Located at the southern most tip of the Australian mainland, Wilsons Promontory National Park is located 200 kilometres south east of Melbourne with an approximate driving time of three hours. The national park boasts an impressive 130 kilometres of coastline giving visitors numerous impressive locations to swim and surf in the warmer months with the main town Tidal River boasting a surf lifesaver patrolled beach.
A Day Out at Wilsons Promontory
From the park entrance it is a 30 kilometre drive to the main town centre of Tidal River where it is surrounded by a very popular 484 space camping ground with 20 of these camping spaces powered, if you plan to stay here it is incredibly important to make sure you book early. Recently a new ballot system was introduced to allocate camping sites due to high demand. The ballot for the summer ‘09 – ‘10 period will open from 1 July 2009 and will close 31 July 2009, details of this information can be found in the links at the bottom of this page.
One of the popular destinations before Tidal River is Squeaky Beach, when you arrive at the almost pure white sand make sure you take your shoes off to hear how the name of the beach was created. Limited parking is available at Squeaky Beach with this destination ideal for those who want a relaxing day in the summer months on the white sand or for those who like their hiking. This impressive trail takes in all the scenic sights of the west coast of Wilsons Promontory and eventually takes hikers right into the heart of Tidal River.
There are two other main stops before Squeaky Beach and Tidal River for beach enthusiasts with Picnic Bay and Whisky Bay offering spectacular scenery from all angles. Along the main road to Tidal River there are other stops to be made along the way for those who want to explore the terrain of the National Park by foot.
Another must see area within the park is Mt Oberon the popular summits road is not exactly idea for large amounts of traffic so during the summer months a free shuttle bus service runs from Tidal River and drops off visitors at the Telegraph Saddle car park where the rest of the journey is made on foot via the unsealed road. Mt Oberon offers a 360 degree perspective of the Wilsons Promontory National Park with the 3.4 kilometre walk classed a moderate to hard.
Because of the uniqueness of Wilsons Promontory on the eastern side of the continent it provides an opportunity to watch the sunset over the notorious Bass Straight from the vantage points of the beaches described above and also the roadside Normans Lookout between the turnoff’s to Squeaky Beach and Picnic Bay.
Those who are keen hikers will be in their element at Wilsons Promontory with an array of multiple night hiking options available. For the first time hiker or inexperienced hiker the best way to go is south as walking tracks are well defined and bathroom facilities are provided at the camping sights along the track. For those who truly want to rough it then heading north will give you the true wilderness experience, with hikers requiring to have navigation skills. With all overnight and multi night hikes a permit is required and it is highly recommended that you speak to the local ranger to gain knowledge on the area and its conditions.
Wilsons Promontory is a must see destination for those travelling in the South Gippsland region of Victoria with the best season being summer in order to take full advantage of the spectacular beaches on offer. For more information on the region and other National Parks, State Parks and State Forests around Victoria check out the links below for Park’s Victoria.
Wilsons Prom National Park – Parks Victoria
Visitor’s Guide – Parks Victoria