The Prom as it is locally known, was not to be missed even though the weather was not very promising. We booked into a camp at Foster (I have great difficulty not typing Forster, which is in NSW) and next morning set off for the Prom in drizzling rain. It was about 37 km to the furthest south the road could take us, but it took a long time (!).
On the way to Forster the previous day we saw this monument to the intrepid Paul Strzelecki, who explored SE Australia in 1840.
Finally we entered the Wilson’s Promontory National Park, which was first nominated as a National Park in 1898. Signs everywhere warned us to watch out for “animals” (presumably more understandable to overseas visitors than “wildlife”) and to remember to drive on the left hand side of the road.
A clearing with some local inhabitants soon appeared:
We reached the Darby River, where the bridge approach was washed away during the floods of March 2011, effectively isolating the rest of the Prom. People had to be airlifted out.
Further on round a bend in the twisty road there was a great view of the Glennie islands.
We decided to leave all the interesting little bays on the right hand side for our return trip. Arriving at Tidal River, we stopped for a rather indifferent lunch then walked around admiring the incredibly twisted coastal melaleuca trees.
This pigeon toed parrot kept us entertained for a while….
The information centre is well equipped in more ways than one – there are special children’s beach wheelchairs, etc.
An interesting monument. We seem to have a knack for ending up in remote places where various types of war-time training occurred – the last time was the Catalina flying base at Lake Macquarie.
Although late in the season there were still plenty of wildflowers to be found:
… and even some wicked banksia men!
Before starting the return trip we investigated the Telegraph Saddle. The long road north is in the distance. Judging from the number of empty cars in the carpark, this area is especially favoured by trampers/hikers.
On the return trip we stopped at various Bays….
Some Bays offered views of the offshore islands:
Squeaky Bay – so-named because the fine sand squeaks when walked upon – was especially interesting. Dominated by huge boulders covered with red lichen, the low tide had left behind some fabulous sand sculptures (yes I was a little carried away).
There were also plenty of birds at Squeaky Bay although we didn’t spot this very special one.
Returning to Foster, a roadside sign warned of the imminent appearance of a “historical monument”…
We planned to “do” the Great Ocean Road as a swansong before ending our Australian caravanning adventure in Melbourne, so next day we set off down the Peninsula for the ferry across to Queenscliff, thus avoiding all the horrendous Melbourne traffic.
Here we are waiting at Swansea:
The ferry approaches…
Will it fit in?
A very uneventful journey apart from admiring this beautiful old sailing ship.
After a little searching I have discovered she is the “Tenacious”. This is from the website http://websites.sportstg.com/assoc_page.cgi?c=0-9917-0-0-0&sID=305347&&news_task=DETAIL&articleID=46387861
Tenacious, one of two special purpose ships designed and built by the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST), includes features not seen on other vessels – the entire ship is wheelchair accessible including the crow’s nests; there are aids for the visually impaired like a speaking compass and Braille signage; people with limited dexterity can even helm the ship with a joystick.
Tenacious at 65 metres (213’) bowsprit to stern, 42 metres to the tip of the mast, 586 gross tonnes and built of Siberian larch, is the world’s largest wooden hulled, three masted barque. She was built by 1,500 volunteers over four years, almost half of whom were living with some form of disability. Tenacious was launched from Southampton in 2000.
Following an epic nine-month voyage visiting Spain, the Azores, the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, Costa Rica, Tahiti, Bora Bora and Fiji, Tenacious will arrive to much fanfare, at Seaworks Maritime Precinct, Williamstown on 14th August. She will conduct a nine month program of voyages, day sails, corporate and charitable partnership work through to May 2017. During this period she will visit Adelaide, Hobart, Sydney and Geelong.
Tenacious carries a permanent crew of 10, supplemented by trainee voyage crew. Volunteers are sought to train as offshore volunteer crew to assist on day and passage sails whilst in Australia.