The iconic Wilsons Promontory is certainly a nature-lovers delight, but it’s also a lot more. This is a great destination for international and interstate visitors as well as families and active adventurers. This is the southern most tip of the Australian mainland, surrounded by sea on three sides.
The great news is that Victorian National Parks, including Wilsons Promontory, are now free for day visitors.
Top 5 things to do and see
Views, rock formations and wildlife
The drive from Foster down to Tidal River in Wilsons Promontory National park takes you past lush green farmlands, over quiet rivers teeming with waterbirds, past koalas and kangaroos (if you can see them), and wombats to some spectacular lookouts and views of the coast and islands that surround The Prom. Sunset is a great time to have a picnic at Whisky Beach and watch the sun set behind Norman Island, or simply stop just about anywhere off the road to take in the views.
For surfing and swimming, the Prom Country area has a beach for just about everyone, consistent surf is found at Tidal River with other popular surfing spots including Sandy Point, Walkerville and Venus Bay. For swimmers, patrolled beachers include Waratah Beach, Venus Bay, Inverlock, Cape Paterson and Norman Beach at Tidal River, generally only patrolled on weekends and throughout summer.
For just lazing about, rock pools, and looking at the view toward Norman Island, you can’t go past Whisky Beach and Squeaky Beach in Wilsons Promontory National Park. Whisky Beach has colourful boulders at either end and on Squeaky Beach the sand really does squeak, both are great family destinations, but the strong undertows make surf swimming dangerous.
A range of both short and long walks are the highlight of Wilsons Promontory National Park. Short walks include Squaky Beach, Lilly Pilly Gully and the Loo-Errn track which follows the edge of the tannin-stained waters of Tidal River, this is accessible for prams and is generally a board-walk with rest platforms along the way. For something more challenging, head to Mt Oberon summit.
Overnight hikes take you further into the park where you can reach Wilsons Promontory Lightstation and historic residences. Just over 19km each way, this is for serious hikers, however you can also book a lighthouse tour for your arrival.
From Waratah Bay to Shallow and Anderson Inlets, Corner Inlet and Port Albert, there is a huge variety of fishing available in the Prom Country. Famous for King George Whiting, you can also find flathead, gummy shark, flounder, garfish and prawns along with Snapper and trevally. Fish from the beaches, jetties, or put a boat in and go a little further. There are a lot of boat ramp access points, but they are generally tide affected, so timing is important.
Apart from a Victorian fishing licence, you’ll also need to obtain information on the Marine Parks that dot the area including Wilsons Promontory Marine Park and Corner Inlet Marine and Coastal Park.
Explore more of The Prom country by taking a drive to South Walkerville and Cape Liptrap lighthouse. South Walkerville is home to some historic Lime Kilns that are right on the beach, a hidden gem.
The Southern Gippsland Wine Trail is a great touring route, the area being home to a number of award winning vineyards. Cool-climate red is the wine of choice.
For the more adventurous the Tarra-Bulga National Park sits in the north of this area, famous for the Corrigan Suspension Bridge, the roads are narrow and winding, but offer spectacular scenery and fabulous views. Follow the 132km Grand Ridge Road along the ridge of the Strzelecki Ranges.
A bit of something for everyone, great fishing, beaches and outdoor activities. Plenty to keep the family happy or get stuck into some serious adventure.
When to go?
Summer is popular for beaches, but is also an incredibly busy time of year in the park. If hiking or fishing are your thing, then Autumn through to Spring are ideal times to visit.
How to get there?
Around 200km from Melbourne on M1 and then M420, the South Gippsland Highway then onto the A440. Wilsons Promontory is also on the popular Sydney to Melbourne touring route.
How long to go for?
A weekend would be the minimum, but if you are into serious nature activities, then a week would only start to do this area justice.
Where to Stay? – great places to stay near Wilsons Promontory
The visitor information centre in Foster is excellent or for online information go to www.visitpromcountry.com.au