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The cereal pests of Wilsons Promontory

Cartoonist Glenn Robinson’s humorous take on the wombat attack.

THE signs warned us not to feed the animals at Wilson’s Promontory, the rangers warned us and even my friends warned us, but they didn’t warn us they had a cereal pest on the loose in the shape of Hairy Harry the wombat.

Staying at the Prom was always going to present some challenges I knew that, but how many people have woken up in the icy early hours to see Hairy Harry the wombat tucking into the kid’s breakfast cereal on the floor of their caravan.

Before our wombat attack things were going along sweetly as we turned into the Prom with two new kayaks on the roof of our caravan.

It was a blessed surprise to everyone, but I managed to get them up there without incident – and they stayed there too, not moving a centimetre.

It was the grandest of victories, though I had a nightmare vision of the crafts being launched somewhere along the South Gippsland Highway (I have a fairly patchy record when it comes to caravans).

The trip was to celebrate my wife, Melissa’s, 50th birthday and a group of close friends had joined our camp for the party.

The kayaks were a birthday gift and they worked beautifully. The weather was kind and Tidal River was as its picturesque, if chilly, best.

The elements did not turn against us but the animals did.

The first signs that we were under siege came after a kookaburra swooped down and plucked a biscuit with cheese from my hand, it was a very nice camembert, mind you, and only a few centimetres from my open maw.

This character was as domesticated as you could imagine. While we were told by a ranger not to feed the animals, she said there was nothing we could do about Kenny the Koala – he’d take what he pleased.

The same went for the Hairy Harry who amazingly broke into our annexe and climbed the steps into our caravan in the dead of night.

I was in a deep sleep when the wife shouted: “Matt, there’s a wombat in the van!”

I stumbled from the bed dressed in long johns and started leaping about trying to whip the poor beast with a towel.

He had dragged himself onto a bench seat and had torn his way into a closed packet of generic cornflakes.

On the floor, he was having his way with the hapless Aldi rip off.

Shouting and whipping, I finally convinced him to move on.

Even still, Harry loitered around the door to the annexe, which I blocked with an ice and beer-filled esky.

It’s amazing he didn’t help himself to a beer to wash down the corn flakes.

We’ll always have our memories of the best bits of the Prom.

Fortunately, the over friendly fauna is only part of the story.

As a destination, Wilsons Promontory is almost unparalleled in its beauty.

You can be as active or as lazy as you like.

Biking, hiking, swimming, surfing and paddling – and my favourite activities of eating, drinking and reading – are all perfectly acceptable.

Just keep a tight grip on your picnic basket and watch out for corn flake loving Harry.

I won’t even talk about our journey home: with a bent bike rack, a lost caravan winder (essential for getting your pop-top up and down) and the tears and tantrums that come with any trip with my family.

It certainly will be a trip that will be retold again and again at the family get-togethers around the Dunn kitchen table.

  

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=29130

Posted by on Jun 18 2019. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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