My confession: I visited Wilsons Promontory – the southernmost tip of mainland Australia – a few months ago in June 2020, some time in the few precious weeks between Lockdown 1.0 and 2.0 but hadn’t the frame of mind to write about it when this corner of the world went raging into the dark night as the second Covid wave hit.
Then the trip became an indelible (and sometimes bitter) memory of the freedom that I’d suddenly lost as we all became prisoners in the state I’m temporarily calling home when winter swept its chilly fingers across Melbourne.
During those months, the Prom trip was talked about with nostalgia, with wistfulness, and with the overwhelming sense that it had taken place a lifetime ago when all I could see for months was a 5km-radius around where I lived. Lockdown wasn’t going to last forever, but confinement nevertheless played nasty mental games and made everyday a slog to go through.
Only after Melbournians started to emerge bleary-eyed from the slow easing of restrictions did I think I could write about travel again, even if they’re about small trips (within the state of Victoria) that seem to hint at a new ‘Covid-normal’. Baby steps taken into remembering what I’ve always loved to do.
Moving past this, the Prom is a walking, hiking paradise and miles of tracks exist for the beginner to the most-intrepid of bushwalkers…all 505 sq km of it, thanks to Parks Victoria. The touring map is an invaluable resource and that was the place I found myself coming back to each time I was planning the day.
Walk down Fairy Cove, wind around Squeaky Beach and Picnic Bay or take that climb up Mt. Oberon then head to Tidal River – the Prom’s hub, so to speak – for yet another view of the Bass Strait. Visit as many lookout points, then watch the wombats crawl out of their hidey-holes at dusk and the kangaroos pop their heads up from the tall grass. Support the local businesses, browse the shops, eat at the numerous towns dotting the north of the Prom.
Accommodation options are plentiful, but many cabins are self-contained and require a bit of planning when it comes to food options; many simply pack their dinners or lunches and do their own cookouts.
The Prom trip was a short, short adventure that I’ll always be grateful for – I can say this now without that veil of helplessness . During thes unprecedented times, I choose to remember this short time as perfection.