle – an anticipated 24.1km.
We had taken advantage of the spare food draw to leave behind the rice & tuna (hopefully it finds its way into a hungry stomach or two!), which meant we were only carrying lunch and snacks for today (if you’re interested, see what food we took here). Thankfully our packs were now a kilo or three (in Stephen’s case) lighter. When I shouldered my pack and tightened the waist strap, it actually felt right!! Thank heavens for that, because I really wasn’t looking forward to another 20km+ walk with an uncomfortable pack.
Colin, Renata and me
Walking down the steep path to the lighthouse I was once again thankful that I don’t usually have issues with my knees. With a pack on there’s a bit more strain everywhere.
1/6 Setting of for our return walk back to Tidal River
2/6 Still steep, but it looks like it’s going to be a great day
3/6 A bit of history about communicating with the outside world from the lightstation
4/6 One of the better preserved telegraph poles
5/6 Welcome to the Lightstation – there are a number of these information plaques around
6/6 Wow! They DID know how to do proper arrows once! What happened?
As we climbed the path up to the main (South East Walking) track we passed the first of three groups we’d see that morning. These young people were trooping down the path, once again looking like they’d been transported from a suburban park. One or two said ‘Hi’ as they passed, but it was the group leader at the end, a middle-aged bloke (possibly someone in the group’s dad?) whose comment surprised me.
“Gee, you took your packs?”
Well, we certainly weren’t going to leave them behind!
He was gone as soon as he’d said it, but it got me wondering – how many people realise that there’s accommodation at the lightstation?
If you’re only visiting the lighthouse as an optional side trip, why bother taking your pack with you?
The South East Walking Track has much to recommend it. So much more pleasant walking than the Telegraph Track yesterday. Lovely path, trees, rocks, views…
Walking north towards Waterloo Bay there is a long steep-ish ridge to climb, but it is shaded and fortunately for us the group coming downhill didn’t bowl us over.
Occasionally you’ll find yourself up to your waist in brakenfern. And sometimes up to your chest. I hadn’t taken any precautions against leeches or ticks, but thankfully I didn’t pick any up. Whether it was because we weren’t the first walkers through this morning, or because the weather lately had been so dry that leeches were a bit scarce, or because there usually aren’t many along there, I’m not sure – just grateful, whatever the reason.
By now we had been passed by three groups heading south and an older couple hiking and camping independently – must have been a busy night at Little Waterloo Bay camping area last night!
From the highest point of the track it’s pretty much downhill all the way to Waterloo Bay.
1/15 Onwards towards Waterloo Bay
2/15 Our first glimpse of Waterloo Bay – just as stunning as other people’s photos promised
3/15 Plenty more interesting granite boulders to walk past on the way down
4/15 The vegetation has changed slightly again, but the path is still clear and good
5/15 Mt Wilson overshadows the Waterloo Bay Walking Track connecting the bay with Telegraph Track
6/15 Don’t forget to watch where you put your feet as well as the view
7/15 More mossy boulders – we’re not out of the woods yet
8/15 Two people walking on the beach below – could this be Neal & Elle?
9/15 Waterloo Bay
10/15 Eucalypts spread across the valley
11/15 There are plenty of grass tress around here too in the sandy soil
12/15 The path gets sandy as you get closer to the beach
13/15 At last! Waterloo Bay!
14/15 We’ve caught up with Neal & Elle. The campsite at Little Waterloo Bay is another 2.3km further on
15/15 The other side of the side is much more weathered, but says it’s 8.5km to the lighthouse from here
We spotted two figures walking along the beach below and thought it could be Neal and Elle, who we knew were walking this way and had started out before us this morning, but we caught up with them before the bottom of the hill. Must have been another pair of hikers enjoying this magnificent part of the world.
Waterloo Bay is quite beautiful.
Looking north to Little Waterloo Bay – South East Walking Track continues along the coast up to Sealers Cove
Looking back (south) the way we’ve come (yes, that’s me)
This time it was nice to have company while looking for the track leading off the beach. Stephen may have been pretty confident that it was 1km along, but after our Oberon Bay experience, I wasn’t taking anything for granted.
Waterloo Bay Walking Track entrance to the beach, about 1.2km north of track onto beach from lighthouse.
Once again it’s not obvious from a great distance, but unless there’s been a really high tide or stormy weather, it could be likely that there’s a lot of footprints around to lead you in the right direction. The clear giveaway here that this is the path you’re looking for is the large gap in the dunes and the mesh that’s been laid down to prevent erosion – more on that shortly.
Waterloo Bay Walking Track found, it was time for lunch. I was starting to get tired of salami, but our guest wasn’t getting fed, even if it did the ‘poor me, I’ve only got one leg’ trick.
What a spot to enjoy some lunch!
‘Hey there! Got some food?’
Maybe if I don’t beg they’ll throw some my way
Ok, getting bored. Maybe they’ll give me food if I do the ‘I’ve only got one leg trick’
Although Neal had very kindly offered to give us a lift from Telegraph Saddle (where they had parked their car) to Tidal River, we decided to push on ahead of them. Shouldering our packs we waved goodbye and set off.
I was expecting this track to be fairly similar to the one on the opposite side that joins Oberon Bay and Telegraph Track, except just over a kilometre longer. Maybe once it was, but currently it’s quite different because you’re not following a vehicle track (thank goodness for that!), there’s more change in elevation, and the vegetation is also much more varied. There are some stretches of sand (especially at the Telegraph Track end), but boardwalks and quite a bit of grid have been put in too. A lot of work has been done to limit erosion along here.
You start out in the swamp, but don’t worry – the boardwalk, though not as long as through Sealers Swamp, is (currently) in perfect condition. The grating also reappears periodically to protect parts of the track that have been more affected by erosion.
1/18 Heading inland once more, not entirely sure what to expect along this track
2/18 The sign says 11km to Oberon Carpark. I guess that’s the designation for most people heading this way? It’s 5.7km to Telegraph Track
3/18 From mesh to planks. Either are easier than walking on sand and used for limiting erosion
4/18 One last look
5/18 Off the dune, down into the swamp
6/18 Thank goodness there’s boardwalk!
7/18 Glad I’m not wading through that!
8/18 Back to a dry, compacted sand path
9/18 Hey, more grid!
10/18 – That didn’t last long
11/18 Before you know it – more grid. This stuff’s a lot better than chicken wire on wood or steel grating
12/18 A sandy path now
13/18 Mt Wilson is never really out of sight as you walk up the valley
14/18 Wombat poo. I can’t believe this is the first photo I took of it on this trip – it was everywhere
15/18 More swamp = more raised planking
16/18 It gets warm here without a breeze. Thankfully it wasn’t too hot today
17/18 Grid steps! What will they think of next?
18/18 Last bit of swamp
It’s not too long before the gentle rise gets steeper as you climb up the south side of the valley and pass below the Mussolini Rocks.
1/9 Climbing up the south side of the valley
2/9 Looking back to Waterloo Bay
3/9 I wonder if this is the same crow that I saw at the top of the hill earlier?
4/9 Last look at Waterloo Bay
5/9 The track passes below the ‘Mussolini Rocks’ in the background
6/9 The Mussolini Rocks only look close because they’re so big
7/8 Realise that around the rocks are fully grown eucalyptus trees and you’ll appreciate the size of these boulders
8/9 Mussolini Rocks – smooth on one side, cracked on the other
9/9 Mt Wilson dominates the northern side of the valley
From there you can see the back of Mt Oberon and across to Oberon Bay.
1/8 A bit of downhill walking was quite welcome at this point
2/8 A small pocket of lush vegetation ahead
3/8 An unexpectedly sandy rise out of the pocket of luck vegetation heralds a change of track surface for the final stretch
4/8 The path is now very sandy and exposed as we walk the last section to Telegraph Track
5/8 The path rises above the surrounding vegetation. I’m glad we’re not walking this on a hot, sunny day
6/8 Mt Wilson (far right) and the Wilson Range stretching to the north west
7/8 I’m guessing it was fire that this area is still recovering from?
8/8 End of the line – we’re back at Telegraph Junction
Despite having walked along Telegraph Track just two days ago, we couldn’t spot exactly where it was from the Waterloo Walking Track until we were right back at Telegraph Junction.
There seem to be signs every which way you look at the junction. It’s not easy to explain, so I’ve made a mud map.
Here are un-cropped photos of the signs (A to D) at Telegraph Junction:
Sign ‘A’ next to Oberon Bay Walking Track (OBWT), showing OBWT
Sign ‘A’ next to Oberon Bay Walking Track, showing view south along Telegraph Track
Sign ‘B’ opposite Oberon Bay Walking Track
Sign ‘B’ opposite Oberon Bay Walking Track, showing view north along Telegraph Track
Sign ‘C’ opposite (Little) Waterloo Bay Walking Track, showing view north along Telegraph Track
Signs ‘C’ opposite (Little) Waterloo Bay Walking Track (WBWT), and sign ‘D’ next to WBWT showing view approaching Telegraph Track from WBWT
Sign ‘D’ next to (Little) Waterloo Bay Walking Track showing a small view south of Telegraph Track
I’ve also summarised the information on the signs because at the time not all of them seemed to agree, and sometimes it’s not until I’ve got pen and paper in hand that I can get things straight in my own mind. It would seem that someone else could have used a bit of pen and paper at some point too…? Check out the Roaring Meg numbers.
Now that we were at, very literally, a cross roads once more, our next choice came down to the long, known way or the shorter, unknown, but probably harder way. In other words, back via Oberon Bay, or up and over Telegraph Saddle (via Oberon Carpark)? If we went up and over, the plan was for one person to stay with the packs at the top while the other person walked the final 3.5km back to Tidal River to get the car and come back to collect the other person and packs.
Despite today not being as hot as the first day, we were once again getting low-ish on water. Another steep hill climb really didn’t sound very appealing at all. We chose the known path via the beach – 11km vs 9.6km according to our SV Map or 10km according to Parks Victoria. (Whatever!)
The first section back to Oberon Beach is fairly unremarkable so we just tried to walk the sandy track as briskly as we could.
Eventually we made it to the beach. It was a very welcome sight. The compact, wet sand makes for easy walking for a kilometre to the northern end of the beach.
1/12 Finally! Back to Oberon Beach!
2/12 Despite all the footprints around, we didn’t see anyone else on the beach
3/12 There were heaps of critters making patterns in the sand all the way along the beach
A lonely windswept beach under a cloudy sky – glorious except we were low on water and tired
5/12 I wish I knew the name of this pyramid shaped mountain
6/12 The parks is well known for it’s orange-stained rocks, just like those in Tassie
7/12 Not sure if this is an Australian Raven or Little Raven since I didn’t catch any of them calling
8/12 Corvid tracks on the beach I think. Note the hind claw leaving a drag mark
9/12 A flock of mostly Pacific Gulls near Growler Creek
10/12 Walking up to the start of the next section of path having crossed Growler Creek
11/12 Near the path on/off the beach near Growler Creek
The start of the path around the headland back to Little Oberon Bay from Growler Creek
Having had a bit of a rest walking along the flat, it was time to climb again. On the plus side, the track around this headland isn’t particularly demanding, and there’s great views and a breeze to be enjoyed.
1/13 Walking up the path around the headland from Growler Creek, Oberon Beach
2/13 Looking back at Oberon Beach and Growler Creek
3/13 Looking out across Oberon Bay to Great Glennie Island & the Glennie Island group
4/13 Approaching Little Oberon Bay from the south
5/13 The track is very well made, but you do still need to look where you’re putting your feet
6/13 A steeper section. It doesn’t last long
7/13 The track skirts a deep scar left by a land slide – photo taken August 2013, but hasn’t changed much
8/13 Approaching Little Oberon Bay Beach (from the south)
9/13 The beautiful and reasonably accessible Little Oberon Bay
10/13 Not far until Tidal River now
11/13 The path to Little Oberon Beach from the south
12/13 Crossing Little Oberon Beach
13/13 The tide is out at Little Oberon Bay
Climbing up the fine white sand dune to regain the path was tiring. There is a reason why surf lifesavers generally look so fit – sand and sea are not the easiest surfaces to propel yourself through!
The track around the headland past Norman Point climbs just as much as the previous headland, but this time it felt steeper. It was probably that I was just longing to reach the end and re-fill my water bottles. We were both quite tired and more than ready for a long icy drink by now.
1/12 Watch your step when you’re tired, even small rocks can trip you up
2/12 Little Oberon Bay looking fabulous
3/12 Steps are easy enough, except when you’re tired
4/12 Step or slope, there’s a bit more up to go yet
5/12 Looking back across the bay to where we’d walked the last couple of days
6/12 Back in the open
7/12 There are some shady parts here around the headland
8/12 Almost at the point
9/12 Norman Bay – getting close to Tidal River now
10/12 There are some amazing boulders to admire along this section, not just the ones the path crosses over
11/12 Norman Bay looking very calm in the afternoon
12/12 Low tide on Norman Beach
Leaving beach views behind, the track heads inland then runs more or less parallel to the beach, back to Tidal River.
The path behind Norman Beach is shaded in the afternoon
There are large stands of tea trees around Tidal River
Twisted but compelling, I enjoy being under the tea trees
It had been a long walk, but we were finally back!
Last turn back to the Tidal River Visitor Centre
We’d made it! Unfortunately I don’t have a finish line photo. So here’s a wrap up instead.
Elevation Profile from Wilsons Promontory Lightstation to Tidal River Visitor Centre
Total walking time for ~25km was 7hr 15min but of that actual moving time was only 6hr 20min, according to my Garmin data.
As it was now about 5pm (or there abouts) it was well after closing time for both the Visitor Centre and the General Store. Checking in to report that we’d made it back safely would have to wait until tomorrow, but more importantly in the immediate present we’d have to wait until driving out of the park before getting Stephen the quick sugar hit (a soft drink) he was craving as much as I had been desperate for my effervescent powder at the end of the first day’s walk.
Plain water was going to have to do for now. Since Tidal River is primarily a camping site, finding tap water was not a problem. Knowing if it was safe to drink was a little trickier. There weren’t signs saying not to drink from taps around the place, but to be on the safe side I re-filled our bottles from one of the permanent dishwashing stations (one of the brick buildings around the camp site).
The drive out was easy as it wasn’t late enough for nocturnal/diurnal animals to start feeding by the side of the road and become a traffic hazard – although you should always drive cautiously through the park. It’s about a 30min drive from Tidal River to the park’s entrance in daylight, a bit longer at dusk and night time because you need to slow down to avoid hitting animals.
We had taken (but left in the car while we were out on our hike) pasta to cook for tonight’s dinner back at the studio cottage at Black Cockatoo, but thought we might find something better at Yanakie General Store. Indeed we did! Thursday night was fish’n’chip night! It was fresh and it was good. There were enough chips for probably 4 people, but they were excellent chips, and came with an equally generous tub of tartare sauce. Perfect after a hard day’s hike, and enjoyed as we watched the cows returned to the field after their evening’s milking.
An idyllic pastoral scene from Black Cockatoo’s Studio Cottage
Devondale cows grazing in the field in front of the cottage
An almost full moon rising over Corner Inlet
Hike complete, the question is… would we do it again? Yes. Definitely.
Would we do it differently? If we had camping gear it would be nice to take the time to do a bigger loop as I think most hikers do, instead of rushing in and rushing out as we did. But next time, regardless of camping equipment status, we’re planning to go in winter (which will also be off-peak – assuming a stay at the cottages can be booked then) and park up at the saddle carpark to shorten the walking time and distance by half a dozen kilometres! Shorter daylight hours in which to complete the walk, more clothes to pack, but perhaps less chance of encountering snakes on Telegraph Track.
I still want to visit South Point.
But mostly I want to go back and watch the sunrise again in that most serene and beautiful of places.
Appreciating sunrise at Wilsons Promontory Lightstation
Thanks to stretching adequately after the walk last night, climbing down from the top bunk wasn’t painful this morning, although an extra rung at the bottom of the ladder would have been helpful…
Another bottom rung wouldn’t have gone astray. It was a bit of a long step down in the morning.
Sunrise was beautiful. I might have been the only one out taking full advantage of it – I’m not 100% sure as I didn’t turn around to check, but I didn’t hear anyone else up and about.
Dawn’s glow on the clouds behind the Lighthouse
Glowing clouds in the east
The sun’s almost peaking through
Good morning Starshine!
Bright light along the veranda heralds a fabulous day
Yesterday we had arranged a lightstation tour for 10am today with Renata. Our tour started in the museum at the base of the lighthouse and heard how the lightstation used to also be a radar station during WWII. RAAF personnel were stationed on the point also; there are a number of photos from this time and physical remnants left on the point. The museum is open to the public.
After that we were allowed into the lighthouse! The lighthouse is still owned, operated and maintained by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and public access is available only to groups under the supervision of a Park Ranger. At a height of only 19m (I think that’s to the beacon – the balcony is a couple of metres below) it’s not a big climb. Because the lighthouse sits atop granite cliffs the elevation above sea level is 117m, giving the beacon’s range 18 nautical miles (33km). Given the number of rocks and islands in this part of Bass Strait, the channel is reasonably narrow, and thus the lighthouse remains a very important visual navigation aid to sea-going vessels. There are also a couple of off-shore lights and lighthouses to help ships navigate Bass Strait.
The way is open – entering the lighthouse
The top platform beneath the lantern, which is as far as the public is allowed
Looking up to the light
How blue is the ocean!? I could gaze at it all day!
The top of the lighthouse from the platform
The buildings of Wilsons Promontory Lightstation from the top of the lighthouse
The bay to the west
Stephen & me
AMSA certificate for 150 years of service (lit 15 July 1859) & previous methods of illumination
Going down – the granite here is marvellous
Window in the lighthouse
Four lighthouse keepers and their families lived here, although the only original buildings left from that time are the cottage that we stayed in (Cottage #2) and the lighthouse itself. There was no road to the lightstation, so if anyone had to leave (e.g. for serious medical care) it was a long, hard journey back to civilisation – probably all the way back to Foster or Fish Creek. The township at Tidal River wasn’t constructed until 1946, and even the earlier camp at Darby River wasn’t established until the early 1900’s (when The Prom was given National Park status).
Read more about the details and history of the lighthouse here.
Renata also offered (and we accepted) a look in the other accommodation cottages available, as no one was in them at the time. Here’s a marked-up photo to help set the scene:
Note: the drinking tap I’ve highlighted on the centre path is provided primarily for day visitors. Overnight guests have the same fresh, filtered water from the convenience of taps in the cottages.
Parks Victoria Rangers Cottage (cottage #3) where you check in – if you’re not met at the top of the path like we were, after dragging yourself up the hill!
Parks Victoria Rangers Cottage & site of Victorian State School No 2278 for 6 months in 1880
The newly renovated Couples Cottage (Cottage #4) is amazing! Such a view to the west! And there’s a window facing east in the bedroom. How can they make you leave after just two nights? The additional charge to stay here also includes a queen size bed and linen – that’ll make the pack a bit lighter! Definitely choosing this option next time.
Cottage no 5 at the end of the row is another multi-share cottage. Colin was busy painting inside when we visited, so we didn’t go through every room. Less spacious than the old lighthouse keepers cottage that we were staying in, but comfortable and probably the coziest in winter.
Finally, Cottage No 2 – the original Lighthouse Keepers Cottage – our home away from home for the two nights we were lucky to be there.
And separately, the kitchen! Let there be no more surprises here – there is a refrigerator, microwave, microwavable containers in the cupboards, gas oven and stovetop, plenty of pots, pans, dishes, plates, utensils, chopping boards, glasses, mugs – and a spare food draw!
Kitchen cupboards, refrigerator, microwave, toaster, etc – and Stephen doing the dishes
Gas oven & stovetop
Pots, pans & baking trays
Kitchen draws – cutlery & utensils
Kitchen draws – Knives (not the sharpest), peelers & more utensils
Soon the first day visitors had arrived. Without packs, not wearing what I’d call hiking gear, and carrying only disposable (thin plastic) drink bottles. We were somewhat surprised by their attire. It’s as though they weren’t miles from anywhere, but at a local park.
Renata said they average 30-40 day visitors per day (a significant flaw in an otherwise perfect location – the presence of other people). Sure, the lighthouse may only be an interesting side trip for most people walking between Waterloo Bay and Roaring Meg camp sites, but surely that only explains the lack of backpacks?
Day visitors to the lighthouse – people hike like this?
If one of these young blokes (or girls, but the majority were young blokes) dropped their plastic water bottle and it broke, he’d better hope he could reply on a friend to share water with him until the next stop. They mightn’t be walking 25km in one go like we were, but if it was a hot day like yesterday, being one bottle down (assuming they had more than one) was a serious blow all the same. The owners of Black Cockatoo Cottages told us they hadn’t had rain this year, and the park at the end of summer was definitely looking dry. We were carrying water purification tablets, but I doubt these kids were, or had anything similar, and it’s not safe to drink the water straight from the creeks.
Don’t get me started on their shoes!
When the lightstation was first built back in the 1850’s, equipment and supplies were brought in by boat every six months. A flying fox was set up from a site just below the hill known as the ‘eastern landing’ to the top of the point, because even just lugging yourself up the hill in those days must have been much more of a challenge – there wasn’t a nice concrete path back then! There was a western landing used at one time too, but the eastern side proved better (probably more sheltered from the prevailing winds). Offloading cargo from either side was tricky business at the best of times.
After lunch we decided to brave the steep path once again to see the eastern landing.
There used to be a flying fox to haul supplies up the hill from the dock at east landing
The remnants of the flying fox and the east bay where the supplies were brought in
Walking down the hill is easier than walking up was yesterday (hmmm, no surprise there), but I was very glad that we weren’t wearing back packs today.
The path down the hill from the lightstation. It is every bit as steep as it looks and possibly more.
We continue straight on to the East Landing, instead of turning off to the path on the left we came in on
There’s no beach or convenient looking place for a swim – something that used to torment the early lighthouse keepers during hot summer days. I think Renata said seals are sometimes seen on the rocks. The deep, clear water and healthy kelp attached to the rocks looks like great seal habitat.
Nice big hazard warning signs, but you couldn’t wish for better conditions than what we enjoyed
These granite slabs are huge and beautiful
It’s so similar to northern and eastern Tasmania – we are so close here, so it’s not that surprising
I did’t even see the steps until after… to busy having fun climbing around the rocks!
The blue, blue sea. I wasn’t thinking of a swim… more along the lines of seals and sharks?
A deep circular pool full of life that scuttled into the depths when I approached
There were quite a few crabs in crevices. “Don’t look!” one might be saying to the other
Some of the marine life in the circular rock pool
A silver gull
Looking back up the hill at the lightstation
The platform where the crane to help unload the boats would have been bolted
A blue-tongue lizard sunning itself on the path
The oranged rocks are so reminiscent of the north and eastern coast of Tasmania – which is not very far away, so it’s hardly a surprise.
We discovered that walking up the hill isn’t half as bad when you’re refreshed and not carrying a heavy pack. Still very steep though.
The rest of the afternoon was passed lounging around drinking wine (trying to finish it so we didn’t have to carry it out), eating cheese (trying to finish it so we didn’t have to carry it out), then taking a stroll around the place to walk off the wine and cheese before dinner.
Enjoying wine and cheese on the veranda
Information on the Bureau of Meterology’s weather station at the lightstation
White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)
Swamp Wallaby (Wallabia bicolor)
The swamp wallabies and wombats do well at keeping down the grass
Swampies camouflage very well
I saw a juvenile White-bellied Sea-eagle too, but without significantly more zoom than what currently I’ve got I can’t show you a decent photo, so you’re just going to have to take my word for it. I was pretty chuffed when I realised what I had seen.
Other hikers planning to stay had arrived and that night not only was our cottage full (sleeping 10 in 4 rooms) but people had arrived to stay at the couple’s cottage next to the rangers cottage. I bet they wished they had come for more than one night! (Neal and Elle reported that you can’t book accommodation at the lightstation for a Thursday night).
Sunset was in a gorgeous purple theme…
Dusk at Wilsons Promontory Lightstation
Sunset colours the clouds at Wilsons Promontory Lightstation
It’s too beautiful an evening to be inside
Wilsons Prom Lighthouse and Rodondo Island
Sunset from the corner garden
Purple hued sunset
Unlike the previous night when it (actually!) rained, tonight was clear and had the bonus of a more-than-half-full waxing moon. After dinner we grabbed torches and cameras and went out.
The wombat and baby had already been spotted earlier (in the back garden) but heading to the top of the path we again disturbed the pair of swamp wallabies as we took photos of the moonlight on the eastern bay.
The moon shines brightly on a calm ocean
Torches not required with a moon this bright
Approaching it’s 155th anniversary, the lighthouse shines on
The lightstation at night
You can just make out the mother wombat & young near the light in the garden
A glowing beacon in the velvety night
The lighthouse and cottages at Wilsons Promontory National Park Lightstation
Stephen noticed he didn’t really need his torch to find wombats – he could hear them chewing as he was positioning his camera to photograph something else! They’re noisy enough when they’re only about a metre away. I guess you should carry a torch to make sure you don’t trip over one?!
Wombat munching away
I was watching two in the garden outside the rangers cottage when something startled one. There was a rustle, then in a split second they were both gone! It’s amazing how fast they can move! They must have both been not much further than a metre or two from a burrow entrance.