Wilsons Promontory National Park
Justifiably one of the most popular national parks in Victoria, Wilsons Promontory is brimming with natural treasures – from the mobs of eastern grey kangaroos and abundant common wombats that inhabit the surrounds of Tidal River to the wild coastline with its underwater forests of waving kelp, home to masses of fish and colourful corals. The landscape is characterised by eucalypt forests, fern-lined gullies and temperate rainforest, with wetlands and heathlands closer to the coast. The indented shoreline sweeps in and out of a multitude of sheltered coves and sandy beaches, ideal spots for beachcombing, birdwatching and picnicking. But many of the park’s visitors come to hike the many walking trails. The two-to-fiveday circular walk to Refuge Cove is an absolute gem if you do not mind carrying a pack. In more than 130 kilometres of tracks there are plenty of shorter walks too, among bright orange lichenstained granite boulders, heathlands, forests and fern gullies. Take the short stroll to Squeaky Beach or set out on the 6-kilometre Lilly Pilly Gully Circuit.
The Prom is surrounded by marine parks, which provide excellent snorkelling in bays and around headlands, and plenty of places to swim and surf. Corner Inlet Marine and Coastal Park (see Birdwatching above) offers great opportunities to observe pied oystercatchers, grey plovers and red-necked stints. More than 180 bird species frequent the mudflats, beaches, heathlands and woodlands.
Most people stay at Tidal River, which has a vast campground and accommodation in huts and safari-style wilderness retreats. The retreats have been built to minimise their impact on the environment, are raised off the ground and require no concrete footings. Accommodation is also available in several cottages at the lighthouse (bookings essential). Long weekends and holiday periods are extremely busy but you need to book well in advance for stays at any time of year; for the summer-holiday period bookings are allocated via a ballot system (applications are accepted 1–30 June and drawn on 1 July).
Lighthouse cottage bookings: (03) 5680 9500
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