If you like wilderness bushwalking, stunning coastal scenery and secluded white-sand beaches, you’ll absolutely love this place. ‘The Prom’, as it’s affectionately known, is one of the most popular national parks in Australia. Hardly surprising, given its accessibility from Melbourne, network of more than 80km of walking tracks, swimming and surf beaches, and abundant wildlife.
Wilsons Promontory was an important area for the Kurnai and Boonwurrung Indigenous peoples, and middens have been found in many places, including Cotters and Darby Beaches, and Oberon Bay. The southernmost part of mainland Australia, the Prom once formed a land bridge that allowed people to walk to Tasmania.
Tidal River, 30km from the park entrance, is the hub, and home to the Parks Victoria office, a general store, cafe and accommodation. The wildlife around Tidal River is incredibly tame: kookaburras and rosellas lurk expectantly (resist the urge to feed them) and wombats nonchalantly waddle out of the undergrowth.
Although there’s a staffed entrance booth, where you receive a ticket, entry is free. There’s no fuel available in Tidal River.