Activities - Explore
Tidal River is the main river in Wilsons Promontory. It runs into Norman Bay and swells with the tide, hence the name. The river is a very interesting colour; a purple-yellow. This is due to the many tea trees in the area which stain the water with tannin, giving it a tea-like appearance. This is also the site of the main campground at Wilsons Prom, beautifully situated by both beach and river.
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
With over 12,000 species of marine plants and animals along Victoria’s coast, The Prom provides many opportunities for divers and snorkelers with some of the best scuba diving in the marine parks - deep, clear water, and full of interesting sea life. Pillar Point near Tidal River, and the calm protected waters of Refuge Cove on the east coast are excellent places for diving and snorkeling. Unless very experienced it is advised that you always dive with a local tour, try Diving HQ which operates out of Melbourne.
Go fishing for whiting, flathead, king fish and salmon within the estuaries and from beaches around the promontory. Angling restrictions are in place for some forms of fishing and a recreational fishing license is required so enquire at the Visitors Centre for up to date fishing information. Fishing is NEVER permitted in the marine national parks.
Humpback, Killer and Southern Right whales are regularly seen between Norman Bay and the Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse on their annual migration during the Winter months (June to August). You can watch for them from the beach and at the lighthouse, or you can take a cruise along the northern coast. Wildlife Coast Cruises (1300 763 739) provides access to breathtaking scenery along the sheltered side of The Prom, and whale sightings from this vantage point are common during the migration season. The tour takes four hours and an adult ticket is $78.
Wilsons Prom has some fabulous walks, ranging from half day hikes, to five day treks. Whether a beginner or intermediate walker, you can experience the hidden secrets of the park by seeing areas only accessible on foot.
Follow the Lilly Pilly Gully Nature Walk through heathland, Eucalypt forest and temperate rainforest or walk to Squeaky Beach to see its pure white sand and discover the origins of its name.
There are six walk-in camp areas in the southern area, all with toilets and a seasonal water supply. The northern area is a declared a ‘Wilderness Area’, with five walk-in camp sites and no toilets. There are no camping spots in the central area other than those at Tidal River. Permits are required for overnight hikes and can be booked in advance (recommended) or on arrival at the park entrance or at the Visitor Center at Tidal Creek. For more information on hikes download the walking guide from the Parks Victoria Wilsons Promontory website.
The Lighthouse Walk
The historical Wilsons Prom Lighthouse, built in 1859, is the southern most settlement of mainland Australia. There are no public roads to the lighthouse and it must be accessed by walking a 19.1 km track. Only experienced or fit hikers should attempt this distance in one day. It will usually take at least four hours for fast walkers, and up to six or seven hours if you take it slow.
The route starts from the Telegraph Saddle car park (at the end of Wilsons Promontory Road, east of Tidal River) and follows Telegraph Track to Roaring Meg and then on towards the lighthouse. If you wish to break up the distance over two days you can book a campsite at Roaring Meg. Once you reach the lighthouse there are three cottages available for hire, sleeping a maximum of 12 people. The cottages must be booked in advance through Parks Victoria (13 1963 within Australia, +61 3 8627 4700 internationally). Before you walk you must sign in at the visitor centre in Tidal River.