Forget the Great Barrier Reef: explore Australia's forgotten Gem
Not many people think of Australia beyond the amazing surfing and tropical water wonders like the Great Barrier Reef, but southern Victoria is different.
THISWORLDEXISTS Founder and mastermind Ryan Gray rounded up the Southern Hemisphere's THISWORLDEXISTS family for a first hand visit to Australia's rugged bushland coast of southern Victoria. From Tidal River at Wilson's Promontory, we hiked a bouldery, burnt out switchback trail over coastal hills and through green, swampy and sword-grassy flats to Sealer’s Cove.
Until you’ve given up your creature comforts and graduated beyond 'glamping', you won't realise how hard Victoria's environment is. I guess that’s why everyone has houses or beach shacks down on this amazing part of the Australian coastline.
Southern Victoria has a real backhanded charm that’ll slap you in the face just when you think you've got it sorted. It’s similar to the central and northern landscapes of New South Wales or Queensland but being as close to the penguins as we are, it's mainly harsh shipwreck coastline; hot, freezing and windy weather cycles all in one day; brutally cold at night and stinking hot by 8AM.
It's the kind of coastline you’re spooked to just go swimming in or wander off the trail for fear of getting lost. Rolling hills are accompanied by ghost white sand with turquoise water, marred by white wash waves that look small until you’re eye level with them.
Venturing out into the wild, the best way to describe it is a climate of extremes. While it might not be -20 degrees with snow, its rough like a mountain landscape, and wet and windy because of the low coastal elevation. You need both Gortex and PrimaLoft. It’s full of temperature extremes to the point where you start to get nervous. You really need to know what you’re doing in this place. Salt water won't help much if you’re stranded.
Protection from the sun that's not in a snake-infested pit is hard to find (I'm especially jaded from an encounter with a tiger snake at camp on this trip). There are spiders that may actually kill you, and if it's not the strong currents sending you to Tasmania, the abundance of sharks will get you too. It's a different kind of harshness. It’s hot, cold, breathtaking and frustrating all in one. Kind of like a bad boyfriend.
Words probably won’t do this trip justice, it turned out to be a gem. Gathering a unique group of individuals to hike hard, relax, utilise active wear for its intended purpose, break hammocks, and gallivant around in the southern Australian wilderness.
It was a rather unexpected yet, incredible bonding experience. I am already planning my next trip to check out more of Wilsons Promontory.
Written by Annaliese FitzGerald.
Annaliese is a THISWORLDEXISTS Adventurer. See more of her adventures on Instagram: @annaliese_fitzgerald