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“The Prom is amazing. You’ll love it!”- Everyone
While the Great Ocean Road gets all the glory, Victoria has another gem hidden away in its southern tip. Wilson’s Promontory is an absolute must-do in Australia. Affectionately called The Prom by locals, it is easy to see why it is loved amongst Victorians. In between the jewel blue waters lined with white sand beaches lies jaw-dropping views and lush rainforests perfect for a weekend away. With no shortage of unbeatable bushwalks, you will not want to leave.
Wilson’s Prom is the southernmost tip of mainland Australia. In fact, it was once attached to Tasmania so it has flora only found on Tasmania.
Getting to Wilson’s Promontory
The best way of getting to the park is by vehicle. We used our van and were able to get around quite easily the entire trip. If you do not have your own vehicle, considering buddying up and renting one as it will definitely make getting around and traipsing the trails much easier. Entry to the park is free!
Where to Stay in Wilson’s Promontory
Tidal River Campground is the main campground in the park. In fact, it is the only campground accessible by vehicle. Staying here is quite expensive, costing $60 per night. Plus, it can often be full. There is a ballot system in place during school holidays; however, if you let them know that you are from anywhere overseas they do reserve a few spots for travellers. We were able to stay at Tidal River Campground during the start of January even though the rest of the campsite was fully booked for Australians. The caveat being you can only stay in one of these spots for two nights. This is to keep it fair to other travellers.
Some of the overnight campsites can be found at Roaring Meg, Oberon Bay, and Sealers Cove: To stay here you will still require an overnight permit. Access to these campsites is only available by bushwalking yourself with your supplies. If you plan to do one of these sites, make sure to map out the details ahead of time and pack well.
Where to Stay Near Wilson’s Promontory
- Shallow Inlet Caravan Park: is a campsite very close to Wilson’s Prom with cheaper rates. The site offers toilets, showers, a kitchen, and laundry. There is a beach a very short walk away. We spent two nights here after our two Tidal River Campground nights were used up.
- Yanakie Caravan Park: A typical full amenities caravan park near Wilson’s Prom.
- Warratah Bay Caravan Park: Again, another standard caravan park.
Where to Get Supplies in the Prom
In Wilson’s Prom, the Tidal River General Store is the only source of limited groceries. They stock very basic (and expensive) food, souvenirs, and have a small cafeteria. Fuel is not available in The Prom so make sure to fill up as you pass through Yanakie. This is the last stop for fuel before entering Wilson’s Promontory. There is a wider grocery selection in Yanakie but it is still fairly expensive.
Foster is the cheaper option for groceries but it is about an hour away from The Prom.
When to Visit Wilson’s Promontory
Given its very southern location, it can be quite chilly in the winter months. However, it can be quite busy during school holidays. If you are an international traveller, you can still sneak into Tidal River’s campground. February, March, October, and November shoulder the busy or the cold seasons and would work well for a weekend away.
Bushwalks You Must Take in The Prom
- Prom Wildlife Walk (2.3km return): On this walk you will track through open grasslands filled with kangaroos. We also were able to spot a wombat. Rumour has it there are emus but we did not get lucky enough to see one.
- Lilly Pilly Nature Walk (5.2km): This walk will give you a feel for the lush rainforests of The Prom. If you are feeling adventurous, there is a turn off for Mount Bishop Summit Track. We opted to do this and were not let down.
- Big Drift (4km): The journey to the Big Drift does not feel like much. A large part of it is walking through an open field. However, once you reach the sand dunes, you will feel like you are in another world. It is easy to get lost so take note of where you entered the dunes from.
- Little Oberon Bay (8.2km): This walk takes you to the southern end of Norman Beach before taking you to Little Oberon Bay. The views here are remarkable. On the day that we went, cicadas rang out all around us. We chose not to but you can continue the walk to the larger Oberon Bay.
- Mount Bishop Summit Track (7.4km): This track detours off of the Lilly Pilly Nature Walk. There is steep incline but you will be rewarded with stunning views of the bay.
- Pillar Point (3.6km): The walk is a bit steep at times. The end result is fantastic views of Norman and Squeaky beaches.
- Mount Oberon Summit Walk (6.8km): Mount Oberon is a must do in Wilson’s Promontory. It is a challenge with a steep incline going up. However, you will be able to see the southern most tip of Australia. Plus, all three bays can clearly be seen from the summit. It is well worth powering through the incline. Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks. It can be quite windy at the top, so a light jacket is advisable.
More walk information can be found on the Parks Victoria website.
We set out to do as many bushwalks as possible in the Prom. But, if you are short on time or just not into that much walking. Our favourite walks were the Lilly Pilly Nature Walk because it gives a great feel for the diverse nature. Another top of our list walk was Pillar Point because it gives breathtaking views of both Norman and Squeaky Beaches. And of course, either of the two summit walks feature stunning panoramic views of the park. We wanted to do the Sealers Cove walk but felt ill-prepared for it. What are your favourite walks?
- Wear closed toe shoes.
- Avoid longer grass. Long grass serves as a bit of a snake haven.
- Stomp occasionally or walk a bit heavy footed. Snakes can feel the vibrations from your feet and will know to avoid you.
- Use a walking stick. At the very least, when used correctly they help conserve energy. We also heard from someone that snakes will occasionally attack the sticks rather than you if you inadvertently make them feel threatened. We do not typically use a walking stick though.
- While it is important to talk about how to protect yourself from a potential snake or spider bite, do not let this scare you off. In four months of being in Australia, we have only come across one snake on a bushwalk and he slithered off in the other direction. You would be remiss to skip out on bushwalks due to fear. Generally, we stomp if we see that the path is narrow and longer grass is beside it. Or jokingly, any time we feel slightly uncomfortable. For more information on snakes check this out.
- Bring lots of sunscreen (Cancer Council is my go-to sunscreen in Australia), water, and snacks. Many of these walks do not provide places to stop along the way to replenish your supplies.
- Pick up a reusable bottle.I’ve been using one from Kor for several months now and I love it.
- Stop by the local visitor centres as they may be able to provide you with maps of the trails.
- For more information on safety, check this out!
Best Beaches in Wilson’s Promontory
- Whiskey Bay: The waves at Whiskey Bay challenge the more advanced surfers.
- Squeaky Beach: If you can only go to one beach in The Prom, make it this one! The sand is so fine that it squeaks audibly beneath your feet.
- Picnic Beach: This beach is less crowded than Norman’s Beach but still as nice.
- Norman’s Beach: Located a short walk from Tidal River Campground, it makes sense that this is one of the busiest beaches in the park. Surfers ride the waves while the expansive white sand makes a great resting spot for the book readers or the sunbathers (But this is so bad for your skin!).
- Big Drift: While not technically a beach but it is a very large sand dune that is worth a visit.
Wildlife Watch in Wilson’s Promontory
The Prom Wildlife Walk will undoubtedly turn up kangaroos for you. Other wildlife that you might be able to spot here are: Wallabies, wombats, and emus. As with the rest of Australia, take caution and avoid driving at dusk and dawn as these animals are most active at those times.
Wombats have been known to rip through tents in search of your food. If you are tent camping, keep your food inside your vehicle to avoid holes.
When we went to Wilson’s Promontory we did not expect to love it so much. We thought that we would have a pleasant weekend away and move on. Fortunately, our working holiday visas afford us the luxury to travel Australia at our leisure so we were able to add two more nights to our stay. Wilson’s Promontory is definitely one of our Australian highlights. Try to do as much as you can! There is so many amazing sights to behold.
Have you been to Wilson’s Promontory? Did you love it? Tell me all about your trip by leaving a comment below!