Wilsons Promontory National Park is one of the key highlights of Victoria. It’s a real paradise for outdoor lovers. Just imagine, sandy beaches, pristine nature, wildlife and walking tracks that go through rainforest and spectacular lookouts. Stunning views are guaranteed! Are you wondering what do you need to know about Wilsons Promontory? How to get there? Where to stay overnight? What to do? In this blog post, I’m going to share with you all you need to know before going to Wilsons Promontory National Park.
HOW TO GET THERE?
Wilsons Promontory National Park is situated 225 km from Melbourne and it takes up to 3 hours to get there by car from the city. The car is essential. Once you get to Wilsons Promontory, you will see that this national park is huge and the distance between specific points is very long. So, I can’t imagine getting around without a car.
HOW MANY DAYS IS ENOUGH TO STAY?
In my opinion, a three day stay is a must. Wilsons Promontory National Park has a lot to offer for outdoors enthusiasts, as well as for those of you who want to chill out on the beach. However, if you are a hiking lover, a three day stay might not be enough. I came here for a long weekend (three days) and I’m already planning on coming back.
Day visitor entry to Wilsons Promontory National Park is free. Overnight hikers need to obtain a campsite permit from the Visitor Centre in Tidal River. It costs 13,60 AUD per person. If you stay overnight at the campground in Tidal River or Stockyard, no additional fees apply besides what you have already paid for your accommodation.
WHERE TO STAY OVERNIGHT?
I hope you are a wise traveller and you don’t plan to come here just for a day. Hence, you will need accommodation. So now you need to know where to stay in Wilsons Promontory, right? You can consider staying overnight at one of the campgrounds in Wilsons Promontory National Park, as well as outside its area, within several kilometres or so.
ACCOMMODATION WITHIN WILSONS PROMONTORY
Pre-booking of accommodation within Wilsons Promontory National Park is essential. Upon arrival, you need to go to the Visitors Centre to check-in (stay at Tidal River) or buy the campsite permit for overnight hiking. Remember to carry your permit with you at all times. The Visitor Centre is in Tidal River.
Tidal River is the main visitor hub that offers 20 powered campsites (size 8 m x 8 m, no more than 6 people) and 455 unpowered campsites (no more than 6 people). Campsite facilities include bathrooms (toilets and hot showers), laundry room and dish-washing stations. What’s more, there are also picnic areas with free gas barbecues. If you are looking for roofed accommodation, Tidal River also has cabins, huts, units with a fully accessible kitchen and group lodges with bunk beds.
This unpowered campsite is less popular than Tidal River, therefore much calmer. It is set amongst bushland close to the park entrance. Its facilities include bathrooms (toilets and showers) and a sheltered area.
CAMPSITES – OVERNIGHT HIKING
There are also campsites accessible for overnight hikers. They can be found in the southern and northern section of Wilsons Promontory National Park as a part of long walking tracks. All of them are unpowered. Toilets are available only in the southern section of the national park.
Campsites in the southern part of Wilsons Promontory National Park: Sealers Cove, Refuge Cove, Little Waterloo Bay, Halfway Hut, Roaring Meg, Oberon Bay.
Campsites in the northern part of Wilsons Promontory National Park: Barry Creek Camp, Lower Barry Creek, Tin Mine Cove, Johnny Souey Cove, Five Mile Beach.
Have a look at the below summary of the campgrounds facilities.
ACCOMMODATION OUTSIDE WILSONS PROMONTORY
There is a wide range of options for you to choose if you don’t want to stay overnight in the Wilsons Promontory National Park. Simply, check booking.com or airbnb.com for available hotels, guest houses, and other campsites that are located close to the national park.
WHAT IF YOU CAN’T FIND ACCOMMODATION?
Well… it happens and it happened also to me. My plan was to go to Wilsons Promontory National Park during the long weekend and due to some uncertainty with the weather, I made the final decision a few days before the actual weekend. It turned out that all accommodation has been already booked up.
Literally, all above-listed options were not available. The only one available place that I found was located 100 km from the national park and it costed a fortune. Despite that I got into my car and drove all way down to Wilsons Promontory National Park. What did I do upon arrival?
The first night I spent in my car (!) parked in Tidal River. Please note that this is illegal and I do not encourage you to do the same. However, I managed to spend a night there and not being caught. The next day I went to the Visitor Centre and asked if anybody has cancelled a booking. It turned out that some bookings were cancelled, but they did not appear again on the national park website.
What are the takeaways from this story? Firstly, make sure to book your accommodation well in advance, especially for a long weekend or during holidays. Secondly, always drop by the Visitor Centre and ask if there are any cabins, rooms or campsites available. Lastly, dependently how desperate you are, you can spend the night in your car, at your own risk!
This is all you need to know before going to Wilsons Promontory National Park. Where are you going to stay overnight? Within the national park or outside its area? Let me know by leaving a comment below!