Anyone who is able to pronounce Promontory the first try, my hat goes off to you because to this day, I still can’t. Fortunately for me, it’s better known as Wilsons Prom for tourists or The Prom if you’re a local but more importantly, it’s B-E-A-UTIFUL! I actually heard about Wilsons Prom through chatting to a couple of strangers along the Great Ocean Road but before then, I’d never heard of it. Thank goodness I met these knowledgeable strangers as it’s a spot I’m so glad I got to see and is now somewhere I constantly tell people to visit. Hence, why a guide to Wilsons Prom has finally made it to the blog!
Wilsons Prom is a stunning National Park located on a peninsula just a couple of hours away from Melbourne. You will find gleaming white beaches, dirt tracks with kangaroos hopping along the side and tonnes of hiking routes through its magnificent granite mountains. It’s so diverse that in one day you can feel as though you’ve visited multiple places. Sound like your kind of thing? Here’s my guide to Wilsons Prom and some of my favourite photos to inspire you to go.
How to get to Wilsons Prom
In this area of Australia, even the drive to Wilsons Prom is pretty spectacular. If you’re heading South towards The Prom, be sure to make some time to explore the Tarra-Bulga National Park and take a walk among the tree canopies on the Corrigan suspension bridge and do some wildlife spotting. Afterwards, take a relaxing stroll in Port Albert before making your way on to Wilsons Prom.
Wilsons Prom is the perfect spot to explore after a visit to Philip Island and the Penguins to the Prom touring route is a great way to continue your travels. This driving route leaves you dipping in and out of scenic lookouts, lighthouses and stunning beaches such as Venus Bay before finishing up at Tidal Bay on Wilsons Prom. Of course, if you’re looking to head over to Phillip Island after the Prom, the drive can be done in reverse. Read more about the Penguins to the Prom touring route here.
Where to stay on Wilsons Prom
Tidal River is the heart of this Australian national park and the place where you find the only campsite on the Prom. Bookings have to be made in advance and they have powered pitches and non-powered pitches along with excellent amenities such as showers, toilets, laundry facilities, BBQs a cafe and a small shop. As well as camping, Tidal River also offers a number of lodges and huts throughout the national park.
You absolutely MUST book your accommodation or camping pitch in advance here and you will read signs at the entrance to the park stating this. The campsite can get really busy so it’s a good idea to visit during off-peak times when possible. It’s so popular that if you want to visit during the school summer holidays, they have a ballot system in place! To find out more, head over to their website here.
However, thanks to Wikicamps and all the campsites it has to offer, an option of free camping near Wilsons Prom is there for all you frugal travellers. The Franklin River Rest Area is north of The Prom and not actually in it but it’s a beautiful spot right by a river. What’s even better is it’s absolutely free!
When is the best time to visit?
As the summer period is so busy, especially between December and January because of the school holidays, I would definitely recommend visiting outside of these times. Also be sure to check when public holidays are as well as it will make the park equally as rammed. Wilsons Prom is such a beautiful place and unless you’re fine sharing it with a zillion other people, I’d aim to avoid these times. I visited in October and it was beautifully sunny and uncrowded.
How long should you stay for?
This entirely depends on what you want to do here. There are hikes that take 5-6 days to complete, hikes that take one day to complete, and of course, you don’t have to do any hikes (way more my thing) and can just chill at the beaches. I spent one night here at the free campsite and it was great. I got to see waterfalls, wildlife and beautiful beaches at a super chilled pace.
Now, while Australia may be full of beautiful beaches and national parks, WIlsons Prom really is something special. Now you have an overview of the ‘hows’ and ‘where’ I want to share with you some favourite snapshots from my visit and hope they convince you to check this stunning national park out too!
Checking out the local wildlife
This mob of kangaroos down this dirt track route was a pretty awesome way to start my time on The Prom, and some of them seemed more than happy to let us watch them.
This beach was pretty much deserted when we got there which is something you can usually only dream of. It has a great walk along the river to get to it as well.
No guide to Wilsons Prom would be complete without mentioning Squeaky Beach. This beach is made from circular grains of quartz that make a squeaky sound when you shuffle your feet through it. I’m not even going to pretend that this wasn’t fun!
Norman Beach (Tidal River campground)
One amazing thing about camping at the Tidal River campground is how close it is to Norman Beach. By close I mean it’s right next to it. It’s a great beach for a stroll, swim or even a walk to Squeaky Beach if you’re basing yourself here for your visit.
The perks of free camping near Wilsons Prom
I stayed fee Franklin River Rest area just outside the national park and as well as it being a beautiful location for the night, there is also a waterfall and some beautiful rolling countryside that’s not to be missed.