Why have we not heard of Wilsons Promontory National Park?

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Have you ever been to Wilsons Promontory National Park?

Have you even heard of it? What about Squeaky Beach, have you heard of that before?

Me either until 6 months ago.

After spending just three days there at the beginning of this year, I must have said a hundred times,

“I can’t believe I’ve only just recently heard of this place.”

In case you’re wondering, Wilsons Promontory National Park, or Wilsons Prom, or Prom Country as the locals like to call it, is only a 3 hour drive from Melbourne.

When you first drive in to Prom Country you see this:

Wilsons Promontory National Park - Victoria, Australia

Not bad on the eyes, huh?

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.

But why haven’t I, or almost everyone else I’ve spoken to from NSW and other states out of Victoria, been there or heard of it?

For one, Tourism Victoria doesn’t do a great job at promoting their state. That’s evidenced by the fact that 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. 8 days later we were still there enjoying the island vibe.

Turns out Victoria is friggin AWESOME and we ended up being there for 3 months!

It was that good we issued an online apology, mostly directed towards our Victorian mate Mick who we’ve put shit on for many years, dismissing Victoria as just that boring south-east corner of our country.

The more I think about it, the more amazed I am that I’ve not heard of Wilsons Prom or Squeaky Beach. Considering I’ve traveled a lot in Australia, extensively overseas, and I’ve been online in the travel space with this blog and social media constantly over the past four years.

Apparently, the tourism budget is low in Vic, and most of the marketing budget goes to promoting the Great Ocean Road to overseas markets. I’m not pointing the finger directly at Tourism Vic, they have their hands tied to some degree. It’s Federal and State Government who keep cutting budgets and taking away staff from important sectors of our economy. But that’s another story.

But then maybe the Victorians are also purposely trying to keep it a secret?!

Sorry guys, I’m letting your secret out.

“I’m telling everyone about this joint”.

I think I said that about twenty times with each new corner we turned on the drive through Prom Country.

Stunning vistas of pink granite boulder mountains, turquoise water, and squeaky-white sand opened up before us.

Thinking back, the first time we got inspired to visit Wilsons Prom was because of our friend Jay from Victoria, and a few other friendly Victorians we met emphatically declaring Prom Country their favourite place in Victoria, if not Australia.

I didn’t believe them. I figured it would probably be good, but not exceptional.

I’ll heartily eat my words.

Squeaky Beach is just as good as the other Australian 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!

Squeaky Beach, Wilsons Promontory National Park - Victoria, Australia

Squeaky Beach, Wilsons Promontory National Park - Victoria, Australia

Squeaky Beach, Wilsons Promontory National Park - Victoria, Australia

Squeaky Beach, Wilsons Promontory National Park - Victoria, Australia

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

Squeaky Beach, Wilsons Promontory National Park - Victoria, Australia

Squeaky Beach, Wilsons Promontory National Park - Victoria, Australia

Wilsons Promontory National Park - Victoria, Australia

Wilsons Promontory National Park - Victoria, Australia

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 cabin 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. But then things got even better!

Because it was late afternoon and the people had just moved out of the cabin, the cleaners had already gone home. At first they weren’t going to let us sleep in it the first night because it hadn’t been cleaned, but I said “how dirty is it? I’ll clean it myself!”

They ended up saying, you know what, because it hasn’t been cleaned, if you’re still willing to stay in it, we won’t charge you for the first night. SWEET!

Wilsons Promontory National Park - Victoria, Australia

When we opened the door, it was like nobody had even been in there. Winning!

And then this happened:

Wombat at Wilsons Promontory National Park - Victoria, Australia

I was sitting on the little deck 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.

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 of there with the intention to return one day to do it properly.

Wilsons Promontory National Park - Victoria, Australia

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

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.

Wilsons Promontory National Park - Victoria, Australia

Wilsons Promontory National Park - Victoria, Australia

Wilsons Promontory National Park - Victoria, Australia

Wilsons Promontory National Park - Victoria, Australia

Wilsons Promontory National Park - Victoria, Australia

There are plenty of 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.

I’ve made the intention to let more people know about this beautiful part of Australia. It’s a sin that it hasn’t been shared more.

Would you like to visit Wilsons Promontory now?

30 thoughts on “Why have we not heard of 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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