Embark on a Wilsons Prom hiking adventure
Australia’s most southern point and an indescribably beautiful mountainous peninsula, eroded by the ocean three sides, still joined to the continent by a narrow stretch of land – hiking the Wilsons Promontory National Park is an audience with a rare landscape of deserted beaches, grassy plains, and forested hills that have become a sanctuary to a unique habitat of plants and animals.
You’re on your own
Wilsons Prom hiking is an undertaking that requires self-sufficiency. Once you leave the main camp at Tidal River, there’ll be no shops, no cars, no civilization and you become solely reliant on the supplies in your backpack which inadvertently determines the length of your trip.
It is precisely for this reason that Wilson Prom remains relatively deserted. Outside summer holidays, you can have the scenic landscape pretty much to yourself, staying at campsites where the only other residents consist of rock wallabies and a kaleidoscope of little birds, ready to pick up your breakfast crumbs.
Pick a route that fits your time, equipment, and stamina (permits allow up to 6 days) but whichever you choose, make sure it takes you around these four picturesque coves and bays.
1. Oberon Bay
This is a secluded stretch of beach on the south west side of The Promontory. It takes about 3 to 4 hours to walk along the arresting coast from Tidal River to the camp site here, facing towards the south end of the beach. The sandy tent spots are protected from the wind by trees and bushes, and there’s a fresh water stream nearby.
2. Waterloo bay
Cutting across the peninsula through thick bush and over the hills, the beach at Waterloo bay is a magic spot that unexpectedly opens in front of you. It is a mile or two of bright white sand that merges with the turquoise and then deep blues of the sea as the water gets deeper. The nearest campsite is located a few kilometres to the north at Little Waterloo Bay.
The most protected harbour on the Promontory, Refuge Cove is framed to a large degree by green hills which makes its calm waters a favourite spot for anchoring sailors. This is also one of the more preferred camping sites for hikers, with many people stopping for several nights to enjoy the quiet beach and tame wildlife.
Named after an old sealing station whose story doesn’t bear thinking about – no more seals in this part of the world. Reaching this point of your hike, you have to time your progress well. The river near the campground can only be crossed at low tide.Once on the other side, about half way up the beach the track turns west into lush wetlands with the trail, aided by a boardwalk, traversing through an impressive fern forrest.