Close Encounter’s At Cape Woolamai

The holidays provide the opportune time to get out and explore. Whether you’re traveling afar or stay-cation (staying at home), there is plenty to discover right on your own back door.

Each year a group of families ventures down to Inverloch for a much-needed decompression from the year that’s been. Most days are spent with the kids at the beach or parents quiet time as the kid’s burn around the gated community of the BIG 4 on their bikes. Whilst this is briefly relaxing, the claustrophobia starts to creep in, so it’s time to venture out.

There are many beautiful places to explore along the Bass Coast Shire, however this particular day we took a short 30 min drive with our 2 youngest girls (9 & 11years old) to Cape Woolamai for the 8.3km circuit with the hope to see some wildlife.

An easy-moderate graded hike we started from the Cape Woolamai Surf Lifesaving Club car park crossed over and started along the track towards Cleeland Bight Beach. The sandy trail ran from Woolamai Beach Road to Norman Hill where local kids would climb the sand dunes with their boogie boards and fly down the hill into the water.

At high tide the beach walk would hug the dunes, making the walk impassable; however low tide exposes the rocky enclaves and shells for fossicking.

The walk continued along Cleeland Bight beach for a few kilometres, exposed rock pools and heavy seaweed soon gave way to the old Granite Quarry. The boulders offered a playground for the energetic girls who ambled and played, exploring the crack and crevices with inquisitive minds.

A steep, short staircase led off the beach away from the Quarry and beach into a coastal shrub alive with native animals. The hard, compacted path allowed easier walking for the girls who had found the sandy trails and beach walking strenuous. The girls were quickly distracted with wallabies that bound in front along the path; searching the shrub to either side, wallabies were cautiously moving away and the girls were in awe.

At the junction of Woodland and Quarry tracks we came across the friendliest echidna we’ve ever seen. Disregarding his onlookers, he carried on foraging for food before leaving us with the most Inst