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.
Table of Contents
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:
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 car, 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
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.
What to do on Wilsons Promontory?
The most beautiful hikes
Keep your eyes peeled because the region is rich in wildlife. On your walks you may see kangaroos, koalas, emus, wallabies and wombats.
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
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.
Time: 2.5 hours
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.
Time: 3 hours
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 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 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.
Time: 20 minutes
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.
Time: 50 minutes
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.
Time: 30 minutes
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.
Time: 45 minutes
Recommended two day itinerary
Your day begins with a long walk in the forest to observe and discover the fauna and flora of the national park. You will see kangaroos, koalas, wombats, wallabies, rare birds, so stay alert!
After the walk, head to Squeaky Beach. You can enjoy the paradise-like setting for swimming to cool off, or lounging on the sand (weather depending!).
You can then head to Lilly Pilly Gully and walk through this huge forest of eucalyptus and giant trees. You can’t miss Mount Oberon and Mount Bishop, both of which offer stunning views of the national park.
Tip: wear a hat and sun cream – and don’t forget your hiking boots!
Do something a little different and discover Wilsons Promontory National Park from the sea on a boat tour.
Various companies will take you to the southernmost tip, South Point, and into the waters of Bass Strait. From the sea you can see the Glennies, the Anderson Islands and Anser Island.
Then head to Mount Oberon, located behind Norman Beach, to admire the iconic Skull Rock.
If you’re lucky, you may even spot seals, dolphins or migrating whales on your excursion.
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 reserved 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.