The Giant Worm, Bass, Victoria

This tacky tourist feature celebrates the unique giant worms of the area, which grow up to three metres long and 3 cm thick. The edifice itself is a huge concrete monster snaking across a paddock, with a museum and gift shop built inside. Out the back is an animal park featuring 'Wombat World', several fenced enclosures of mounded grey earth, each with its own wombat trying to chew through the chicken-wire to reach the grass on the other side. More like Wombat Westworld, really.

Then there's the usual array of dozing Eastern Grey Kangaroos (the Kangaroo Interpretation Centre scarcely lives up to its promise: just a shed with a couple of posters in it; no Kangaroo Interpreters going 'tch tch tch'), along with emus, dingoes, and those quintessentially Australian alpacas—freshly-shorn. Couple of koalas up a tree. Sam the talking cocky. All for the bargain price of twelve bucks a head.

Fortunately, Phillip Island is only a short way down the road, and for twelve dollars less than the Worm you can head to Seal Rocks and the Nobbies, follow a boardwalk across the top of some cliffs past slopes covered in pigface in bloom, and see dozens of fluffy pepper-grey seagull chicks and their full-throated, squawking, head-ducking parents, scattered about in their nests. All with a spectacular view up the coast in the late afternoon sun.


First published in Walking West, 1 December 2000.
This page: 1 February 2001; last modified 16 February 2001.

©2000-01 Rory Ewins