Monday, September 7, 2009

B12: Wilson's Promontory

(Doesn't this look "So Australian"? [Cotters Lake, Wilson's Promontory])


I don’t know how these Australians do all the work, it seems like all they do is party but when it comes to tutorials, they all know what they are talking about. Maybe it’s just because I am terrible at biology and it takes me a little longer to learn what the benefits of Mycorrihizae bacterial symbiotic relationship are. Globalisation is really interesting, especially since we are talking about foreign aid and human rights. Getting into debates with Australians is so enlightening, despite the fact that they often debunk my arguments rather quickly. Research is tough, but now that I have a Perl programming book, things are running more smoothly (Auntie Mary, all those java classes I took have done me no good!). I worked very hard during the week, because during the weekend because...

(Beautiful hike to Squeaky Beach from Pillar Point. The walks were slippery and the waves were massive. Luckily, I have my grip-grip vibrum hiking shoes! [Squeaky Beach, Wilson's Promontory])

I went to Wilson’s Promontory! I went with Brian (UC Davis), Mari (Oberlin College), Dawit (Berkeley), and Elaine (George Washington University).

The hikes had a lot more water and beach with less rainforest. Tougher and longer treks were rewarded with panoramic views. I would reach the summits and put my arms up and pretend I was in a movie where the camera zooms out and circles me, encompassing the wonderful view. Wilson’s Promontory sits on the southernmost tip of Australia, on the Tidal River. The tidal river is dyed a nice shade of darkish red because the water runs through tea trees (I didn’t taste the water, but it looked like tea to me). We climbed enormous granite boulders, walked on the whitest beaches I have ever seen, and ate lunch on top of the windy peaks. We came back at night and cooked meat, marveled at the southern hemisphere star constellations, and made flashlight art with Brian’s $1,700 camera.

My favourite part was the animals. We saw roos (eastern grey kangaroos), waddling wombats, chubby wallabies, elusive emus, nasty leeches, irritating possums, scavenging rosellas, screeching magpies, ordinary crows, monster ants, shy centipedes, and one-legged seagulls (red legs and eyes!). I responded to the kookaburras that decided to “laugh” at 5 am with some shouts and spent a good portion of my meals chasing rosellas away. A wombat ran through Brian’s tent and left footprints on Mari’s pillow. Leeches in the sink prompted me to be as careful as possible when sitting on the toilet (stressful!). Drinking fountains were approached careful so as not to disturb the possum that decided to stop and deposit feces and urine. Seeing kangaroos hop around on the side of the road at night was fascinating because their movements are so unique and their reflective red eyes are so mesmerizing. Watching emus disappear (after Mari ran after them waving her arms in excitement) into the forest before my eyes was beyond frustrating. What struck me the most was the animals’ comfort with humans. Animals in Australia have no natural predators, so fleeing was never a necessity which allowed us to get up close and personal with the creatures.

(This is a wombat. He is a marsupial and makes loud noises that startle us in our sleep. The human is Brian. He hikes in flip flops. [Tidal River, Wilson's Promontory])

Sadly, we didn’t get to go on ALL the hikes, but we did get to go on all that were open (except for 1). My favourite was the Mt. Oberon summit, which was a 2.5 hour hike that took us through eucalypt forests and to a panoramic view of the national park. The islands in the distance were mysterious and unexplored which made them all the more beautiful. We did many hikes and visited Squeaky Beach (white sands), Tidal Overlook (view of the tea river), Lilly Pilly Gully (lame), and Cotters Lake (actually a beach). I got on Dawit’s nerves because he wasn’t down for another 3.5 hours and was mad that I would even consider it.

(The picture does not do justice to the blue water or the steep cliffs. [Pillar's Peak, Wilson's Promontory])

So that was my adventure with nature. Next weekend, I don’t have anything planned, so hopefully I can have a relaxing 2 day vacation. This every-weekend-road trip way of life is wearing on me. I also booked my ticket for Cairns in Queensland for uni break. We are renting a car and camping every day. I guess Mike will continue to meet nature.

Soccer game tomorrow… I better get some sleep! Check back on Wednesday, I will try to have more pictures uploaded... my battery died halfway through the trip, so I didn't get very many pictures.

Until then,

Mikey Doo
(Hanging out with the kangaroo. I get mad because he doesn't move. [Cotters Lake, Wilson's Promontory])

(Is that wallaby pregnant or just stumpy? [Cotters Lake, Wilson's Promontory])

(Kangaroo meat... Grandma Suzie: we should just have this instead of turkey on Thanksgiving, it literally took 2 minutes to cook! [Tidal River Campground, Wilson's Promontory])

(Some Australian game. They threw the ball up, and chased each other, and threw the ball around. It was madness. Maybe I can teach this game to Michaela, Ryan, Max, Kiara, and Natalie! [Squeaky Beach, Wilson's Promontory])

(Kangaroo Tail were everywhere. The base of the plants were burned, and it seems that the plants sprung to life after fire... almost as if they were waiting for the fire to pass through the area. [Lilly Pilly Gully, Wilson's Promontory])

(This is a charred Banksia plant right after a fire. The woody fruit must be opened by fire in order to germinate. This is one of the many adaptations of the sclerophyllous plants of Australia (thank you "Biology of Australia Flora and Fauna"!) [ Lilly Pilly Gully, Wilson's Promontory])

(Here Auntie Chrissy. You asked why they would need two flush buttons on the toilet... [Tidal River Campground, Wilson's Promontory])

(Before the kangaroo almost attacked me. I guess it didn't like me taking pictures because it started hopping quickly towards me. [Tidal River Campground, Wilson's Promontory])


  1. Can't wait for you to teach all the kids that ball game, should we bring helmets at Christmas? =)

    Aunt A

  2. That Lyre bird is amazing! Soon you'll be packing to leave and will miss all things Australian, but we here will be looking forward to seeing you and listen to all your tales.
    GMA & GPA

  3. I need to know some flaura and fauna that is at wilsons promontory if any help please message would be grateful for any help
    (School Project)