About the Area
Wilsons Promontory National Park is one of the top rated National Parks in Australia and most definitely in the state of Victoria. Located approximately 3 hours drive from Melbourne, this peninsula forms the southernmost tip of mainland Australia. The Indigenous Koori people occupied the land long before the arrival of Europeans in 1798 and have often mentioned the significance of the area in their Dreamtime stories.
The area is made up of over 50,000 hectares of beauty and is Victoria’s oldest National Park. Known for its relatively untouched natural landscapes, diverse wildlife and picturesque campsites and hiking trails; The Prom is an outdoor lovers dream weekend destination. Whether you’re an avid hiker or a family looking to escape to nature and relax, this place is a must see.
Photo credit: Frugal Frolicker
What To Do
Wilsons Prom is such an untouched beauty you need to explore its intricacies one way or another. Hiking and cycling trails range from beginner to advanced so there’s suitable options for all capabilities. Be sure to explore away from your main camp ground as you might be lucky to come across some wildlife. If you’re staying at Tidal River, ask how to find the cheekiest group of wild Lorikeet birds that beg visitors for some treats as they make themselves at home on your shoulder or head. Some must see destinations within the park are:
- Sealers Cove
- Refuge Cove
- Sunset at Mt Oberon
- Wilsons Promontory Lightstation
- Norman Bay
- Squeaky Beach
- Whisky Bay
- Millers Landing
For those wanting to spend the weekend on a 2 night hike to explore the diversity of The Prom; here is a popular itinerary known as the Eastern Circuit :
- Day 1: Begin at Telegraph Saddle and hike to Sealers Cove where you’ll spend the night (dist. 10km).
- Day 2: From Sealers Cove head to Refuge Cove where you will spend lunch, before hiking further to Little Waterloo Bay where you will spend the night (dist. 15km).
- Day 3: Little Waterloo Bay back to Telegraph Saddle (dist. 12.5km).
TOTAL DISTANCE 37.5km
Food & Drink
As the drive to and from Melbourne is around 3 hours, it’s always a good idea to break it up with a nice meal and see some country towns in the process. Fish Creek and Foster are both quaint Victorian country towns located 1 hour from Tidal River main campground. You can’t beat a classic pub meal and pint at either Foster Exchange Hotel or Fish Creek Hotel.
When staying in Wilsons Prom itself you will need to pack food and drink in advance. There is a general store by the visitor centre in Tidal River campground selling the basics such as milk and bread. Plan a big shop in the city before you leave and pack appropriately for the amount of days you plan to stay. Most importantly if you are planning to spend the weekend on a major hike, you will need to pack well. There are no rubbish deposits away from Tidal River campground so you need to take out what you take in. Think about packing sufficient light weight foods to reduce the overall weight of your backpack while still having hike appropriate meals to sustain you.
Where to Stay?
For those seeking a relaxing weekend getaway amongst nature with all the essential amenities then Tidal River is for you. With convenient access to stunning beaches and day hikes you can spend each day as you please. The site has a variety of accommodation options from powered/unpowered sites, huts, cabins, glamping and lodges for bigger groups.
For the adventurous types heading out for multi-day hikes, there are unpowered campsites at each major destination within the National Park. Be sure to plan in advance and make sure you’ve packed the appropriate gear.
The most unique accommodation option within the park would be to stay a few nights at the Wilsons Promontory Lightstation. Situated on the southeastern point, the lighthouse oversees 360 degree views of the Bass Strait. The cottages surrounding the lightstation are guaranteed to give you a taste of the historic lighthouse keeper lifestyle.