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The Ultimate Wilsons Promontory Travel Guide 2023

The Ultimate Wilsons Promontory Travel Guide:
Best Overnight Hikes at Wilsons Promontory National Park
Best Day Walks at Wilsons Prom
Wilsons Prom Accommodation
Best Beaches at Wilsons Prom
Best Lookouts & Viewpoints at Wilsons Prom
Best Walks for Kids & Wheelchair Users at Wilsons Prom
Best Photo Spots at Wilsons Prom
Best Swimming Spots at Wilsons Prom
Best Boat Trips at Wilsons Prom
Getting to Wilsons Prom
Important Things to Know Before Visiting Wilsons Prom
Getting Around Wilsons Prom National Park
Accessibility at Wilsons Promontory

Before I moved to Australia a few years ago I thought I’d done enough research to do the ultimate camper van trip around the country.

I thought I knew every spot that was worth visiting, but it wasn’t until I was relaxing around the fire at a camp BBQ in Lakes Entrance, Victoria that a fellow backpacker asked me if I’d visited Wilsons Prom yet.

Wilsons Prom? I’d never even heard of it. How could I have missed this off my itinerary?

After 2.5 years backpacking and several trips to Wilsons Promontory National Park, I can confirm it’s the most underrated spot in Australia.

What’s Wilsons Prom Like?

Found at the Southernmost tip of mainland Australia in South Gippsland, Victoria, Wilsons Promontory National Park is 50,000 hectares of pure paradise.

Granite peaks meet lush rainforest before reaching sheltered coves and white sandy beaches with crystal clear water.

When you look out at the ocean towards Tasmania from the south tip of the national park, you’ll see small granite islands scattered on the horizon.

The View of Victoria's First National Marine Park at Wilsons Prom
The view of Victoria’s First National Marine Park at Wilsons Prom

These islands form part of Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park, home to humpback whales, dolphins, seal colonies and beautiful coral reef.

Wilsons Promontory is most famous for hiking activities, offering some of the best day walks and overnight hikes in Australia.

Tourists and Victorians alike also flock to The Prom for the incredible scenery and pristine beaches.

Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Wilsons Promontory National Park in Victoria, Australia.

How Do You Get to Wilsons Promontory National Park in Victoria?

Wilsons Promontory National Park is on a peninsula southeast of Melbourne.

It’s about 240km by road and it will take you about three hours to get there by car from the city.

Unfortunately, there’s limited public transport in the area so traveling by car or camper van is definitely the quickest option.

Before you leave Melbourne, fill up a full tank of fuel because petrol stations become few and far between the closer you get to the national park (there is an overpriced fuel station in nearby Yanakie if you’re desperate).

If you’re visiting as part of a campervan road trip of Victoria, Wilsons Promontory is the ideal stop in between Lakes Entrance and Phillip Island (or the other way round depending on your route).

How Do You Get Around Wilsons Promontory National Park?

Being from England, I naturally assumed that you could drive around the whole of Wilsons Promontory National Park on various intersecting roads like you can back home.

No, Emily. Think again.

There is one road into Wilsons Prom and it stops dead at Tidal River, about a third of the way into the park (the image below really shows how remote the area is).

The Small Area of Wilsons Promontory National Park Which is Accessible By Road via Google Maps
The small area of Wilsons Promontory National Park which is accessible by road via Google Maps

Although many of the beaches and hiking spots on the west side of the park can be reached by road, a huge chunk of Wilsons Promontory can only be accessed on foot or by boat.

For many people, the pure remoteness of Wilsons Promontory National Park makes it all the more magical.

You can spend a whole day hiking to a hidden bay with crystal clear turquoise water that barely anybody gets chance to visit and spend the night under the stars at one of the most secluded camping spots on earth.

The view of the Milky Way on a clear night at Wilsons Promontory National Park
The view of the Milky Way on a clear night at Wilsons Promontory National Park

What Are the Best Day Walks in Wilsons Promontory?

  1. Mount Oberon Summit Walk
  2. Darby River to Tongue Point via Fairy Cove
  3. The Sealers Cove Walk
  4. Tidal River to Oberon Bay Walk
  5. Norman Beach to Whiskey Bay
  6. Mount Bishop Summit Walk

The Best Overnight Hikes in Wilsons Promontory

Wilsons Promontory National Park is one of the best places in Australia for multi-day hiking, offering various remote coastal bushland trails leading to hidden beaches and coves.

  1. The Southern Prom Circuit Overnight Hike (3 days)
  2. The Southern Prom Extended Circuit Overnight Hike (5 Days)
  3. The Northern Wilderness Overnight Hike (4-6 Days)
Refuge Cove Wilsons Promontory
Refuge Cove on the Southern Prom Circuit Overnight Hike via Christophe Travels

Best Child-Friendly & Accessible Walks in Wilsons Promontory

  1. The Loo-Errn Track via Tidal River Footbridge
  2. Lilly Pilly Gully Nature Walk
  3. The Prom Wildlife Walk
tidal river footbridge wilsons promontory
Tidal River Footbridge via Msdavi

The Best Swimming Spots at Wilsons Promontory

Beaches at Wilsons Promontory are rarely patrolled so always swim with care and only go waist-deep.

In summer, Norman Beach at Tidal River is intermittently patrolled by surf life-savers so it can be a popular spot for swimming, paddle boarding and beginners surfing.

Norman Bay Beach wilsons promontory national park
Norman Bay Beach via Mr Photography 4796

The east side of Wilson Prom is a relatively protected peninsula due to the prominent granite headlands extending out to sea, so swimming is often enjoyed in the shallow water of the sheltered coves and beaches.

What Accommodation Options Are Available at Wilsons Promontory National Park?

You won’t find any fancy Airbnbs or boutique hotels in the park because Wilsons Promontory accommodation is exclusively provided by Parks Victoria.

Nevertheless, there are loads of accommodation options from budget to high-end so you can choose the perfect stay for your group.

Tidal River is the main visitor hub for the park and it’s where you’ll find modern cabins (up to six people), one-bedroom units for a cosy getaway or basic huts with shared facilities (4-6 people).

If you want a luxury glamping experience, definitely choose the Tidal River Wilderness Retreat.

luxury glamping tidal river wilderness retreats wilsons prom
The luxury glamping tents via Tidal River Retreats

Pull up to a ready-made spacious safari-style tent with a queen size bed and your own bathroom.

You’ll be staying in one of the best spots in the park for wildlife spotting so expect to wake up to wallabies and wombats right outside your tent.

Tidal River accommodation options also include a large camping and caravan park with bathroom facilities, kitchens, laundry and a shop.

The boardwalk at Tidal River Campground

Wilsons Prom accommodation always sells out fast so make sure you book in advance, especially during peak season and summer holidays.

Tidal River is also home to The Prom Open Air Cinema, Victoria’s oldest outdoor cinema airing classic family films from December to April.

For a more secluded campsite, choose Stockyard Campground.

This is a quieter spot near the entrance to the park surrounded by tall eucalypt and banksia woodland with bathroom facilities, a camp kitchen and shelters with picnic tables.

Best Beaches at Wilsons Prom

  1. Squeaky Beach (the sand is whiter than white and actually squeaks!)
  2. Norman Beach
  3. Whiskey Bay Beach
  4. Oberon Bay Beach
  5. Cotters Beach (also check out Cotters Lake whilst you’re there)

Best Lookouts at Wilsons Promontory National Park

  1. Sparkes Lookout
  2. Picnic Bay & Whiskey Bay Lookout
  3. Norman Lookout
  4. Glennie Lookout
  5. Tidal Overlook Viewpoint
  6. Pillar Point Lookout
Sparkes Lookout
Sparkes Lookout via Akif

All of these view points are close to the Tidal River area and can be accessed via a short walk from the nearest car park.

Best Photo Opportunities at Wilsons Promontory

  1. The Big Drift (inland sand dune system accessed by the drift track)
  2. Mount Oberon Summit
  3. Darby River (from Darby River car park)
The big drift wilsons promontory
The Big Drift via Jonas Wilson

Best Boat Trips Around Wilsons Promontory

  1. Wilsons Prom Wilderness Cruise to Cleft Island (Skull Rock)
  2. Wilsons Promontory Whale Cruise (winter only)

Important Things to Know Before You Visit Wilsons Promontory

Entrance fees: Entry to the national park is free for day visitors. Overnight hikers will need to pay for their camping permit fee which usually costs less than $10.

Dogs: No dogs are allowed in Wilsons Promontory National Park.

Weather: Wilsons Promontory is prone to rapid weather changes and can be much colder than Melbourne. Always bring extra layers with you even in the summer, especially if you’re doing long hikes.

Accessibility at Wilsons Promontory National Park

Wilsons Promontory is a brilliant place to visit for those with limited mobility.

Parks Victoria offers free accessible equipment hire including all-terrain wheelchairs, TrailRiders and beach wheelchairs.

Lots of the accommodation options and facilities at Tidal River are also fully accessible.

I hope you enjoyed my ultimate guide to visiting Wilsons Promontory National Park. Don’t miss my article on The 5 Most Beautiful Beaches in Victoria.