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Wilsons Promontory National Park, or as the locals call it – Wilsons Prom, is a gem waiting to be discovered.
Located on the southernmost tip of Victoria, occupying a peninsula made of rugged, granite mountains and craggy cliffs, it’s a haven for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts alike.
The national park is not the most famous national park in Australia, but it’s certainly gaining in popularity, not just for international visitors looking to meet Aussie’s native kangaroos and wombats, but amongst locals as well.
Wilsons Prom is not just a blip on the map. It’s a 50,000 hectare coastal wilderness area in Victoria and so popular that they have a ballet system to stay in the accommodation. Popular like Super Bowl popular.
The park boasts an abundance of stunning hiking trails, as well as nature sites that will leave you in awe.
If you’re planning a visit to Wilsons Promontory National Park, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about visiting…
- What is so special about Wilsons Prom?
- How Many Days Do You Need To See Wilsons Promontory National Park?
- How to Get to Wilsons Promontory National Park
- Things to Do at Wilsons Promontory National Park
- Final Thoughts
- More Victoria Travel Tips
What is so special about Wilsons Prom?
The natural wonderland of Wilsons Prom is most famous for its plethora of unique natural sites that make it a truly remarkable and unforgettable destination to visit.
The park sits on the custodial land of the Gunaikurnai, Bunurong and Boonwurrung People, and is home to their spiritual ancestor, Loo-errn, which the highest mountain in the park is named after.
It was then discovered by George Bass in 1798, and was named Wilsons Promontory, after a merchant trader named Thomas Wilson. It became a national park in 1880, which was then reversed in 1898, before being reinstated as a national park in 1905.
One of the things that sets Wilsons Prom apart from other national parks in Australia is its extraordinary biodiversity. The park is home to an astonishing array of flora and fauna, including rare and endangered species.
Not only is the plant life thriving, but it’s also home to elusive wombats and playful dolphins, making every corner of the park teeming with life.
Wilsons Prom also has some awe-inspiring landscapes, from towering granite peaks of Mount Oberon to secluded coves with crystal-clear waters, there is no shortage of breathtaking scenery.
Its most iconic landmarks are the iconic Tidal River, with its golden sands and turquoise waves, as well as Squeaky Beach, which has quartz white sand so white it squeaks when you walk across it.
Beyond its natural beauty, Wilsons Prom has miles of hiking trails, including the famous 36.5km Eastern Circuit, which winds through ancient rainforests and woodland, over rugged cliffs, and along picturesque coastal paths.
Wilsons Prom is a special place because its teaming with wildlife, natural beauty, and unique natural phenomenons. It’s where time stands still, worries fade away, and where the tranquility and soothing powers of nature can recharge your soul.
How Many Days Do You Need To See Wilsons Promontory National Park?
While many people visit as a day trip from Melbourne, Wilsons Prom has so much to offer you could easily spend 2-3 fulls days there, hiking in the forests and relaxing on its beaches.
After spending just three days there at the beginning of the year, I must have said a hundred times, “I can’t believe I’ve only just recently heard of this place.”
It’s one of those places you can easily stop and spend a few days just doing nothing and letting the tranquility of nature wash over you.
How to Get to Wilsons Promontory National Park
To reach Wilsons Prom, you must first get to Melbourne, which is located 197 km away. From Melbourne, hire a car to drive for 2.5 hours southeast to the Wilsons Prom peninsula.
The route is quite straightforward, you simply drive along the M1 highway before turning onto the A440.
At the town of Meeniyan, turn onto the C444 which takes you all the way to the park.
The park entrance is 30km north of the Tidal River Visitor Centre, and be mindful there is no gas station in the park so you will need to fill up before you enter.
The closest petrol station is at Yanakie.
When you first drive in to Prom Country you see this:
Things to Do at Wilsons Promontory National Park
Stunning vistas of pink granite boulder mountains, turquoise water, and squeaky-white sand opened up before us as we drove into the park.
Before long, we were exploring the iconic attractions of Wilsons Promontory National Park…
1. Check out Squeaky Beach
It is pristine, mind blowing goodness.
The only downer was stupidly not charging the battery in my camera the night before, so was left taking photos on my Samsung Galaxy4. Argh!
I could have sat on these rocks all day and just watched the waves roll in.
2. Camp at Tidal River Campground
We were super-annoyed that we didn’t plan better and book ahead for accommodation. We just turned up expecting to get a camp site and pitch our tent.
But with Wilsons Prom being popular with Victorians, we had no chance of getting a powered tent site. With our business being online – and its daily deadlines – we need power!
We managed to find a solution and stayed in a cute little hut at Tidal River Campground for 3 nights.
There had been a mistake with the booking system and someone changed cabins, allowing a vacancy to suddenly appear.
Considering our only other option was to stay one hour outside the park, we jumped on it.
The campsite was very comfortable, and has hot showers and parking. They also have group lodges, self-contained cabins, and huts you can rent at various prices.
3. Look for Wombats
I was sitting on the little deck at the campsite, having a beer whilst the kids played, and then this wombat just leisurely walked by.
The kids were beside themselves.
Wilsons Prom is a great place to see wombats in the wild, and you don’t have to look too hard to find them!
You can also find emus and wallabies roaming around freely.
3. Hit the Hiking Trails
After 3 days of soaking up the magical scenery of Squeaky Beach and Norman Beach (just a 300m walk from our cabin), we dragged ourselves out to do some hiking.
Wilsons Prom offers many great walks, for all different fitness levels.
We enjoyed a walk around to the point from the campsite, with views over Norman and Squeaky Beach.
There are plenty of hikes to beautiful beaches to choose from – many with waves, and picnic spots for a little relaxation.
For the adventurous, there are all-day or overnight hikes to beaches on the east coast of the peninsula – said to be where the true magic lies.
Some popular day walks are:
- The walk to Sealers Cove – a 10km each way and is considered a Grade 4 trail, with some steep sections.
- Mt Oberon Summit Walk – a steep, 6.8 km walk up a Grade 4 hiking trail.
- Hike to Norman Point Viewpoint: a 7.4km walk that takes you to a viewpoint that looks over Little Oberon Bay and the Bass Strait.
- Lilly Pilly Gully Nature Walk – an easy, Grade 2 5.2km return walk, one that the kids can do.
- Darby Saddle to Tongue Point – a strenuous, 10.4 km hike to the Darby River
- Millers Landing to Vereker Outlook – a 5.8km Grade 2-3 hiking trail to Corner Inlet.
4. Look Out For Humpback Whales on a Cruise
Wilsons Prom was once only accessible by boat, and so one of the best ways to experience it is by sea.
As you cruise along the turquoise waves, the fresh sea breeze hits your face and the majestic cliffs dazzle your eyes.
If you’re lucky, you may even spot some playful dolphins, seals, or humpback whales swimming in the waters.
See the hidden coves, secluded beaches, and iconic Skull Rock and Picnic Bay from a unique perspective.
5. Explore Big Drift Sand Dunes
Another unique landscape in the national park is the Big Drift Sand Dunes – a mass of towering mountains of golden sand that stretch as far as the eye can see.
The best way to see the dunes is to walk. There is a 4.5km Grade 3 hike that takes you across the sand dunes, which takes roughly 2 hours to do.
With each footstep, the dunes seem to come alive, and transform into a new landscape.
Be sure to visit around sunset, when the setting sun casts a warm glow over the dunes.
Sometimes I wondered why I hadn’t heard of Wilsons Prom before I visited. Almost everyone else I’ve spoken to from NSW and other states out of Victoria had been there and heard of it.
And then we thought Phillip Island was all about the fairy penguins. After 8 days there, we were still there enjoying the island vibe.
Turns out Victoria is friggin AWESOME and we ended up being there for 3 months! (our apologies to Victoria for having the wrong impression!)
I think the Victorians are also purposely trying to keep it a secret?! What do you think?
More Victoria Travel Tips
Need more inspiration for your trip to Victoria, Australia? Check out these other guides…
- Highlights of the Great Ocean Road Drive
- Exciting Places to visit near Melbourne
- 16 Highlights of the Great Ocean Road Drive in Australia
- Beaches in Melbourne to Visit Once You’re Done with the City
- There’s Something About Marysville, Victoria
- Best things to do in Melbourne with kids
- Relaxing things to do in Bright, Victoria (one of our fave places in Australia)
- Don’t miss the Bridge Road Brewery in Beechworth, Victoria
Would you like to visit Wilsons Promontory now? Let us know in the comments.