We did not get a very early start on Saturday morning, as it had been a busy week of finishing up work before a long holiday for Erik on top of lots of Christmas parties to attend for both of us (the Aussies do not mess around when it comes to Christmas parties!). Originally we had planned on a 7am departure, but we missed that by a few hours! At any rate, we arrived at the Prom in the early afternoon hours to be greeted with lush green forests and beautiful beaches.
|This is the first time I have ever seen an emu on a sign. The bottom animal is a wombat, which we were hoping to see on this trip but we were not so lucky. We did see a few "sleeping" wombats on the side of the road, but those don't count!|
|Our first view of the lighthouse|
|You can actually stay in cottages on the lighthouse grounds instead of camping, but you still have to hike to the lighthouse to get there, as there are no roads within the park in this area.|
|Look how well this blue-tongued lizard blends into the walkway!|
|The lighthouse from the "other" side|
|Stepping foot onto Waterloo Bay beach...still a few more hours of hiking to go at this point!|
|We crossed several gorgeous beaches during our four days of trekking.|
|Our campsite at Refuge Cove was just beyond the sand and into the trees.|
|Little Waterloo Bay|
On Christmas morning we had about 8 km (about 5 miles) to hike in order to get back to our car. The views on this hike were some of the best of our trip, so it was a pretty easy few hours of walking. Once we arrived back to where we started, we quickly changed into our swimwear and headed out into the ocean for a quick dip!
|Oberon Bay. Our campsite was at the far end of the beach.|
|Hiking down to Little Oberon Bay|
|Little Oberon Bay|
|Blue water and blue sky!|
|The boys returning from their swim in the ocean at Norman Beach|
Overall, we had a great trip to the Prom, as it is set up well for hike-in camping. The backcountry sites have water access (though you need to be able to filter/treat the water) and most have basic long drop toilets. Despite my full-on itinerary of hiking, I think everyone in our party had a good time. It was our first encounter with snakes in Australia (except for the one I saw running last year), and fortunately all of the snakes that we came across retreated quickly and were not interested in being close to us. We are not sure exactly what types of snakes they were, but we determined one was probably a tiger snake given its appearance and their presence in the Prom. No koalas, wallabies, or kangaroos in our campsites this time though, only possums trying to eat our food! We did see a few wallabies and kangaroos along our hikes, one particular exciting moment when we saw a joey who was a bit startled by us and then jumped head first into her mom's pouch. Pretty cool! This was my longest hike-in camping experience and while it certainly is easier to hike without carrying everything on your back, I think the chance to access places that take a bit more "work" to get to is a nice reward for a hard day of hiking!