Ready to hit the tracks and take on some bushwalks? Wilson’s Promontory National Park (commonly known as Wilson’s Prom) has some of the most breathtaking views with hiking trails to suit all experience levels.
Where is Wilson’s Promontory National Park
Wilson’s Promontory National Park is the southernmost part of mainland Australia. Located at the bottom of Victoria and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state. Famous for its rugged coastlines, beautiful scenery and abundant wildlife, visitors pile in during the warmer months to enjoy the landscape. Wilson’s Prom is one of the oldest national parks in Australia and is packed full of history and fun.
Wilson’s prom walks
One of the most enticing aspects is the wealth of walking trails littered throughout the park. Some are relatively short and easy on the body; others will make you sweat and question what possessed you to consider hiking in the first place. What is undeniable, however, is that the end results are worth their weight in gold. With most hikes ending up either at the top of mountains or at beautiful beaches, the odds are forever in your favour.
As someone who has spent a large amount of time here both professionally as an outdoor leader and privately with family, I come back year after year. With that in mind, I’ve listed my six favourite hikes.
Sweaty hikes – longer day hikes
These hikes are long and will require you to bring food, sun protection, water, perseverance and sweatbands.
One of the most classic trails at the Prom is the hike into Sealers Cove. Venturing downhill from the Telegraph Saddle car park, through the cool rainforest and over a boardwalk, you end up at the vast and enticing expanse of Sealers Cove. At 9.5 kms one way, this is a full day adventure and is strictly walk in, walk out. The return trip is far more strenuous than the walk in, but the results speak for themselves. It is well worth the effort.
NOTE: There are some overnight camping sites located here but they need to be booked and paid for before you take off.
Another longer trek is the walk from Darby Saddle to Darby River. The walk follows the coastline from Darby Saddle down to the beach access of Darby River. You can start either end but depending on how excited you are about hiking, it is a 9.4 km journey one way so be sure to park a car at the opposite end unless you are keen on retracing your steps a full 9.4 km more.
Less sweaty hikes – shorter walks
These Wilson’s Prom hikes much shorter. These walks can be completed in a couple of hours, leaving plenty of time to head to the beach later for a swim.
Mt Oberon Summit
This is one of those hikes that will take you one hour to walk up and fifteen minutes to walk down. Following a Parks management vehicle track from Telegraph Saddle car park, you snake your way up to the summit. While the walk itself is about as interesting as betting on snail races, the views from the top are nothing short of spectacular. Sunrise and sunset are particularly perfect- weather permitting of course.
Pillar Point | Squeaky Beach
These walks both begin at the walking bridge over Tidal River. The Pillar Point track leads to the point overlooking both Norman Bay and Squeaky Beach. If you choose to continue on to Squeaky Beach, be aware that it is the most dangerous beach at Wilson’s Promontory National Park and you should be ultra-cautious if you make the decision to swim. If a swim doesn’t float your boat there are heaps of rocks to scramble over at the far end of the beach. Plus the sand squeaks.
The Big Drift
Located at the entrance of the park, the Big Drift is an easy walk leads to an inland sea of sand dunes. Windswept and baron, it is completely at odds with the rest of the landscape and great fun to run around on. However, it is easy to lose where you entered the dunes so mark your entrance.
The shortest and most child friendly walk in the book. It’s a one kilometre boardwalk from the Visitor Centre, along Tidal River towards Norman Bay. This is one of the few places you can fish (there are even fishing platforms) and is an extremely easy walk. That being said, it is a relaxing stroll and worth taking the time to do, especially if it’s your first time to the Prom or if you have a pack of small humans in tow.
There is camping available at Tidal River campground but try not to act too surprised when told the price; it is quite expensive. Also, the wombats are unashamedly comfortable around humans and more than happy to rip a hole in your tent to gain access to your food. My suggestion is that unless you want a large, hairy new tent mate, keep anything edible locked up in your car. I haven’t seen a wombat get into a vehicle – yet.
You are not limited to just the six walks listed above. There is a litany of other tracks spread out across the Wilson’s Promontory National Park that are equally enjoyable and worth doing. It’s not often that you find an iconic location like the Prom that has such a wide variety of walking tracks that are all so accessible. It should be a bucket list destination. Do yourself a favour and tick it off.
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