Monday, December 12, 2011

Wombats at Wilson's and Other Aussie Experiences

Squeaky Beach's orange colored rocks.
Last weekend, we went camping at Wilson's Promontory with Alena and Todd (from Chicago), Orla and Ben (Ireland/England), and Kate (Australia). We all met up down there on Friday night (it's about a 3 1/2 hour drive from Melbourne), set up our tents, and enjoyed Orla's bolognese sauce and pasta for dinner.
On the drive down there, we saw lots of wildlife along the road. Zack spotted the first wombat, and I almost hit a wallaby. The coolest part was when a huge kangaroo hopped alongside our car down the road. I would stop when it stopped and then drive when it started hopping again; it was acting like it wanted us to follow it! After a few minutes, it did some pogo stick-like jumps across the road and bounded away. Very cool. Very Australian.

Hanging out at camp-notice it's called Sultana Bran instead of Raisin Bran here!
A little bit cramped compared to Colorado!
We stayed at the Tidal River campground, which had great facilities but was kind of jam packed with tents and people. You also weren't allowed to have a campfire. Maybe we're a little spoiled with the Colorado camping we used to do. We sure did miss having Molly there; she was the best camping dog ever!

The sand really squeaks!
On Saturday, we went to Squeaky Beach, which is aptly named because the gorgeous white sand actually does make a squeaking sound when you walk on it! We did some boogie boarding, played some beach games, walked among the rocks, and got sunburnt even though it was pretty cloudy all day.

Enjoying a boogie board ride.

Poor Pacific gull!
In the afternoon, Zack and I saw a bird flapping around in the water. We watched it for a bit, and as it struggled onto the sand, we noticed that it was bleeding and had fishing line wound around its neck. It was also dragging a small weight from its leg. We found someone with a phone, and he called a ranger. When the ranger came, we tried to help him catch the bird, but it flew away (and lost the weight in the process). The ranger said as long as it could fly and feed, the hook that it probably swallowed would eventually rust out and it would be fine. He also said it was a Pacific gull, and they are notorious for stealing fishermen's bait. I hope the poor thing is okay!

Part of our spread!
For dinner, we cooked up some burgers. We had another Australian experience around the BBQ. Zack and I crowded around the meat with other Aussies and shared one guy's homemade Shiraz wine and swapped stories. It was really fun, and we brought back the yummy burgers to our hungry fellow campers.

Seriously so crazy to have a wombat come up to your campsite!

Some campers near us actually had one go in their tent!
As it started to get dark, the wombats came out. These guys weren't shy at all; they came right up into our campsite and walked under our picnic table and next to our tents! They were definitely looking for food. It was one of the strangest Australian experiences we've had.

Ha-it's CO for Colorado-we didn't even try to do this!

We ended the evening with a loud board game and sparklers, and we climbed into our tents just before the rain started. Next I'll post about the beautiful hike we did on Sunday.

Nothing like a little soccer on a white sand beach!

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