The National Park of Wilson Promontory, commonly known as « Wilsons Prom » or « The Prom », is a Gippsland National Park located 157 km southeast of Melbourne.
We chose to rent a car for several days to visit whatever we wanted when we wanted to.
With an area of 505 km2, it is the most southern national park in Australia. It is known for its beautiful tropical forests, virgin beaches and abundant wildlife. It covers the southern part of the Wilson Headland, a peninsula where the southernmost point of the Australian continent is located. It was classified by Unesco as a biosphere reserve in 1981.
The park is well known to hikers and campers as there are several itineraries indicated and adapted to each. Depending on its level, it is quite possible to discover beautiful landscapes.
At 30 km from the park entrance, you reach the town of Tidal River. It is the main settlement where you can find a Parks Victoria office, a small supermarket, a café and accommodation. Around the city, animals are surprisingly shy: Australian giant kingfishers (kookaburras) and parakeets are close to visitors and are waiting to be fed, while wombats emerge from the undergrowth without fear. There is a very wide, wide and natural beach.
Not far from there is Squeaky Beach, the beach accessible by Squeaky Beach Nature Walk, an easy 5km hike on a white sandy beach through the tea trees and banksias. We had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed this walk, as well as the reward at the end: A deserted beach of white sand, absolutely amazing!
At Wilson Promontory, there is a well-known hike to the top of Mount Oberon. It takes 2 hours to climb to the top of Mount Oberon. Throughout this ascent one can observe the change of vegetation. The hike begins at the Mont Oberon car park and follows the stairs to the rocky outcrops at the top of the mountain. Halfway, you will already be rewarded with panoramic views of Tidal River, the coast and the islands off the Promontory. Pay attention to unprotected cliffs and take warm clothing as the weather can be cool and windy at the summit, even during the summer.
We also visited Whiskey Beach, another very special natural beach due to its large round rock formations. Indeed, the rocks seem to be enormous balls that have been deposited on the beach. This gives it a very special character and it is possible to recognize it easily.
In short, Wilson Promontory is an ideal place to escape within a few hours of Melbourne and discover incredible wilderness.