Another day, another National Park for us to explore, and yet again we had found a brilliant one. Wilsons Promentory, or the Prom as it is apparently known to the locals, is located on a peninsula 240km south-east of Melbourne.
We had found very little information on the park prior to our arrival, and had only heard about it from several other travel blogs that we have been reading, which highly recommended it. Given it was on our route anyway, we decided to spend a day exploring what it had to offer. We were rewarded with a day of breathtaking scenery and views, and close encounters with lots more wildlife.
Our visit started in Tidal River, the middle of the park and the location of the visitor centre and most of the camping facilities. With a number of trails beginning here, we chose to start with the Loo-Errn track. This wooden boardwalk over delicate wetlands, took us along the banks of the Tidal River, past several fishing platforms and a paddle boarding lesson.
We then followed the trail to Pillar Point, an outcrop of granite boulders which provide spectacular views of both Norman and Squeaky beaches, located either side of the headland.
Although not quite on the same level as those we saw in Western Australia, both beaches looked incredible. We climbed to the top of the largest boulder, which was the perfect location for elevenses as we sat and watched the ocean.
After a quick lunch back in Tidal River, we took a closer look at Squeaky beach, as well as two more beaches further up the coast, Whiskey and Picnic bay. We also found time for the Prom Wildlife walk, a short 2.3km trail, which promised up-close encounters with native wildlife. The visitor guide wasn’t lying, there was so many animals it felt more like a walking Safari park!
While we are now very familiar with kangaroos, and the smaller wallabies, this walk also gave us a chance to get close to several emus and some very shy wombats.
Our final walk of the day was by far the most unusual, but possibly the best of the lot – a 4km trail to the Big Drift sand dunes. Starting in the Stockyards carpark, this began as a gentle walk through the fields of a dairy farm, and for a while it felt like we had been transported back to the English countryside.
Then out of nowhere we turned a corner and were faced with a huge mound of sand. With the footprint tracks confirming we needed to climb this, we somehow scrambled our way to the top, and were met with vast sand dunes stretching as far as you could see.
The visitor guide warns it easy to get lost on the dunes and it is clear why, with every direction looking almost exactly the same. Despite this Rachael was more interested in practicing her ‘sandstands’ than worrying about what direction we were walking.
Luckily we made it back to the van in one piece, completing another brilliant day of exploring. Of course there was the usual incredible sunset, as we walked back across the fields.