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After a very early start and quick breakfast we managed to leave the house just before 9 exactly as planned. The aim was to head to Australia’s southern most tip, Wilson’s Promontory, another of the national parks. It was a little cold and slightly damp as we left and as we were heading south it would only get colder so I donned the clothes I had brought for my return to England and Amy drove all the way there, mainly through fairly unremarkable farm scenery and rolling hills up until the park entrance where shadowy mountains were just peaking through the clouds.

Driving into the park more and more appeared on the horizon, stunning wide open plains turned into towering mountains which the car struggled to pull us up. The views at every moment were every bit as impressive as any other sight so far. The area of Wilson’s Prom is huge and after 40km of driving through the park we reached our destination. (it was still another 15km to the southern most tip, however with no roads going that far we had to settle for this spot)

The car park location at ‘Tidal River’ was stunning, with a beautiful sandy beach surrounded by cliffs and mountains. We started the walk by heading out onto the wide sandy beach which we could walk along before making our way up the estuary. The mouth of the river ran shallow over the beach and it was clearly a place that children would play on hot days. For us the main weather feature was the wind which was very strong, it blew sand straight up off the beach and into our faces, eyes, noses and ears ripping the water from our eyes and blasting our skin raw.

We were following the Loo-Ern track which started by crossing the river on a new board walked path before climbing the hill opposite. As we climbed the views back over the sandy bay became more and more stunning and, due to the scale, less and less photographable. The route – which was like yesterday covered in Ti-tree forests – climbed up and over the headland before the flora changed to become much more windswept and heathland like and descended slowly down to Squeaky Beach.

The view on the way down was stunning, white sand spread out along a long beach up to another jutting pile of rocks forming the next headland. The waves crashed hard against the rocky cliffs below us sending spray high into the air, and rolled breaking into the beach for miles before coming to rest. I expect there were rip tides, whirlpools, sharks, hidden rocks and killer jellyfish, but it looked like a great place to surf! Walking along the beach we managed to get the sand to squeak despite the squally rainfall that had been falling on us for the parts of the walk.

We ate our lunch in the cover of a large pile of rocks, I had a mozzarella and ham roll which we had made before leaving. There were a number of seagulls waiting hungrily for any left overs, my lunch was delicious so they went hungry.

On the return part of the walk we decided to turn right at a fork and follow the path up a cul-de-sac to a lookout point on the end of the headland we had crossed to get to Squeaky Beach from Tidal River. The views again were stunning, 360 degree views out to sea, beaches and mountains greeted us. We waited there just taking in the view until another group arrived and started using their selfie stick to take photographs of themselves.

Once we arrived back at the car park we lost Amy and Susie at the end when they went to use the facilities and Luciano and I assumed they’d gone back to the car. They assumed we’d gone to the cafe…

Once we had found them again we left Luciano completing a Su-Doku and went for a short walk around the new boardwalks at the top of the tidal river estuary. One of the things I’ve noticed the parks all do well is the signage that they produce. The information about native species and non-native invaders (and how to get rid of them) is fantastic. The walk took us in the shadow of a number of large mountains, some covered mainly in green Ti-trees others with bare rock faces exposed.

After walking I drove back and we stopped a couple of times looking for the wildlife walks which we had been told about and the park maps showed, unfortunatly the signs did not marry up with the information on the maps and it made it quite difficult to work out where the right spots were, there were a number of false alarms and we definitely walked down a fire break at one point! Eventually we found the right spot and spent quite a while wandering round spotting Kangaroos. Usually these looked very much like rocks until they sat up and looked around to check the area.

On the drive back we stopped at Cape Patterson and had fish and chips on the cliff tops overlooking the sea. The sun had finally broken through the clouds and we sat comfortably on a bench in the sunshine watching waves break on the sandy beaches. After an hour of eating in front of the seagulls we slowly made our way back to Harmers Haven to finish the rest of the ice-cream and have more of the amazing Strawberry and Youngberry sauces.

I’m afraid I lost the game of scrabble spectacularly with a score of 99. Bad letters.

Bite & sunburn update…
Bites on feet and legs gone but replaced beyond in the palm of my hand. It’s not very big but is really very irritating. Stocks of Anthisan are running low!
No major sunburn except for my ears which I forgot about yesterday and so they crisped up quite nicely.

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