Victoria’s Wilson’s Promontory truly is one of the most mysterious and magical places in Australia. Here, an eerie blend of rugged granite highlands meets white sandy beaches, archaic rainforests, towering dunes and sparkling turquoise waters. A place of peace and tranquillity, this incredible road trip getaway takes you on an awe-inspiring journey through mainland Australia’s most southern tip after the link to Tasmania was submerged some 10,000 years ago. Brimming with life, culture, and some of the most spectacular views on the planet, this is one adventure you won’t want to miss on your next trip to Australia’s Southeast.
Whisky by name, not by nature, this epic beach, sheltered by the sandy cliffs that border the resplendent coastline is often overlooked by day explorers. A melange of dramatic rocky outcrops, moody boulders, and emerald-green hills line the shoreline as waves crash along the western seaboard. Not ideal for swimming yet perfect for a walk, mosey on up to Whisky Bay Lookout for panoramic views of the angelic seascape. A rare opportunity on Australia’s east coast to spy the sunset over the ocean, witness shades of amber transform the countryside as neighbouring islands paint perfect silhouettes on the horizon.
Best hiked at sunrise, this peaceful trail weaves up the summit of Mount Oberon rewarding brave souls with breathtaking views of the endless iridescent skyline, tranquil waters, and rugged coastline on display within the park. Clocking in at 6.8 kilometres return, allow at least 2 hours to soak up the scenery on your hike up and down this glorious mountain. At 558 metres tall, brace your footing as the sea breeze gets rather strong the higher you climb. Once at the peak, bask in the beauty of this idyllic setting, a gateway to heaven, rumour has it that on a clear day you can even spot the outline of mainland Tasmania from the tip of the highland.
Squeaky Beach is one of the highlights of any Wilson Promontory adventure, with its sparkling white sand, turquoise waters, and breathtaking seascape. Often referred to as one of regional Victoria’s most iconic secluded beach destinations, its name originates from the smooth fine quartz granules singing as the sand gently presses against the soles of your feet. A breath of fresh air, this magical oasis is the perfect spot to bathe in the sun, cast a line or pop in for a dip. Framed by large granite boulders on either side, this captivating place offers the ideal backdrop for a holiday selfie. Don’t forget to pack your sunnies to help curtail the glare as the squint factor can become an issue.
Starting at the Lilly Pilly Gully Carpark, this relaxing stroll through mother nature takes visitors on a surreal journey through the lush primitive rainforests of Wilson Promontory. A shaded pathway perfect for families with kids, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for wallabies, frogs and the melodic sounds of local birds singing from within the trees. A 5.2 kilometre round circuit, will take around 1.5 hours to complete as you traverse through the dry heathland, past towering eucalypts and along the serene rainforest boardwalk. If you’re feeling fit as a fiddle and raring for more, take a detour near the end of the circuit up to the summit of Mount Bishop for stunning views over Leonard and Norman Bay. Due to the dark wet climate in the area, it is advised to carry insect repellent to help combat the abundance of pesky mosquitoes.
A rather unusual feature off the beaten track is the dynamic soaring sand dunes of the Big Drift. Nestled within the coastal woodland of Wilsons Promontory, you can’t help but sense these eerie dunes feel a little inapt. A 2 kilometre walk from the Stockyard Campsite, follow the signage through the scrubland and over a few hills until you cross paths with these vast sandbanks. A tall white pole marks the entrance to this strange sandscape yet be careful not to lose your bearings while exploring the dunes. Steep edges provide the perfect setting for thrill seekers to enjoy sandboarding, sledding and other sand-based activities. As dusk starts to settle in, gaze beyond the endless stream of sand as you watch the sunset over the foothills.
If you’re looking to stay for more than a day, set up base at Prom HQ at Tidal River Camping Ground. Lined with over 450 camping and caravan sites, various cabins and glamping options, this site features all the goodies from toilets to BBQs, laundry facilities, a general store and even a post office to boot. Situated in the heart of the park, snag a spot on the edge of the forest, or revel in the tranquil sounds of gentle waves brushing the shore on the outskirts of Norman Bay. Take a stroll along the bay, pop in for a swim at the tea tree-stained Tidal River or pull up a pew on one of the bean bags at Victoria’s oldest outdoor cinema. Bookings are essential, with a ballot run in the summer months due to heavy demand, so make sure to get in early to garner a spot.
To unlock the mystery surrounding Wilson’s Promontory, hire a car from Melbourne today!