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Just over 200 kilometres south-east of Melbourne lies the stunning coastal region of Wilsons Promontory National Park, otherwise known as ‘The Prom’. If you’re looking for a nature-filled trip from Melbourne, Wilsons Prom is a picture-perfect destination within easy reach.
Covering 50,000 hectares,Wilsons Prom is Victoria’s largest coastal wilderness, and home to stunning beaches, mirror-like rivers and a backdrop of granite mountaintops.
I spent a full day exploring the area during my Melbourne to Sydney road trip. Read on to find out the best things to do in Wilsons Promontory, as well as information on camping at Tidal River, and of course, some fabulous pictures!
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Tidal River Campground & Settlement
About a 30-minute drive from the entrance to Wilsons Promontory National Park in Yanakie lies Tidal River. This is the main settlement, and you’ll find parking, a visitor centre, general store and a choice of walking tracks.
You’ll also find Tidal River camping ground, which has 484 camping and caravan sites as well as showers, toilets and picnic tables.
I didn’t camp here myself (it cost more than a hostel!), but it’s extremely popular, so you need to book in advance on the Parks Victoria website. Between Christmas and late January the campsite is so in demand that a ballot system is used, just like at popular Booderee National Park in Jervis Bay.
Tidal River Walks
You’ll find lots of walks around Tidal River, of various lengths and difficulties. Take a look at the Visit Prom Country website for routes, or pop into the visitor centre on arrival.
I chose the Pillar Point walk which is 1.8 kilometres in each direction. This picturesque hike begins at Tidal River bridge, where the stunning views begin immediately!
The track then climbs up the headland, giving you a birdseye view of Norman Bay, with its mountainous backdrop.
At the end of the track is Pillar Point, and looking in the opposite direction from Norman Bay you’ll see famous Squeaky Beach. Directly ahead there are also lots of offshore islands.
You can either take the fork off the Pillar Point track and hike to Squeaky Beach, or drive there and walk 300 metres. Either way, you’ll walk across white, rounded grains of quartz that, you guessed it, squeak!
You’ll also see the big, beautiful granite boulders clustered along the shoreline.
Whisky Bay & Picnic Bay
Slightly north of Tidal River, you can pull off Wilsons Promontory Road and head to Picnic Bay carpark. From here it’s only 306 metres to walk to Picnic Bay and Whisky Bay lookout.
Wilsons Promontory National Park Wildlife
Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as kangaroos, emus, wombats and lizards in Wilsons Prom, as well as colourful birds!
This is the only time I’ve seen a wombat outside of a zoo! He was just snuffling around Tidal River camping ground, looking for a snack I’d imagine! (Don’t feed the wild animals though.) Rosellas are also a common sighting at Wilsons Prom.
Wilsons Prom Accommodation
As well as the camping ground at Tidal River, there’s a choice of accommodation around Foster, just outside of Wilsons Promontory National Park. The YHA I stayed in has closed, unfortunately.
Take a look on Booking.com to browse accommodation options:
If you prefer to use Airbnb, here’s a discount code for up to $76 off your first booking.
I hope you have a fabulous time in Wilsons Promontory National Park if you’re heading there. For another great trip from Melbourne, have a read of my guide to the Great Ocean Road!