Everything You Need To Know About Wilsons Promontory National Park

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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?

mountains surrounding a beach
Take your pick of beaches at Wilsons Promontory

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.

large rocks on the beach
Great for kids

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?

people playing on the beach

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:

A car parked on the side of a road
What a drive into Wilsons Prom

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

rocks on Squeaky Beach with gentle waves
Squeaky Beach one of the best beaches in Australia

Squeaky Beach is just as good as the other Australian beaches and iconic highlights often spoken about; yes, it’s up there with places like Wineglass Bay and Whitehaven 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!

lady standing on giant rock on Squeaky Beach,

I could have sat on these rocks all day and just watched the waves roll in.

2. Camp at Tidal River Campground

small cabin next to a large tree
Tidal River accommodation

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

Wombat in front of cabin with small girls looking on
Wombats at Wilsons Prom

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

beach next to mountains
Walk to the viewpoint

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.

girl being carried on a woman shoulders
Easy trail with kids

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.
people walking on a hiking trail
Many hiking trails to choose from

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

We only planned on being in Victoria for one month because we thought the state would be boring besides Melbourne, the Great Ocean Road, and possibly Phillip Island.

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…

Would you like to visit Wilsons Promontory now? Let us know in the comments.

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30 thoughts on “Everything You Need To Know About Wilsons Promontory National Park”

  1. I’ve never heard of this place before either! Although I’m not from Australia, so perhaps more local people know about it? The color of that water is unbelievable! I would love to see it with my own eyes!

  2. What amazing photos you captured! That wombat one is a classic, possibly my favourite photo I’ve seen yet on your site! Squeaky Beach reminds me a lot of Redgate Beach, one of my favourite beaches over on the other side of Aus in the Margaret River Region of WA.

    My aunt has told me about Wilson’s Prom and how beautiful it is many times, but if I didn’t have family in Melbourne I’m not sure if I would’ve heard of it before either. Maybe Victorians consider it one of those places best kept secret 😉 ?

  3. Promontory National Park is truly an amazing place! Pictures are delicious (your camera phone is a real good one). It seems Australia has many hidden gems.

  4. That wombat looks so adorable … can I have him as a pet? 🙂

    Good job on this expose of Wilson’s Promontory …. when I do the campervan tour of Oz, it’ll make the list for sure!

  5. We LOVE Wilsons Prom and had never heard of it either before we decided to purchase our business just outside The Prom entrance gate (http://www.promhillscabins.com.au). We never even entered Wilsons Prom until after we’d settled the business purchase and made the move down here from Sydney. I’m sure you can understand why we are never leaving or moving back to NSW! If anyone reading this is unable to book accommodation inside Wilsons Prom, please consider us, Promhills Cabins, about 4mins drive to the entrance gate. Thank you for your efforts in promoting this wonderful area. Yes, it should get more recognition and be promoted more widely, we just have to keep telling people how awesome it is!

  6. Wow, I can’t believe they don’t promote the Prom outside of Victoria? That’s crazy! It’s really well known here. Gippsland is not as popular as the Western side of Victoria in terms of tourism, but there’s tons to see there – I presume you visited Lakes Entrance, etc. while you were there? Re Tourism Victoria – I must admit, my sister works for them and she has lamented many times that they are underfunded, and that they have to lobby hard just to get what they do have. It’s such a shame they aren’t better supported.

    That wombat was soooooo cute! That’s an awesome photo.

  7. I am lucky to be living in South Gippsland so the Prom is just on my doorstep! Take lots of our visitors there, and the beautiful Agnes Falls (59 metre drop into the gorge below) is only about 3/4 hour drive away! You can see some photos of the area around the falls on the “Friends of Agnes Falls” facebook page. Definately worth a day trip to see, and has a lovely peaceful bushland picnic area on site.for you to relax and unwind.

  8. Kat @ welltravelled.co

    Nope, never heard of it! Looks like a magical spot , though.

    It’s funny how little I’ve explored my own vast, variable country – and how easily I roam asia and beyond.

    Next time I’m back Down Under, I’ll be sure to go to this mystery so-called national park. 😉

    1. I can’t believe there are so many people out there who have not heard of or been to the Prom. Where have you been? and when are you coming to visit our beautiful Prom?
      Thankyou Craig for drawing attention to this wonderful part of Victoria.

  9. Stunning! I don’t have a lot of memories of visiting Wilsons Prom as a kid because I was so young, but one thing I do remember thinking was simply WOW. This is definitely a place I need to revisit and make new memories of.

  10. We are lucky enough to live in South Gippsland and have been on many a day trip, school camp and weekend getaway at The Prom. It always amazes me how much publicity the coast west of Melbourne (surf coast, Great Ocean Road etc) gets and even how many souvenirs books and calendars are available. Yet if you think of the south east coast from Melbourne you may find something about Phillip Island and if you’re searching carefully perhaps a bit about the Mornington Peninsula….according to Tourism that is all that exists! We love our town of Inverloch…it is worth a visit!

  11. I totally know what you mean – I booked a tour last year to visit the Snowy Mountains, and it included at day at Wilson’s Prom, which I’d never heard of. I was surprised to see how HUGE the place was – and how stunning it was as well! Unfortunately it was pouring on my visit, but it’s definitely on my “go back to” list. Also skipped Phillip Island because I thought the only thing to do there was the fairy penguin parade. After meeting people who’d spent over a week there, I can’t believe I overlooked what appears to be such a magical place!

  12. This is awesome and stunning pics. It is crazy how many places there are in this world that we don’t know about. I only recently found out about the Lorde Howe Islands in Australia and it was after I was there. I was kicking myself because it looks absolutely incredible. I haven’t heard of Wilson Promontory National Park either and am going to put this on the list of places to visit next time I come to Australia.

    Awesome post!

  13. Carla McKnight

    Yes we’ve heard of it and been there a few times our son from NZ works near by, our whole family came over to spend time together, he even proposed there how cool is that, very cool place we had a lot of fun there, our daughter put a video together from what I would say was one of our best family holidays, has us clowning around on squeaky beach, we all love the nod memories of the prom 🙂 would highly recommend it, Carla

  14. I’m so surprised to read not many people have heard of Wilsons Prom! Having lived in Melbourne for the last 5 years I’ve been there a few times and all my friends talk about it constantly – it seems to be the place to go for a weekend drive, or camping trip. Squeaky Beach is definitely my favourite. What a beautiful place this is. Glad you found out about it and visited it during your trip around Australia.

  15. Can’t believe how many people that live in Melbourne and have never been to The Prom. Its just down the road, a beautiful place and great to spot relatively tame wildlife.

  16. The prom is one of our top 3 national parks in Australia, along with Karijini and Ningaloo Reef Marine Park. We have been going there for years and love, love, love it. We actually like the fact that it is an unknown paradise for so many Australians, that just means that there’s a much better chance we can have it to ourselves (outside school holidays). There is nothing better than sitting on top of Mt Oberon and listening to the cries of amazement at the view as each new visitor sees the Bass Strait Islands, the stunning beaches and crystal clear water for the first time.

  17. I grew up in the little town of Fish Creek which is near The Prom as we call it. It always amazes me when I say where I’m from the that no one as heard of it. To be honest I think the locals like it that way.

  18. Great story Craig,

    If anyone is heading down to “The Prom” do yourself a favour and camp a night at Little Waterloo bay, this is my favourite Aussie beach (tops Brazils best beaches as well) it’s a tough walk out and back in a day but can be done, I would say 22km round trip???

    To spend a week on your own secluded beach (Little Waterloo) like we did in August a few years ago was amazing. I never wanted to leave we only saw one park ranger on one day otherwise our only company was the wildlife.

    Sealers Cove is another great place and you can see all these places from the amazing viewpoint of Mt Oberon!

    Please tell me you and your family walked up to Mt Oberon Craig? It is a simple walk for families with young kids and if you didn’t get up there you must turn back inmediately.

    Great Story

  19. Hi there you must have been very lucky spending 3 days at the prom and not encountering the hideous weather that frequently smashes the area. I was there last year and experienced 4 days of 70/90 kmh winds !! We woke up one morning with half the campers having left during the night because there tents had blown away. We did get a good day after that though !!

  20. The Prom is awesome Squeaky Beach actually squeaks. The wombats are cool except when camping there make sure your food is safely packed away as the love to visit at night and raid tents. And not do they make as mess. There are many other beautiful spots in Gippsland and the Gippslanders are there for a reason. Phillip Island is just the beginning keep going east and there are many spectacular sites.

  21. Happy to be reading great things about the local area and viewing fantastic photography! We are also surprised about the lack of awareness of the beauty South Gippsland has to offer. Sandy Point is a coastal town located just a few minutes away from Wilson’s Promontory and is a beautiful place for adventures, holidays, swimming in the ocean and a whole lot of other activities. Follow our Instagram account sandy_point for local attractions, events and community activities or visit our new website http://sandypointsouthgippsland.com/

  22. louisa klimentos

    I fell in love with Wilsons Prom,when I went there.You can even do a guided walk to the lighthouse and it takes 5 hours.i heard that the Victorian Goverment is going to allow development in the Victorian National Parks and Wilsons Prom will be one of them.Iam going to write to Australian Conservation Foundation to put a stop to this.I love the Prom and I want it to stay that way

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