Day Walks at the Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria

Wilsons Prom

Recently I went with my sister and brother-in-law for an out of town weekend trip to Wilsons Promontory National Park in Victoria, or as it is more commonly called Wilsons Prom. We drove 230 kilometers from Melbourne (around 3 and a half hours) to the southernmost tip of Australia’s main island.

Our first stop was at the Whisky Bay, where we walked up a trail of about 500 meters to get to the viewing deck. It was windy and cold at the time, but I was just astounded by the beautiful view of the beach and the gigantic waves. There was only a handful of people in the area which allowed me to contemplate more during that walk.

Whisky Bay
Whisky Bay at Wilson’s Prom

Next we went to the Visitor Centre to get a map of the different trails. I read through a lot of information about Wilsons Prom in the Visitor Centre. There is also a souvenir shop and a convenience store next to it. The highlight of that short stopover at the Visitor Centre was the flock of colorful birds lounging around, like the Crimson Rosellas and Laughing Kookaburras. There was this especially playful juvenile Crimson Rosella that instantly felt close to me – that he literally perched on my shoulder and my head! It was so funny, and at the moment I missed my doggies at home. Animals are so awesome (and charmingly cheeky at times)!

On our drive to the next trail, we had to slow down because of some animals crossing. In this photo there was a couple of emus crossing the road as we were about to park for our next trail: the Wildlife Walk.

Wilson1
Emu crossing

The Wildlife Walk was a trail that took about 45 minutes to an hour to complete. Here, we saw several kangaroos eating their afternoon snack. We were really hoping to get a glimpse of wombats, but since they are nocturnal and shy animals, we didn’t see any (even when my sister and brother-in-law went back to the trail the next day). The closest that we could see to a wombat was the entrance to their burrows and their poop.

Although overnight camping can be done at Wilsons Prom (so as long as a permit is secured at the Visitor Centre), we opted to drive to the nearby town of Foster and stayed at the Prom Country Lodge. The owners of the lodge also run a cafe called Cafe Max, named after their lovable labrador retriever named Max. Being the good host that he was, Max the labrador greeted me when I asked the cafe owners what time dinner was to be served.

The next morning, we drove to our next trail: Miller’s Landing. Kangaroos were having breakfast as we parked the car. Miller’s Landing trail was an easy 2 kilometers walk where we passed through lush greens and trees to get to the Corner Inlet Conservation Reserve. We ended at the beach to watch birds and look at the mangroves. It was a lovely morning walk for our healthy dose of sunshine. Again, no walk was complete without us attempting to see a wombat – which as usual ended with us only seeing the entrance to their burrows.

Going back to the city we had lunch at one of the towns at a quaint restaurant called The Rusty Windmill. I enjoyed a latte, scones, and my mixed vegetable curry with apple chutney and yogurt.

Some things that we kept in mind during our visit to Wilsons Prom: to do an overnight hiking a permit needed to be secured; no dogs, cats and other animals allowed; no feeding or interfering with the wild; respecting the surroundings and the creatures at all times. Wilsons Prom is also surrounded by marine protected areas.

Exploring Melbourne’s Art Scene

There are lots of reasons I enjoy visiting Melbourne: very good coffee that I find in every corner of the city; fusion of food (and readily available healthy options) that fill my different cravings; beautiful gardens and (and sometimes hidden) lane ways; and the thriving art scene.

The coffee, food, lane ways and gardens deserve blogs of their own – which I intend to write soon. For now, I will focus on the different art venues that I was able to explore during my last trip to Melbourne. I always started at the Federation Square – a central location for Melbourne’s arts and events. It is near the Flinders Street Station and a tourist information centre.

Street Art

This was the first on my list, as I have read a lot of reviews about the lanes in Melbourne that are famous for the street art. From the Federation Square, I crossed Flinders Street to the cobblestoned Hosier Lane which was filled with colorful street art. A few blocks away is the AC/DC Lane (you won’t miss it with the paintings on musicians), and the Duckboard Place where I saw murals.

 

Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)

Right next to the Federation Square is the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). They have different exhibitions but I was only able to go to the permanent exhibit called Screen Worlds. Entrance here was free. The exhibit was very educational and interactive. I saw the evolution of the moving image like TV, film, video games, and digital art. My favorite in this exhibit is the Time Slice which created a 360 degree animation of a pose that I made. The technology is similar to the one used in The Matrix where Keanu was dodging a bullet and he seemed frozen in the shot.

National Gallery of Victoria

Locals call this the NGV. There are two sites of the NGV – the first one is called the Ian Potter Centre near the Federation Square, and the second one was a few hundred meters away from the Flinders Street Station, across the Yarra River. I went to the latter, and explored the permanent exhibits. NGV houses many art collections from Asia, Australia and Europe.

There are many other places in Melbourne where one can find art. I was also able to watch a couple of stage plays, the last one being The Rocky Horror Show at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

I remember seeing a couple of quirky and unique sculptures along Docklands when I was aboard the free city circle tram. It’s a shame I cannot find the photo of this one sculpture that caught my eye – it’s a cow up a tree. I’ll look for it again and take a photo when I go back to Melbourne.

windvane
wind vane art at the Docklands