The Best 5 Things to do at Wilsons Promontory National Park

The Best 5 Things to do at Wilsons Promontory National Park

Less than a 4-hour drive from Melbourne and nestled at the southernmost tip of Australia’s mainland lies Wilsons Promontory National Park. Affectionately known as “the Prom” it is a popular destination for those of the outdoorsy persuasion.

A 50,000-hectare area known for its beautiful scenery, stunning beaches and abundant wildlife you’ll find yourself wanting to stay so much longer than you planned.

I first heard about Wilsons Promontory while I was working up in Injune, Queensland. One of the FiFo (fly in, fly out) guys who was from the Melbourne area recommended it as a place that I just had to check out.

He wasn’t wrong.

With so many adventures to choose from its hard to know which ones to choose. So, here’s my top picks of things to do in Wilsons Prom.


1. Stay at least 1 night at Wilsons Promontory

First off Wilsons Promontory is definitely not a day trip kind of place. You absolutely need to stay at least one night to really begin to explore everything it has to offer. Ideally you would be able to stay longer.

Either way you’re going to need someplace to sleep.

Camping at Wilsons Prom

By far the cheapest option is for you to rock up with your tent, caravan or campervan and camp.

There are 2 main campsites within Wilsons Promontory, Stockyard campsite and Tidal River campsite.

Stockyard campsite

Stockyard campsite is found close to the park entrance and has a total of 20 sites to camp on. While it is set in the native bushland and has access to hot showers, flushing toilets, picnic tables and a sheltered area, it doesn’t have treated water. So, make sure to bring your own or treat any water before drinking. There is also no beach access either although Whiskey bay is only a short drive away

Tidal River Campsite – My Top Recommendation

30Km further into Wilsons Promontory and you will find Tidal River campsite. This is the main campsite. It is also where the visitors centre, and the general store are located making it the perfect base for exploring. There are 484 camping sites and 20 powered sites. If, like us you decide to stay here then you can expect access to hot showers, flushing toilets, dishwashing stations, free BBQs and picnic areas.

juicy campervan wilsons promontory national park
This was our camping spot at Tidal River. As it was the middle of winter we had the pick of the whole site!

For those attached to their electronic devices, a mobile charging station can also be found outside the visitor centre where you can charge your phone – there is a refundable $2 deposit.

The campsite is situated right next to the river and Norman beach with easy access to both. You could quite easily just spend your entire time never leaving this particular area!

Note: Due to the popularity of Wilsons Promontory there is a ballot process for the 5 weeks from Christmas until late January.

Overnight hike campsites

There are also several overnight hike campsites within Wilson Promontory. These sites have little to no facilities and are found at the start of popular bush walks. They are mostly used by those that wish to explore deeper into the park.


Hire a Cabin at Wilsons Prom

Tidal River not only offers campsites but there are also a number of cabins that are available to hire too.

From one-bedroom units, rustic cabins to group lodges. There are accommodation options to suit everyone.

So even if camping isn’t really your style or you just want to splash out for a bit of extra comfort you can still enjoy the beauty of Wilsons Promontory too.


Stay at Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse

Arguably one of Victoria’s best kept secrets, you can actually stay at mainland Australia’s most southernly lighthouse.

The Wilsons Promontory lighthouse was built in 1859 using local granite on the narrow peninsula which juts out into the Bass Strait. It was originally supplied every 6 months by ship and there was no communication with the outside world.

Before you get to excited though, its important that you know that you can only reach the lighthouse by foot.

The lighthouse credit: Ian Cochrane

You can choose between the inland route via Telegraph Saddle carpark at 19.1KM one way or the coastal route from Tidal River via Oberon Bay which is 23.8Km one way.

Whichever route you choose you will be rewarded with stunning views and a cosy place to stay. Each of the cottages has a bathroom and a fully equipped kitchen with oven, hotplates, microwave, fridge, cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery.

Want to go in a big group? No problem, cottage 2 sleeps up to 12 people and cottage 5 sleeps up to 8.


Other Acommodations options Outside Wilsons Prom

You don’t have to stay within the park boundaries though.

There are several options in nearby Foster, Fish creek and Yanakie. From B&Bs, hotels and airBnB you can spend your day out in nature before returning to the more familiar urban sights and smells at night.


2. Go in search of the Wildlife of Wilsons Promontory

This place is just overflowing with wildlife.

Ok so maybe that’s a slight exaggeration but you get the idea. There is just loads of it. I mean we had literally only been in Wilsons Prom a few minutes before we just had to pull over to see the wild Emus just having an afternoon snack.

They were just chilling out on the green next to a sign that said wildlife walk. Yeah, no walking was necessary this day.

Then we spotted a wombat a little further away. Even if the rest of our time here was rubbish it wouldn’t have mattered (it wasn’t though).

Emus at Wilsons Promontory

Obviously, time of day often plays a factor in the probability that you will get to encounter some of these amazing creatures. However, with the park a protected haven where they can thrive you have as good a chance as any.

Please don’t forget that these animals are wild and could attack you if they feel threatened. You should also refrain from feeding them.


3. Head to one of the stunning Beaches at Wilsons Promontory

Just like the rest of Australia, there is not just one incredible beach to explore but several. While some are a little harder to access than others (like you need to hike a few hours to get to them) they all have their own qualities. Here are some of the best.

Squeaky Beach

Probably the most well known of Wilsons Promontory beaches, it would be rude not to pay this beauty a visit.

Wondering why it’s called squeaky beach?

squeaky beach in winter wilsons promontory
As the weather was turning we decided not to head down to squeaky beach

Well the rounded grains of quartz which make up the beach make a squeaking sound when you walk. Don’t believe me? Go try it yourself.

Don’t just stop at the sand though, that clear, turquoise waters will be calling your name. So be nice and go for a dip.

Whiskey Bay – My Top Recommendation

Park up in the car park and Stoll along the boardwalk which curves through the small sand dunes before opening out onto Whiskey beach.

Smaller than some of the other beaches but still just as beautiful, this is the place to watch the sunset.

winter sunset at whiskey bay Wilsons Promontory
Trying to watch the sunset as a storm rolls in

As it’s a west facing beach it is the perfect place to finish the day off, watching the sunset over the horizon.

In fact, even in the middle of winter with a storm rolling in off the sea, the sunset was something else.

Norman Beach

The closest beach to the Tidal River campground, it is sure to always be busy during the summer months (I visited in the dead of winter, so it was empty).

When the tide is out you can walk along the river straight onto the beach – be careful you don’t get caught out when the tide turns though!

norman beach wilsons promontory
even in the middle of winter this beach was amazing

The beach is flanked either side by Pillar point in the north and Norman point in the south giving it a bay kind of feeling.

Little Waterloo Bay

I didn’t have chance to check this particular beach out as we were only staying for 1 night and little waterloo bay is located on the opposite side of the Wilsons Promontory.

It is only accessible by the overnight hike track from Tidal river.

However, if you do decide to adventure out there you will be rewarded with a stunning white sandy beach and crystal blue waters.

Plus, due to the effort it takes to get there it is likely that you won’t have to share the beach with many other people. You may even get it all to yourself!

Plus, due to the effort it takes to get there it is likely that you won’t have to share the beach with many other people. You may even get it all to yourself!

There is camping facilities with basic facilities and a composting toilet. However, there is a 2-night maximum stay.


4. Catch a film at the Tidal River Open Air Cinema

That’s right Wilsons Promontory has its very own open-air cinema. Located within the Tidal River campgrounds the cinema operates during the summer months showing a variety of different films from 9pm each evening.

So, grab your popcorn, a chair or even your sleeping bag and head on over for different kind of cinematic experience.


5. Conquer 1 or more of the Best Hikes to do in Wilsons Promontory

Wilsons Prom if chock full of bush walks, some short, some a little longer. When/if you tear yourself away from the magnificent beaches you can discover a completely different array of stunning views and scenery.

Easy

Millers Landing Nature walk

Distance: 2Km

Time: 40mins

This easy walk starts at Five Mile carpark and meanders gently downhill to Millers Landing. It takes you through open banksia and stringybark woodland. Millers Landing, itself, protects the southernmost stand of mangroves in the world. Which is as good a reason as any to fit this little walk into your Wilsons Promontory adventure.

Vereker Outlook

Distance: 3Km

Time: 60 mins

Beginning at the Five Mile car park this track takes in open banksia woodland. You are treated to panoramic views to Darby Saddle, Corner Inlet and Cotter Beach as the tracks winds it way through the stringybark trees.

 Lilly Pilly Gully Nature Walk

Distance: 2.6Km

Time: 1hour

At 2.6Km and taking just an hour this walk is suitable for everyone (even prams).

Starting at the Lilly Pilly Gully car park the nature walk gives you a glimpse into Wilsons Promontory forests and heathland. Traversing through the eucalypt forest and across the boardwalk which cuts through the warm temperate rainforest.

Don’t forget to watch out for the wildlife!

Wildlife Walk

Distance: 2.3Km

Time: 45mins

Found just behind the wildlife viewing area this walk is the perfect opportunity to spot all those native creatures on your Aussie animal bucket list. From Kangaroos, wallabies, emus to wombats. If you’re lucky you’ll see them all.


Medium

Mt. Oberon – My Top Recommendation

Distance: 3.4Km

Time: 2 hours

This was the only “big” hike that we had time for during our stay at Wilsons Prom and my word did we choose wisely. Not only does the name remind me of the game of thrones character, Oberyn, but its summit also gives you 360° of Wilsons Promontory.

It’s a 4km drive from Tidal River campsite to Telegraph Saddle carpark.

Fun Fact:Telegraph Saddle carpark is mainland Australia’s southernmost carpark.

This is the starting point for the hike up to the summit but also for several other bushwalks.

It takes around 45-60 minutes each way depending on your walking speed.

It’s a pretty easy walk as its all path until the very last bit. The path winds its way up the mountain complete with benches places at strategic resting points.

The woodland that covers the mountain stretched up high above you shading you from the hot sun but also from the view. There ae point where you catch glimpses of what to expect when you reach the top, but it is mostly kept a secret until you hit the summit.

View from mount oberon wilson promontory
I could have watched this view all day

When we reached the top, we had it all to ourselves.

I just sat and took in the views. They almost didn’t look real. It was like someone had dropped a backdrop down somewhere just far enough away that I couldn’t tell where reality merged into photograph.

I would definitely recommend undertaking this hike in the morning before the heat of the day, or perhaps late afternoon. You could even get up early and watch the sunrise or stay late and watch it set from this spot.

If you only do one hike while you’re here this is the one walk that I would definitely recommend you pick to do.

Lilly Pilly Gully Circuit

Distance: 5.8Km

Time: 2-3 hours

A slightly longer walk than the nature walk taking around 2-3 hours to complete.

Again, starting at the Lilly Pilly Gully carpark, the track takes you through the rainforest before climbing across the southern face of Mt. Bishop through stringy-bark forest.

You’re then brought back thought he rainforest as you return back to the carpark.

A perfect day hike this walk provides a peek into Wilsons Prom’s beauty.

Mt. Bishop

Distance: 6.8Km

Time: 2.5 hours

If you’re looking for something a little more challenging, then Mt. Bishop is for you.

Taking around 2.5 hours to complete the Mt. Bishop trail covers a more rugged terrain than the easy Mt. Oberon.

Starting from Lilly Pilly Gully carpark follow the nature walk west. Take the side track to the left (and in the shadows) at the 1.4Km mark and begin your ascent to the rocky summit.

Once at the summit be sure to continue a little further to the 2nd set of boulders and enjoy the views across Wilsons Promontory. Retrace your steps back down the track and return to the car park triumphant.


Hard

Darby Saddle to Tongue Point

Distance: 5.6Km

Time: 2.5 hours

 This walk gives you both amazing coastal and forest scenery, so it really is the best of both worlds.

At 5.6Km and taking around 2.5 hours to complete it is rated moderate to hard.

For a bonus view take the side track at the 2.1Km mark which leads up to Parkes Lookout. From here you can see as far as the pyramid-shaped Rodondo Island in the south and Shallow inlet in the north.

After this turnoff the track climbs steeply up to Lookout rocks where you can spot Norman island before descending through the heathland down to the Darby river.

The track then continues to Tongue point where you can explore the tumbled stacks and boulders of weathered granite.

The track end just before the semi-attached island and it is recommended for your safety not to attempt to cross over to it.


I hope you have as much fun at Wilsons Promonitriy as I did!

Until Next time

Keep Adventuring!

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