The Big Drift, Victoria

Wilsons Promontory National Park

The Big Drift is a vast expanse of inland sand dunes located in Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria.

Immediately after passing through the park's entrance gate turn right as if to exit the park. From the exit lane, on your left, is the entrance to the Stockyards Camp. The camp has parking, some picnic tables, and toilet facilities. The Big Drift is an easy to moderate 2km walk from the camp. The walking track is well sign-posted, you won't have any trouble finding your way.

At the end of the track you need to climb the side of a sand dune, that bit isn't easy. It's steep and the sand is soft, you might find yourself crawling up the last several metres... I did. It can be difficult to find your way back to this entrance point; I recommend dropping a GPS pin as soon as you get to the top - especially if you will be leaving after dark.

The Big Drift is a popular spot but not as busy as some of the prom's many other locations. I suggest either going on a weekday or early morning/late afternoon on the weekend to avoid people. The scenery is quite featureless and open, people really stand out against the light coloured sand. Even on a quiet day I found it tricky to find compositions without people in the frame.

I'd probably avoid going on a very windy day, the dunes are quite exposed so there is a good chance both you and your equipment will be sand blasted. Other than wind and rain, this would be a great location in any type of weather. I imagine that, like most sand dunes, the whole place would be scorching on a hot day so, take plenty of water and cover up.

I took my 4x5 kit and that may have been a mistake. I don't mind admitting, I found it pretty hard going carrying nearly 15kg worth of gear up and down sand dunes for several hours. Next time I will definitely take a lighter pack. I used the Schneider-Kreuznach Super-Angulon 90mm f/5.6 lens with both an orange filter and a CPL filter for most shots.

I'm still to develop the six sheets of T-Max 100 I exposed so, until I do, here are some shots taken with my mobile phone.

Footnote: The mobile phone photos will be staying for a while. Read my post Disaster to find out why.

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