If you have three days to spare and want to do a hike that is as scenic as it is rewarding then look no further than Wilsons Promontory National Park, commonly known as “Wilsons Prom” or “The Prom”. Wilsons Prom is known for its diverse landscapes, pristine coastlines and quality trails for all fitness levels. It arguably provides the best overnight coastal hiking in Victoria. The unusual terrain of the southernmost point of Australia’s mainland will make you feel as if you’re in another country. There are many trails throughout Wilsons Promontory with variations to make it your own enabling you to hike as many nights as you like. For three days and two nights this is one of the most popular routes, after completing it it’s clear to see why.

This is a three day hike beginning at the Telegraph Saddle Carpark via the shuttle (available in summer), to Refuge Cove, Oberon Bay and returning to Tidal River. You’ll pass Sealers Cover and Little Waterloo Bay along the way. The hike covers a total of 40.6km and a good fitness level is recommended. At the end of each day you’ll be rewarded with secluded beaches and crystal clear waters.

Path between Oberon Bay and Tidal River

The evening before

If possible, drive up to Tidal River the night prior to ensure a fresh early start the next day. Pre-book one of the 484 camp sites in Tidal River Campground which are approximately $60 for an unpowered site with a maximum of 8 guests. You can book through the Parks Victoria website. The campground is well facilitated with generous bathrooms including toilets, hot showers, laundry and dishwashing areas. They also provide free gas barbeques in their picnic areas. Each site conveniently has room for your vehicle. Campsites aren’t allocated so it is a first in first serve situation.

The other option is to leave Melbourne before sunrise to beat the traffic and arrive at the Tidal River information office to collect your parking permit and overnight hiking pass. The office is open from 8.30am-4.30pm. These more popular overnight campsites book out early so to ensure your preferred location reserve your site at least two weeks in advanced and even longer for public holiday weekends. The campsites can be reserved online and are just under $14 per night per person. You cannot stay more than two consecutive nights at any overnight sites.

Day 1

Telegraph Saddle – Sealers Cove: 10.2km
Sealers Cover – Refuge Cove: 6.4km

An early start is recommend to beat the heat in summer or to arrive at your destination with plenty of light in winter. This is the biggest day covering a total of 16.6km. After parking your car in the overnight hikers area take the free shuttle bus from Tidal River up to the Telegraph Saddle carpark. The shuttle is available during school holidays and Easter. It’s also available on weekends from November to April. You can find the departure times outside the Tidal River Visitor Centre and Shuttle Bus Stops. It’s approximately a 10 minute ride from one end to the other and there is no need to book. Keep in mind the Telegraph Saddle car park is closed when the shuttle is operational. Follow the signs to Sealers Cove through the forest made up out of sky-high ferns and soaring gums. You’ll soon be treated to some lovely views. The path is a gradual decent down a narrow track crossing various rivers along the way. There is a river crossing near the Sealers Cove campsite so check the tide timetable before attempting to cross as high tide can reach 2 metres deep. It shouldn’t be more than ankle height at low tide. You can find the tide table on the surf forecast website. Sealers Cove is the perfect place to stop for lunch as it resembles a picture-perfect postcard with its turquoise waters, golden sand and green sheltering vegetation. The campsite has composting toilets but you’ll need to provide toilet paper.

After taking in the spectacular views of Sealers Cove continue through the campsite and follow the track up and left towards the ocean. Make sure to look back occasionally at the stunning views Sealers Cove has to offer. A couple of hours later you should arrive at Refuge Cove. The campsite if full of flat campsites with wooden platforms. Drinking water is available if you have the means to treat it.

 

Day Two

Refuge Cove – Little Waterloo Bay: 7.2km
Little Waterloo Bay – Oberon Bay: 9.2km

With refreshed legs and a good nights sleep, find the path at the end of the Refuge Cove campsite and begin your ascent uphill. You will instantly be rewarded with charming views. At the top of the track you have the option to take a slight detour up to Kersop Peak with unbelievable views over the bay. You can leave your pack at the base but be cautious of various creatures which have learnt to open bags and steal food. You should arrive at Little Waterloo in time for lunch. Also been described as representing “a slice of Jamaica”, this remote beach with white shimmering sand makes you feel like you’ve reached heaven. Large boulders are dotted throughout the beach creating the perfect seat to let your feet rest. This beach is only accessible by foot and boat making it an incredibly serene place.

Walk south along the beach to Waterloo Bay, about half way down the beach is a boardwalk heading west across the land. The sign is difficult to find so keep an eye out. The boardwalk has a gradual incline with expansive views of the surrounding mountains. Soon you’ll reach a shady path which will take you to the highest point of this track. The path leads up the mountain then mostly downhill on the other side. Admire the unusual rock formations on the slopes. You’ll soon find yourself at a main intersection with signs to the various campsites. Here is a shady area with multiple wooden benches. Follow the sign that says Oberon Bay and it will take you down a fire trail.

The campsites at Oberon Bay are just off the beach, sheltered by surrounding bushland. The sites are relatively private and spread out with plenty of trees in between. The ground is made up of sandy soil which makes for an easy pitch. It’s such a beautiful experience to cook your dinner then walk down to the seaside for sunset.

Oberon Bay

On warmer days the ocean here is a fantastic place to wash off at the end of the day or to help you wake up the following morning. Besides your fellow hikers, you can enjoy the whole beach to yourself. Small waves are ideal for body boarding. As the light pollution is so little at Wilson Prom the stars are a spectacle in themselves. Searching for shooting starts can create endless entertainment on a cloudless night.

There are no water facilities at Oberon Bay campsite, but there are drop toilets.

Day 3

Oberon Bay – Tidal River: 7.6km

After a peaceful night listening to the waves approaching the shore, it’s time to pack up and head for home.

The walk to Tidal River from Oberon Bay is a relatively easy hike which will take you approximately 4 hours with packs on. There are a few steep sections but nothing too strenuous. This coastal walk is the most scenic section of the three day hike with views of the turquoise blue water and surrounding mountains scattered with large boulders. At times you feel as if you’re in an alternate world.

Tidal River Beach

Arrive back in civilisation at Tidal River and reflect on the journey you’ve experienced before making the trip back to Melbourne.

About The Author

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Some 80 years ago, a young bushwalker's dissatisfaction with the limited and heavy bushwalking equipment available prompted him to design and make his own. Before long, word spread, and Paddy Pallin's lightweight, functional designs were soon in demand among fellow bushwalkers. From its early days the company has concentrated on supplying bushwalkers, travellers and adventurers with the highest quality and most advanced products and knowledge. Since 1930 the company has grown to become Australia's leading supplier of specialist outdoor and travel gear. The company, still owned by the Pallin family, now has thirteen stores throughout Australia as well as online, mail order and corporate sales divisions. We are using our vast wealth of knowledge, and experience, to build an online community where we can share our stories, reviews and tech tips to help you research and plan your next adventure.

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