Recently I explored more of Melbourne and its surroundings and did some of the Wilson Promontory Walks in Victoria, which is my favourite place for hiking trails and nature walks on the mainland. Wilsons Prom is only 220 km and a relaxed 3 hours drive from the CBD.
The best way to get there is to go on a road trip from Melbourne to Wilsons Prom. I love this route that goes through Cranbourne, Loch, Kurranburra and Foster because you drive past small towns and lovely villages with interesting things to see along the way.
My picks for the best Wilsons Promontory Walks
For your trip planning here are my picks for best walks in the Wilsons Promontory National Park. You can also get an overview of all trails from this Wilsons Prom Map.
Loo-Errn Boardwalk Track along the Tidal River
It’s the main short walk at Tidal River, the one to start your visit to the national park. You can start the trail at the car park near the visitor centre. The Loo Errn Boardwalk takes you along the beautiful river and fragile wetlands with mangroves lining up the river banks. Ideal as morning or sunset walk for spotting wombats and the many Australian native birds. You can extend the boardwalk to Norman Bay Beach which is the largest and sheltered beach, popular with holidaymakers, families with kids who can safely play on this beautiful sandy beach.
Squeaky Beach Walk to Picnic Beach
The squeaky beach is the most popular beach at Wilsons Prom. There are many ways to visit this beautiful area of Tidal River. You can drive to the car park and walk the short path to the beach. You can take photos of the massive boulders and from there continue your walk to Picnic Bay along the coastal track. It is my favourite walk among all Prom walks because it takes you through diverse vegetation, peppered with tea trees and thick bushland and you walk past little bays with deep azure water and incredible views of the ocean. It is an easy 3 km return walk. Once you get to Picnic Bay, you can keep walking over to Whisky Bay if you want to extend your hike. If you enjoy walking, you can do the entire walking segment starting from Norman Bay to Squeaky Beach and over to Whisky Bay. The entire walking trail is about 12.4 km return walk, so you need to plan at least 4-5 hours to do the entire hike.
Whisky Bay Walk
Another beautiful place is Whisky Bay. From Tidal River Camping is only 12 km by car. From the car park, an 800mt path takes you down to the beach. Halfway at a cross-section, a short route takes you to the Whisky Bay Lookout, from where you can enjoy a beautiful view of both ends: on one side the Picnic Beach and the other Whisky Beach. It is also popular with amateur and professional photographers who flock here as it is a top place for taking sunset photos.
Mount Oberon Summit Walk
It is one of the Wilsons Prom day walks that must be on your list. If you are visiting on a day trip, you must get there very early to make sure you can also do some of the beach walks. From the Telegraph Saddle Car Park, you start this 3.4 km return short walk along the full walking path. It’s an easy walk suitable for children and seniors. The last part goes through a short stony staircase. Plan this walk early morning as the sunlight is just perfect for taking photos. The fantastic view of the bay speaks for itself. In summer it gets hot upon the summit of Mount Oberon, so avoid peak hours till mid-afternoon.
Pillar Point and Tidal Overlook Walk
The Pillar Point and Tidal Overlook are two great day walks. I did this stretch of the national park four years ago and loved it. You start the Tidal River Footbridge and walk along the forest paths to reach the granite boulders at the northern end of the Norman Bay. From there you can enjoy a magnificent view of both, the Squeaky Beach on one side and the Norman Beach on the other. Then you can walk back halfway and follow the path up the hill to the Tidal overlook for another fantastic view of the bay. It is the highest point between the Norman and Leonard Bays. As an option, you can continue on a circuit and descend to the Lilly Pilly Track Junction to return then to Tidal River car park.
The Wilsons Prom Wildlife Walk
More than a walk this is a wildlife circuit on bushland fields, located halfway between Yanakie and Tidal River. If you are going for a Wilsons Prom day trip, plan this walk early morning as a first stop. You are likely to see wildlife, like kangaroos and emus. The first time I went there in 2013 couldn’t do this walk because of the rain, but a beautiful rainbow and a beautiful encounter rewarded me. This year I was lucky enough to come close to a mother and baby kangaroo.
Little Oberon Bay Walk
Another beautiful walk that you will love. Plan it early in the morning as it is an 8.2 km return with an exposed path so that it can become scorching in summer. If you plan this hike in autumn, spring or winter, then it would be advisable to start later during the day. From the Tidal River Visitor Centre, this track climbs through tea tree-shrouded dunes to the southern end of Norman Bay. From there it winds across Norman Point to Little Oberon Bay. You can enjoy magnificent views of Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park and the Anser and Glennie Island groups.
Darby River to Tongue Point Walk
It is not one of the most popular walks at Wilsons Prom, but it’s a very natural area within the national park. This beautiful walk is peaceful and less frequented by visitors. From the Darby Car Park walk for 1 km through a sandy track that winds its way along the majestic Darby River. When you get to the beach, you can walk along the sandy shores to rocky formations. I loved this place. Extend your walk to Tongue Point via Fairy Cove, in total a 10 km return walk through a moderate climb and a gentle descent; it’s one of the longest days walks at the Wilsons Promontory Park.
Wilsons Prom Hiking
If you plan an extended stay at the Prom, let’s say seven days or longer then you may be interested in doing long walks in the Wilson Promontory National Park. There are different hikes like the Sealers Cove Walk which is the most popular Wilsons Prom overnight hike. Bear in mind that overnight hiking requires a national park permit for camping. So if you plan any of the long walks, you must book through the Wilsons Promontory National Park Website a few months ahead, because there is a limited number of permits.
The best time for visiting the Wilsons Promontory Park
Hiking and walking at Wilson Promontory National Park is pleasant throughout the year, whereas spring and summer have the benefit of warmer temperatures and more extended daylight that allows you to maximise time and the overall walking experience. Autumn and winter can be quite windy, with cold temps and shorter sunlight. However, with fewer people around this would be the ideal time for the more adventurous and experienced hikers.
What to know about the Wilsons Promontory National Park
Unlike many national parks in Australia, there is no entry fee for the Wilsons Promontory. However, if you stay overnight either camping on your own or in a cabin or a lodge, you will have to book and pay for your accommodation with the national park. Parking for a day visit and long-term visitors is free everywhere in the park.
Bear in mind that you are not allowed to cycle or motorcycle, and you cannot take your bike on walking tracks. Dogs are strictly no-go in the park. For BBQ you can only use gas fuel stove, no campfire or beach fire. Moreover, there is strictly no wildlife feed, (beware of penalties) also leaving food out for animals or offering food is not allowed.
Conclusions about a Wilsons Promontory Tour
I have been driving around Australia solo for 15 years and coming across some extraordinary landscapes and different environments. As a keen walker and hiker myself I love to discover new places all the times. However, being Australia a big country it takes a long time to get to places so that it is great to be able to escape in nature from the city.
The Wilsons Promontory Tour is one of my favourites not only because of the beautiful natural environment and several forest walks that it offers but also for being a top place in Australia for seeing native Australian animals in the wild.
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How to plan your trip to the Wilsons Prom
As said, driving is the way to go. While there are buses that take you from Melbourne to Foster or Fish Creek, once you get there, there are no buses to Yanakie and Tidal River National Park. Here is how to book your car.
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