I can’t believe we’ve been in Melbourne for five whole years, and never once visited Wilsons Prom. Until now. In desperate need of an escape from the city, we hired a car and made the 2.5 hour drive to Wilsons Promontory National Park, fully immersing ourselves in nature.
Wilsons Prom is nothing short of magical. Seriously, that is the best word I can use to describe this wonderful place.
Coming from New Zealand, I have been lucky enough to have majestic mountains, rolling hills, endless greenery, and glorious ocean views right in my “backyard”.
But Wilsons Prom is really like nothing I have ever seen or experienced before.
The area is so varied, so mind blowing, and fixed a smile firmly on my face the entire weekend.
In the Gippsland area of Victoria (south of Melbourne), Wilsons Prom is a 50,000 hectare national park. It’s the southern-most national park on the mainland, and is full of rainforests, wildlife, beaches, and walking tracks.
There is only one road in and out, meaning that most of the reserve is wild and untamed.
Maybe because it’s been a while since I’ve been home, maybe I’ve been stuck in a concrete jungle for far too long, or maybe I’m still waiting for my letter from Hogwarts; but I really felt like Wilsons Prom was made from actual magic.
Ready to explore?
Wilsons Prom: Day 1
We barely scratched the surface during our short time here. But, we did manage to visit a few different locations within the reserve, and see some amazing Australian wildlife.
First of all, we drove as far into the Park as we could go, which lead us to Tidal River. We then slowly made our way back out again, checking a few stops off our list on the drive out.
Tidal River is one of the furthest points you can drive into Wilsons Prom. There is an Information Centre and a campground there, along with an incredible beach.
This is also where we saw our very first wombat in the wild.
Of course, we’ve seen these little dudes at zoos, or dead on the side of the road (:(); but we’d never seen one alive in the wild before.
Wally (yes, we named him) the wombat didn’t mind us hanging around at all, and continued to eat as much grass as he could!
We also saw a bunch of cheeky Crimson Rosella Parakeets. I was trying to take a photo of one, when another swooped right over and almost hit me in the head! It ended up perching on Chris’ shoulder, and gave us quite a fright. They seemed especially interested in my phone, and were quite happy to land on us as we took photos of them.
The beach itself was just insane. I’ll let the photos do the talking.
Squeaky Beach is the next beach along from Tidal River, heading north, and back out of the park.
It’s covered with huge rock formations, and is like nothing I have seen before. How did they even get there?!
We only went as far as the lookout at Picnic Bay, but were greeted with some spectacular views.
Prom Wildlife Walk
You certainly don’t need to go to this specific walk in order to see wildlife. But I will say that there are a whole bunch of wombats, kangaroos and emus in this area of the Park.
They don’t seem to mind us humans ambling along in their territory, but they are on high alert, so it pays to move along quietly if you want to capture some good shots of them.
The sun was starting to go down by this stage, so we left the park and went to our accommodation in Yanakie to watch the sun set. Yanakie is a 2km drive to the entrance of the Park, so was the perfect place for us to stay for the night.
Fish Creek and Yanakie
Unfortunately there isn’t much in the way of shops in Yanakie, so we made the 19km drive to Fish Creek for dinner. Whenever we go away for a weekend, I always feel like a fish and chip dinner. It’s something I really miss, living in the city. Fish Creek did not disappoint. We hit up the ‘Roadhouse and Café’ (attached to the service station), and were pleasantly surprised. The food was great, and certainly fulfilled my fish and chips craving.
It was so dark in Yanakie, the perfect atmosphere for stargazing. But, the nearly full moon caused me a few issues when trying to capture the night sky. It did give me some good practice on getting my settings right, though.
Wilsons Prom: Day 2
Our second day in Wilsons Prom was the best that an Australian winter day can offer: blue skies, sun out, and a slight crisp breeze. Perfection.
Corner Inlet/Duck Point
Duck Point can be accessed from the Yanakie campground, which was walking distance from our accommodation. We didn’t really know what to expect as we made our way through the thick bush, but in the end were greeted with the most serene inlet I have been to. The water was so calm, it was so quiet, and there was this fine haze in the distance that gave a really magical and dream-like feel to the place. I still can’t get over it.
Once we’d had our fill of Yanakie, we packed up our stuff, jumped in the car and made our way back into the Wilsons Prom reserve. We drove right to the end, and took the 1-hour hike up to the top of Mt Oberon.
It’s a good thing the views up there are spectacular! The hike itself is mostly uphill, and there aren’t a lot of rest stops. In fact, I think doing this walk in the colder months is a must-do, as the temperature was perfect – we warmed up quickly, but the cool breeze kept us refreshed.
We had a quick lunch stop at the top, and it was amazing to see the beaches we had visited the day before, from so high up.
Our very last stop in Wilsons Prom was Cotters Beach. We almost didn’t visit this one, as the beach itself is a 1.2km walk from the car park! But, as we had been so rewarded with every other step we took in the reserve, we decided to go for it.
The walk to the beach is pretty incredible. The dirt track takes you on a bit of a journey. It starts off with forest on either side, then opens up to swampy wetlands, where the frogs chatter to one another, and then stop as you wander by. You then pass Cotters Lake on one side, with the biggest sand dune I have ever seen on the other, before arriving at the beach itself.
Needless to say, neither of us wanted to leave.
Have you been to Wilsons Prom before?
We will definitely be back, for longer next time; and would love to see it in the warmer months!
I hope I’ve inspired you to add Wilsons Prom to your list, for the next time you visit Melbourne