We’ve just added another great short trip destination to our getaway list – Wilsons Promontory National Park
We took off for a few days camping with 3 of our grandsons.
Wilsons Promontory is a place of spectacular scenery, pristine beaches, rainforests and heathlands, sand dunes and kilometres and kilometres of walking tracks.
Situated at the most southern point of mainland Australia, Wilsons Promontory National Park is only a 2½ hour drive from Melbourne CBD on bitumen roads all the way to Tidal River, the main camping area of the park.
The weather was hot on the first day so we chose the beach at Tidal River where it enters into Norman Bay. Here a long sweeping beach is bounded at each end by headlands. The sea surged gently towards shore with a wide shallow area that suited swimmers and paddlers of all ages – the younger and older generations amongst the breaking waves, toddlers and watchful parents playing in the shallows.
Good fun, but there was more to see, so after an ice cream from the General Store (where there was a long queue of similar-minded buyers) we headed for Squeaky Beach to see if we could find some squeaky sand.
We did find some squeaky sand, enough to satisfy all expectations and also found a smaller bay than Norman with less people and bigger waves.
The boys and their grandfather were soon in and so was their grandmother, enticed in by the crystal clear sea, the hot blue sky and water that turned out to be not too cold. (I don’t think I have been swimming at a beach for well over 20 years).
We all enjoyed it so much that we were back the next day.
There are many walks of varied lengths available for all abilities at Wilsons Promontory. Many of the walks involve overnight hikes, but we were only interested in short walks and there are many to choose from.
Our first choice was Lilly Pilly Nature Walk, an easy 5.2 kilometre stroll through heathland and eucalypt forest to a boardwalk loop in the creek gully rainforest. Of wildlife, there were birds, lizards and cicadas aplenty.
Big Drift walk was our other choice and a major hit with the boys. This walk is accessed from Stockyards camping area, found just inside the park entrance. The well signposted walk is easy until the last 10 metres, which goes steeply up through very soft sand onto the top of the dunes. Was all that effort worth it?
With views over the sea to the west and the mountains to the south, our boys had a great time exploring the expansive landscape of inland sand dunes revealed here.
We also visited Picnic Bay and viewed the nearby Whisky Bay. We could have spent more time at both these spots.
Car parking and toilets are provided at most sites. There is a huge camping area at Tidal River, but as summer time is very busy one needs to book online in June (the previous year) to get a site.
We didn’t book in June, instead we went to Yanakie Caravan Park on Corner Inlet and enjoyed ourselves there. The caravan park is only 5 minutes from the park entrance and an easy drive to Tidal River and other places of the Prom.
All in all, Wilsons Promontory is an ideal place for a short trip getaway, with something to offer all the family.