Wilsons Prom Northern Circuit Day 1, April 2021

Five Mile Road Carpark to Five Mile Beach/Miranda Creek

After a surprisingly quiet drive from Melbourne on Good Friday morning, our gang of three set off from Five Mile Road car park at around 10.15am. Our plan was to walk the notorious northern circuit of Wilsons Prom, anti-clockwise, over 4 days/3nights. Whether to walk the circuit clockwise or anti-clockwise is just one of the many subjects of debate that this walk inspires. Generally considered quite a challenging walk, I was keen to experience for myself what all the hype was about. Would we find enough water? How nasty is Chinaman’s Swamp really? Will we be tripping over snakes all over the place? Will the rough scrub scratch us to buggery and rob us of any items not securely stowed away? With all these questions to be answered over the coming days we set off on the long road bash of Five Mile Road.

With a few ups and downs and some beautiful views to break the monotony of this road walk, it was fairly easy going. Recent rains had left the creeks alongside the road flowing nicely which buoyed us about the prospects of good water supplies in the days ahead.

Just after midday we had our first snake encounter; no problem though, we kept our distance from each other and went our separate ways to enjoy the warm but not too hot sunshine. Over the course of the next few days we only came across two more snakes that we caught sight of. No doubt many others felt our pounding footsteps and quietly made their getaway.

As we neared Five Mile Beach we came across Miranda Creek as it flows from a swamp and under the road. It was flowing very strongly. We took the opportunity to fill up on water as we knew it would be high tide in the brackish Miranda creek near the campsite for tonight. This would avoid the need to swim across to a little creek that flows into Miranda Creek, the source for fresh water close to the camp.

Soon after we arrived at Five Mile Beach…

Five Mile Beach looking south

A short walk along the beach to the campsite at the northern end of the beach where Miranda Creek meets the sea, with Rabbit Island in the distance…

And then, Miranda Creek at high tide…

We made it to camp around 4pm and got ourselves set up. We shared the camp site with two couples and there was easily enough room for us all to have our own space without being too close to each other. I had heard from a few people that it might be a problem to find decent trees to hang my hammock on this trip as it was mostly scrubby coastal trees but I found a good spot so I was happy about that. Hopefully it would be the same for the following nights as well.

Over dinner I chatted to Chris and Bec, an Aussie and English couple. I found out that Chris had walked the Appalachian Trail in 2019 so it was interesting to find out a bit about that. After dinner and a bit of talking I retired to the hammock, not long after sunset. I slept very well, with earplugs to quieten the bush and ocean noises. Tomorrow the harder walking starts, with an 18 or so km walk to Tin Mine Cove.

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