Sealers Cove is a gem – you emerge from the forest to find yourself on a sweeping beach with sand so white and clean it dazzles. The ocean beckons, crystal clear. In summer the waters are refreshingly cool, in winter invigorating.
Sealers Cove at Wilsons Promontory National Park
Sealers Cove is my favourite place at Wilsons Prom. I’ve hiked there many times – as part of a three-day loop including Refuge Cove and Little Waterloo Bay; with my nieces on an introductory backpacking trip; and several times as a wonderful day hike (20.4 km return).
It is hard to believe that 18,000 years ago, during the last Ice Age, the Prom’s headlands and islands were the tops of mountains and the land extended further south. The Aboriginal people travelled across this countryside to reach Tasmania before the rising water submerged the land bridge and created the island.
Wilsons Promontory National Park (in Victoria, Australia) is another of my favourite places. Affectionately referred to as ‘The Prom’, this national park has pristine beaches with pure-white sand and spectacular hidden coves that you’ll discover by strapping on a pack and going overnight hiking. There are also spectacular mountain views, lush green forests, and plenty of native wildlife.
This iconic ride has a magic about it that can transform people’s lives.
At about this time every year, I think seriously about signing up for the Great Victorian Bike Ride, which is held in Australia in late November. The event, which is run by Bicycle Network Victoria, attracts people from all walks of life and is in its 30th year.
For the first time, the event is starting in South Australia. Cyclists will travel 610km from the rugged terrain of Mount Gambier to the famous Shipwreck Coast, with the route winding its way around the Great Ocean Road and into the lush hills of the Otways. The rest day is at Port Campbell, close to the iconic Twelve Apostles, before the ride continues past Lorne, Anglesea, the world-renowned Bells Beach and Torquay, to finish in Geelong.
I have participated on two Great Victorian Bike Rides (and a Great Tasmanian Bike Ride) and they each hold a special place in my heart. My first Great Vic ride was along the Great Ocean Road, with a record-breaking 8000 other participants, and the second was a loop ride from Ballarat, which took me back to some of the places I lived as a child. I wrote an article about the latter, which can be read here.
I’ve also meet some incredible people and had the opportunity to write about the event, including the article below, which was first published by Bicycle Victoria Network. I would highly recommend the ride to those who love recreational cycling in beautiful locations, or to those people looking for a challenge. It’s an awesome experience.
Great times, Great Vic
Speak to anyone who has experienced the Great Vic and you’ll find a unique story of challenging conditions, spectacular scenery and the discovery of new places. And most will talk of great camaraderie and friendship, a group of people bound together by the common goal of riding 500km. It’s a tapestry of thousands of stories woven together, creating a unique history and an iconic ride.
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” John Muir
Cradle Mountain is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. It’s located at the northern end of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and is one of Australia’s most popular destinations. Its landscapes are varied – towering mountains, dense forests, alpine meadows and glacial lakes – and it’s a mecca for anyone who wants to pull on their hiking boots and go for a walk. It’s also the starting point for one of the world’s great treks – the Overland Track (which is still on my bucket list).
Until now, I’ve only had lightning visits to Cradle Mountain, where we stopped for lunch on the edge of Dove Lake. I’ve been very lucky. Every time I’ve visited, even in the dead of winter, the sun has been shining and the sky has been blue. The sight of Cradle Mountain looming over Dove Lake is a sight I’ll never tire of seeing.