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Marketing-version (also see: Esser F, Reinemann C, Fan D. (2001) Spin Doctors in the United States, Great Britain, and Germany: Metacommunication about Media Manipulation. Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics 6(1):16-45, doi:10.1177/1081180X01006001003)

Mid-winter excursion ideal for those who prefer very slow-paced short distance overnight hikes with all the luxuries. Full range of wellness spa treatments including skin exfoliation, ‘taking the waters’ and ‘the washing of the feet’ (see Old Testament, Genesis 18:4; 19:2; Song of Solomon 5:3; Psalms 58:10). Dietary training available for those pursuing weight-loss objectives. May we please also highlight that meal preparations exclusively utilised eggs from free-range chicken and ‘responsibly fished’ tuna during our 30-31 July 2021 hike! 

Sceptic Realism-version (also see: Jani Hakkarainen (2012) Hume's Scepticism and Realism, British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20(2):283-309, doi:10.1080/09608788.2012.664024)

Yes, our hike was much like a wellness spa treatment – but only because of the brilliant sunshine and unseasonably warm weather! We had our arms, shoulders and legs ‘exfoliated’ by the dense banksia and grass-tree bush (yay!), we drank the dark-brown-tannin-laden water (good!), and we had our feet washed by shin-deep wading through swamps (fun!). We set up camp in the evening without any hurry, and we broke up camp the next morning with similar ease. However, an hour of rain in the middle of the night reminded us that our fun could very quickly turn to misery.

Northern Prom 1

Our very slow speed over the very short distance already tells half of the story (1.2km/h average speed; ~10km on Friday from Five Mile carpark to our camp; back the same way on Saturday): Much of the time was spent traversing wilderness unmaintained by Parks Victoria. Prospective hikers have to fill out a ‘Hiker Self-Assessment Form’ before a permit is issued for Lower Barry Creek Campground. Upon submission, it was not quite clear to our leader what was more important to the administrator: The content of that form or the receipt of fees for a campsite that does not really exist…

Only for a short distance after turning off the Five Mile Road (up to this point: very pleasant and easy walk with very rewarding views over Corner Inlet and across the Yanakie isthmus towards Walkerville) were we able to easily recognise the track. Soon after, we had to reconcile our route with our GPS devices several times. Parks Victoria classify most of the northern part of Wilsons Promontory as a ‘remote wilderness zone’ and claim that in order “to preserve the area’s natural values there are few facilities”. We wondered what “few” means and whether, from an environmental protection perspective, it is a good strategy to not even provide long-drop toilets (‘dunnies’). For example, we only recognised the campground because waste such as 2-minute noodle packs had been left behind by previous campers. This demonstrates that not all visitors do the right thing, and cannot be expected to be campground ‘toilet-trained’.

This mid-winter excursion illustrates how much our hiking enjoyment depends on good weather, and how the same hike in poor weather could easily result in a sudden significant mood change for the entire team, or even a tantrum by one or more members. An excellent opportunity for overnight hikers to test gear, examine fitness levels, contemplate servant leadership theory, and reflect on personal comfort zone limitations. Make sure to book good weather!

Distance: Approximately 28kms return, difficulty - medium

Participants:  Patsy S., John S., Graham T., Frithjof A.

Northern Prom 3