by Chris Burns, Hop To It Tours
Sitting about 2.5 hours east of Melbourne, Wilsons Promontory National Park is the highlight to do when visiting South Gippsland. The southernmost point of mainland Australia, Wilsons Promontory provides amazing beaches, great surf, plenty of wildlife and a diverse choice of hikes and walking tracks.
This article will go through a few of the best Wilsons Promontory hiking options, ranging from a couple of hours to multi day tracks.
Situated approximately 30km into the Wilsons Promontory National Park, Tidal River is the starting point for your Wilsons Promontory exploration. The visitors information centre sits here as well as a general store for supplies and a campground with over 500 sites, so it is designed to be a base for your single or multi day adventure. If you’re just looking for a short stay then stroll out to Norman Beach (only a few hundred metres away) to get a taste of what Wilsons Prom is all about. Alternatively take the 1.8km Tidal River circuit walk to get some great views of Tidal River/Norman Beach.
One of the most popular short walks, Pillar Point gives you amazing views of both Norman Beach and the adjacent Squeaky Beach. This is an easy return walk and gives you a glimpse into what Wilsons Prom is all about.
If you do have the day to spend then this is an amazing day in the Prom, balancing great hiking with the opportunity to swim in some gorgeous bays and catch a wave or too. The Three Bays Walk incorporates walking from Tidal River, past Pillar Point, to the bays of Squeaky Beach (yes the sand actually squeaks), Picnic Bay and Whiskey Bay. If you can arrange a car shuttle then the walk can be done as a one way trek but if not then pack a lunch and take your time, stopping at the beaches for a swim and relax.
The great thing about Oberon Bay is that it has a campground, allowing you to hike in, stay the night, then hike out again. The track starts from Tidal River and takes you south past Little Oberon Bay and Growler Creek to Oberon Bay. The beach is a beautiful spot to stay the night and then you can return the same way, or choose to head inland to return via Telegraph Saddle.
For the best views of Wilsons Promontory National Park drive up to Telegraph Saddle and take the track up Mt Oberon. Quite often in cloud, if you get lucky then the views here are amazing and will give you a real appreciation of how the National Park is laid out. If you’re really lucky with the weather then sunset and sunrise are both very popular and doable as the track is wide and well graded.
For a different perspective of Wilsons Promontory you could tack the inland Lilly Pilly Gully Circuit. Again leaving from near Tidal River this circuit will give you the chance to see the flora and fauna of the area, including the stringybark forests on the side of Mt Bishop and the lower lush rainforest. Probably the easiest walk in Wilsons Prom, this is one to do if you want to keep the gradient flat.
Big Drift is situated at the Northern Part of Wilsons Promontory National Park, right near the entrance at the Stockyard Campsite. Whilst the walk itself isn’t that impressive, you go to experience the massive sand dunes that would make you believe you were in the desert! Be warned that whilst the track is easy, the sand dunes are steep and will get very hot on a hot day. Furthermore if it is quiet then keep aware of your bearings, it is easy to get lost when on the sand dunes.
Probably the pinnacle of the Wilsons Promontory hiking options, the entire southern circuit could be divided into smaller overnight or 2 night walks depending on what you are looking to do. Having said that everywhere is highly recommended so if you can fit it all in then you should!
Whilst you can start and finish at Tidal River and include Oberon Bay into the circuit, it is recommended to park at Telegraph Saddle and start/finish from here. The circuit can be done either way but we will head south to Roaring Meg for the first night which gives you access to South Point (the southernmost point of mainland Australia) which is a one way track (so do it after setting up camp or at sunrise the next morning).
Day 2 will take you past Southeast Point where the lighthouse is situated and along the eastern side of Wilsons Prom to Little Waterloo Bay. This is one of the nicest beaches in Australia, with lush, white sand and has an amazing view of sunrise. Day 3 is up and down hiking along to Refuge and Sealers Cove, again with amazing beaches. You could choose to camp at either of these or hike out that day, depending on time and how you’re feeling. Each of these (including Little Waterloo Bay) have tracks leading back to Telegraph Saddle so how much you complete is totally unto you.
There are many other Wilsons Promontory hiking options too, including a wildlife spotting track, other viewpoints and beaches but the ones above are my favourites. If you do want to try to spot wildlife your best chance is at dusk or dawn and if you camp out make sure to protect your food as the wombats especially will go after it.
If you’re keen to experience Wilsons Promontory and want to do it with us then Hop To It Tours offers private day and overnight tour to the area where we will fully customise the trip to your needs. Why not check it out at https://www.hoptoittours.com.au/tours/private-wilsons-promontory.
If you are looking to stay down there and want to book a campsite then you can do so at the following link:
Hope you have a great time down at the Prom and enjoy it as much as we do!