02/02-31/01/2005 - report - photos
Participants: Tom Brennan, Andrew Glover
Jonathan had spent some time organising this walk to happen after the Melbourne tournament, but unluckily for him, suffered a bad cork at the tournament which ruled him out. So that just left Andrew and me to head down to the Prom on the Monday morning. We got off to a slow start getting out of Melbourne, and shopping for food took us a while as well, so it was after 2pm when we reached the Telegraph Saddle car park at the start of our planned walk. Sorting through our gear, I got a sinking feeling in my stomach when I was only able to find one of my shoes. Whether I had left it at home, or it had fallen out of the car along the way was a bit of a moot point - I was going to have to do the next 60km in sandals!
By the time we had sorted our gear, had lunch, and been victimised by the local march flies, which died in huge numbers but continued to attack in droves, it was 3:30pm, and we still had 13km ahead of us. We covered the ground along the Telegraph Track pretty quickly and after a brief stop at the Half Way Hut, pushed on up Martins Hill. Looking back down from the side of the hill we had good views of the scrubby flats that we had just crossed.
From the top of the hill, the second highest point on the walk, it was easy going down to Roaring Meg camp. We would occasionally pass a lone telegraph pole, a legacy of the old telegraph route to the lighthouse. There were a number of people already camped at Roaring Meg, so we picked the best of the remaining spots and went for a quick wash off. The party that we were camped next to mentioned that they would be leaving camp at 3:30am so they could reach the lighthouse for sunrise!
The next morning we set off before breakfast with a few snacks in our pockets for the 4km to the southernmost point on the Australian mainland. I was disappointed to find that the plaque was still a couple of hundred metres away from the point. We rock-hopped out to the end, but the large waves crashing over the rocks encouraged me to stop about 10m short of the real point. Since we still had 17km to go once we got back to camp, we took lots of photos and then headed back for breakfast.
Next stop was the lighthouse, where the daily weather report said that we were in for an unpleasant change sometime that night. We had lunch at a pleasant creek a couple of kilometres further on. Unfortunately we didn't know there were good water sources along the track, otherwise we could have lightened our load a little.
After a longish climb we reached the highest point of the walk on the slopes of Mt Boulder, and we could finally see our destination of Waterloo Bay. From there it was all downhill to the beach, where the sun, which had been shining strongly all day, suddenly started to hide behind the clouds. It was still a bit of a hike to the campsite, passing some interesting rock formations below the headland between Waterloo and Little Waterloo. The main campsite was crowded, but strangely no-one was camping at the smaller campsite 50m back down the track, so we moved in. I had a quick swim to cool off, but the weather was starting to get cool, so I was out pretty quickly.
During the night the rain started, and continued steadily through to morning. The original plan for the day was to have an easy day's walk to Sealer's Cove, swimming at beaches along the way, with one more day to get us back to the car. The weather was expected to set in, which pretty much ruled out the swimming, so after a brief discussion, we decided to cut our losses and head out via a shorter route. The walk back to the Telegraph Track across the flats seemed to take a long time for only 4km, but we were soon on the homeward run. We passed a guy with a large hammer strapped to his pack, and sleeping bag swinging in a garbage bag attached to his day pack. He said he had been invited by a mate and didn't know what to bring, and thought the hammer might be useful! Needless to say, he took a little while to reach the top.
Rather than eating the lunch we had with us, we went for a burger and chips in Foster - the chips, by the way, are excellent. It then proceeded to rain on us almost all the way back to Sydney, which we did in one push as we couldn't find a dry spot to camp along the way. We took a bit of a back route along the coast and then up through the edge of the Snowies to Cooma, just for something different.