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Skull Rock, AKA Cleft Island, off Wilsons Headland: New tour gets you up close

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Skull Rock, AKA Cleft Island, off Wilson’s Headland!


If you have actually ever been to Wilsons Headland, the southernmost factor of Australia’s landmass, you may have been intrigued by a strangely designed as well as evidently hollow island that strangely stands out imminent.

The island, shaped like an oblong with a gigantic central cleft, hence its name – Slit Island – is much better called Head Rock, and what prizes exist within its huge cavern have been mostly held the key, previously.

A new tour has actually allowed visitors to rise close to the island through a purpose-built boat to deal with the swell of Bass Straight and also navigate the national park’s shores, which also gives guests a fresh angle from which to view the park.

Skull Rock, AKA Cleft Island, off Wilsons Headland : New tour gets you up close


And it’s not just the all-natural views that are standing out, yet the boat itself. The customized-built, amphibious James Bond-esque vessel can cross land and also sea, allowing travelers to hop on and also off at Norman Beach, where it four-wheel-drives throughout the Tidal River’s mouth before verging right into the sea.

The brilliant yellow vessel, the initial of its kind in the world, was 8 years in the making and is created to have a marginal environmental influence. It can seat 30 travelers, that are provided with raincoats in situations of rogue wave accidents over the watercraft, which the skipper tries – as well as is successful – to avoid throughout our trip.

We have a warm and also cozy autumn day for the journey, laying out before lunch for a two-and-a-half-hour trip. The very first sea crossing entails a great deal of thrilling, roller-coaster-like smacks into waves adhered to by unexpected decreases. Yet no-one splashes, as well as no-one regurgitates, although you would certainly be well suggested to devour on seasickness tablets in advance, since this ain’t a smooth-sailing ride, no matter just how tranquil the seas might actually be.

The initial islands we get to are the Glennie as well as part of the Wilsons Prom Marine Book. The islands are recognized for their birdlife and also we see a lot of audacious Cape Barren Geese, as well as New Zealand hair seals sunning themselves on rocks. But what is really shocking is the clear cobalt waters that surround the islands’ rough coasts. The water is tranquil enough below for us to stop as well as move the boat to take pictures, before resuming our seats for the next leg of the trip, to Head Rock.

I gulp as I look over towards the hulking island, which still seems some range away over the shipwreck-studded sea flooring and also will certainly include a great deal even more of those awesome bounces over the waves. However, any anxiety of needing to stumble over the boat’s side discolors as the island and also its gargantuan opening entered into clear view. Spanning 130 meters wide, 60 meters high, and also 60 meters deep, the Slit is so large it might swallow up the Sydney Concert hall.

The mouth of the cave has superb carpeting of environment-friendly yard, which is being often tended to by several Cape Barren Geese, according to our guide, and also there’s not a passenger among us that doesn’t want to tip inside for a better look.

However, only nine individuals have actually ever successfully made it into the cavern. No watercraft can secure right here, so landings require to be made by chopper on the island’s top, with a shimmy to the cave’s entry via abseiling ropes – method way too much help the average human.

While I was dissatisfied to listen to there was no treasure, what these nimble travelers did locate were old cannonballs left by passing ships exercising their objective. There are also openings on the outside of the granite rock, which have been blamed on the Australian Protection Force.

We circle the rock’s rough crown before zooming back towards the mainland to see the most southern factor of landmass Australia, South Point. And also, because it’s a calm day for the Bass Strait, we continue along the eastern shore in the direction of Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse and its ancient granite rock formations, reminiscent of those located at Kangaroo Island’s Impressive Rocks.
Skull Rock, AKA Cleft Island, off Wilsons Headland:New tour gets you up close

We follow the coastline back to Norman Coastline, taking in secluded, empty beaches, waterfalls rolling over rock faces right into the sea, and also seals frolicking in the water; watching parts of the park that are just easily accessible on foot, returning eventually to Norman Coastline, a little shaken, and definitely stirred.



Trips depart at 11 am daily. Cost: $135 for grownups, $85 for youngsters (three to 16 years), and $430 for households (2 grownups, 3 children).


The Church House, Fish Creek This amazing, as well as distinct hill accommodation, was developed from the remains of a taken down the church. Currently carefully recovered, it is full of modern-day art as well as antiques and has actually been repurposed as high-end holiday accommodation. The Church House has three self-supporting spaces as well as includes morning meals, with an option to consist of supper and white wine pairings. From $495 per night.

Inverloch Glamping Carbon monoxide Choose in between cabins or outdoor tents at this hill place out of Inverloch, near Bunurong Coastal Drive. The perfectly created cabins, fitted with turning seats, queen-size beds, and potbelly fires have different, personal, and also large bathrooms. Outside, fire pits, hammocks, and also exterior tubs to soak in sunsets and sea views make this an absolutely special experience. From $270 per night.

Glenleith in Meeniyan Handily lies in the humming town of Meeniyan, as well as in walking range of its great restaurants and cafes, this brand-new self-contained lodging is spacious, with kitchen space, lounge, and also dining location. It provides every little thing a visitor would require for a weekend break away, consisting of Wi-Fi, a car park, and a breakfast hamper. The area (there is just one) from $165 an evening.


Meeniyan has some of the most effective dining establishments in South Gippsland. Moos at Meeniyan is open for breakfast and lunch, with supper Friday and Saturday evenings. The food selection consists of excellent coffee, modern breakfasts, and also breakfasts, as well as lunches from hearty fish and also chips to heating soups. Trulli is the region’s finest dining establishment for supper, with an Italian-style price and an outstanding glass of wine list. Both restaurants use the best items from the area.

Closer to the ‘Prom is the area’s much-loved establishment Gurney’s Cider. In addition to enthusiastic manufacturers of British-style ciders, they also supply yummy platters full of neighborhood cheese, fruit, olives, and also meat – there’s even a vegan option. Their place has unparalleled sights throughout Wilsons’ Senior prom.

If white wine is extra your point, base yourself at Inverloch and head to Dirty 3 White Wines, where the declines are as good as the band they inherited the name from. Concentrating on pinot noirs yet also generating stellar chardonnay, the name likewise describes the “three specks of dust” where their grapes are expanded. The vineyard and also cellar door has actually recently moved to Inverloch’s industrial estate and has ended up being a neighborhood hangout, with online songs, and also platters of local fruit and vegetables.

A few minutes beyond Inverloch, Harman Glass of wines was the family’s former holiday residence before they dropped their jobs in Melbourne for the glass of wine business as well as exchanged a cellar door. In a spectacular rural setting, the vines have all been grown by hand from which they make lasting, minimal intervention white wines.

This is a relaxed spot in which to appreciate their white wines in addition to platters of neighborhood produce and wood-fired pizzas, which were an unforeseen hit when they began supplying them during the state’s lockdown in 2020.

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