Ahh, to be walking along a windswept beach right now. Smelling the sea air, watching the waves crash on the shore, the continual ebb and flow of the tides a certainty of life. It makes me breath easier just remembering.
I wrote this post about three months ago. I have no idea why I didn’t publish it. Yet now, in the midst of an uncertain world of isolation, I feel like we need it more than ever.
To remind us of what waits for us once we get through this global pandemic. To remind us of the power of nature as it unfolds. And that perhaps, just perhaps, while we’re at home resting, our world is also healing so we can enjoy it once again.
Let me take you on a virtual trip on Phillip Island.
Phillip Island is synonymous for its wildlife, especially the cute fairy penguins that waddle around in their little colonies. At the other extreme the thunderous Grand Prix racing circuit captivates those who love life in the fast lane. On a trip back late last year we found a great mix … both wild and peaceful moments … and some brilliant walks.
Here are three of the best walks on the island.
1. The Pinnacles: Cape Woolamai
Cape Woolamai is on the headland at the south eastern tip of the island. It’s windswept, wild and ruggedly beautiful.
Beyond the car park at Cape Woolamai and the wild ocean beaches are some of the best walking tracks on the island, like the one to the Pinnacles on the Cape Woolamai Coastal Walking Track.
We began our walk along the windswept surf beach where fishermen were trying their luck. After 600 metres there’s a set of steps which leads up to the cliffs and thirty minutes later we reached this view.
It’s like an ancient, grand staircase that rises into the sky. Rugged and treacherous. There’s a No Entry sign which didn’t deter a group of dare devils. I often venture off the well trodden path, but not this time.
It looks tame but the wind was ferocious. Even the seagulls were wonky on the air currents, flying haphazardly against the wild wind. Down below we could see seals lazing on the rocks as the waves swirled around them.
From up above the gorgeous coastal walk continues to the quarry and to the Beacon, the highest point on the island.
2. The SS Speke off Kitty Miller Bay
This coastal view looks almost ugly from here doesn’t it. Such a dramatic seascape that leads to the wreck of the SS Speke, a ship that ran aground off Kitty Miller Bay in 1906. You need to time this walk right and leave at low tide.
The bow of the Speke which came to rest on its side, is concealed behind cliffs to the east of the bay and wow, is it ever a dramatic seascape.
At the time the Speke was one of the largest ships of its kind, over 90 metres long, but still it was no match for the fury of the seas of Bass Strait, as it collided into the reef. The wreck is an amazing sight, lying barren in its final resting place.
It’s a rugged sea landscape at low tide and the walk, which takes about an hour and a half is a fantastic adventure.
Not to mention, the wreck is a photographers dream.
3. The Nobbies
No visit to Phillip Island is complete without a visit to the Nobbies and a walk along the spectacular boardwalks.
There’s nothing too strenuous about this one but hold onto your hat as the wind here is notoriously ferocious. But, it reminds you you’re alive!
Keep an eye out for the little penguins tucked into their burrows. We spotted a couple during our windswept walk. If you want to see them in their droves come back at night and book a seat to watch their nightly waddle up the beach to their sand dune burrows, aka, the penguin parade.
We were content to see them in the wild . We also saw loads of cape barren geese and seals out on the wild rocks offshore.
This is big time seal territory here. One and a half kilometres offshore are Seal Rocks, home to Australia’s largest Australian Fur Seal colony.
Back at the whizz-bang Nobbies Information Complex we released our inner child, dancing with penguins and trying to dodge the sharks in the simulated interactive display.
Phillip Island is lots of fun, incredibly scenic and best of all, it’s less than three hours from Melbourne. There’s so much to do, you can be as wild and silly as you like or you can find a patch of beach, plonk yourself down and do absolutely nothing!
Yes, it certainly is a wild island weekender. I wrote about it for Campermate a few months ago, yet another of my ongoing writing gigs, that’s temporarily ground to a halt.
Campermate (formerly GoSeeAustralia) is an online website and resource for travellers in Australia and New Zealand. You can book accommodation, rent campervans, shop outdoor gear and read a whole swag of stories to inspire you to get out on the road.
There’s always something new to discover even in well trodden places.
For the moment, as they say, “the sooner we all go inside, the sooner we can all go outside again.” The day will come when we can go adventuring again.
“The voice of the sea speaks to the soul.”
All of the virtual travel in the world can’t eliminate fear and worry, yet our blogging connections inspire and uplift me as we all navigate through these uncertain times. What a blessing to be part of this online community.
Hope you’re all doing okay as we adjust to a new routine in a quieter world. Stay away from the fear channels and remember that worrying doesn’t change any outcome, it just steals our inner peace. Focus on your personal goals, on love and finding inner peace, so we can come out of this stronger and better than ever.
Remember, one day we will hug and kiss each other again. In the meantime stay safe and well.
Let’s stay connected. We’re all in this together.
Sending love and light
Writing is a miracle. You can travel anywhere in the world, to any time and any place, and still be home in time to have dinner. Mary Pope Osborne
Enjoy your home, wherever you are!