Affectionately nicknamed “The Prom”, who would have thought that the Wilsons Promontory is such a beautiful national park!? Located in the southernmost tip of Australia’s mainland, Wilsons Promontory National Park really surprised us! With towering mountains in the background, we didn’t know how incredible this coastline was going to be. We enjoyed three days in the most beautiful nature with unexpected encounters. If you love diverse flora and fauna, like to breathe in the ocean air, and like awesome hikes with endless views, then you definitely must visit Wilsons Promontory!
Our Drive to Wilsons Promontory National Park
We spent a few days in Philip Island and were on our way back to Melbourne, when we decided to first visit the Wilsons Promontory National Park. Almost 140 km and a two-hour drive away, this wasn’t too much of a detour. On the way there, we passed through charming little towns, which made this side trip more enjoyable.
Tip: The Prom is a very popular holiday destination, which means that it can be difficult to get a camping site directly in the National Park. If you know your dates, you should book well in advance!
Our first stop was a small town called Inverloch. We drove for about an hour via the Bass Highway (B460), stopping briefly in Wonthaggi to stretch our legs. We arrived in Inverloch after a very pleasant drive. Inverloch is the perfect stopover and we liked it so much that we visited it again on our way back from Wilsons Promontory.
Located directly on the sea, Inverloch offers not only a fresh sea breeze, but also cute little boutique shops, restaurants, and cafes. We just love the vibes that these small coastal towns send. As we were having lunch at the jetty, several people attracted our attention. They were taking pictures of the murky water with their mobile phones. Curious as to why, we joined them and saw two Manta Rays in the water!
This was a highlight for us, and we continued to the National Park elated and happy.
Our Arrival at the National Park
We love animals and were still blissful to what we had just seen as we approached Wilsons Promontory.
The ride had been very pleasant, the rain had even stopped, and the next surprise was awaiting. Directly at the entrance to the National Park we saw emus! The weather was changing again, so we quickly took a few photos. Jumping back into Putu, our campervan, we made our way to the campsite.
Even though it is advisable to pre-book a place to stay or a campsite in Wilsons Prom, we had not done that ourselves. Our decision to visit The Prom was very spontaneous. However, it had been raining for days and we were outside the school holidays, and we got lucky! At the National Park Visitor Center, we booked two nights for $31.20 each.
We found a good camping spot right away. Even though it wasn’t directly behind the dunes, as these spots were all already occupied. But a short stroll to the beach doesn’t hurt and so we parked in a spacious area, near the showers.
After a quick snack we wanted to explore Norman Beach. And on the short walk from Putu to the beach, we saw a wombat! Two Manta Rays, an Emu family, and now a Wombat!
On the beach we toasted our great day with a glass of Kingston Heath red wine. What a day!!
Our Hikes in Wilsons Promontory National Park
One of our hikes in Wilsons Promontory National Park should have been to Mount Oberon. Unfortunately, however, the path had been buried by the rains and was closed. We were a bit sad at the beginning, but there are so many other hiking trails in the Prom!
Tip: the Mt. Oberon Summit Walk goes over 6.8 km and takes about 2 hours to get there and back. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes and take enough water with you! The way to the summit is known to be steep.
In total, there are 10 short hikes around the Tidal River, and 8 short hiking trails in the north of the park. We decided to go the Bishop Summit Track (7.4 km, 2.5 hours round trip). And because The Lilly Pilly Circuit, (5.8 km circuit, 2 hours there and back) connects at the foot of the Bishop Summit Track, we included it in our day.
The hike was not difficult and provided breathtaking views. A few sections were a bit steep, but they were feasible for beginners like us, and not as adventurous as Mt. Oberon.
The Lilly Pilly Circuit took us into a mystical forest, full of beautiful plants and enchantingly designed by Mother Nature. We could have spent hours here, but we wanted to spend a little time at the beach, so we started our way back. The remaining hike to the parking lot was then less spectacular than the beginning. However, it was downhill, which was very convenient for us after the hike to Mt. Bishop.
Easy Hiking Trails at Wilsons Promontory
As we picked up an informational brochure at the info center of the National Park, we noticed that there is a bridge and a rock within walking distance of our campsite. We were told that both were must-sees, so we went to Tidal Bridge and Whale Rock.
The Tidal Bridge is absolutely beautiful! If we had known how beautiful the bridge was, we would have gone there every day!
Tip: The Tidal Bridge is especially beautiful at sunrise and/or sunset, because the native vegetation glows in its color, and the last (or first) rays of sunlight dance on the Tidal River.
Walking across the bridge, then slightly uphill on a narrow path, you will pass Whale Rock. And, with a lot of imagination, you can even recognize the whale head 😊
But we found the view from here was spectacular. You see not only the Tidal River, but also the entire estuary which flows out to the sea. A few more steps further and the beach is also at your feet. Stunning!
Another easy hiking trail which is accessible via the Tidal Bridge, is Pillar Point. We went to Pillar Point (3.6 km, 1.5 hours round trip) in the evening. Although we were really tired from our hike, we didn’t want to miss the phenomenal views from Pillar Point over Norman Bay and Squeaky Bay. This viewpoint is very popular at sunset. And even though we didn’t have a good sunset due to the weather, we enjoyed the views. Is there anything more beautiful than looking out at the infinite vastness of the ocean which is framed by two empty bays?!
Magnificent Beaches at Wilsons Promontory
Speaking of bays, there are some strikingly beautiful bays at Wilsons Promontory National Park! These are: Norman Beach, Squeaky Beach, Picnic Bay, Whisky Bay and Darby Beach.
Norman Beach is bordered to the north by Pillar Point and Norman Point to the south. All this with stunning views of Mt. Oberon.
Squeaky Beach is, as the name cleverly suggests, a squeaky beach. By this I mean that the sand squeaks when you walk on it. Responsible for the noises are the rounded quartz sand grains. Squeaky beaches delight me each time I find one. If you see someone laughing and cheering joyfully while walking across a beach like a small child, that’s probably me.
Picnic Bay can be reached directly from the Picnic Bay car park. From there, you are rewarded with amazing views of both Picnic Bay and Whisky Bay.
Whisky Bay is the first beach you’ll find when entering the National Park. This beach is so fantastic! The giant boulders are the icing on top for photos.
Darby Beach is another terrific beach.
Your choices are endless, and, in our opinion, you can’t go wrong when picking a beach. But the greatest thing about it is that you don’t have to choose just one.
A successful trip comes to an end
Every time we came back from a hike or from a beach, we saw either kangaroos or wombats. Each time we were flashed by the beauty of nature we saw that day. And every time we thought it couldn’t get any better. These moments – in nature – give us the inner satisfaction and bliss that we had hoped for on our trip around the world. Wilsons Promontory National Park overwhelmed us with its beauty, and we would recommend it to everyone!