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Visit Wilsons Promontory National Park

Visit Wilsons Promontory National Park

Wilsons Promontory is a peninsula in the Melbourne region of Victoria. This huge national park covers 50,000 hectares of coastal wilderness on the southernmost tip of mainland Australia. Numerous walking trails lead you through deserted beaches, eucalyptus forests, moorlands, marshes and mountain peaks. Read all about this must-see park for when you visit Victoria.

How to get to Wilson’s Promontory?

The park is 200km south-east of Melbourne. To get to Wilsons Promontory National Park, you have two options:

By car

It’s about a 3-hour drive from Melbourne. Follow the Monash motorway (M1) out of the city to get to the South Gippsland Highway (A440).

Stay on the highway past the Lang Lang turnoff to the Korumburra, Leongatha and Wilsons Promontory exit. You will need to take this exit to stay on the South Gippsland Highway.

Pass through the towns of Korumburra, Leongatha and Meeniyan. On the outskirts of Meeniyan, turn right onto Meeniyan-Promontory Road (C444) and continue to Fish Creek, where you should turn right to stay on Meeniyan-Promontory Road (C444). Once inside the park, drive another 25 minutes to Tidal River Campground.

If you don’t have a vehicle, you can rent a car for the day or 2 days if you want to stay longer. We recommend using a car rental comparison tool to find the best rates and options: www.airportrentals.com

Bus tours

Another way to explore Wilsons Promontory and its many natural attractions is to join a guided tour from Melbourne, usually by bus.

Some tour operators offer day trips to Wilsons Promontory for about $200 per person. Depart Melbourne early in the morning and return in the evening. Your guide will take you on a number of activities that highlight the beauty of the area. Enjoy the bush, bird watching, wildlife viewing and even swimming if the weather permits.

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Best season to visit Wilsons Promontory

Autumn and spring are two ideal seasons to visit the national park.

In summer, crowds flock to the park as it is the school holiday season. Moreover, it gets hot, and temperatures can rise quickly. On the other hand, winter brings low temperatures and cool days.

During autumn, the crowds retreat to the cities, leaving the park almost empty, which is a great advantage for exploring it in peace. The weather is favorable, and animals enjoy the cooler climate, increasing your chances of spotting wildlife.

In spring, the weather is pleasant and sunny. Tourists have not yet arrived, allowing you to discover the park in tranquility. This small advantage makes a significant difference!

Be cautious of the wind, as it is quite prevalent in southern Australia, especially when you climb to the summits. Additionally, evenings are cooler than the days, and temperatures drop further at night. Therefore, make sure to pack warmer clothes for the evenings and for sleeping. Moreover, be aware that the weather can change quickly at Wilsons Promontory NP.

What to do on Wilsons Promontory?

The must do hikes

Prom Wildlife Walk

To begin this walk, you will need to find the “Prom Wildlife Walk” sign located on Wilsons Promontory Road at the park entrance. Follow a trail that takes you through plains and tall grasses. Always stay very attentive, as you will see a variety of iconic animals: kangaroos, wallabies, emus, wombats, and many other species.

Distance: 2.3 km
Time: 45 minutes
Level: Easy

Lilly Pilly Gully

Located behind the wildlife viewing area, this walk offers great opportunities to see all the native wildlife, kangaroos, wallabies, emus and wombats.

Start at the Lilly Pilly car park and follow the footbridge over the Tidal River, taking in great views of the river and Norman Beach. The trail joins the Lilly Pilly Gully Nature Walk, passing through eucalypt forests, coastal heath and temperate rainforest.

Distance: 6km
Time: 2.5 hours
Level: Moderate

Mount Oberon Summit Walk

Start at the Mount Oberon car park and follow the stairs to the rocky outcrops at the top of the mountain. After an hour’s climb, you’ll be rewarded with a 360-degree view of the Tidal River, the stunning Norman Beach and the islands off the Promontory. Be prepared though, as even in the summer months the summit can be windy, cool and cloudy.

Distance: 6km round trip
Time: 2 hours
Level: Moderate

Sealers Cove

One of the most popular walks in the park, Sealers Cove is a picturesque circular cove with turquoise water, golden sand and a shaded campsite.

Distance: 9.5km
Time: 3 hours
Level: Moderate

There are many other walks available, so it’s up to you how you spend your trip! You can find them all on the official website of the national park: www.visitpromcountry.com.au/walking-cycling/wilsons-prom-walks

The beaches

Norman Beach

The most popular beach in the national park is this beautiful stretch of golden sand, ideal for swimming and surfing, located just a few minutes from Tidal River campsite. From the beach you can access Norman Point Lookout where you can enjoy views of Little Oberon Bay and the Anser and Glennie island groups in Bass Strait.

Whiskey Beach

Whiskey Beach is a small sheltered beach with rock formations at either end. Accessed from the Whiskey Bay car park, the track follows a gully along Whiskey Creek before passing over a sand dune to the beach. A viewing platform offers spectacular views of the coast.

Distance: 700m
Time: 20 minutes
Level: Moderate

Squeaky Beach

Start at the Tidal River Information Centre and walk over the wooden footbridge through the melaleuca forest to the river. You can go fishing or bird watching. On the main track, head down to Squeaky Beach, where the rounded grains of quartz make a grinding sound as you walk, giving this popular local beach its name.

You can also take a short diversions to Pillar Point, where from the lookout you can enjoy stunning views of Norman Bay and the islands.

Distance: 2.1km
Time: 50 minutes
Level: Moderate

Cotters Lake / Beach

Park at the Cotters Lake car park, from which you can follow the track past the gate. This walk passes through the often dry Cotters Lake basin to Cotters Beach. Again, lots of wildlife to see on this walk with kangaroos, emus etc.

Distance: 1.2km
Time: 30 minutes
Level: Easy

Fairy Cove Beach

Fairy Cove Beach is a 45 minute walk from the Darby River car park. The walk to Fairy Beach starts with a climb up wooden ‘steps’ and then takes you to the beach. Fairy Cove is 250 metres of crystal clear water with rock formations, rock pools and lots of wildlife.

Distance: 2.8km
Time: 45 minutes
Level: Moderate

Day 1

The day starts with a nature walk to observe Australian wildlife. The best time to go is at sunrise! Start around 7 am. It’s not too hot, and the animals are out. The Prom Wildlife Walk is ideal for this! The walk is an easy 2.3 km loop on flat terrain. It takes less than an hour to complete, although you’ll likely spend a bit more time photographing and admiring all the animal species. You’ll see kangaroos, emus, wombats, wallabies, as well as rare birds, blue-tongued lizards, and even snakes, so stay alert!

To continue your morning, why not go for a real hike? The Mount Oberon Summit Walk is well worth the effort! After about an hour of climbing, you’ll reach the summit and be rewarded with an incredible 360° panoramic view of the mountains and the sea. Take your time to regain your strength before beginning the descent of this challenging hike.

Once you’ve completed your walk, grab your picnic and head to the Tidal River picnic area. Here, you can either enjoy your meal quietly or use the public barbecue to prepare a delicious meal!

For the afternoon program, head to the beach! After the effort, it’s time to relax! We recommend Squeaky Beach. Firstly, to discover its unique feature, but also to enjoy the paradisiacal setting for swimming, engaging in activities, or simply lounging on the sand for a few hours. If you wish, you can try surfing, swim freely, or fish. You might even catch your next meal!

Finally, to end the day well, head to Lilly Pilly Gully and walk through its vast eucalyptus forest with towering trees. Don’t miss Mount Oberon and Mount Bishop, both offering stunning views of the national park.

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Day 2

For the first part of the program, explore Wilsons Promontory National Park from the sea. You will embark late in the morning (usually at 11 am) for a boat tour. Various companies offer trips to discover the most beautiful spots in the national park. You will navigate along the coast, passing by South Point and Bass Strait. Among these must-see places are The Glennies, Anderson Islets, and Anser Island, but not only these! Marvel at the view of Mount Oberon, the magnificent Norman Beach, and the iconic Skull Rock!

If you’re lucky, you might see seals, dolphins, or even whales, but only during their migration (from May to November, depending on your location along the coast).

For lunch, enjoy local fish and chips from Tidal River General Store and Take Away on the beach. Settle comfortably in the shade on the sand of Norman Beach. The beach is a 15-minute walk from the store and just a 2-minute drive.

Next, walk to Norman Point Lookout to admire the panorama of the mount and the islands. It will only take a few minutes.

To continue the day, this time dive underwater! Nothing beats a scuba diving trip to marvel at the numerous species of colorful and variously shaped fish. The most recognized places for this activity within the marine reserve are Great Glennie Island, Kanowna Island Seals, Skull Rock, 40 Foot Rock, and Refuge Cove. For those who are not comfortable diving, you can snorkel at one of the park’s beaches. Prefer Norman Beach or Fairy Cove Beach for the clarity of the water.

End this second day of exploring the park by enjoying the sunset from the beach. No matter which beach you choose, pick a clear spot. The colors dancing in the sky and reflecting on the sea will dazzle you!

Where to stay?

Tidal River is the main site for accommodation in Wilsons Promontory National Park. This site offers 484 camping and caravanning spaces, ideally located near the beach and river.

Camping facilities include modern amenity blocks with toilets, hot showers, laundry facilities, washing up sinks and picnic areas with free barbecues. However, there is no gas station at Tidal River – the nearest one is in Yanakie.

There is an information centre with information on hiking and activities in and around the park. The centre is open daily from 8.30am to 4pm. The Visitor Centre is located 30km south of the park entrance.

Note: Camping places in Tidal River must be booked in advance. Outside the holiday periods, specific spaces are not allocated. Therefore, you can choose your site on arrival on a “first come, first served” basis.

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