Wilsons Promontory – Exploring Mainland Australia’s Southernmost Point
We were fired up for our trip to Wilsons Promontory.
It had been so long since our last getaway it felt like dinosaurs still roamed the land. So you’d think we’d have it all planned out, right?
Ok, that’s not entirely true. We had booked a place to stay. But we had no idea where it actually was. We didn’t even know if it was in the national park or not – it wasn’t.
Fortunately, our hosts had emailed detailed directions, and armed with these we hit the road. A few hours later we were embracing the serenity at our cabin and gasping at the glorious view.
Wilsons Promontory, or the Prom as it’s known, is the southernmost point of mainland Australia. Despite being a couple of hours from Melbourne it’s quite remote and a car is essential for getting around.
It also pays to remember this is Southern Australia and the weather is unpredictable. We visited in summer, but we still had wind, rain and sun, so pack a hat, sunscreen, coat and umbrella.
There are over 30 self-guided walking tracks ranging from gentle strolls to more difficult multi-day hikes. We stuck to simple short walks that didn’t take more than a couple of hours.
We first tackled the easy and charming walk to Sparkes Lookout. A minimal amount of fitness is needed for this walk, but you do need to be steady on your feet as there are overgrown roots and rocks along the path.
We were delighted with dancing butterflies as we walked along and caught glimpses of the ocean – a teaser of the views to come.
Mount Oberon is considered a must do at Wilsons Promontory, it’s a 3.4 km leg burning, butt busting, never-ending uphill trudge.
To be fair it might not be like that for everyone, it wasn’t for Andrew, but it was for me!
The pathway up is a gravel access road that’s surrounded by ferns and beautiful eucalyptus trees. It’s a good idea to bring plenty of water and snacks and there’s a couple of benches where you can sit and take a break.
The uphill climb is relentless and just as you arrive, red-faced and heart thumping, at what you think is the summit, you discover a set of steps. Scamper up these for about another ten minutes, and you’ll forget your pain when you set eyes on the magnificent views.
Lilly Pilly Gully Nature Walk
The last walk we did was the pretty Lilly Pilly Gully Nature Walk. It’s an easy 2.6 km one way, with the option of taking a detour to the summit of Mount Bishop. We weren’t sure how long this would take and, as I was stiff and sore from Mount Oberon the day before, we left it for another time.
This delightful walk wanders through heathland and eucalyptus trees, and there’s a boardwalk that takes you through a wonderland of temperate rainforest.
This was probably my favourite walk.
Where’s the Wildlife?
Wilsons Promontory is known for its abundant wildlife and it’s not unusual to spot, emus, kangaroos, koalas and wombats. Unfortunately, our timing wasn’t right and we were disappointed we didn’t see more animals. We did, however, spot this delightful echidna having a drink by the side of the road.
Squeaky beach gets its name from the unusual quartz sand that squeaks as you walk along it. Its a stunning beach with soft, bright white sand that’s a stark contrast to the blue of the sea and sky. The day we visited the water was toe-numbingly cold but people were still frolicking amongst the waves undeterred.
We took a stroll late one evening passing curious munching cows and beautiful farmlands. At the end of our street, we stumbled upon a caravan park and an overgrown dirt track. Feeling curious we followed the path, clambering over logs and ducking under tree branches half blinded in the dim light, and emerged from the darkness to find a secret hidden beach. All alone we enjoyed the magic of nature’s gifts.
We stayed at the peaceful Coastal View Cabins in Yanakie which is just outside the national park. If you’d like to be closer to the attractions there’s a campground at Tidal River, bookings are essential during peak season.
We also checked out some of the towns in the area and were able to enjoy hearty breakfasts and good coffee. Feeling lazy one night and not wanting to cook we had dinner at the Fish Creek Pub. Our expectations weren’t high but we were blown away by the quality of the meal we had there.
We returned to Geelong rejuvenated and keen to explore more of our enchanting state of Victoria.
Have you visited the Prom? Let us know what you think in comments below. We’d love to hear from you.