Wilsons Prom

After Queensland and Deep Cavern course it was time to head for Wilson’s Promontary. The Prom is the southernmost tip of the Australian mainland and place of great natural beauty, both above and below the surface.

We went there on a five day camping trip with MUUC during the Melbourne Cup long weekend in the beginning of November.  The trip was a joint effort between several different dive clubs so there were plenty of other divers around. The main focus was obviously on diving but we also had several non-divers with us. The Prom offers a great variety of walking tracks and nice beaches so there was plenty to do for almost everyone.

The diving started out little slow, no one from our group had been diving there before so we had some trouble finding the best sites. Additionally we only had the Little Boat with us and a limited number of boat drivers so getting everyone to do two dives each day took a lot of organizing. While Prom also has some nice shore dives most of them require extended hikes over rough terrain so boat dives were definitely a better option.

Not that boat diving didn’t have some issues of its own. There’s no boat ramp in the area so beach launches are the only option. With soft sand this can be a tricky ordeal and we ran into some issues a couple of times. We got stuck in the sand a couple of times but never too badly.

The diving itself was great even if I had some issues on some of the dives. On Saturday we started out with the Pinnacle, a great site with nice walls and cool swim-throughs. The Pinnacle was followed by an unnamed site near Tidal River. Unfortunately we ended up in rather boring area and the dive was quite disappointing with little interesting to see. Starting from the very first dive I also had some problems with my drysuit exhaust valve, it kept malfunctioning on some of the other dives too.

On Sunday we started out with Skull Rock. This large rock formation has some great walls and a crevasse that forms a superb swim-through. There is also a seal colony nearby. Others had already done the site earlier during the day and their dive had been great with no issues. Unfortunately by the time we got to water current had picked up and we ended up in somewhat dangerous conditions. Luckily everyone finished the dive safely despite some close calls. As the boat was running low on fuel I only got to do one dive during the day.

About half of our group left on Sunday, the rest of us stayed behind for some more diving. On Monday we headed further out to Humpback, an truly excellent dive site. This site was definitely the highlight of the trip and very likely the best diving I have done in Victoria. Fish life was somewhat lacking but apart from that the site is superb in every way. Massive walls that are covered in zoanthids, numerous amazing swim-throughs and many small caves and tunnels to explore.

It was nice indeed to finish up the trip on a high note. On Tuesday we decided to head back to Melbourne early, I couldn’t have dived anyway as I had an overnight flight to Auckland coming up. The trip worked out great despite all the issues we had. I’m very keen to go back to Prom at some point now that we are more familiar with the area.

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