Updated: Apr 2, 2022
Wilson's Prom southern circuit is a perfect hike if you’re looking for your first overnight hike. After you have done a few day hikes you might be feeling up for a challenge and this hike might just be it, Wilson's promontory’s southern circuit is a great first hike because it provides you will moderately hard terrain but also spectacular views that place you right at the heart of what hiking is all about and shows you arguably the best hike at Wilson's prom.
Packing and Planning:
The preparation for a hike is important, to find more about packing and menus for your hike try one of our other articles on packing like The Packing Basics or The Five Keys to Planning A Hike. In addition to that you also need to make sure to book your campsites with Parks Victoria before you start, Parks Victoria run all the National and State Parks within Victoria and campsite fees are an important revenue stream that helps them maintain and improve tracks and trails from all over Victoria.
Wilson's Promontory National Park is approximately three hours’ drive from Melbourne’s CBD. When you reach the Wilson's Promontory Perk entrance you will need to drive an extra 30 minutes to Tidal River. Make sure to drive carefully as wildlife can be on these roads. Make sure to have a full tank before you leave as there is no fuel at Tidal River or anywhere very close to the park. During the summer and on some long weekends, a shuttle bus will take you to Telegraph Saddle from Tidal River and the overnight Hikers car park for free. Telegraph Saddle car park is closed to all other vehicles when operating so make sure to look in advance.
Once you've arrived at Telegraph Saddle you're ready to start you hike, when leaving the carpark head towards telegraph track, this park of the hike is almost all downhill for several kilometers and the decline will make up more than half of this days walking as you are descending from Mt Oberon and towards Little Waterloo bay Camping area. Along the way you will experience grand views as you descend into the beautiful surroundings and will almost certainly find yourself falling in love the natural scenery around you. Once ground starts to level off you will keep walking along the road, shortly after you will find it turns into more of a track, as you walk you will be met with many short board walks that run over the swampy marshland and creaks that sits beneath them. Shortly after you will reach the sea where you will be granted with an opportunity to dip your feet in the water and take a break, This is also a great spot for a snack as it is only a few kilometers from your campsite. When you've dried off your feet and put back on your shoes you will be ready to set off on the last leg of this day’s journey, you walk alongside the beach most of the way there and once you reach it you will need to set up camp. Space in this campsite can be tight as there is not that much free space but once you have found you little flat space you should be ready to set up camp. The beach can be the perfect space to cook dinner as it is open and you can dig a small pit in the sand to retain heat from your gas cooker, once you have had dinner the last this you need to do on this day is sleep and get ready for tomorrow.
The Prom has a wide range of wildlife that some mornings can end up waking you up, after you have said hello to the locals you can make some breakfast, pack up and get going. Right after leaving camp you will be met with a little stream to cross, there is usually some rocks to jump to so it's not that hard to cross, once you are over it you can keep going along the track. For the first few kilometres you will follow the sea shortly after you will need to do a 200 metre beach walk, the beach rocks provide a great space for a break and or a bit of exploring but make sure to be aware of the time as there is a lot of hiking in front of you. When you re-join the track the hardest part of this days hiking will commence, you will be met with steep inclines towards Kersop Peak, when you reach the top you have the option of climbing a little higher and seeing the lookout at the very top of Kersop Peak, the walk up there is an extra 500 metres but is well worth the view. As you are descending down the mountain you will quickly make your way to Refuge Cove Campsite, this is not the campsite you will be staying in but does offer some facilities like toilets and benches so it's a great space to have lunch in. After you have had lunch and enjoyed the cove you can begin to make you way to your campsite for the night. The path towards Sealers Cove is very uneven and will send you up and down little hills most of the way there but it should only be an hour or two until you arrive at your destination. Once there you can set up camp make some dinner and get some rest for the next day as it is sure to be a tiresome one.
One this day of the hike you will be waking up to the final day of hiking in the beautiful Wilsons Promontory national park, as soon as you have packed up all you stuff and had breakfast you should be ready to go. Today starts a little differently than the other because it starts with a river crossing, unlike the previous day you will need to check tides to see how deep it will be and also will need to take off shoes and roll up pants. When you've made it to the other side you will then need to compete a 500 metre beach walk. When you reach the end the 1.8 kilometre Boardwalk will start, this area can be quite slippery so make sure to keep walking on the chicken wire that has been layered on top so that you don't slip, also make sure to look for hole in the wire as if you’re not paying attention you could hurt yourself. Right at the end of the Boardwalk you will start to climb, along the way you can see a stream that almost resembles a waterfall, shortly after this mini waterfall you will reach Windy Saddle. Windy Saddle is a good place to have lunch but does some with some downsides as it is very windy, it also offers some fantastic views if you can brave the wind. Moving on from Windy Saddle you will find yourself on the very final stretch of the journey with only 2 and a half kilometres to go, along the way you will climb the final distance towards Telegraph Saddle and get some great views out towards the other side of the Park. When you reach the end you can put your feet up, take a drink and relax.
Wilsons promontory is unarguably one of Victoria’s best hikes, it offers a great experience for new hikers who are looking for their first overnight hike while also catering for the more experienced hikers with some challenging parts, altogether it makes it an unmissable place to explore that might just be you next adventure.
Where: Wilsons Promontory National Park
Packing: Overnight Hike Packing Guide
Nights: 2 Travel Time: 2 ½ Hours (from Melbourne CBD) Start: Telegraph Saddle Carpark
Camp One: Little Waterloo Bay Camping Area
Camp Two: Sealers Cove Camping Area
Finish: Telegraph Saddle Carpark
Written by Josh Welch
With help from Max Currie and Marcus Sherrifs in sourcing photos.